"We want something new."
Translation:Vogliamo qualcosa di nuovo.
Sometimes things in English that we consider TOTALLY DIFFERENT another language might consider the same. Other times we do not distinguish between things that another language might consider totally different. That is the beauty of learning another language. It makes you THINK differently!!! And maybe even be a slightly different person!
You're correct that the adverb phrase "di nuovo" means again, or anew.
However, qualcosa is an indefinite pronoun, which makes nuovo an adjective in this context, meaning new. Note: it's nuovo, rather than nuova because qualcosa is a masculine pronoun, even though it ends in -a.
One of the obscure Italian grammar rules is that an indefinite pronoun followed by an adjective takes a preposition in between, which in this case is di.
(I don't know how strict this rule actually is.)
Non è niente di nuovo.
It is nothing new.
Qualcuno di diverso.
If an indefinite pronoun is followed by an infinitive verb (a basic, non conjugated verb form, e.g. to go, to eat, to see), then the preposition da is used in between.
Qualcosa da mangiare.
Something to eat.
Qualcuno da amare.
Someone to love.
Non c'è niente da fare.
There is nothing to do.
I expect there are exceptions to these rules, but it explains why "qualcosa di nuovo" means "something new".
As a non scientific experiment, you can enter those examples above into Google translate, but leave out the prepositions. Then switch from Italian-English to English-Italian and watch them reappear as it 'corrects' each sentence with the appropriate preposition.
Qualcosa does not change gender!!! YAY Check out: http://www.oneworlditaliano.com/oneworlditaliano/grammatica-italiana/pronomi_indefiniti.htm HTH So Happy!
I'm doubly confused because, by accepting only the masculine adjective, Duolingo seems to be saying 1) the Italian translation for "something" has only one gender, and 2) that gender is masculine even though the translation, "qualcosa", ends with an "a". Are both of these true?
Well, that's what I thought! I just checked my Webster's New World Italian Dictionary (1 1/2 inches thick) and it says that 'di nuovo' means 'again' and 'new' translates to 'nuovo.' This question has surfaced above and I'm not sure why there is no answer. I guess you and I are missing something, eh?!