1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Arrostiamo qualche patata."

"Arrostiamo qualche patata."

Translation:We roast some potatoes.

July 31, 2013

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShikiHana

Why do we use the singular "patata" when it is "some potatoes?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silvia_aimone

it's because of "qualche": in this case you use the singular, but if it was translated with "delle" instead, it would be "delle patate", with the plural. I hope I was clear, English is not my language! (But Italian is)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShikiHana

So whenever "qualche" is used, the nouns would always be singular?

Grazie mille ~ ^_^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kkulonja

"Have yourself a merry little lingot.." :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/themanichero

Thanks for your explanation - have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aIpinestar

have another lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sharedenise

I wish my Italian was as good as your English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/el-montunero

Interesting. Spanish also has cualqier (qualche) and algĂșn (alcuno), but I always thought that the first one translates as "any", and the other as "some". Does that mean that it really is a difference between languages, or I have been living the entire time thinking wrong? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen93419

Must be a difference in languages, because cualqier in Spanish is definitely "any" or "whichever".


[deactivated user]

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

    I translated this as "Let's roast some potatoes" as I thought it was common across all verbs that will bear this sense for the second person plural to be translatable as "let's" as in "andiamo". Folk please correct me if I'm wrong. Have reported.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ksweeen

    You are correct, any noi form can be used both as "we _" and "let's _"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertocatini

    It can have the meaning you describe, but with a different intonation. In this case there is a full stop at the end, so it's definitely "we roast"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

    But here you were translating from Italian, where the intonation is used to tell the two meanings apart.

    Have a lingot.

    Can't reply to this point below so I'll have to reply here. Fair point. Thanks. So I take it that the exclamation mark is a MUST in Italian. Mind you, for foreigners, in the spoken language with native Italians a very high proportion of phrases can sound like exclamations :) Thanks again for your points. Have a lingot


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

    I'm sorry, I don't understand the significance of the full stop at the end. Don't all sentences end with a full stop?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandrabruck

    If you use "Let's roast" it's a command and therefore an imperative. So an "!" is expected instead of a full stop.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

    not sure that is strictly necessary in modern English is it? But thanks for the point.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertocatini

    In English may not be necessary because let's roast can only be the imperative form (it would still sound weird to me, if spoken as an affirmative sentence).

    But here you were translating from Italian, where the intonation is used to tell the two meanings apart.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    Sorry, "Let's roast" is not a command it is a suggestion and no exclamation mark is required. A command would be: "Roast the potatoes!" or more logically "Be quiet!" "Don't interrupt!"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

    It can use an exclamation mark, depending on circumstance. "Let's go!"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gigi405499

    Thanks for the explanation, understand it much better now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gigi405499

    So when there's a full stop, it's always in its correct subject pronoun form?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marciamckean1

    Yes, you're right, and this happens over and over. I've gotten so I just translate it literally but it isn't really right. I'm reporting it too, maybe they'll get the message.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/countvlad

    potato (singular) could be seen as a collective noun, like "crowd" (= many individuals)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertocatini

    It's qualche that must be used only in the singular form (there is no plural), but can also mean "a few things".

    patata is not a collective noun, it's a plain countable noun.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaIramendy

    The plural of potatoes is patate and not patata. Would any one who speaks Italian help me please to decipher this enigma?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    Marial...True, but with 'qualche' the singular is always used: Per qualche giorno (for a few days); Fra qualche mese (in a few months), Ho visto qualche amico ieri (I saw a few friends yesterday), etc.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mary-Rose877136

    The trouble is that in English you can also use the singular potato to mean the plural : I'll do roast potato with dinner.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    "patate" is a correct plural and the audio certainly sounds like that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juliefjw

    oh dear marked down for writing potatos with the pre millenial UK spelling rather than the now more widely accepted potaoEs


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    Julie: Don't be too upset. Back when the former Republican Vice President Dan Quale misspelled its singular 'potato' as 'potatoe' he was ridiculed and parodied galore on late night tv. Oh, had he only been on Duo Lingo!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeilCockling

    That would be pre-millennial with two "n"s!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    Neil...That's really small potatoes. :-(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeilCockling

    Very funny! Have a lingot for such a witty reply!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    Neil: Thank you. Much appreciated.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gigi405499

    Thanks for the explanation @Silvia... I wish you were my friend, just moved to Italy, finding it difficult to learn the language these past three months.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaIramendy

    Could anyone pls let me know why patata is translated as plural? I understand that the plural of potatoes is patate.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

    Marial...Unless I'm mistaken, 'qualche' is always followed by a singular. For example: Per qualche giorno=for a few days; qualche volta=a few times; Ho visto qualche amico ieri=I saw a few friends yesterday. etc. Why? chissa'!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScoutsManyZZZ

    I'm always mixing up qualche for qualunque. Words that look similar like this always trip me up. Anyone else do this too?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLauraS1

    In Texas we don't roast potatos; we bake them. My point--in this context "bake" and "roast" have the same meaning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OriginalRJA

    In English, potato is used both as a countable noun (like have six in a bag) and an uncountable noun (consider a saucepan of mashed potato). So it varies. Im realising that the main issue with English/Italian is that english uses the same word for slightly different contexts, whereas Italian (and many other languages) have different words/terms/uses for each case

    Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.