last lesson "alcune" and "dei" translated as "any." Should I add "qualche" to this list?
I'm treading rather tentatively, because I'm no expert; but I believe in that case it would be "alcuni pesci," since "pesci" is masculine plural and "alcuni" as an adjective, would have to agree in number and gender. However, "qualche" is a pronoun that remains constant and always takes the singular form of the noun, EVEN THOUGH that gets translated into English as a plural. qualche uovo = some eggs in another Duolingo example...
You are correct, someone confirmed this in another discussion: qualche never alters according to gender, and it always takes a singular noun in Italian, yet translates to a plural in English. Very strange, and uncomfortable for translation.
In English, 'fish' is plural. No one would naturally ever say 'Do you see any fishes?' in English.
I don't know about that. At least in the version of English I grew up with: "fish" is plural when referring to fish collectively, uncountably, or to multiple fish of the same kind. However, "fishes" can be used when you want to emphasize the diversity of kinds of fish. i.e.: yesterday we saw salmon, tuna, marlin, and bass; we saw many different fishes yesterday.
Here are some examples from news reports/journal articles:
"Coral bleaching threatens to disrupt the population equilibria of the reef’s fishes."
"Those most in jeopardy were the smaller fishes with specialized eating and sheltering habits."
True, it can be singular or plural. But fishes is a perfectly acceptable plural form too, which would be used very naturally when the emphasis is on the fishes as individuals, when snorkelling for example.
Found a blog post that expands on what the helpful poster above is saying:
An irritating experience with Duolingo is the repeated habit of their providing translations of words in sentences (via the drop down) that when used in an answer, are marked wrong. I used " a few" (it being offered as a translation of 'qualche' and it was marked wrong. Could someone address this?
The drop down hints are like a quick dictionary lookup, except for the first (most often correct) option.
For example, one option for the word 'miss' on the phrase "You can't miss" was 'lady', when in this example, miss is a verb.
Try the first option when relying on the drop down, and use other 'hints' more as research than a choice.
how come "some" is wrong? "any" is tented to use for negative or questions.
From my understanding fish is used as plural for individual fish. Eg. "I can see 5 fish." Where fishes is used as plural for different species of fish. Eg. "there where 5 different fishes."
This is confusing. There is another sentence on Duolingo: "ho qualche amico in città" which translates to "I have some friends in the city".
"Qualche" is followed by a noun in singular in Italian but you translate that noun to plural in English.
However that does NOT work on this sentence. When I translate this sentence to "Do you see some fishes?" I am told that I have to use the singular form "fish".
Now I know you may say "fish" is the most common plural form of "fish". But so far on every other lesson "fishes" has been accepted as plural of fish. Furthermore the error message I get clearly says that the singular form of fish is required. It does not say that "fish" is the correct plural form instead of "fishes".
There is something fishy about this...
The drop down translaion for 'qualche' gives 'some' or 'a few', so why is the acceptable translation 'any'?
Although qualche translates as some in Italian, we can't say do you see some fish in English. The English rule is that we use any in questions. Please correct this.