"Ho un milione di amici."
Translation:I have a million friends.
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I think another way to look at it is if there is more than 1 word before the noun (of the thing) then we need the "di". e.g. Ho tre milioni di dollari = I have three million dollars Ho tre dollari = I have three dollars Ho cento dollari = I have one hundred dollars. un gruppo di giocatori = A group of players.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen an exception to this.
but yeah, milione is only a noun in italian, but million (or one million is also an adjective in english)
Milione is always treated as a noun (not like a number), cento is an adjective as well as a noun.
http://www.wordreference.com/iten/cento (note noun+adjective)
http://www.wordreference.com/iten/milione (note only noun)
Counting nouns need "di" but counting adjectives don't. More detail is in my other post below.
You could say that. Cento and mille do not require "di" but milione and miliardo (billion) do. Cento and mille come from latin, whereas milione and miliardo come from French, perhaps for this reason they are treated differently. (All the numbers up to cento do not require "di" either).
Could you also say, "ho un milione amici"? Why is the "di" needed here?
"Ho un milione amici" is wrong. Every time you speak about (imprecise) quantities you need "di" before the noun. It's like "un kilo DI banane" or "un litro di birra". It's similar in English where you say "a kilo/litre of sth." I think it's a particularity of the Romance languages. E.g. in German you say "ein Liter Bier" and "ein Kilo Bananen" without a preposition. It's called the partitive article, sometimes even particle case. http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articolo_partitivo
The need to add a preposition after quantities such as "a million", "a billion" etc. is common in Romance languages. It's the same in Portuguese and Spanish.
Why is, 'I have millions of friends,' not accepted? I took the literal, 'I have a million of friends,' and equated that to the obvious, and common in English, exaggeration, 'I have millions of….' I see the grammatical argument that 'un' makes it precise, but isn't this just the Italian way of expressing the same exaggeration to imply that you have a very large number of friends?
CristonCad: it looks as though despite having a million friends, none of them work at duolingo! Seriously, i suspect it's the "of" that caused DL to mark you incorrect. Frankly I agree, it's a bit petty especially since you might well hear that in some places in the US or in other English speaking countries. The point is you understood exactly what the Italian was saying and that's what counts...maybe not a million times, but it counts.
In the fast version of the audio question, there is NO way there is an 'un' in there. I know native speakers tend to very much shorten such words and I know that we are supposed to know the right construction and I know that in the slow version there is very clearly an 'un' in there but a. we are learning b. as we get better we like to challenge ourselves with the faster version and c. if we knew the construction there is no point in a listening exercise; just have a translation of the sentence.