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  5. "Then why are they here?"

"Then why are they here?"

Translation:Allora perché sono qui?

August 2, 2013



Duolingo is a bit crazy. In some sentences, sometimes it accepts both "allora" and "poi".

  • 2577

The reason for that is actually inherent to the language itself: in English "then" is used to express both a temporal sequence, e.g. "first study then play" and a logical sequence, e.g. "if he's late, then he'll miss it", and also a general past, e.g. "back then". In Italian "allora" only covers the last two, while for the first one you have to use "poi". In this particular sentence some sort of "if" is implied.


I guess it's very clear the definition you gave. I just hope I can get to apply this rule on new sentences from now on. Thanks.


as always, you give clear explanations fformica. thanks


Grazie f.formica


Thanks a lot for your comment this helped me out!


Maybe. But the exercise was to translate English to Italian not the other way around and without context the reader has to guess.


Yes, Duo once says it is write then says later it is wrong, and we lose our marks.


How do you know if it's "Then why are they here?" or "Then why am I here?" Context, I suppose...


From The Italian, It'd Be Impossible To Tell Without Context, But You Could Add "Loro" Or "Io" To Specify, If It seem Not Particularly Clear, Or You Just Feel LIke It.


I put "Allora perché sono loro qui" end it was marked as wrong.


So did I and the correct answer was "Allora perché sono qui", which pretty much confused me.


What Duo wanted was allora perché loro sono qui/qua. I don't know why you can't put loro after the verb. I get the impression that there is a change is linguistic attitude about placement of the subject, and both Italian and Spanish are moving rapidly towards relying on vocal inflection rather than subject-verb orientation to express a question or a declaratory sentence.

Some of the comments have indicated this change. Sometimes Duo lets you reverse subject-verb for a quesiton, sometimes not. It's all really murky.

  • 2577

I can't speak for Spanish, but Italian has always relied on vocal inflection to form questions: word order is totally unrelated to that, and only used to express emphasis. In this sentence, "sono loro" doesn't express any kinf of emphasis and is simply weird: if the question was "are they the guests?" then "sono loro gli ospiti?" would be a valid word order, but that's true with or without the question mark (i.e. "sono loro gli ospiti" is a "they are the guests" with an emphasis on they).


Thanks! I'm sorry though, I still don't understand... Isn't the 'they' in *Why are they here?" expressing emphasis on the people in the room?


Quindi means 'therefore' which is used in conditional sentences. ex. È notte, quindi accendo le luce = It is night, therefore I turn on the lights.


I thought qui/qua was here/there but it says they both work for this sentence. Does this mean they both mean "here" and if so, what's the difference? And how would you say "Then why are they there?"

  • 2577

Qui/qua both mean here, while lì/là mean there; and for the record, there's also costì and costà, but you'll likely never hear them outside of Tuscany.

The meaning of each is as follows:

  • Qui: right here where I am
  • Qua: in my general proximity
  • Costì: right there where you are
  • Costà: in your general proximity
  • Lì: exactly over there
  • Là: over there

In actual speech, most Italians don't mind the difference between qui and qua and between lì and là that much, usage depends more on personal preference; when in doubt, use qua for here and là for there, they're the most common, especially in idioms.


Why is there a random "mai" in this answer? I thought mai was something that never happened?


There's no mai in this sentence

  • 1798

I used "poi" here and was marked wrong - which I now understand. What I don't understand, however, is why DL suggested "Quindi perché loro sono qua?" Could someone please explain how "quindi" could be correct in this context?


i typed poi perche loro sono qui and the correct solution duo gave me was Quindi perché loro sono qui?anyone else get the "quindi" version?


My answer is the same, but you marked it twice as wrong. What can I do?


How do i tell whether 'sono' means 'they' or 'I am'?


In the context or the noun should tell you whether it is singular or plural.


Is it correct to say "Allora perché ci sono qui?"


"Allora, perché loro sono qui?" - accepted as correct answer

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