I myself didn't know that "il lenzuolo" (as a masculine singular noun) is an irregular noun, although I have been familiar with the concept much before. Yes, unfortunately, there is such a unique case in Italian, which is annoyingly hilarious, in my opinion. The other common examples, in case you want to know, are:
il braccio - le braccia (arm - arms), il labbro - le labbra (lip - lips) -- for more info: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/labbro
il ciglio - le ciglia (eyelash - eyelashes), il ginocchio - le ginocchia (knee - knees) -- for more info: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/ginocchio
For those who are interested in further knowledge, these are some websites about irregular nouns in Italian:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurali_irregolari (which gives an astonishingly profound information about the irregular nouns, explaining the origins and the why's.)
Thanks for the thorough reply with references. Irregular plurals exist in other languages, but Italian may be the winner among them all.
Oh yes, I believe so. I always appreciate and speak highly of Italian, but the grim determination to follow the lead of its original roots, which is Latin no doubt, makes this language slightly insufferable sometimes. And yet, love is love, isn't it...
I've studied both in school. Each has its own difficulties for native English speakers. German has simpler verb conjugations than Italian and many words that are the same or similar to English. However, German also has a more complex collection of articles and adjective endings, based on three grammatical genders and the nominative, accusative, or dative case.
With my limited knowledge of both Italian and German, I wouldn't think so. If you'd like to look at a difficult language, try Zulu.
As I do not know Zulu language, I can definitely recommend my native Polish for being a difficult to learn. Adalbus, what a nice surprise to see the very first comment in the discussion which explains exactly what I needed. Lingot for you.
No, it's Zulu without the click sounds. Did you know that there are twelve distinct click sounds in the Zulu language?
"Lenzuolo" m.s. (bedsheet -considered as one of the two element of the bedsheet set). "Lenzuoli" m.pl. (Bedsheets -considered as several bedsheets regardless of being part of the bedsheet set or not). Lenzuola f.p. (Bedsheets - Considered as the pair, the bedsheet set).
I can say: Un paio di lenzuola è composto di due linzuoli: un linzuolo è collocato direttamente sul materasso per coprirlo. I'altro linzuolo è colocato sul primo però questo ultimo è per copire il letto completo.
The bedsheets set is compound of two bedsheets. A bedsheet is placed on the matress to cover it. The other bedsheet is placed over the first one but this last one is to cover the whole bed.
This situation can be encountered in other latin languages, for example in romanian. These nouns are not masculine or feminin, they are neuter.
Because how it sounds.. I believe long ago "i ginocchi" confused someone long ago. It has occhi eyes. Those io endings cannot drop to pluralize.
They are not feminine objects it is fair game for the o to change to i to pluralize. A usually converts to e but not in all cases. Accents do not change. I remember reading those two things.
- singular il lenzuolo = the (bed)sheet
- plural le lenzuola = the (bed)sheets
This is one of those irregular Italian nouns that change gender in the plural. (gender bender nouns :P)
Not just changing gender, but also appearing like an opposite-gender singular when it becomes plural. It's like a foreign language.
It must be one of the neuter nouns in Latin, that had the sing. Ending -um and the plural ended with an -a ;)
What I really don't understand is why any inanimate object has to have a gender at all! A window is a window is a window - how can it possibly be female??!?
One thing you have to realize is that grammatical gender and the kind you're thinking of are two different things.
Just because they're called "Feminine" and "Masculine" genders doesn't mean they're literally referring to gender. You could call them anything really. "A-gender" and "O-gender", for example.
They're called "Feminine" and "Masculine" because when they discovered the two types of grammatical genders, they noticed that female nouns predominantly fell under one grammatical gender, which they then called "Feminine gender", and male nouns predominantly fell under the other, so they called it "Masculine gender".
It's also true that grammatical genders go back a long way. The Amcient Greeks used them.
How does one report a mistake to Duolingo? The English translation given for this sentence uses "bed linens". In English one would simply say "The bed linen (singular) is on the bed." Never plural.
You're quite right, of course. When you have completed a question in an exercise, at the bottom left of the screen you'll see 'Report a problem'. Just click on that and report it.
I had the same concern. I put "bedding" which would never be "beddings" (as duo suggests) in English. Even spell-check catches it! :)
Elsewhere it says that a sheet is a foglio - are these words interchangeable?
English uses a single word (sheet) for bed linen and for any piece of material. Other languages use a single word for (paper) sheet and leaf. In Italian they have all three:
- lenzuolo m (lenzuoli m, lenzuola f) = bedsheet
- foglio m (fogli) = (paper) sheet
- foglia f (foglie) = leaf
3 questions ago, I was supposed to translate, "Where are the bedsheets?" Well, they are on the bed.
Ma le vostre spegazioni non sono complete. Vedete qui: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/lenzuoli-o-lenzuola_(La_grammatica_italiana)/
I don't really know about the translation from Italian, but the English term is "bed linen". There is no such thing as the plural "bed linens" in normal usage as the term "linen"is a collective term that refers to all bed linen items. Also, "bed linen" refers to all cotton goods (or similar) used on the bed, not just the sheets. So you could have been marked wrong for either reason I suppose depending on what DL was looking for.
Actually, "linens" does exist in English, as a colloquial usage, although the OED does not recognize the plural form. It might be used correctly to identify several SETS of sheets that are lying on the bed, and it will surely be seen in the linen departments of stores for the same reason. Best English is "sheets" or "bedsheets."
It also tells me that "bedding" should be "beddings" though the word is always in the singular form in English - like "sheep".
I go back to my room ina hotel and there is no sheets on the bed. I call the manager and say “I wanna sheet!” He tells me to go to the toilet!!!
Bedlinen has been marked wrong here although it has been accepted elsewhere for lenzuola. I'm not sure why this is