which plate do you eat on? surely it should be 'off' or 'from' in English? Which plate do you serve ON but which plate do you eat OFF?
Eating "off" a plate may not be technically incorrect, but it's very bad style. "Which plate do you eat from," is far preferable.
You are right, though it still sounds a bit awkward. In fact, this whole construction is a bit awkward. I can't even think of the last time that I've discussed eating from a plate.
Really? Nobody eats off your plate? and you never say "can I have some of that" to your friends?
Eating occurs from where food is served.
From which plate do you eat?
Do you eat on the run?
Do you eat on a budget?
Regardless of the stranding preposition posture, "from" not "on" is the preposition used to indicate from what container or surface eating occurs.
Food is placed on on the tray, platter and plate. Some food and drinks are placed in pots, pans, cans, bowls, mugs, cups and glasses.
The birds eat from the feeder. The deer eat from the ground.
The infant drinks with a straw and eats with a spoon. Infant are encouraged to eat with utensils and not with their hands.
Will you eat at the office, at home, or at a restaurant?
Do you eat on the boat or the beach?
While there's some debate, for those interested the alternate would be "From which plate do you eat?"
Quite right- that's what I put and it was marked incorrect. It is never used these days and
Technically, there is some debate. "Many sources consider it to be acceptable in standard formal English"
@ Roonster - that is incorrect.
At one time, schoolchildren were taught that a sentence should never end with a preposition. However, this is a rule from Latin grammar that was applied to English.
While many aspects of Latin have made their way into the English language, this particular grammar rule is not suited for modern English usage.
However, this is probably the reason why you will never see an Italian sentence ending in a preposition.
But when did that rule actually get established? and by whom? Some random 19th century university don perhaps? Churchill thought this was a daft rule and wrote, as a comic example of what was allegedly more correct, when his secretary corrected his English: "This is something up with which I shall not put". People who actually speak English often end sentences with prepositions.
Funnily enough, I initially wrote it as Duo suggested, then changed my mind and started the sentence with 'on' and it was accepted.
The point of the question is to test that you understand what "su" means. By insisting on idiomatic correctness, you are distracted from what specifically is being tested. The point is not to teach you to translate well into English, but to understand and speak Italian correctly. So, when translating, I suggest stick closely to the original, whether or not it sounds good in English.
Why not construct a more plausible/correct (when translated in English) sentence then?
I couldn't agree more. This wonderful program is about learning Italian, not English - I personally find the discussions about so-called correct/incorrect English time wasting.
But if you take the "Learning English as an Italian speaker" course you will find that the Italians also make complaints about the poor translation and weird examples. DL may be free, but there are serious defects.
Can anyone explain why the word Su is used here? Is this just an idiomatic sentence? Thanks
Yes, PhilipNikolayev, you may have a point. However, the others have a point as well. In teaching a point of Italian grammer, in order to have us learn the correct use of a bit of the language, it would be a better effort if the example sentence translated into one we might actually use at some point in the future for more than these exercises.
Could be two little mice deciding which plate they are going to sit on and eat. Just joking. :P
Where I live, I've heard both, though it seems like 'on' would imply that you're holding the plate, possibly sitting at the couch, eating, and you see it as your sole little island of support for your food which you are 'eating your meal on'.
I am also in favour of meaningful translations rather than literal translations. However, we don't have the context here. It seams like Duo is more on the track of literal translations.
Possibly they do it to sharpen our senses for differenciating the specific and unspecific articles (the/a). Hoping we develop a detailed feel for the learned language.
However, with this training approach I think when we translate real-world texts later the translations will be more literal and less meaning-oriented. Poor translations.
How could you set up a training system that allows translations along the lines of meaning rather than literal translations? I think you would need more context around the translated sentences. Maybe display the context in light gray and the sentence to be translated in black?
And right you are. Neurological research implies, that word-by-word translation helps to understand divergent grammatical structures. Ma sono secura che DL non lo so ;-).
Chances are that it's not that they favor literal translations; it's much more difficult to implement "meaningful translations" that go beyond literal, word-for-word mappings because this is still a subject of open research in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and specifically, machine translation.
mgarado Yes, it doesn't sound too idiomatic but the theme here is prepositions.
Then change the sentence. E.g On which plate is your cake ? Which table is your plate/food on?
You'll find that there are many sentences that are not very idiomatic but it's Duo's effort to get as much vocab. syntax etc into them without being too complex. If you find an error you should report it on the "Report a Problem" option. After review it may be changed. Try this post for other tips:https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654
Because the word "mangi" is in this sentence. You translate what they give you, you don't make up a sentence that you would prefer to translate. lol
Would it be okay to say "Da quale piatto mangi?" = "Which platedo you eat from?". I know it would sound better in English but would this sound incorrect to an italian person. (Sorry If I even said the sentence incorrect; still learning). Grazie amici italiani :)
I thought in reference to plates (piatti), nel was also used? For example mangio nello piatto, not mangio sullo piatto. So why is su used here?
I've wondered about this, as Duolingo teaches 'nel piatto' to mean 'on the plate'. However, 'nel' means 'in the' and sul means 'on the' so I'd assume 'sul piatto' to be the correct phrase?
'Piatto' can also mean 'dish' (meal/recipe) so 'nel' would perhaps make sense for that use. For example: c'è zucchero nel piatto - there is sugar in the dish (meal), but I'm sure Duolingo is using 'piatto' to simply mean 'plate'.
I reckon I was way overthinking this as I've checked elsewhere and now believe DL is correct. Someone else on here made the point that plates could be seen as containers and therefore 'in the plate' would be correct. Whatever the reason, this is how it's said so best just remember it and get on with it!
The speaker clearly says "di piatto" in the regular speed version and omits it in the slower version. I reported it, so hopefully it will get corrected so that both match.
I reported a problem but will copy here the essense: The sentence is incorrect grammatically and not italian. first, piatto is very rarely used in the meaning of dish, in this particular case it means that you eat literally a plate, solid one. second, su quale piatto means that something is laying on the top of the plate, italian native speaker sitting next to me said that reading this sentence he imagines a plate being upside down on the table))
I wrote "You eat on which plate?" instead of "Which plate do you eat on?" and I'm having trouble understanding why I'm not also correct. I THINK it has something to do with the preposition (which should never end a sentence) but could someone help clarify?
I was taught in English one should not end sentences with prepositions.
The correct translation, assuming a mostly literal translation, is:
'On which plate do you eat?'
It is grammatically correct, yet I would say less than half of my friends follow this rule when speaking. I am routinely criticized even by my native-English speaking friends for speaking this way; it seems people now ignore the rules in favor of faster speaking.
Please read this carefully. That is an archaic rule you're quoting. A preposition is not a bad word to end a sentence with. It is perfectly fine now to end a sentence with a preposition. You can even split an infinitive if you're feeling bold, because I know you would say to absolutely not do anything of the sort.
How about this. Make this sentence "grammatically correct": Cheer up. No? Can't do it without changing all the words? I didn't think so.
Well, duolingo accepted this response when I used it, as I had heard that rule as well!
Every time I concede to the general public and end with a preposition I chastise myself mentally. It is sad how English has fallen! Proper grammar used to be a badge of honor, and now it is often the subject of humiliation.
It seems like you're forgetting that languages naturally change over time. What makes something proper grammar is that it becomes common enough that the general public accepts it as standard.
I too pride myself with using good grammar, but I think it's good to keep it in perspective and take somewhat of a middle ground: some grammar rules are more important than others, and some, I think, don't seem to have any logical reason other than 'just because'.
This seems to be the case for 'no ending with a proposition'. One could argue that it's because a preposition must have an object, but in that case, a preposition without an object is really just an adverb, so you're really ending the sentence with an adverb.
Either way, I see no reason why ending with a preposition/adverb harms the clarity or natural sound of the sentence (in English, at least).
Also English hasn't "fallen" whatsoever. Not only do languages change, but they don't even evolve in a linear direction! Shakespearean English ended sentences on prepositions regularly, and the rules were so poorly defined even then that no one even knew what to correct, a trend that continues to this day, really.
"you eat" is not a proper form of question. "do you eat" is the way to ask in the present tense of the English language.
Yes, but in spanish/italian/other languages questions can be phrased by mere change in inflection.
Actually, it's possible to make something into a question (in English) by simply adding a question mark and changing the inflection. However, this is not the typical way to ask a question.
Generally, an English question would only be phrased this way to emphasize something, often because the person asking is either checking if they heard correctly or is surprised.
In this case, they would probably emphasize the word, "which" (but they could choose to emphasize another word instead).
"You eat on WHICH plate?!" "Su QUALE piatto mangi?!"
"Thou eatest?/ Eat ye?" Present tense ways to ask in English. Who cares if they're 400 years old.
To jocelyyn: You are quite correct. DL can't list every correct answer, I suppose, so I just note which answer they prefer and use it when I repeat the unit.
Am i wrong to think that this question and others have these answers that sound like bad english because they are the closest to how italians think of and form their questions? I'm hoping that's the case. I wouldn't want to learn phrases Italians would never say just so they fit in with more literal and simple translations. There should perhaps be an explanatory extra translation when the literal is so far from the actual?
Additionally I'm not clear what the sentence actually means in this particular case. Does it mean "on which dish do you dine" meaning which selection did you make from the menu or does it mean "which plate are you eating from" possibly avoiding eating someone else's food?
"Quale piattu è tua?" Sounds better to me. Yes su means "on" but anytime you talk about food being on the plate its always IN the plate. On the plate would be the plate upside down and something ontop of it lol.
Actually sul is the contraction of su + il (su il piatto), contractions of prepositions + definite articles are basic in Italian, and you can check it anywhere, any italian grammar site starts with it. Plus there are some cases when you don't use any definite article in front the noun and this way have only "su"
i agree with philipNikolayev that the point of the exercise is to understand the Italian application of " su " but in this case the english is ambiguous so we are little wiser as regards " su ". In english it would be more correct to say " from which plate are you eating " . Is this a possibility in italian, using " da "?
At least it would be better style English...
In English, we eat from a plate, or we eat off of a plate.
On or off (as opposed to off of) are the wrong prepositions.
One may put food on a plate (and in Italian in a plate)
but one does not eat on a plate,
unless they are physically on the plate they eat off of...
"From which plate do you eat" "Which plate do you eat" from is fine too. "which plate do you eat off" is something that people do say, but doesn't really sound correct.
I think I am in favo(u)r of the slightly awkward translation at this stage. The idea is to teach me the way things are said in Italian, and especially in translations /to/ Italian I prefer to be given a weird English sentence and thinking "ah, so that's how it's literally said" than putting effort into literally translating the correct English statement into incorrect Italian. In fact I may even remember this better now ("ah, this was that sentence that sounded so weird in English! ") :)
Literally, this would mean "on which plate are you sitting when you're eating?" :)
I would prefer the less literal translation of "From which plate are you eating?" or even better "Which is your plate?"
This sentence makes very little sense when translated to English. I'm all for idiomatic learning, but it needs to at least have some allegory.
" which plate do you eat on" is very incorrect for many reasons. Firstly in english it could mean that you are on the plate ,eating . Secondly because in english one never ends a sentence with a preposition so the correct construction would be" " on which plate do you eat" which means that you are on the plate ,eating.
I agree with curlygirly, " from which plate do you eat" is the most correct and probably " which plate do you eat from" probably the most commonly used.
An awful sentence. Since it seems impossible to translate it into good English, it should be deleted.
To eat on a plate means that you are eating while being on a plate! It surely cannot be correct!
They should take this sentence out or allow a different translation. A person would never say this in English.
The comments do not help as I agree with them. The word to use here is definitely 'from'
Well I answered "Which plate do you eat off" because I guessed that it was the right American English translation.
I speak Australian English, but I'm learning American English from French so that I can understand better how to translate these Duolingo examples. So far it hasn't helped me.
I would never have thought of "Which plate do you eat on."
Here in Australia, we'd get around it by saying which plate is yours?
Which plate do you eat off? - You
Which plate do you eat on? - Duo
The first is grammatically wrong in English (American one as well),
and the latter is considered by many to be bad style.
Your choice should have been: "Which plate do you eat off of?"
Which is still considered by some to be bad style,
(as long as it doesn't make the sentence cumbersome,
you should try to avoid ending it with a preposition)
but at least is sensical.
Or better yet: "Off of which plate do you eat?"
(Which is also grammatically correct.)
Duo, if insisting on using on in the English translation,
should have written: "On which plate do you eat?"
It is still the wrong preposition, but at least the style is more common.
(In English you may put food on a plate,
but you eat from a plate or off of a plate.)
Here, in the U.S., we would also mostly use: "Which plate is yours?"
Same as you.
As i see it, the food is on the plate, therefor you eat from it. Off is poor grammar, but some how, it is accepted in inglish.
Surely "On which plate do you eat?" is acceptable? - Though "From which plate do you eat?" would be better English.
Though I get despite the bad semantic translation the literal translation is how you would say the same phrase in Italian even though in English we would use "from" ( or we should )
Of course it is correct English.
BUT, your sentence uses the plural "plates",
rather then the singular "plate" that was asked for in the Italian sentence.
[IT] Piatto = [EN] plate
[IT] Piatti = [EN] plates
I actually did use "Plate". "Plates" was just a typo. Duolingo is free and didn't respond after deleting my 468 streak, so I am not invested. It's just irritating to be told that my English is wrong, by a system which is designed incorrectly.
I lost a streak of 121 a month ago for no reason.
Not nearly as impressive as yours, but I can relate.
As it is dependent on individual programmers inserting
(hopefully) all of the correct answer variations,
it happens that one uses a correct answer they haven't accounted for.
Your solution is preferable to theirs,
as not only is it grammatically correct,
but it also uses the same order of words in the sentence;
so it is funny they haven't accounted for it.
My children use incorrect grammar and then say, "What does it matter? Who decided that word order is what it is?" Well the Italians did. Fundamentally, the English language derives from the Italian language - not withstanding the Germanic influence, north of the "Tees-Ex" line.
The phrase, "On which plates do you eat?" was marked incorrectly. If you are going to speak our language, please speak it correctly.
If you're small enough (a fly par example), the sentence would make sense, but I'd agree otherwise with celia.barker's comment
"you eat on which plate" . On Which course Primo, Secondo, Piatto (m noun flat, level also. then all this discussion evaporates. secondo piatto is shown as an example as "second course"
Does anyone else hear a "di" between "piatto" and "mangi"? (this is in the regular speed, but not in the slow speed version.) I've listened to it many times and I swear it's there. I will report anyway.
Does anyone else hear a "di" between "piatto" and "mangi"? (this is in the regular speed, but not in the slow speed version.) I've listened to it many times and I swear it's there. I will report anyway.
In = in On = su
Both words are for the most part used how we would use them in english. One difference is when it comes to plates. Plates in italy have depth meaning something is "in" it not "on" it. That's why we say "il cibo è NEL piattu."
In Italian, the food is in a plate, but you eat on it.
In English, the food is on a plate, but you eat from it.
(Well, you can also eat off of a plate. But not off a plate.)
Strictly speaking, Duo has a mistake;
because in English one does not eat on a plate,
unless they are physically on the plate they eat off of...
We've just invested in new crockery and we have large pasta bowls for pasta dishes. They are very practical. Whether you call them "plates" or "bowls", the food is definitely "in" it rather than "on" it. Do Italians always use such pasta bowls for their pasta? That would suggested the food is "nel" and the fly that's just landed on the rim of your bowl is "sul"
Since Italians use su to describe cows in a field, the simplest thing to do is to say that su sometimes means in and sometimes on depending on context.
But cows could be "on" the field, if you see it more as the grassy surface, rather than the fences.
Yes, I've heard both in English. The cows could be 'on the field', similar to how they could be 'on the plains' or 'on the trail'. They could also be 'in the field', similar to being 'in a parking lot' or 'in Italy'.
I believe it is not context but the knowledge of English of who translated the sentence.
All the extensive comment here focuses on differing interpretations of the preposition, and how this sounds odd in an English context. But there could be another approach that makes the English much more sensible. "Piatto" means plate, or dish - and "dish" need not be the physical utensil, but can mean the food itself. So, in an Italian meal, "primo piatto" means first course (eg pasta course), and "secondo piatto" the second course - or the main course.
Reading the sentence in this way then leads to the very simple English translation of "Which dish (eg) course are you on?"
Most of the comment here is focussing on the preposition and word order, but that's a red herring. "Piatto" does not simply mean "plate". It can also mean "dish" - as in "course". In a traditional Italian meal, we have "primo piatto" for the first course, and "secondo piatto" for the main course. So a more sensible translation is not what "plate" are you eating, but "what course (or dish), are you eating?"
On which plate do you eat. Would be a truer translation Su quale = on which....
you don't eat ON a dish - the food is ON. you can eat OFF. Please note that "off of" is very b
I suppose in Italian culture there are several plates with food on the table and everybody takes the food and puts it on their plate so it is important to make sure which plate belongs to whom. Otherwise I am unable to make out this sentence.
The fact that you were able to give a background to the sentence and understand it better adds depth to your learning. However, there are times when the Duo sentences -while grammatically correct- make no sense. Just roll with the punches; Duo has a lot to offer. Best wishes on learning.
This just doesn't make sense - it sounds as if the person eating is on the plate - surely it should be from what plate do you eat?
At first I thought I heard "Succo alle piatto mangi" and couldn't take that nonsense sentence out of my head to try and understand it correctly lol.
Shouldn't it be "On which plate do you eat?" (a word-for-word translation). I know that's accepted as a correct translation, but isn't "Which plate do you eat on?" a little too informal/a colloquial way to say it.
The translation in English, ends the sentence in a preposition. If I put "On which plate do you eat?" would it still be correct?
Why is "plate" now wrong and "dish" correct? A lot of the aforegoing discussion automatically assumes "plate" as a correct translation. Is Duolingo making things worse here?
In what context would a native speaker of Italian say this? What does it actually mean? The literal English translation given here conveys about as much meaning to me as "colorless green ideas sleep furiously."
This translation sounds so weird in English. I would say "which plate is yours?"
I wrote "which is your plate" understanding it would be incorrect but knowing it is the best English translation.
"I eat off the dinner plate" he replied, and flew off to the other side of the ceiling.
Can someone please explain why you would put the preposition (in this case 'su') at the beginning of the sentence?
So why is "on which plate are you eating" not acceptable as an answer? Tense correct, action correct, sense identical. Please don't tell me using a gerund is the problem!
What is the meaning of this sentence? Does it mean what kind of plates, in the sense of deep or flat plates? Or whose plates someone's eating from?
From which plate do you eat is the correct English. You must not end a sentence with a preposition
Sorry folks! My answer of, "On which plates do you eat?" has got to be accepted. They are the same and as a mater of fact that is what the sentence actually says in both languages. Please just Cut and Paste the correction.
"Su quale piatto mangi?" uses Piatto - Singular. You're probably getting slapped for using "plates" plural".
this is NOT a lesson on the English language, si? so, why fault my "on which plate you eat"? for the Italian lesson's purposes, my omission of the "do" should not be cause for faulting me!
It is Italian for English-speakers, so they assume correct English and don't program in every possible combination of errors. It's free! Chill.
It could be either, "Which plate do you eat on?" or "Which plate will you eat on?" since simple present in Italian can also mean near future. It made more sense to me asking the question in the near future.
I'm sorry to have to tell you that modern English has pretty well debunked that rule. Not only is it common in daily language (which is not always up to par I admit) but prestigious books such as this address the issue of the acceptability of ending a sentence with a preposition:
Ending sentences with prepositions - Oxford Dictionaries www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/ending-sentences-with-prepositions ....
www.merriam-webster.com/video/0025-preposition.htm Ending a Sentence with a Preposition. An old-fashioned rule we can no longer put up with. ...
blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions Grammar myths #1: is it wrong to end a sentence with a preposition? Stranded prepositions are nothing to fret about. There are numerous myths relating to …
I've always thought that was a stupid rule. You can get into some pretty silly situations sometimes by trying to follow it. Another one that can cause a lot of verbal gyrations is the forbidding of the split infinitive. I'd rather speak in a way that sound sensible, and can be easily understood, than use "perfect" grammar.
I agree totally neither the preposition at the end not the split infinitive is an issue worthy of our concern.
Was it you or someone else who posted about the German practice of splitting up verbs in another topic. Yeah, they do it all the time; "einladen," for example becomes "ladt ....... ein" in the third person singular.
No, it wasn't I, as far a I can recall, but I know just what you mean about the German verbs. I had heard about it before I started the course but it still took some time to get used to.
So, when you see the verb, which is usually in the second position, you then have to hop over all the following words till the end to pick up the prefix then go back and at last try to translate. :-) Quite challenging but you get used to it eventually.
Mark Twain had some humorous observations on this and other German language issues. If you haven't read it try to find it, I'm sorry I don't have the link to share with you.
Off topic for Italian - but of obvious interest to German learners. I've been deeply grateful here, as a South African, for the endless boring Afrikaans lessons I put up with at school.. Afrikaans has exactly the same phenomenon of separable verbs, After 10 year of the language, the general principle (but not the details) seemed second nature to me. When I started to look at German many years later, they didn't phase me at all, and was quite surprised to discover how difficult they seem to be to many English speakers, encountering them for the first time.
In response to TerryWeldon - Afrikaans is an off-shoot of Dutch which started out as a low German dialect, so not surprising.
this is not proper English. it should be "From which plate do you eat?' in English you never end a sentence with a preposition.
Please check my post above with references from some very reliable sources stating that the "never end a sentence with a preposition" is not a rule. I'm an English teacher and rather pedantic (ok very pedantic) but this is one rule I'm happy to forgo.
Oh, as for the "on" I fully agree that it is wrong. "Which plate do you eat from?" is fine as is "From which plate do you eat?" But neither "on" nor "off".
Check out these Guidelines (and some hints etc) but the Guidelines are essential to bookmark and make use of.
Yup, I ended a sentence with "of" I practice what I preach. :-) Best wishes,j