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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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!
Because for one thing, as Leon said, a plate is also considered a sort of container (linguistically speaking), but I've also read that it's used the same way as "dish" in English. So, the food/ingredient is on the plate or "in the dish", hence nel piatto/nei piatti.
In this case though, nothing is IN anything, so there's no reason to use di. As to why it uses "su", I'd assume that's just how it's phrased in Italian. Like in Danish, if we were to say "I'm putting on clothes", we'll say "Jeg tager tøj på", but if you just translate that directly from Danish to English, word for word, that means "I take clothes on" (which is why translating sentences back and forth through languages turn them into complete gibberish).
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.
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?!"
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?
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 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...
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! ") :)
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...
" 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.
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.
forgive me: is it not correct English to say, "On which plates do you eat?"
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.
Was this programme created by English speakers? Which plate do you eat on would mean which plate are you standing on while you eat? It rather shakes one's faith in Duolingo to see errors like this, and the Report option is no use -- it doesn't give the option of faulting the translation!
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?"
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.