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  5. "Su quale piatto mangi?"

"Su quale piatto mangi?"

Translation:Which plate do you eat on?

August 13, 2013



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?


In any case, 'on' is wrong in this sentence. It sounds like you would be sitting on the plate eating. I would translate it as 'from'.


Isn't it more common to simply ask"Which plate is yours?"


It is one of several possibilites.


Technically, it's incorrect to end a sentence in English with a participle (on, from, off), so none of those sentences are grammatically correct. However, it is in common spoken usage, so I understand Duo accepting the translation.


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


It's marked correct now.


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.


Really? What about "Where are you FROM?"


They used to ask, "From where did you come?


I think you mean “preposition”.


Funnily enough, I initially wrote it as Duo suggested, then changed my mind and started the sentence with 'on' and it was accepted.


Where I'm from, we say "eat off" way more often than "eat from"


Yes its poor grammar


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?


Yes a thousand times.


The sentence is good Italian and that is what you are learning. The fact that it sounds odd when translated into English is frustrating but, ultimately, unimportant.


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


i wish someone would answer this also...


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.


You get a lingot for your answer


Could be two little mice deciding which plate they are going to sit on and eat. Just joking. :P


Absolutely correct.


Grammar not good using off, but from is best.


Wouldn't "Which is your plate?" really make more sense as a translation?


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?


I see value in the literal translations, because they teach the Italian sentence construction but using English words. I think this helps when trying to compose one's own phases in Italian.


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 ;-).

  • 1698

Great idea, unfortunately, that's a load of work for a free program.


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.


I totally agree with you. I far prefer translating texts because of this.


A good point indeed


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!


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).


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.


Agreed, I hear it too. The spoken side needs drastic improvements.


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.


That's the kind of pedanticism up with which we will not put! ;)



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!


"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.


"you eat on which plate " is now marked as a correct solution


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?


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))


"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.


Can someone explain to me how I know when to use su and sul?


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 "?


On which plate do you eat -- would that be correct?


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! ") :)


Please, can someone explain me the difference between "in" and "on"?


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."


Why, in Duo's sentence, does it use 'su' and not 'in'?


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...


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.


like, do you eat off the dog dish on the floor, or what?


" 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'


I think my English is better


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 )

[deactivated user]

    forgive me: is it not correct English to say, "On which plates do you eat?"


    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

    [deactivated user]

      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.


      Irritating indeed.
      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.

      [deactivated user]

        Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

        [deactivated user]

          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.

          Mic. drop!


          Which plate do you eat from ...is correct in English


          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!


          If the English version was "Which plate do you eat from (or off)" then, that would inevitably lead to mistranslation into Italian where eating "on" a plate is correct. I think it is Duolingo leading people to the correct translation rather than a literal translation.


          Gaaagh ... why can't you report bad English?????


          It seems the correct translation should be from. In English "eating on" would more apply to one's location such as "I eat on the boat" unless of course you stand or sit on the plate and then eat your sandwich.


          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.


          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


          Please note that "off of" is not correct English.


          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?


          When would someone ask this?


          People do not eat sitting 'on' a plate.


          Yes, but keep that picture in your mind and you'll remember the Italian phrase better,


          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."


          must be avery big plate


          My license plate


          I heard 'su quali piatti mangi' ! Would that be correct if it was plural?


          I would have asked: what is your plate. Who is translating over there?


          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?


          The phrase doesn't make sense with 'on'.


          From which plate do you eat is the correct English. You must not end a sentence with a preposition


          Not correct English!


          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".


          No. In English you eat “from a plate“ not “on a plate”.


          "On which plate did you eat?" is actually a more correct answer. Even better would be "From which plate did you eat?"


          can anyone tell me why there's a ''su'' at the beginning?


          What an awkward sentence !!!!!!!!!

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