Chemist here! Benzina is specifically petrol - fuel is too vague, it could be anything from coal and wood to diesel, which is less specific. :)
If fuel is too vague, so is gas. Gas could be anything from methane to chlorine to steam. Except in this case, where it's idiomatic. Like fuel is in British (and Australian) English.
I'm not sure that's true though. In American English, gas is short for gasoline, which very specifically refers to petrol. There is another word, 'gas', that has a similar meaning (but not encompassing, as gasoline is in fact not gaseous at room temperature/pressure).
In contrast, fuel is a word that both exists in the UK and US that has a much broader meaning than 'benzina', corresponding to 'combustibile' in Italian. And being a UK native, if someone told me their car needed more fuel, it's not certain even in context that they mean petrol rather than diesel. If there were a subdefinition for fuel in a UK dictionary referring directly to petrol, I would be more inclined to agree.
Yeah, I was being slightly facetious with gas, though I grant it's more specific than fuel.
That said, my issue is really one of register. Would an Italian ever say "La macchina è senza combustibile." if they were out of petrol? If so, then you're probably right, but if not I think the shared colloquiality of the two phrases trumps a slight difference in meaning.
In Australia (perhaps the UK too?), "fuel" is quite tightly coupled to petrol. If you were to say "Have you seen the price of fuel lately?", no-one's going to be in the slightest bit of doubt that you're talking about petrol.
On the flip side, is it really the case in the US (or Italy) that if you had a diesel car, you would never say "I'm out of gas." (or "La benzina è finita.")?
(Hopefully EVs soon make this whole discussion redundant. :) )
Steven...In the US you'd say "Im out of gas" regardless of whether the car used diesel fuel or gasoline. The pumps of course read "Diesel" but no one would say that.
Could macchina also mean machine?
I was thinking it was similar to Spanish and put machine and got it wrong.
I think so. In Portuguese, we can understand car when someone says macchina, but usually, here well, macchina is machine.
Would "La macchina non ha benzina" or "La macchina non ha più benzina" be unnatural ?
What does "La macchina non ha più benzina" mean? The car doesn't have more fuel?
OllieQ: Yes, I'd interpret it that way -- or 'the car doesn't have any more gas.'
Hm, it's just that "The car doesn't have more fuel" doesn't make sense in English. Hence I'm trying to figure out what piu means if different contexts.
From my knowledge of English, "gas" is an abbreviation for "gasoline" which is what one puts in a car's tank. One does not fill a car with "gas" as such in the true sense of the word! So it should read "gasoline", fuel, or petrol (as in England).
Many cars in Australia run on gas only or a combination of petrol and gas; petrol used to start the vehicle and then switched over to gas for the journey; very economical.
Just an FYI, I rarely hear anyone in U.S. use the full word gasoline when speaking colloquially - we say gas. "Have you seen the price of gas lately?" In a more formal context or in written material you hear/see the word gasoline.
True ckay59 but most everyone-- at least everyone in the US-- would shorten it to "gas" even for the station that sells it: gas station. Lots of words are shortened which doesn't make them incorrect, it only makes them alternatives which are more or less appropriate depending on the context.
Speaking as an American; That's correct, but a bit pedantic. Most people will read social cues and context to determine what you meant.
e.g. The work day ends, you stretch and say you're out of gas. I will assume you mean you're tired. You get out of your car and tell me you're out of gas, I will assume your car has no gasoline.
And 'benzyna' in Polish, quite interesting how some words may remain almost the same around the globe in entirely different languages.
I think these are local variations, as is "benzene" in English. Pure liquid benzene consists of hexagonal shaped molecules each containing six carbon and six hydrogen atoms. There are only weak forces between different molecules, so benzene evaporates quite readily (and causes most of the sweet smell at the petrol/gasoline pump). Benzene is an important part of petrol/gasoline as its presence improves the ability of the (petrol/gasoline + air) mixture to withstand high compression in this type of engine and to not self-detonate before the right moment in the engine cycle - at the introduction of a spark.
So can we use benzina if we are talking about any fuel? Or is it only for gas? If i want diesel or petrol is benzina still acceptable?
Benzina is petrol; "gas" is just a common shortening of gasoline in AE. And no, you can't use it for other fuels.
- Benzina = petrol (British English) / gasoline (American English)
- Miscela = petroil (or 2-stroke oil, the fuel for 2-stroke engines)
- Gasolio (often called diesel) = Diesel fuel
- GPL = LPG (or LP gas)
- Gas = gas (it usually refers to either LPG or methane)
- Petrolio = petroleum (or crude oil)
- Combustibile = fuel
- Carburante = technically internal combustion fuel like gasoline, but often used as "fuel for an engine"
If you look around on the internet there are quite a few horror stories of American drivers falling for that :P
I do not think cars have used gas since the coal-gas vehicles in WW2 :) (in England!)
I have issues with this; a diesel car does not need gasoline, but it does need fuel. It's the same reason why I wouldn't accept "machine": while "macchina" can refer to any machine, gasoline points to a (gasoline) car engine.
In this quiz, why doesn't the question put the word "di" after senza?
I've ever found a phrase using senza di, "Senza di te, languisce il cor " in an Italian aria, Caro Mio Ben.
A few (improper) prepositions are formed like this: it's a remnant of their origin (senza comes from absentia and it required a genitive).
- "Senza" is used with "di" when followed by a personal or demonstrative pronoun (e.g. senza di te, senza di questo) -- but it's not wrong to omit "di";
- "Su" and "sopra" are used with "di" when followed by a personal pronoun or an indeterminate article (e.g. su di te, su di una collina) -- in the latter "di" can be omitted but not in the former;
- "Contro" is used with "di" when followed by a personal pronoun (e.g. contro di me) -- here too it shouldn't be omitted.
There are probably others I'm not recalling; there are also other cases for prepositions using "a".
So in your opinion it should be "La macchina è senza olio/carburante" in Italian version, for diesel cars? :) In my opinion "benzina" means any kind of petrol/fuel in this case and if petrol is accepted, then fuel should also be. Any kind of distinction in this case doesn't make any sense in every day usage of language. In reality everbody would say "The car is out of fuel" or "out of petrol/gas". Nobody would say "The car is out of diesel" or "diesel fuel".
I've never heard "la macchina è senza diesel" either; possibly "senza gasolio" (never "senza olio", that would be interpreted as motor oil/grease, not any kind of fuel). "Senza carburante" is pretty common, and it's a direct translation of fuel, who why not use it? This sentence might not be as common in English speaking countries as it is in the few Italian speaking ones (perhaps because petrol was the most common fuel for a long time), and you're free to use a more idiomatic translation in the immersion section, but this lesson is teaching the word "benzina", not "carburante", and I see no reason to mix the meanings.
f.formica: "la macchina" is the italian word for a car. Even older relatives of mine, who'd emigrated from Italy in the last century referred to their cars as "machines."
Languages are funny things; "car" comes from a Celtic word (through French, Latin and Gaulish - Italian "carro") meaning "cart", which on the other hand has a Germanic origin. That's not to say the word didn't follow the object in both cultures though. Originally cars were called "automobiles", and in Italian "automobile" and its shortening "auto" are still pretty common; you're right that "macchina" is the most common way to refer to a car (both come from "macchina automobile", self moving machine). However it can also be used to refer to a machine; in IT it commonly refers to a computer, and there are many electric objects that are colloquially called "macchinetta".
f.formica: Your explanation of these word origins is an interesting addendum to the question. For one I appreciate the fact that you took the time to answer at length and that this wasn't just another machine-generated auto-response, sent by your mobile phone.
Couldn't "la macchina" be any machine? A scooter? A lawn mower? A generator? Without context, why would we assume the speaker is referring to a car rather than 'any' machine that uses gas? Is "la macchina" the most commonly used word for car in Italian? Or is there another word we haven't learned as yet?
I put 'The motor car is out of petrol' marked as incorrect. Surely car is short for motor car as 'car' could mean many other things like the car in a fun fair which has no motor as such.
I'm unfortunately unfamiliar with British English which i'm assuming would commonly refer to a car as you say, but in America at least it'd sound very strange. But, if that's a natural and current phrase for an automobile elsewhere then I agree that it should certainly be accepted.
Even in British english, "motor car", whilst not wrong, would be unusual. Colloquially, some might talk about "the motor.." ("Hello, John, got a new motor?").
Sim_Bee: Do people really still say 'whilst' anywhere on this or on any of our closely neighboring planets?
Which just goes to show that our former colonies just can''t talk proper ... :)
Sim_Bee: Whilst correct, I seriously doubt you'd hear it in the US (at least) anywhere outside of a Shakespeare class.
Motor car would certainly be acceptable in South African English, although possibly a little old-fashioned.
Car's don't run on gas, unless it's a form of methane , and that's very specialised. Most internal combustion engines in commercial and private transport run on petrol. In the UK this is called fuel. So, please absorb this correct usage into Duolingo.
ENGLISH PROBLEM: the car is out of gas = the car doesn't have gas? (too stuped I know it)
i have a italian teacher as well as duolingo and she says macchina is incorrect and that automobile is correct. macchina = machine automobile = car
winterdragonfly: My parents immigrated from Southern Italy and always used the word "macchina" for car; in fact when they and my other relatives spoke English they would literally translate the word into English as "machine" when referring to a car, as in "We just bought a new machine." Growing up I never heard any of the older (Southern) Italians use the word 'automobile' or for that matter even 'car.'
That is probably very specific, but here where I live in Southern Italy, 'macchina' is very widely used for car... ' Andiamo con la macchina tua?' Maybe it could be used for clarification.. "Vengo nella macchina - Oh, il furgone o l'automobile..?"
Although you seem to accept "The car doesn't have gas," you didn't accept the sentence with the word "any" before "gas." The addition of "any" in such negatives is very natural thing, and should also be accepted.
I agree with you nekogaijin, Athmel, and germanlehrerlsu. I am not saying gas is wrong. It is just that marking gasoline wrong (for which "gas" is short) doesn't seem fair. Now that is pedantic. I am also an American and live in the USA and both "gas" and "gasoline" are used.
It's acceptable in the sense that it'd be understood, but it's not something a native would say. First of all we'd say 'the car' not 'the engine' and second we'd say 'out of gas' rather than 'without gas'. As you expressed it, it just sounds unnatural and awkward.
According to my Italian girlfriend, 'gas' = 'gas' when referring to petrol, and this particular question should read either the car is out of petrol or the car is out of fuel.
darrenc: That may be fine in many English speaking countries, but in the States, no one would say that but someone from one of those other English speaking countries. Here it's : 'the car is out of gas'. It doesn't matter one bit what 'gas' means in Italy or how it's understood there.
What she said is that they use the word gas in Italy to mean fuel/gas/petrol. The point is that the answer should accept fuel/petrol/etc. We are in New Zealand, via the UK and the world does not revolve around America.
Having being born, educated and lived in Italy until a couple of years ago, I can assure you that only in very few locutions does "gas" mean "fuel" or "petrol" in Italian: the only one I could think of is "dare gas", meaning pressing the throttle pedal, but Treccani also reminded me of "a tutto gas", meaning "full power", and "gas di scarico", the exhaust gas (which isn't fuel anyway). The answer does accept petrol,. but in my opinion fuel is something much more generic, as it applies to Diesel as well as petrol.
Of course DL should accept all of those. From the way you'd phrased it,however, it sounded as though fuel and petrol were the only two choices you felt were appropriate. If you reread what it was you wrote, namely: "this particular question should read either the car is out of petrol or the car is out of fuel." -- Either/Or didn't seem to allow for 'gas" which I stressed was how we'd express it in the states.
Yes, you'd be understood, but it's sounds strange. "out of gas" is what we say.
Why wouldn't an app like DL use an international word like for example 'fuel'. It is stupid to force us to select 'gas' when that word is colloquial from the USA.
fendavo: Your suggestion's justified. "Fuel" btw is used in the States too, though granted much less than "gas". It should be shown as an alternate. If 'fuel' was marked incorrect then DL should definitely be notified.
fendavo: In the US at least 'gas' is what the fuel in a car, truck, or other vehicle is called. Words as you probably know have different meanings in different countries and even in different regions within the same country.
KostasMita: Because an engine is only 1 part of a car, granted an important part. But we say, the car is out of gas, not the engine. The engine could be out of motor oil, but not gas.
Just asking. Is "essere senza" the most typical Italian construction for "to be out of"? For instance, would one say "ho senza zucchero?"
Nancy: yes, essere senza X is correct. Note though how in your example you didn't use 'essere' you used 'avere" so what you wrote would be incorrect. It should be: "sono senza zucchero." In other words you didn't write : I am without (out of) sugar. You wrote I HAVE without (out of) sugar.
In Australia we prefer to say "The car has run out of [petrol/fuel/diesel etc.]" not "The car is out of ...". "Is out of" sounds too American!
In case you need to fuel a car in Italy: benzina = unleaded gasoline; gasolio=diesal.
In English gas does not mean petrol. I thought I was using English to Italian not American to Italian. Anyway, why was the engine is without petrol not accepted, as that is a literal translation which still makes sense.