"Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto."

Translation:The cook has cheese on the plate.

December 19, 2012



soundfile unclear

December 19, 2012


maybe I'm crazy, but I even slowed this down and it sounded like they said "una" instead of "nel". I played it 4 times before deciding that even though I didn't think it made sense, maybe I was going to learn something new about grammar. Instead, I learned I should take the sound file with a grain of salt...

February 14, 2013


The audio is trying to confuse us I think.

November 4, 2015



March 9, 2016


I find it difficult to hear some of the words in Italian and Portuguese as the volume fluctuates, from normal to almost silent, mid sentence, even on slow repeat.

May 12, 2016


the sound file is very unclear

May 1, 2013


I think we should just look at the words.

January 3, 2016

  • 1915

Some of the lessons involve transcription, in which case there are no written words to look at.

January 3, 2016


The cook has "THE" cheese on the plate, should be 100% right since it says "IL formaggio"

August 1, 2014

  • 1915

In general, that's not good reasoning to use. Never apply the rules of one language to another.

August 1, 2014


But do you have to use "il" in the Italian sentence?

July 19, 2017

  • 1915


July 19, 2017


How then would you write this differently if you were intending to translate it to "the cheese"?

March 6, 2019


I'm so done with all these audio files.

December 26, 2013


I hear "Il cuoco e" instead of "Il cuoco ha"...

August 18, 2014


How would one know that it's on the plate, as opposed to on a plate?

February 26, 2013


in un piatto - on a plate, nel piatto - on the plate

March 9, 2013


Whenever you have "nel" "al" "del" "dal" "nella" "della" etc. it's the definite article :)

June 19, 2014


Because "nel" corresponds to a definite article.

March 8, 2013


The indefinite article stuff is completely killing me on answering a lot of these - "a" or "the" seems to be what i get wrong almost 100% of the time.

May 7, 2014


Fortunately, most times you can tap the Italian article, and view the English translation of "a" or "the" in case you forget which is the correct answer. (Easy breezy!)

November 16, 2014


The translation of "nel" is given as "in the", but in the translated sentence it appears as "on the".

January 3, 2013


Many Italian pronouns (such as 'per', 'a', etc) can correlate to multiple pronouns in English. It is my understanding in this case that they may consider food to be "in" a plate, whereas an English speaker would consider it to be "on" the plate. Although the literal translation might be "in," the appropriate meaning in English would be "on." On a related note: in Italy, plates on which saucy foods are served are often high-walled and might even be considered bowls - perhaps this is where the confusion comes from?

January 4, 2013


In Latin, which Italian comes from, there is only one word "in" which means in/on, or into/onto if used in a different grammatical case. (In case you were curious, in/on uses ablative, into/onto uses accusative.)

I would assume that "on" is a French or German adaptation of the Latin word "in", which would mean that Italian never acquired a different word for "On top of". I can sort of see this with Latin "ad" (to), which can also mean "near" or "towards", and with certain verbs "in front of/before", where I would expect the dative or accusative.

Latin is fun. Italian is fun too. I'd recommend learning Latin after Italian, you'd learn a lot about grammar. More than any English class has taught me.

April 30, 2014


I learned English in Latin class, the intricacies anyway!

July 8, 2014


My crockery knowledge is not perfect but I would say 'dish' would be a more accurate description, in this case, as this incudes the rimmed bowl as well as the flatter unrimmed 'plate'. Personally, if I see the food is more than halfway below the level of the rim of the 'dish' then I would say that's in rather than on.

August 31, 2014


Aside from not being a literal word for word translation, is there some reason "The cook has a plate of cheese" is considered incorrect?

September 12, 2013


I think "a plate of cheese" would be "un piatto di formaggio". Nel is a contraction of "in il".

October 15, 2013


That is not what is written. The quote specifies The Cheese, as though there were a known block of specific cheese. Il cuoco ha un piatto di formaggio is a different sentence, and connotes the Cheese course as well.

July 8, 2014


What's the difference between ''in'' and ''on''?

January 4, 2014

  • 1915

In this case, it's framed as "in" the plate in Italian because it's considered a vessel that contains things.

July 11, 2014


Nothing in italian it's the same

April 2, 2014


Not so. Rae.F's right about this...there's also a word for on, "su."

July 23, 2014


Is sul piatto acceptable?

April 21, 2014


Yes. But 'sul' is only used for "on the", never for "in the".

January 31, 2019

  • 1915

Literally, yes, but usage differs between the two languages.

January 31, 2019


Why does it not accept "The cook has a plate with cheese on it"?

September 19, 2014

  • 1915

Different focus. "The cook has cheese on the plate" focuses on the cheese, and it happens to be on a plate. "The cook has a plate with cheese on it" focuses on the plate, and it happens to have cheese on it. Also the difference between "a plate" and "the plate".

September 20, 2014


Italians so often flow one word into another which can sometimes be hard on the ear to figure out. However I like the authentic and accurate sound of the clip - it is the way Italians speak.

I have found that if you hold the mouse over any word it isolates and plays just that word - excellent, and it makes it easier to understand and assemble 'the parts'.

August 23, 2015


Why is cheese definite here? I don't quite grasp when to make something definite and when not to. In English, it's just "cheese", but it Italian, it's "the cheese."

March 13, 2013


It would appear that Italians like to use definite articles more than the English (the Germans do, too). I suspect it's to aid in alleviating any possible confusion on plural/singular nouns (that and it just flows well in Italian).

June 24, 2013


I agree with philster; through my Italian university courses we use articles a lot more in Italian than English.

February 6, 2014


I love this sentence.

February 19, 2014


What is "il cuoco" that it's the same that "a chef" it doesn't have a lot of sense.

March 17, 2014


Yes, "il cuoco" is chef i had the same doubt

June 9, 2015


Dah! I forgot the "il" before the "formaggio".

April 8, 2014


I did not understand a word she said. Smdh

April 23, 2014


I forgot my 2nd "t" in "piatto". Whenever something like that happens in any other game, etc., the spelling error passes. Why is it incorrect now?

April 30, 2014


Maybe "piato" is another word

May 9, 2014


I see your point. But I've done that before in other places, (I'm no spelling champ, especially on the keyboard), and it does pass.

May 9, 2014


this sentence is really difficult to spell by ear eheh

May 13, 2014


She did not pronounce il.

June 1, 2014


I would have a perfect score if she spoke clearer

June 1, 2014


I don't know why it is so difficult for everyone to understand her. She does speak clearly

June 13, 2014


On or in ?

June 13, 2014


Both are the same in Italian. I give a more complex description earlier in the discussion; scroll up if you want to see it.

June 13, 2014


Usé nello en vez de nel. Cual es la diferencia?

July 22, 2014

  • 1915

nello = in + lo
nel = in + il

July 23, 2014


Sound file is unclear. Listened to it five times and still got it wrong because I missed the "il" in front of formaggio which it's not clear to me yet whether it should be there or not anyway.

August 8, 2014


Nel means on or on the?

October 19, 2014

  • 1915

"nel" is literally "in + il" where the Italian word "in" happens to roughly translate to the English word "in". But Italian in this context uses "in" where English uses "on".

October 19, 2014


Oh! I see, Thanks. :)

December 3, 2014


Sorry, but 'the' was not included among choices, so i just used on and got dinged for it. Nutz!

February 8, 2015


well, thank you for that very useful info xD

September 19, 2015


Would "Il cuoco ha il formaggio sul piatto" be equally as acceptable?

November 30, 2015


How can I tell if it means 'cheese is on the plate' or 'cheese is in the dish' - as in 'the meal contains cheese'? Also, is it always the masculine form 'il cuoco', even if it is a woman, or la cuoca'?

January 3, 2016

  • 1915

"to be in the dish" meaning "the meal contains the ingredient" is an English idiom. I would not assume that it's framed the same way in Italian.

January 3, 2016


When speaks faster she says "e" but while speaking slower she says "a"!

January 19, 2016


Hopefully he doesn't cut the cheese.

January 22, 2016


I said the cook has the cheese on top of the plate. Why is that wrong?

February 5, 2016

  • 1915

Well, you can report it if you like, but the standard way of putting it is simply "on the plate".

February 5, 2016


There is only one "the" in the options

July 5, 2016


Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto. = The cook has THE cheese on the plate

February 27, 2017

  • 1915

Italian uses definite articles differently than English does. Different language, different grammar rules. It's never a good strategy to translate word-for-word.

February 27, 2017


There was no second "the" to place in my sentence so I got it wrong.

August 7, 2017


The audio sounds bad and the pronunciation its bad.

August 10, 2017


I am learning this language...can someone tell me the what would with using "sul" instead of "nel" especially in the context of the sentence above. With my small knowledge of the language so far, "sul" translates as "on the" while "nel" translates as "in the" shade some light please.

August 15, 2017

  • 1915

Many times, words do not have perfect correspondences between languages. This is especially true for prepositions. Sure, "su" literally means "on" and "in" literally means "in", but they are often used differently. Why are we "in" a car but "on" a train? Why are we "in" bed? Why are we "on" a couch but "in" a chair?

In English, a plate is a surface so we put things "on" it. In Italian, a plate is a vessel so they put things "in" it.

August 15, 2017


Much appreciated. Thanks very much. Am clear now.

August 15, 2017


"Nel" says neither "a" nor "the", only "on". So either "on the" or "on a" can be correct surely? The nearest exact English I can think of for "nel piatto" would be "plated", which avoids the issue but is a bit strained!

May 1, 2018

  • 1915

"Nel" is literally "in"+"il", which is "in the". But in English we say "on" a plate. Either way, the "the" is explicitly there.

May 1, 2018


The female speaker definitely says "nella piatta". I've complained about this misleading pronunciation for 4 years and Duo has done nothing about it. The male speakers don't present the same problem.

August 2, 2018


Is it me or the English translation is a bad one (i.e., not idiomatic) ? Wouldn't a native English speaker rather say something like "There is cheese in the cook's plate/dish" ?

August 28, 2018

  • 1915

It sounds fine to me.

August 29, 2018


i thought su is on and nel is in -

September 18, 2018

  • 1915

Yes, "su" is "on" and "in" is "in" ("nel" is one of the ways to say "in the").

But usage differs between languages. A plate is a sort of container, therefore they frame it as "in" the plate. But we say "on" the plate, so that's how we translate it.

September 18, 2018


Why in this case is il formaggio not "the" cheese.

November 25, 2018

  • 1915

Because Italian uses articles differently than English does. Translation is never word-for-word substitution. The grammar is going to be different, too.

November 25, 2018


It sounds like they are pronouncing "nella" instead of "nel".

December 19, 2018


There ia no "the" among the options of words, so why do i get the question marked incorrectly since there was a missing word...

February 15, 2019


where the article THE before cheese?

March 3, 2019


I said ha and it didnt capture it

April 17, 2019


either this was hard or the sound file doesnt work

March 13, 2014


Bad audiofile

May 28, 2014


by far the most unclear soundfile xD

June 1, 2014


the statement was not audible - poor quality of sound

July 21, 2014


a should be allowed instead of the

September 18, 2015


It shouldn't use "in the," unless the cook is extremely talented an managed to stuff the inside of a hollowed-out plate with cheese.

July 9, 2013


Italian, like Latin, seems to have one word for "in" and "on", being "in". As replied to the user notesurfer above: "In Latin, which Italian comes from, there is only one word "in" which means in/on, or into/onto if used in a different grammatical case. (In case you were curious, in/on uses ablative, into/onto uses accusative.)

I would assume that "on" is a French or German adaptation of the Latin word "in", which would mean that Italian never acquired a different word for "On top of". I can sort of see this with Latin "ad" (to), which can also mean "near" or "towards", and with certain verbs "in front of/before", where I would expect the dative or accusative.

Latin is fun. Italian is fun too. I'd recommend learning Latin after Italian, you'd learn a lot about grammar. More than any English class has taught me."

April 30, 2014

  • 1915

Italian has words for both "on" and "in". But no two languages use prepositions the same way. Consider how in English we say we're "in" bed even though we're lying on top of it. In Italian, food is "in" a plate. It does not mean they use the same word for "on" and "in".

January 3, 2016


You cant put food in a plate

February 25, 2019


The literal translation of prepositions in different languages does not always match the proper way one uses them in all cases.

We think of food as "on the plate" while Italians think (when thinking in Italian) of it as being "in the plate". So while the literal translation of nel is indeed "in the", one would still translate the sentence as "on the plate" simply because that is the proper preposition in English.

Italians conceptualize the plate to "contain" food, hence they use nel. Though, for the Italian word for "tray" (vassoio) you would translate "on the" literally: sul. Also, if you see many traditional Italian plates, they are not as flat as the common American plate.

This issue with prepositions differing, is not unique to Italian versus English. Try Hebrew or Arabic compared to English.

᛫ "Meet you on Monday, in Washington, at the corner of Independence and 3ʳᵈ Street."

All of the italicized prepositions above, will be translated in this specific sentence as (hebrew 'ב'. Or as in Arabic 'في'.), even though they all have corresponding prepositions that are used the same as in English in other cases.


The literal Italian translation of "on the", is sul.

February 25, 2019


It s not a cooker ?

February 28, 2014


Grazie mille

October 31, 2018
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