"Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto."

Translation:The cook has cheese on the plate.

December 19, 2012

94 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philly9795

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wanjiru354155

Yes yes...the answer they gave is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3250

No. Different languages have different grammars and say things differently. The answer is not wrong just because it's not a word-for-word swap.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan9842d17

It would be nice if duo was consistant


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Buthaina1986

They should have put two (the) in the options below


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

No. English never uses "the" for things in general (cheese) only for specific things. Italian, on the other hand can, and does, use "the/il" when talking about things in general. Duolingo never explained this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel

I think Buthaina1986 is referring to the two "the" already in the English sentence, that may not have appeared in their word-bank, not to the third   "the" that exists before formaggio.

The cook has cheese on the plate.


You are of course making an important point regrading the extra use of definite articles in Italian compared to English.

Users who wish to read more about it, may find the next couple of links to forum posts useful:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoicKho

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuujen

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beki33

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mel__Carter

Because "nel" corresponds to a definite article.


[deactivated user]

    November 2019. This Italian part of Duolingo has been such a great experience for me, in general. However, I am confused about this. I wrote, "The cook has the cheese on the plate." The checker said that was incorrect. It should be, "The cook has cheese on the plate." How are we to know that there is not a specific cheese on the plate when translating? This is asking us to read minds, especially because in the lesson information it says you it is more important to use articles in Italian. I think it would be more fair if Duolingo accepted either translation. Thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    If you're asking the course contributors to add that answer to this prompt's database, you'll need to flag it the next time it comes up and report "My answer should be accepted." The course contributors do not monitor these forums for feedback.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BethanyCollette7

    Agreed, without proper context this should have been a correct translation


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/strahil

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/notesurfer

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaydenMashburn

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaliforniaNorma

    I learned English in Latin class, the intricacies anyway!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrDemetr

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Langmut

    Careful, those things that you are talking about are prepositions, not pronouns.

    (Pronouns are the words that replace a noun. he, she, it, him, her, me, you etc are pronouns.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David7386

    Wouldn't accept 'the cook has the cheese on the plate', even though the (admittedly ambiguous) definite article was present in the Italian, and could be referring to specific cheese. If it weren't there then both definite articles would be wrong, but it is there and can translate. Course needs editing for certain!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dhaas70

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinMacK

    Is sul piatto acceptable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benjaminsnorris

    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."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

    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).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchCrazy

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scensful

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaArthurNt

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaArthurNt

    Much appreciated. Thanks very much. Am clear now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarySzcz

    The correct answer according to this exercise is The cook has the cheese on his plate. The problem is "his" is not one of the words to choose.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    Most of the sentences accept more than one answer, and the official answer at the top of this page is "The cook has cheese on the plate."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fattmahass

    There is only one the in the choice


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

    That is because Italian uses definite articles (il/the) when they mean things (formaggio) in general while English does not.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marta-Ritaaa

    There should be one more "THE". Every time my translation is wrong, but how can be correct if there is missing a word... :(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diegobm11

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gpalumbo756

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

    A chef is a "capocuoco" or "head cook". "Chef" is also used.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VeronicaAv13

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    nello = in + lo
    nel = in + il


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QuatreHiead

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chinmay.Dhawan

    Nel means on or on the?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    "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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chinmay.Dhawan

    Oh! I see, Thanks. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheGrahamCable

    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'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    "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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AkisX.

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David7386

    regardless, if you were referring to specific cheese (the cheese) you'd surely use the exact same phrase. It might not translate directly all the time but i'm certain it's a correct use and shouldn't be marked otherwise, especially when the definite article is translated directly elsewhere in the course. If the definite article weren't there, granted it'd be incorrect. It is, so while it's not necessary, I'm certain it's still acceptable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBradl52567

    Google translate gives "sul" instead of "nel". What is the difference?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    One is a literal word-swap, the other is actual usage.

    In English, we say something is "on" a plate. We frame it as a surface.
    In Italian, they say something is "in" a plate. They frame it as a container.

    Never trust machine translation. Language is far too subtle and nuanced for that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConDiggityDogs

    I love how I got a choice of 3 answers to translate "The cook has cheese on the plate" earlier in the practice lesson and the correct answer was "Il cuoco ha formaggio nel piato." This time however, when having to type out the Italian, I put the same thing and was marked wrong for not putting "il formaggio"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    It's more likely that you had some other error somewhere. From now on, please share the full exact text of your answer so we can help you see the real reason it marked you wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/negin197342

    Why i have hers instead of his??!!:)))


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    There is neither "his" nor "hers" in this sentence:
    The cook has cheese on the plate.
    Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto.

    However, in Italian (as well as French and all the other Romance languages), the possessive is just like any other adjective and must agree with the noun it modifies, not with whose noun it is.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faye_G.

    One "the" missing...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    No one here can do anything about technical glitches. Next time something like that happens, take a screenshot and file a bug report.
    https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvonne384268

    Why not the cheese?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3250

    What was the rest of your answer?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LZFQH8

    there is no 'THE' amongst the words


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josef6097

    There is no second "the"!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/churchmamma

    only one "the" was available to choose for english translation...I believe there should have been 2 since it was il formaggio as well as nel piatto


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.roueintan

    Where is another"the"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elhombre242

    Your short some the's...this Italian program is a bit lacking


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justplaindee

    You cant put food in a plate


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel

    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.

    P.S.

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmotionalBoba

    Autocorrect :') did me dirty


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epolonia

    "the" wasn't available.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jparsonsfilm

    The è is mispronounced. It should be a long Ā, not an ee.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joan745664

    Why is no-one questioning the ' il formaggio ' when ' lo ' is used as 'the' with the word ' formaggio '? ' lo formaggio is correct not il formaggio. Other excercises have this as ' lo formaggio '.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gh0stwheel

    'Lo' (as a definite article) should not be used with "formaggio".
    However, 'Lo' is also a clitic pronoun.
    For example, you may have seen "Mangio il formaggio" (I eat the cheese) rephrased as "Lo mangio" (I eat it).

    The rules for choice of definite article:

    Image: Rule table of Definite Articles in Italian | Woodward Italian
    Link: Definite Articles in Italian | Woodward Italian


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karin759762

    I had a typo in the cheese and ut counted as wrong☹️

    Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.