"Gli insetti bevono acqua."

Translation:Insects drink water.

December 19, 2012

58 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stsmi

Could someone please tell me when to use 'gli' and when to use 'i'? I would really appreciate it and it might help others too. I had trouble hearing the 'gli' as well but I guess we are supposed to know where to expect it. It can't be 'i insetti'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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If it's a masculine noun that starts with a vowel and the article is contracted to l' (as in l'uomo) or if it's a masculine noun that starts with either s+another consonant or z and the article is lo (as in lo squalo or lo zucchero) then the plural form is gli. Since "insetti" is masculine and begins with a vowel, the article is "gli".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinRees2

That's a great help and easy to understand. Thank you AndersonMa604618.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lea251885

Thank you for your ment!


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

Shouldn't it be "the" insects? (in the multiple choice question)


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

why is it not 'the insects'? can someone explain when to omit 'gli'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Italian uses definite articles almost the inverse way English does. In English, we use "the" for a specific case and omit "the" for the general case. In Italian, they use "the" for the general case and omit "the" for a specific case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.a9r6oV

This is actually super helpful


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

why is acqua the correct answer and not l'acqua


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mucchi1

We some times use "Gil" as "The" and some times we skip it, why is that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Y.

Why can't I say 'the insects'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Italian uses definite articles almost the inverse way English does. In English, we use "the" for a specific case and omit "the" for the general case. In Italian, they use "the" for the general case and omit "the" for a specific case.

General case: Insects drink water - Gli insetti bevono l'acqua.
Specific instance: The insects drink water - Insetti bevono l'acqua.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToniB14

Why are our answers counted wrong without the prepositions but many sample sentences such as this one don't have them? Rules as to when needed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

I think you mean definite article, not preposition.

In contexts where you're distinguishing between the general case and a specific instance, Italian uses definite articles the opposite way English does.

General case:
Insects drink water. Gli insetti bevono l'acqua.
(As a species, insects are known to drink water.)
Specific instance:
The insects drink water. Insetti bevono l'acqua.
(Particular specified insects are known to drink water.)

It works the same way in the subject and the predicate:
I drink water. Bevo l'acqua.
(I am in the habit of drinking water.)
I drink the water. Bevo acqua.
(I drink a particular glass of water that I was given.)

Given that, it seems that Duolingo can be a little inconsistent, unless there's more nuance they're not telling us about, or it's less rigid than I've been led to believe from others who have explained it to me. Because it seems a little odd to say "Gli insetti bevono acqua" and not "Gli insetti bevono l'acqua".


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

So its "Gli" pronounced with a silent "G"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Sort of. Think of gl as more of a digraph than having a silent letter, because gl is pronounced differently than l.

But there are some words where it is pronounced the same way you would expect it to be pronounced in English. It's like the difference between "Stephen" and "chophouse".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcWqvCOphZo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2lala2

Could someone explain me when do we use "i" for plurals? Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

i is the plural of il: il ragazzo, i ragazzi


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

Purpose of gli?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilari387533

i put the incect drinks watter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

That would be L'insetto beve acqua.


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

um... Purpose of gli? Not really understanding it completely....it should be the insects drink water so I wrote that and said it was wrong why is that ?????!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Different language, different grammar rules.

In some contexts, Italian uses definite articles almost the inverse way English does. In English, we use "the" for a specific case and omit "the" for the general case. In Italian, they use "the" for the general case and omit "the" for a specific case.

Insects drink water. (Discussing insects generally)
Gli insetti bevono acqua.

The insects drink water. (Discussing some particular insects)
Insetti bevono acqua.


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

Is this 'the insects drink water'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Word for word, yes. But in situations like this, the Italian grammar is different than the English grammar.

In English, we use "the" for a specific case and omit "the" for the general case. In Italian, they use "the" for the general case and omit "the" for a specific case.

Insects drink water. (Discussing insects generally)
Gli insetti bevono acqua.

The insects drink water. (Discussing some particular insects)
Insetti bevono acqua.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carmen89469

I agree with the comment regarding Gli and when it is use it and when not. Whay is hhe rule?


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

No article in the answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

It is valid to translate "Gli insetti bevono acqua" as "Insects drink water". Italian grammar rules are different from English grammar rules.


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

the gli in italian sounds just like lh in portuguese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt1914

Why is (l') used sometimes and not others? It doesn't seem consistent in utilizing the "the."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Different languages use articles differently. Just because English does (or doesn't) use "the" somewhere doesn't mean other languages will do the same thing.

If you're asking about which form to use, there is a chart and links to other resources on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt1914

I get that. My question centers on the fact that using " l' " for any given word in a sentence doesn't seem consistent. I've seen "I gatti bevono l'acqua," and "I gatti bevono acqua" both be used as an asnwer for the same translation.... "The cats drink water."

I read somewhere that the " l' " is always supposed to be included, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Am I missing something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

No, that is not the case. Like English, sometimes you want to use the definite article and sometimes you don't. It depends on what you want to say. The problem is that Duolingo is not teaching the distinction and treating with vs without as more or less interchangeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt1914

So Duolingo isn't really helping differentiate when, as I've been incorrect in either case. Is there a more definitive source for determining when l' should be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3118

Most of what I've picked up has been from helpful native speakers in the forum. There might be resources if you Google "definite article usage italian".


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

Why not l'acqua


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luann916250

You Gli .. which means the in english.. when i put it down..it said it was wrong.. then dont put it before the noun.. if you dont want it written ...in english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CT1376

I didn't know insects drink


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lissa800929

I just cannot wrap my mouth around the word "gli". I can handle the "gn" sound (ragno, gnocchi, etc.) just fine, but I cannot for the life of me get "gli" to sound right!


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

If the word is in the lesson why can't i use it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gloria330609

I would like to know why they don't speak clearly I don't understand some of the words.

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