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  5. "Gli insetti bevono acqua."

"Gli insetti bevono acqua."

Translation:Insects drink water.

December 19, 2012

50 Comments


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
Mod
  • 2477

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/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
Mod
  • 2477

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/BremerKatze

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2477

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
Mod
  • 2477

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


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

Purpose of gli?


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/Ilari387533

i put the incect drinks watter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2477

That would be L'insetto beve acqua.


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

Why can't I say 'the insects'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2477

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
Mod
  • 2477

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/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
Mod
  • 2477

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
Mod
  • 2477

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
Mod
  • 2477

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/Matt162234

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2477

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/Matt162234

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
Mod
  • 2477

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/Matt162234

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
Mod
  • 2477

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

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