That's because "uva" is both singular grape, and a collective term for grapes. i.e. when you wanna say "I ate grapes", you can use "uva", but for "I ate three grapes" you must use "uve", which is the plural form.
I think that the comments arise from different meanings given to the same word: grape, grapes. If you, with "I eat a grape" understand that you are eating a bunch of grapes, the singular should be accepted, but if you understand that you are eating one "berry", one "acinus" of grapes you understand that your reply is wrong.
No: it would be "le", but uve doesn't mean "two or more bunch of grapes" ( = due o più grappoli d'uva). It signifies "two (or more) kinds of grapes.
rajul was asking about uve (a term which also exists - le uve) and not l'uva ( =la uva = l'uva). Grammatically it's a collective noun, like it could be "crowd" in English. A crowd is a whole of people, l'uva is a whole of chicchi (= the berries of grapes)
Duolingo is really useless on this. I have been marked wrong for "grape" and "grapes" on different occassions! What am I meant to be, psychic????
The contributors of the course are more than one: it depends on which of them gives the reply. It seems that the language is open to question....
"I eat the grape" was marked wrong. If only "the grapes" is correct, then how do I express "I eat THE grape" if I only eat one single grape?
"I eat a grape", as "grape" mean a berry (berry (n.) Old English berie "berry, grape," from Proto-Germanic basjom , source also of Old Norse ber, Middle Dutch bere, German Beere "berry;" Old Saxon winberi, Gothic weinabasi "grape", OED), of* grapes
This response has very minimal reference to GigiGottwald's comment and question. Minimal.
47 comments on this simple sentence mean that BrE is an unknown language not only for me. I gave a complete response. If " a grape", at least in BrE, means one berry of the fruit called "grapes" (= uva), I cannot translate with "a grape" what is a bunch of grapes, ( I.: un grappolo d'uva) . Unable to understand? I'm sorry but de hoc, satis.
You said that uva is undersood to be grapes pkural. In a previous lesson you had: È l'uva as They are grapes. ??????
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Because that's not a valid English sentence. We say "I eat grapes" ('in general, grapes are a food I consume'), or "I eat the grape" ('this grape here, I am eating').
(Also, because you've left out the "l'", which means 'the'.)
Sorry, you would never say this great. I am eating you would say I am eating this grape here, although that wouldn't be very good grammar either. Leave off the here for best results
I was under the impression " l' " (for " the ") was denoting a masculine gender and " la " (for "the") was feminine? (e.g. L'uomo = The man ; La donna = the woman) The hint says " uva " is feminine yet you say " l'uva "
Have I missed the boat here?
You are right that 'la' is the feminine article, but the masculine 'the' is either 'il' or 'lo', depending on the first sound of the noun itself. Both masculine and feminine articles contract to l' before a vowel. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_grammar#Articles for more on forms for 'the' (and also 'a/some') in Italian.
(Note that there are three /more/ forms for 'the' in the plural, as well....)
L' is the article before nouns that start with a vowel. L'elefante (masculine) l'acqua (feminine). For nouns that start with a consonants, La is feminine and il and lo are the masculine ones. You use lo is the noun starts with s + another consonant (lo studente), the noun starts with a z (lo zaino) or y (lo yogurt).
Will the translation of "eat the grapes" be "mangio gli uva" since grapes in plural here?
There are a couple different things going on here:
- Italian has several different ways of saying 'the' in the plural. the relevant one here is le uve, because 'uva' is feminine. (both the masculine il and feminine la become l' before an initial vowel, thus l'uva and le uve but l'oggetto and gli oggetti.)
- however, in Italian 'grapes' is a collective noun. In general, unless referencing a specific number of grapes eaten, you would use l'uva even if you were eating an entire bunch of grapes.
- mangio specifically means "I eat"--as in Spanish, while English must make the subject explicit, in Italian it can be assumed from the conjugation. If you want "[to] eat the grapes", the infinitive form, it would be mangiare l'uva. The imperative, as in "Eat the grapes!", would be mangia [tu] l'uva.
it would have to be 'la', because 'uva' is feminine.
however, in Italian both the singular articles, the masculine il and the feminine la (lo is also a form of il) become l' before an initial vowel, thus l'uva and l'oggetto.
Not il or lo because "uva" is feminine, you could say "la uva", but the apostrophised form (l'uva) is normally used.
You read one thing, and you read something similar later on, ringing the bell of familiarity. The Italian word for grape is eerily similar to the anatomical body part uvula, which is Latin for "grape". Déjà vu.
It's not "eerily": uvula is the diminutive of uva, (= an "acinus" of grapeS, that today is the Italian "uGola) from the similarity with it
Half the time on this, I say "eats the grape" and it says it should be "eats the grapes" and the other half it's the other way around... how do I know if it should be "eats the grape" or "eats the grapes"??
Giving a look to a good dictionary (and reading the comments already given)
But...l'uva means the grape, or, the grapes, so how do I know which one it is?! As in Io mangio l'uva. Big sigh
As noted above, in general, unless referencing a specific number eaten, you would use l'uva even if you were eating an entire bunch of grapes.
If you need to specifically say that you are only eating one grape, you would say mangio un'uva or mangio un chicco d'uva.
Otherwise, you'll just need to get used to the fact that Italian and English are different, and there are certain things that one language considers a count noun that the other considers a mass noun, and vice versa. Italian talks about grapes the way English talks about milk: We don't say "I drink a milk", we say "I drink a unit of milk". Italian, similarly, uses chicco (berry) as a unit of grapes.
so I'll have to remember grapes is to Italian like deer is to English.........
eh, not really. Deer is just an irregular plural; like many animal names in English (especially game animals), it's the same whether you're referring to one or several of them.
Italian uva is maybe more like grass. If you want to refer to a single unit of grass, you say a blade of grass. An entire yard is still just grass -- grasses is usually something different, like the entire collection of related plants. See, for example, the caption for the photo on the right at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae#Ecology -- "A kangaroo eating grass".
Perfect. I think that English doesn't have a clear distinction between grape and grapes and they don't use " bunch of grapes", expression that clearly says that a single berry of grapes is a grape....
Could be "una uva" means one grape (singular) while "l'uva" means the grapes (plural)?
Actually there is no una uva, for the most part. A single grape is called either un acino or un chicco d'uva. The latter means a grain of grapes. I guess they don't think much about a single grape. It takes a lot of grapes to make a glass of Chianti or Lacrima Christi.
i put "i eat a grape" instead of "i eat the grape" i dont understand how i got it wrong because it still means the same thing
"a grape" would be "un' uva"while "the grape" is "l' uva". A is translated by un/uno/una/un'. The is translated by il/lo/la/l'/
No. "Uva" is a cluster of grapes (1 grape = 1 berry you can count in 1 bunch of grapes). In fact you can buy 1 apple, not a grape..
Surely, but in this case, in Italian, you have to say "Mangio un chicco d'uva" and the sentence says "mangio l'uva"
Surely. Meanwhile "chicco" can refer also to grains in general (un chicco di frumento =wheat, d'orzo = barley, d'avena = oats, di caffè = coffee, etc.) or to certain fruits (un chicco di melograno = of pomegranate), "acino" refers, especially, to the grapes. So you can say "gli acini di quest'uva sono molto grossi = the grapes of this bunch of grapes - that sounds funny for me, but I don't know how I should say - are very big. Acinus, which is the E. botanical term, comes from the Greek àkinos (= with a spike) from the form of the "seeds" (the true fruits) inside the grape. And thanks for your words.
Thanks, that's the clearest explanation in all this discussion! Can you also say "un acino"?
There are two accepted versions here:
"I eat grapes"
"I eat the grape" (Accepted 11 Apr 2018)
If you want to say, "I eat the grapes", meaning like a handful of grapes, you could say io mangio le uve I done context searches and gotten a lot of Italian sentences which use plural uve.
The only thing I'm not certain of if whether "I eat the grape" is a weird, stylized way of saying "I eat grapes".
In English, we can say "He is a fan of the grape". What that means is that "he drinks lots of wine - way too much wine to be healthy" or "He is a true wine connoisseur; he loves to drink wine and knows a lot about them." In either case, "the grape" is a collective noun signifying an uncountable, plural quantity of grapes.
I just don't know
Thanks for your post. I will keep an eye on this and talk to some of my more knowledgeable Italian friends. In any case I am gaining knowledge.
A minus? I reply: This is NOT what a good English dictionary says. An Oxford Dic. says: "Grape" = a berry growing in clusters on vines, used for making wine: a bunch of grapeS ( = un grappolo d'uva)
I said "I eat the grape" and was marked wrong. If it were plural why didn't it say "uve"
No, and the reply has already been given. If you had an E-I dictionary and you look for "grape", you find: "Grape,n. = 1 acino; chicco d'uva (= NOT UVA, but a "berry, an acinus, a grape of uva); 2 (= grapevine) vite; 3 (pl.) uva: a bunch of grapes, un grappolo d'uva". Uve means two or more different kinds of uva. You can say that a certain wine is made with "differenti uve" = with the grapeS of different species of vine
you're not wrong, but you're also missing the point. Uva isn't plural.
Uve is the grammatical plural, and it does indeed take le, but as discussed several times on this page, Italian in general uses l'uva for an entire bunch of grapes.
To refer to what in English we would call an individual grape, in Italian you would say something like "a grape bean", un chicco d'uva, or "a grape berry", un acino d'uva.
Indeed, you've hit the nail on the head. Number is a strange thing in language, and can be as unpredictable as gender. A German girl is grammatically neuter, an Irish stallion is feminine and a cailín (girl) is masculine. Is news singular or plural? Can you have two [cutleries]?
Italian uva is a singular noun expressing a plural idea, rather like "oats" in English. You can eat wheat or barley, but you can't eat an oat.
French has the same idea. A bunch of grapes = un raisin (singular) . An individual grape = un grain de raisin. Latin has botrum (singular) = a bunch of grapes and botrus as an individual grape.
Ain't life fun?
I wrote He eats the grape and was marked wrong. What is the difference between grape and grapes? Is there a difference between the two in written form? How should one know from this sentence whether or not it should be one or the other? Both should be accepted.
You got into trouble before you even hit the words l"uva. Io mangio is I eat, not he eats. But yes there is a difference between grape and grapes in the written form. L'uva does refer to grapes in the plural. If you want to indicate a single grape in Italian, it is called either ancino or chicco d'uva. The latter means grain of grape.
O Dio, of course, how silly. What a dumb mistake. I just realized what I did. Grazie.
the definite article cannot be shortened for a plural noun? So surely it is one grape.
No. It's just a mass noun. Uva is a singular noun in Italian. It simply translates to a plural one in English. If you want to talk about a single grape in Italian you have to say acino or chicco d'uva. Your English brain will only take you so far, so you have to remember to examine all your assumptions.
grappe should be accepted, cause in italien there are only uva, for singular or plural.
Right the last sentence, wrong the first one. If you ask me "What do you eat as fruit at the end of the meal?" I can reply: " I eat apples (plural) or uva". (NOT uve)
I have to admit, as a Spanish teacher, I'm pretty picky about singular & plurals & I typed "I eat the grape," because I knew "uve" is plural. They should fix this. LOL!
The problem is that what you "knew" is actually not correct. Despite the singular form, the Italian word uva is actually plural, except in a compound noun like uva spina (gooseberry) and uva passa (raisin), so I guess there must be an uve(?). But to refer to a single grape you must say acino or chicco d'uva. It does not really make sense, but that's hardly unusual between languages.