"Qual è il cane?"

Translation:Which is the dog?

12/26/2012, 11:46:00 AM

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/GoodLordigans

I translated "Qual è il cane?" as "Which dog is it?", which was marked as wrong. Is this not a correct translation? It means the same thing as the 'correct' answer of "Which is the dog?", and it sounds like more natural English to me.

1/15/2013, 6:15:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/christopher
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Here it is important to note the function of the words. "Qual" is the interrogative pronoun, functioning as the subject of the sentence. "Cane" is the predicate nominative. The "è" between them functions as the = sign.

In your translation "which" becomes the interrogative adjective, and "dog" becomes the subject of the sentence. "It", which doesn't appear anywhere in the Italian sentence, has appeared magically to become the predicate pronoun.

The question is fundamentally asking: which (out of the many options) is the dog? Your translation is fundamentally asking: which dog (out of a group of dogs) is it?

2/9/2013, 11:12:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlspotting
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Great explanation for this usage. The sentence I saw with "Qual" before this one was with the possessive pronoun, e.g. "Qual e il tuo cane?" and there I think that either "Which dog is yours?" or "Which is your dog?" would be acceptable translations into English (if anything, I"d probably use the first more than the second, even though the second is grammatically closer to the Italian). By removing the possessive pronoun, it reveals both a grammatical and meaning/usage difference "Which x is...?" and "Which is...?"

3/1/2015, 12:36:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/karamss

Nicely explained thx.. I still think the English sentence would make more sence if they add "one" to the options: which one is the/a dog?

1/10/2019, 11:26:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/strahil

It's like a question you would ask a 2 y/o - which one of these is the dog. "Which dog is it" implies you know it's a dog.

1/26/2013, 12:59:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/timmyshanti
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The English translation doesn't make sense.

12/27/2013, 5:35:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/albans
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I agree with you. I can't think of a situation where one could use this sentence on it's own.

9/3/2016, 10:56:18 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/timmyshanti
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Its* :)

9/4/2016, 3:51:50 AM

[deactivated user]

    Marking this comment down is silly. People need to know that its is the correct usage here as a possesive. It's ALWAYS means it is.

    6/28/2018, 9:52:25 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mike189903

    Blame autocorrect. It tends to switch them around inconsistently.

    12/31/2018, 8:31:29 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jae633849

    You've gone to the park with a Martian, whom you're currently teaching about different Earth animals. You point out to the Martian: "Look, there's a guy with a dog and a horse." The Martian, not knowing much yet, says: "Which is the dog?"

    2/22/2019, 5:56:11 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/LifyaKH
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    'Which dog is it?' is now accepted :)

    12/13/2018, 9:52:48 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Albertcasas001

    My doubt is why is it not written "qual'è il cane"

    2/28/2014, 10:46:20 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/jessestryker

    I am a student of 4 years and I also thought the same thing.

    It seems like the question should fundamentally be "Quale + è + il cane?" but we contract that to "Qual'è il cane?" as you wrote.

    7/7/2014, 3:13:49 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/buqalamun

    I was wondering the same thing...

    3/11/2014, 2:08:00 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/HydraBianca

    Its marked as wrong, :P

    9/29/2014, 9:35:11 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/march
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    in the vocabulary hints there is a "what" translation for "qual", but when typed it is reported as a mistake

    12/26/2012, 11:46:00 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cristylez

    I wrote "what is the dog" and I got it marked wrong

    3/6/2013, 9:01:44 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hornstein

    In previous comments it was said that quale has only two forms - quale for singular and quali for plural. So where did qual come from?

    3/14/2013, 7:56:41 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/cedrych

    Correct me if I got it wrong, but I believe 'quale/i' is the question word 'which', which should be followed by a noun, and 'qual' is the interrogative pronoun 'which one', which should be followed by a verb.

    3/27/2013, 11:20:57 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/jesslc

    As far as I understand it:

    Qual is a contraction of Quale - which used in front of e' (and in front of other words starting with the letter e)

    Quali is the plural of Quale

    6/30/2013, 5:26:04 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/DogwoodThedog

    Duolingo: "Qual è il cane?" Me: "Colui che agita la coda."

    9/21/2016, 3:43:29 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PhilippDoe2

    The English sentence lacks a noun. It should be "Which one is the dog?"

    5/14/2018, 7:24:38 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Yana4ka1
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    it's like find the dog out of 100 other animals, anyway that can train your attention;)

    3/22/2014, 2:41:32 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/integra1
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    the one with four legs

    3/31/2014, 11:14:38 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/averoxot

    Why is 'Qual'è il cane' wrong?

    4/28/2014, 4:25:58 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/SageStoner

    I kept getting this wrong because "cane" and "carne" sound almost the same to me. Then I went back to double check and realized that it's "la carne" and "il cane," so "il cane" is the only possible answer here. I'm not fluent yet in any language that has grammatical gender, so one more thing to learn to keep track of. LOL

    8/18/2014, 11:27:51 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kanin_Neko

    The one that goes 'woof woof'.

    4/5/2016, 3:28:34 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/dnovinc
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    I don't hear "il" in normal speed audio.

    12/28/2012, 11:53:20 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/jpkeymer
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    same question

    8/14/2014, 12:19:49 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/zanderohm1

    Could it also be translated as, "where is the dog?"? The hint for "qual" gives me which, where, and that...

    1/7/2015, 6:10:21 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/obitonye
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    The barking one

    4/22/2015, 6:37:27 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/hudnut217
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    I think this is the correct translation. The question then becomes, if you wanted to ask "Which dog is it?", how would you phrase that in Italian - Quale cane è?

    5/29/2015, 2:11:57 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Vanychee

    what does this mean? it might me grammatically correct but it doesn't have sense. which is a problem for a lot of the examples on this site.....

    8/25/2017, 11:57:27 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/RaduBunda

    Not the one meowing, that's for sure.

    3/22/2018, 4:43:33 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Carissa789117
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    The one that says woof.

    5/4/2018, 5:07:53 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/nuovaforesta

    I was told I had used the wrong word when 'qual e il cane' is exactly what I wrote from listening exercise.

    7/3/2018, 9:26:55 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/clare80348

    The one wirh the waggily tail!

    7/31/2018, 9:24:37 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/sr.Marianne

    I made it right. Qual é il cane. But I was wondering : why do you say: qual cane, but quale ragazzo. Both words are maschile ? Can someone help?

    8/26/2018, 9:17:09 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/mama479648
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    Ich lach mich kaputt, ich habe nicht hund sondern fleisch übersetzt, fand ich nicht ungewöhnlich bei all den vegetariern hier...

    10/7/2018, 6:31:54 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Philipo.
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    The one dressed as a spaceman playing subbuteo,mof course! Allora!

    10/10/2018, 2:30:38 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/frequeno
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    The one that barks

    10/24/2018, 10:34:10 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Anna339937

    The one between your pinguin and her hungry bear. But definitely not the one in the boot ...

    11/6/2018, 7:47:38 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ZardinTheBroken

    Where's the dog?! I'll do you one better, who's the dog?
    I'll do you one better, which is the dog?!

    I had to.

    1/23/2019, 2:46:53 PM
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