To say "both" using "sia" in Italian, we use the following construction: "sia + (object) + sia/che + (object)."
For "or", we could use "o," "oppure," or the "ne' + (object) + ne' + (object)" construction (that last one is more like "neither + (object) + nor (object)"). There are probably more, those are just the ones off the top of my head.
Although I'm just learning Italian and I, too, was confused by the introduction of "sia... che", I am also a graduate student in Applied Linguistics... which is a fancy way to say "Second Language Acquisition (SLA) epistemology and theory." I say this only to introduce the scholarly perspective that involves immersing students with unknown content as a method of language instruction. This method is highly regarded in the academic community and it's commonly referred to as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). It seems this peer community is serving as the mentor in the ZPD instruction model and I'm grateful to those who contributed. I found several examples very helpful. Thanks.
It makes sense, but after you get through a certain bit of you you start to understand a structure. Plus they allow you to cheat by hovering over each new word. So they really are teaching it to you, immediately in context, instead of treating you like a baby and teaching you every single word separately like it's on a flashcard. They are trying to speed up the practical use/get you as fluent as fast as possible, so you can actually speak in person with a native Italian. You may not use "sia... che" in your every day conversational Italian, but they will make sure you know it in case you ever want to sound really grammatically perfect.
My (subject) from above can also be a verb. It's whatever the person is talking about. For your example question, I think the Italian would be:
"Sia ballare sia/che cantare posso."
I put "posso" at the end as every instance I can recall of "sia...sia/che..." has it at the beginning of the sentence.
They are trying to speed up the practical use/get you as fluent as fast as possible, so you can actually speak in person with a native Italian. You may not use "sia... che" in your every day conversational Italian, but they will make sure you know it in case you ever want to sound really grammatically perfect.
There was an earlier sentence in this same lesson (though I'm not sure that everyone sees the same sentences in the same order) which was something like: Io cucino sia verdura sia carne" (I don't remember if that was it exactly, but it was something like that. I'm not sure "sia" appeared twice, but it appeared at least once). I put "I cook vegetables and meat" and got marked wrong because I left out the articles - it should have been "I cook both the vegetables and the meat." People in the comments explained the need for the articles by suggesting that this was a current action (I am now cooking these veggies and this meat) not just a claim about what I do regularly, or can do. So for this new sentence I put "I eat both the vegetable and the meat" (that is, I included the articles) - and got marked wrong for including them. So what gives? Is it that 'sia....sia" indicates a current action, whereas "sia.....che" indicates a habit, or ongoing action? Is that because "sia" is in the subjunctive? Even if that's it, I don't understand why it would have been in the subjunctive in the first sentence - sia.....sia - given that sentence involved a current action - "I am (now) cooking both the vegetables and the meat". Help!
To me in both languages it seems perfectly fine, as a native speaker would put it. In English the unspecific plural just is vegetables (the singular doesn't make any sense) and in Italian it is simply the singular. One should rather learn to translate the sense correctly than strictly literally.
I had a hard time finding the sia...che form online, but i finally found this on wordreference.com:<pre>
He's both tall and handsome. È sia alto che bello.</pre>
I still don't understand the grammatical logic of it, but I don't care. I plan on using it and remembering it, perche è sia utile che divertente ;-)
I see this sentence is still generating confusion. I blame this on DuoLIngo--which I otherwise love! I'm a student, so take my input with caution, but... When I first saw "sia verdura che carne" I thought for sure it was an error and I even commented on it. I was wrong. I was expecting a construction like ne...ne. Where does the "che" suddenly come from? Especially when sia...sia is also a valid construction. There are no grammatical explanations offered in the exercises, so we were all left hanging. Well, I read a lot more and I see sia...sia and sia...che constructions in articles. Researching it further I see that sia...sia is the older form and parallels other constructions like siano...siano or fosse...fosse. Sia...che is a more recent construction. Further, in long, compound sentences, where the things being compared are long phrases (not just a meat and a vegetable) containing one or more "that's" (in italiano che), the extra "che" of che...che can lead to confusion. We won't see this in DuoLingo (probably), so understanding both forms is useful.
I also found this explanation (see link below). It has something to do with the outcome/ context. Both.. and .. (sia ... sia ...) “Sia + sia” can also express “Whether (this), OR (that), the result is still the same.” Whether... or... (Sia + che)
I eat/cook BOTH the veggies AND the meat or, WHETER I eat veggies OR meat, i like them both..
Hope I interpreted the explanation right. Here's the link: http://icebergproject.co/italian/2015/11/how-to-use-sia-sia-in-italian-or-how-to-say-both-pasta-and-pizza-sound-good/
"But I’ve heard “sia + che,” too. Is that wrong? Nope. Using the “sia + che” construction is right, too, but “sia + sia” is preferred because it lessens the chance that your next “che” could be confused as “that,” especially in lengthy sentences"
It doesn't depend on the sia/che (which is however grammatically incorrect in Italian, even if much used). It's just that you used the singular "verdura" as an uncountable noun, when referring to "all the vegetables" in general. "Le verdure" refers to some particular vegetables.
Yeah it's a bit annoying that Duo just expects you to know things sometimes, but we learn it and redo the lesson and move on. We as humans have such issues with being wrong. It's okay, to be wrong sometimes, no one thinks you're dumb, really. With that being said, we should all remember that this is a program that is teaching us a language for free, with no strings attached. This is a valuable resource which we should appreciate before we go complaining.
Thanks...of all comments this helps...along with another that says it's a fixed expression! Saying it that way in English helped me understand better knowing Portuguese as it compares well...eu como tanto (x amount) vegetais que carne. Expression together makes for "as much as" so I guess in Italian it's slightly different with using 'both' (sia)...
Unless sia has more meanings and is actually same in this context then, but with duolingo giving the "both" and "and" in the answer only. :s
Interesting as I did google translate and it said 'Mangio due verdure e carne" which makes more sense to me.
It's helpful if you know french. This sentense would translate similarily, like: je mange autant de la verdure que de la viande". In ftench we would say a plural "des légumes" (vegetables) instead, but this works for a simple example. But i wanted ti show how "autant...que" is similar to what is used in italian and it can be translated in english as "I eat "as much" (autant) vegetables "as" (que) meat.
The construction is "sia + (subject) + sia/che + (subject)..." Whether we use "sia" or "che" in the second part is completely up to us. They are entirely interchangeable. I've read that Italians will use whichever sounds better (like how we're supposed to choose between "tra" and "fra"), though I'm not exactly sure how one sounds better over the other.
Here's what I understand from this sentence; think of this example:
He's both tall and handsome. È sia alto che bello.
It is actually like: He be(is) tall as he is handsome. So this actually means. He is a tall person as he is a handsome person. He has both the qualities equally.
This is my first time with romance languages so this is just a hypothesis and an easier way to make sense of the sentence. Correct me if I'm wrong
One way of looking at it is that sia is the subjunctive of essere. The use of the english subjunctive, now old fashioned would be, I eat be it vegetable or meat. In modern english "both" works much better but for me it helps to think of that construction rather than a word meaning something entirely different
I translated this sentence as, " I eat both vegetable and meat" because "verdura" is the singular form for the English word, "vegetable". Is not "verdure" the plural form for the English word "vegetables?" The Italian word "carne" is also singular form in this sentence, instead of being the plural form "carni" And so, if this is going to be translated with plural form for vegetables, should it not also have the plural form for meats too? Io mangio sia verdure e carni. Confusing!