"È l'uva."

Translation:They are the grapes.

December 28, 2012

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The hint for 'uva' says 'grapes' when it is singular.


"L'uva" is a tricky word in Italian. In Italian, "l'uva" is singular but it refers to what we understand as "grapes" in English. So, for example, you would say "Dov'è l'uva?" to mean "Where are the grapes?".

As far as I know, there is no grammatical plural for it in Italian and it is always just "uva". If you reaaaaally want to talk about a single grape, you would use "un chicco d'uva".



Is it comparable to the word "fish"? Like how, in English, the singular and plural forms of "fish" are the same?


I'm guessing it's more comparable to garlic - we don't really have a plural for garlic, although to say 'garlics' would be grammatically correct, and if you want to talk about a single one you would say 'a clove of garlic.'


I would say it's comparable to the word "wheat." You wouldn't say "I have five wheats"; you'd say "I have five grains of wheat."

Likewise, in Italian you don't say "I have five grapes"; you'd say "I have five grains of grape" ("Ho cinque chicchi di uva").

And just like with the word "wheat," you normally wouldn't use the word "grain/chicco" with grapes because you normally don't need to specify how many.

But in the rare event that you need to specify a quantity of individual grapes, you can use "chicco."

Does that make sense?


The same thing happens in Spanish. We sometimes use the singular form of a noun to talk about more than just one element like in: ¿Dónde está la uva? ("Where is the grape?" meaning "The grapes).


I'm going to try to remember this particularity by thinking of it as "the bunch of grapes"


I was thinking the same thing.


JanusMaximus I can't see your pic up close, but by golly, you look my daughter! Amazing!


Thank you so much for making that clear to me. Very Helpful!


In Italian we always use "uva"; I've heard the plural "uve" only when people speak very seriously about wine


So then the plural would be not so much meaning one grape, as one piece of fruit, but about different types? As in "The merlot grape, and the chardonnay"?


How would you say "the bunch of grapes" in Italian?


"il grappolo d'uva" (but: a bunch of bananas = un casco di banane; a bunch of keys = un mazzo di chiavi )


Thanks. It's interesting to hear that "bunch" translates as a different word depending on whether we're talking about grapes or bananas.


A bunch of grapes, a hand of bananas....


There are plenty of examples in English as well. A herd of sheep, school of fish, pack of wolves...


why are they different each time?


"grappolo" for "bunch" appears to have the same origin as "grape" in English


I don't believe that the word for grape/grapes has a singular/plural form in Italian, much like "deer" in English. In other words, l'uva can mean the grapes or the grape,


Except that uva is always grammatically singular in Italian. Deer in English can be singular or plural; the deer is and the deer are are both grammatically correct in context. Same goes for fish. But not for garlic!


Make sense. They should add grape to the hints as well then so as to not cause confusion.

  1. Why must we always use the hints? 2. Why is the verb also singular?


Not only is the translation confusing because l'uva is used rather than le uve! But the translation is doubly confusing because E' is translating to they are rather than it is. Just need to remember that it is a grape in Italian translates to they are grapes in English.


Is Le uva ever used? Is it proper grammar?? Talking about different grapes?


I listened to the audio several times over and I swear she is saying (phonetically) El Luba. I definitely hear a "b" where there is supposed to be a "v" and I am using a headset, not listening over speakers. Anybody else? I reported the audio as a problem, but I want to see if it's just me or if or there is a consensus on this, and therefore make sure it's not my ears.


Yes me too. I listened to the audio many times and conceded it was "el luba", which made no sense to me at all. Unless this is how it's meant to be pronounced in Italian, I think this speaker has a dialect in her accent.


Definitely heard it that way as well. I was like, "what the heck is 'el luba'?"


I think what your'e hearing is that in many other romance languages, the v isn't pronounced as harshly as in English. I am learnign Italian, but I speak Spanish fluently....I am just assuming it's the same in Italian?


"It is the grape"?? What kind of sentence is that? The listening questions would be much simpler if the statements actually made sense. Trying to comprehend a nonsense sentence makes it very difficult to distinguish similar sounds in the audio.


Q. "What makes this wine taste so fantastic?" A. "It is the grapes." OK?

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Written you'd have more chance - spoken it is a best guess most of the time.


Very bad pronunciation


This is impossible to hear, especially in slower mode.


I have to say I find her difficult to understand at times...?


Would 'They are grapes' be a reasonable translation here? I believe Italian often uses a definite article in this situation where we wouldn't in English.


I'm reading this discussion for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. What I'd like to know why it's so hard to find an authoritative answer from Duolingo?


i thought that 'l' is supposed to be masculine? Like l'uomo?


<< L' >> is used for both masculine and feminine when the following word starts with a vowel.


that just helped so much! thanks :)


how do you know when to use L' though


If the noun (regardless of gender) begins with a vowel, you use L'.


(lo) uomo = l'uomo / (la) uva = l'uva


This is telling me the translation is "They are the grapes." I'm confused?


"They are the grapes" could be used in a context of a theatre play about fruits. Someone asks who are the two actors in the back. Then you can answer "they are the grapes" but even then "they are grapes" sounds more natural.


So it is similar to the french 'le raisin' (the bunch of) grapes. I wasn't sure if it was because another instance that just had l'uva took 'the grape'


That is what my thinking was. The French "grain de raisin" means grape whereas "raisin" means grapes.


If l'uva is both singular and plural, why doesn't the verb change to "sono" if it is plural? I put "It is the grape," figuring from the singular verb that it would be singular this time. Is there any way to tell from the sentence when it is singular and when plural?


I type the answer like the one above and it is marked as wrong. The solution says "They are the grapes". Do I miss something?


Why does it use É? I thought that was a verb for 3rd person singular.


Because it is 3rd person singular. Italian treats grapes as a mass noun.


Mine says "It is the grapes" not "They are the grapes". I thought uve describes the plural grapes. If indeed as the thread begins with "They are the grapes", the what would be wrong with "Sono le uve?"


Would I need "the" in answering, "what kind of juice is this"?


so whenever È is present, it will always be "it is" depending on the sentence


the translation is incorrect English. First if we were answering somebody about what kind of fruit they are we would say 'they are grapes'. If we were speaking specifically about which grapes to use or choosing from among several things we would say 'those are the grapes'.


So I get that l'uva can mean both 'the grape' and 'the grapes', but if I translate È l'uva as 'It's the grape' then that gets marked as wrong. It says that it should be 'It's the grapes'. Now I'm at a loss...


Sometimes it wants me to put the "the" in the response and sometimes it doesn't. I'm having a hard time figuring out where I should put it and where I shouldn't and if it's just this app or an actual language thing.


My hunch is that it's an app thing.


The answer of the program isn t correct.!!!


Shouldn't "they are grapes", without the definite article, also be correct?


How do you say " they are grapes" as opposed to "the grapes"?


English would generally omit "the", so: "They are grapes."


What's the plural form of ' l'uva ' ?


There isn't one. It's both singular and plural.


Actually that's not correct; it's always singular. In Italian, "grapes" are a mass noun--specifically, a granular aggregate, like "rice". In English, we always say "the rice" (not rices) and if you want to talk about an individual grain, it requires a qualifying noun like grain, morcel, etc. The sense of the word is plural in that way when we use it in English.

"Uve" as mentioned elsewhere is a formal word used by vineyard owners and wine makers when they talk about varieties of grape... the plants/species, not the fruit.


The sentence in general doesn't seem right: 'It is the grapes'?


So, on a slightly different note - is l' used for ANY direct nouns that begin with a vowel, not just MASCULINE nouns that begin with a vowel? Because I thought "la" was for direct, single nouns, but l'acqua and l'uva are both feminine...


Probably the most trickiest sentence to understand =D

[deactivated user]

    "This is the grapes." is accepted and "They are the grapes" is not - are you kidding me? How the hell you can say "This is the grapes", when "the grapes" is plural??


    the prerecorded voice really seems like it's saying "uba" with a "B." Is Italian like Spanish, where v and b sound the same? Or am I just hearing this wrong?


    Would you please clarify? uva is singular therefore, the translation of è l'uva should be it is the grape. The plural is uve. To translate they are the grapes, I believe, it should be sono l'uve. Would somebody clarify this? Thanks


    "Uva" refers to an unspecified number of grapes: "un acino d'uva" or "un chicco d'uva" is a single grape, "un grappolo d'uva" is a bunch of grapes connected to the same stalk, "un'uva" means a variety of grapes. So the plural "le uve" (the article is not elided in the plural in modern Italian) is mostly used by farmers to list the varieties they planted, and by winemakers to list the types of grapes used.


    "uva" is always singular. In Italian, "grapes" are a mass noun--specifically, a granular aggregate, like "rice". In English, we always say "it is the rice" and if you want to talk about an individual grain, it requires a qualifying noun like grain, morcel, etc. The translation should be plural in that sense, though I share the frustation at DuoLindo's forceful interpretation of "correct".


    Even though it sounded weird, think of the vocab you've learned > uva was the obvious choice.


    The program suggests to tranlate it as "It is grapes" :) Doesn't sound very English to me.


    The equivalent for this is probably the English "hair" which is singular, while in French it is the plural and French speakers sometimes refer to "the hairs". Does that help at all?


    According to the dictionary uva is singular; therefore it cannot be grapes. The plural of uva is uve. Would Mr. Duolingo please clarify,


    OK, I got that “uva” in the singular means “grapes” in English. What I don’t understand is why the definite article is necessary in English. Can we say “È uva?” in Italian?


    The v in uva sounds distinctly like a b in this audio. Is this normal or is the audio quality on this course as poor as it seems?


    no option for egg/s given.


    And not A GRAPE? Never? So how will be "one grape" in Italian if I may ask?


    un chicco d'uva ("a berry of grapes" -- kinda parallel to "a grain of rice")


    There was no possibility to tick "it is the grapes"


    ok, so if they are the grapes then i should be the pineapple right? Oh, I see! Your the pineapple so i'm the mango! Right, right, got it, totally love this fruit salad play.


    È is singular not plural!


    This is confusing to me because in the previous food lesson, "We eat apples" translation was "Noi mangiamo le mele" (no definite article in English) but here not leaving out the definite article in the English is incorrect. There seems to be a lack of consistency, especially as sentences are given without context.


    Can you also translate this as "They are grapes"? "The grapes" without further context sounds strange.


    I always think of this as like it's grape koolaid#makesnosense


    You don't say it like that in English


    This isnt the way it would translate to english. We would drop the unnecessary "the"


    I wrote " they are grapes" and it was marked wrong. How would that be said in italian?


    Understanding grapeness.


    The word translater needs to be a little more sensative


    Can someone help me out?

    It asked me to translate "É l'uva" and I put "It is the grape" and got it wrong with the answer being, "They are the grapes."

    Assuming we live in a world where someone would say, "They are the grapes," shouldn't the Italian translation of that be "Loro sono l'uva?"

    Did the app make a mistake or is there a special gramatical rule for the word "grape"?


    We do live in a world where someone would say "They are the grapes," and that someone speaks English.

    But on a more serious note, in Italian, grapes are treated as mass nouns. Just like English treats rice as a mass noun, and you can't say "a rice" for a grain of rice. It's the same way with grapes in Italian.


    exactly! I learned this term on the NYTimes today: it's a collective noun, and specifically, a "granular aggregate" -- exactly like rice.

    Interesting cultural note that italians think this way of grapes...


    Ok, but why does È translate to "They are?" Isn't it "Loro sono?"


    "uva" is always singular. In Italian, "grapes" are a mass noun--specifically, a granular aggregate, like "rice". In English, we always say "the rice" (not "the rices") and if you want to talk about an individual grain, it requires a qualifying noun like grain, morcel, etc. The English translation should be plural in that sense, since we DO use the plural in English--though I share the frustation at DuoLindo's forceful interpretation of "correct".

    Think of it grammatically in italian like rice: È l'uva (singular the way we say "it is the rice") bu since we have a plural word for grapes, "They are the grapes".

    And I agree, it's a weird sentence to say! Not very natural. And the "correct" checker is way too strict.


    The article tells whether we are talking about one grape or more. "È l'uva" vs "Sono l'uva." In this case the correct answer is singular.


    "It's the grapes," the supposed answer, is not a grammatical sentence in English. It ought to be "They're the grapes."


    There is not different between plural and singular, but 'the grape' answer isnr count like correct. Only 'the grapes'


    Ok can accept that l'uva is grapes, but why is it not "sono l'uva"?


    Probably because that's how Italian treats mass nouns. Grammatically, they are treated as singular, but in meaning they are plural.

    I'm not an Italian, and I'm still learning, but this seems plausible. If anyone can elaborate, please do.


    The fact that l'uva is used to mean the grapes is fine, but the sentence is also correct in the singular -- for example, is that the olive or the grape? It's the grape. Duo marks this translation incorrect in the singular, and Duo is wrong.


    That is if uva could mean a single grape, which it doesn't. The olive = l'oliva, the grape = l'acino d'uva / il chicco d'uva.


    My example may be bad. My point is not. How would you translate "Io quell'uva non la mangerei"? Or "Sai, stare là sotto sarebbe come calpestare l'uva." Or, more directly, "È l'uva di cui ti parlavo." The Reverso dictionary translates each of these examples in the singular. The singular "grape" is also used in English to convey the plural (as it is in Italian). So, for example, were one to ask "What makes this wine so delicious?" A perfectly good answer would be "It's the grape." Consider:


    Hm, going by dictionaries I'd argue that the article you linked is about the vine, e.g. Merriam-Webster meaning 2, while the Oxford dictionary interprets it as an informal reference to wine. The proper name for that in Italian would be vitigno (= grapevine variety), but uva can be used in its countable meaning (grape variety). All your examples aren't about a single grape nor grape variety, so I would still translate them with 'grapes'.


    You haven't given me your English translations of the Reverso examples, i.e., Italian uses of "uva" for which the singular in English is appropriate. I'd like to see those.

    I think it's relevant to note that this is not a discussion of what one might say in a given circumstance (in which case the Duo example -- an odd sentence in English except in the contexts I offered -- would be out of place), but of how one would, should, could translate the sentence Duo gave. And whatever Duo's intent, the rejection of the singular in this example reveals a gap in English fluency.

    From my reading, it seems evident that in Italian, "l'uva" can be used naturally (as it is in the article I shared in English, or here https://vinepair.com/wine-101/merlot/) to refer to the grapevine variety, your dictionary reference notwithstanding. As, for example, it is in this sentence from an Italian website: "L’uva serpe, da cui si ricava il vino Cecubo ha la caratteristica di tramutarsi in un vino corposo, rosso, intenso, con una nota amara e dolce insieme . . . " http://www.cittadiamyclae.it/luva-serpe-ed-il-vino-cecubo/ or in this: "L'uso più frequente dell'uva Merlot è nella composizione dei vini assemblati, miscelato ad altre uve riesce sempre a fare notare il suo carattere e il suo contributo." http://www.diwinetaste.com/dwt/it2004033.php or in this : "L'uva Regina è tra le più note e richieste uve da tavola italiane, esportate anche all'estero in due varietà principali." https://www.olioevino.org/uva-e-olive/uva/uva-pizzutella.asp

    In each of these cases, "the grape" is the appropriate translation. I cannot imagine that any native English speaker would translate any of these (or the Reverso examples) in the plural.

    I would note, too, that the reference to the olive and the grape (my original example) is a culinary one -- as reflected in my last referenced site. This name -- as I'm sure you'll agree -- does not mean or imply either noun in its literal countable usage, but still we would put both in the singular.


    Oh, as I said I would translate all those reverso sentences you mentioned with the plural grapes, and one of them, "È l'uva di cui ti parlavo" is as ambiguous as this sentence: but the plural is perfectly fine to me. Then again I'm not a native English speaker. I don't understand your last sentence to be honest: how does a culinary meaning change anything? That's not how it works in Italian, for sure, and in Italian it is in its countable usage, hence "uve da tavola" (plural).

    To make myself clear: "uva" is uncountable like water and refers to the berries (grapes), "uve" or "un'uva" are countable and refer to grape varieties. "L'uva" could be either depending on context, but it requires a specification: "compro l'uva" -> I buy grapes, "compro l'uva da tavola" -> I buy table grapes (possibly table grape, but the dictionaries don't agree), "questo vino è fatto con l'uva Merlot" ("this wine is made with Merlot grape" should be fine, but so is Merlot grapes to me).


    I should have been clearer regarding my culinary comment. There are blogs and pages and restaurants called "The Olive and The Grape" -- mostly, I think, about Italian cooking. The singular forms are used for both nouns -- olive, grape, but the suggestion is for things made from the items in the plural, mostly olive oil and wine.


    Thank you for this discussion. I have no problem necessarily with the translation into the plural -- my issue is that since a singular equivalent is acceptable to a fluent speaker of the target language, it should also be acceptable to Duo. [Also, I think it would be beneficial were Duo to include the count-singular form for greater clarity.]


    Why isn't it "it is a grape"?


    I think the answer is totally wrong.


    e = it is not they are


    shouldn't it be "sono l'uva" for "they" are grapes, to determine the plural versus the singular?


    I still don't get it!! Having got the answer wrong by putting 'it's the grape', the answer DL gave was 'it's the grapes' but coming into the discussion, the answer then given by DL at the beginning of the thread is 'THEY are the grapes'! WHAT?!!


    Thanks for the clarification! I was about to send my first comment on an error in this course. But now I know better ☺️


    The word "uva" is always singular, though the meaning is closer to the plural "grapes" in English. In Italian, "grapes" are a mass noun--specifically, a granular aggregate, like "rice". In English, we always say "it is the rice" "pass me the rice" "I like rice" etc. and talking about an individual grain requires a qualifying noun like grain, morcel, etc. Italian does the same: you MUST use a qualifying noun to talk about one grape (cocchi, etc.) Thus the translation is correct as plural in that sense... though I share the frustration at DuoLingo's over-zealous interpretation of "correct" with articles etc.

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