I'm just muddling through this course too, but if I'm understanding things correctly, then il is used for masculine nouns that begin with a consonant, (il ragazzo)and l' is used for masculine nouns that begin with a vowel. (l'uomo) Can somebody more experienced chime in on this?
I am a experienced spanish speaker. I know that you are correct, ending with an 'a' makes it a feminine word. 'o' makes it a masculine word. Italian and spanish are very similar in many ways actually.
From my understanding, for this is my first day on the Italian course, you are correct in both scenarios, but ('l) can also be used for Feminine nouns, too. In fact, ('l) is your way of saying "The" when the noun in the phrase that you're adressing, no matter Feminine or Masculine, begins with a vowel. Then again, this is my first time learning Italien, so I'm not too sure.
Its easy. in french as the same of italian exist one thing called liasion. The liasion is when the next word that you will use starts with a vowel then you use l' instead of "il" or "la"
We have a similar convention in English. The singular article "an" is used instead of the article "a" when it comes before a word that starts with a vowel as in the following examples: He has a dog, a cat, and a bird. They have an elephant, an ostrich, and an octopus.
"An" is even used in cases where the word sounds like it starts with a vowel (instances with a "silent" consonant at the beginning of a word): We live in a house. (the "h" is not silent, use the article "a") Give me an honest answer. (silent "h" use the article "an") We talked for an hour. (silent "h" use "an")
If you want to know when to use "il, l', la, gli" etc. Go to this link it's VERY helpful:
I only know that l is mostly used in l 'uomo. The other is used in la donna.
If you can see the other comments on this page, I have posted up a chart that illustrates when to use which form.
Short of an extended history of the evolution of a language, the answer to any "why is it this way" question is always "because it just is."
The best answer doesn't really address the question as it's asked, it just helps you to remember what the rules are.
In Italian, if a noun ends with "o" when it's singular and "i" when it's plural, then it's probably masculine. If it starts with a vowel, then singular "the" is
l' and plural "the" is
gli. If it starts with an "impure s" (which is to say, "z" or "s" as part of a consonant cluster") then singular "the" is
lo and plural "the" is
gli. If it starts with any other consonant (including "s + vowel") then singular "the" is
il and plural "the" is
If a noun ends with "a" when it's singular and "e" when it's plural, then it's probably feminine. Singular "the" is
la and plural "the" is
If a noun ends with "e" when it's singular, then you just have to memorize whether it's masculine or feminine.
I heartily endorse taking notes. It reinforces the lesson, it's something to review, and with enough study you will remember it ... which is the point of learning all this.
i will say it simply. Mela is feminine because it ends with a. Mela can't be trasformed in mascoline because it would be melo, and melo is the tree that produce apples. A lot of mascoline words finishes with o or i. So La is feminine and Il is Mascoline and Lo too
In other words, nouns do not change genders. If there are two nouns that are the same except for their gender, it is guaranteed that there is some difference in meaning between the two.
I put "melo" instead of "mela" and it told me not to confuse the two. However, they both mean "apple" in Italian. Can anyone tell me what's wrong or if I missed something?
Thank you! I have to write that down. I'm sure I'll get confused in the future, too. :)
Its trying to teach you the right way to say it. :P The Averge teacher status
for "il ragazzo mangia la mela" i keep saying it but it keeps saying i'm wrong. Anyway i can get an indication of what i'm doing wrong?
It's speech recognition software. There's no guarantee that the problem wasn't you at all but rather your microphone or your internet connection.
Probably because it is one of the first nouns we learned in English as children. It's one of the first words we learn in English (at least in books or in school) because it is at the beginning of the English alphabet.
Also, apple is pretty widely distributed throughout the world, so it is a safe choice for a noun, unlike gooseberries or lychee fruit, for example. :-)
My pronounciation must be total crap because it always always ALWAYS tells me I'm wrong
Speech recognition software is not a perfect technology. I've disabled the speaking lessons because I got tired of it thinking I said something utterly unlike what I actually said.
I made it listen to Duolingo's own reading of the phrase and it still got it wrong quite a few times before randomly getting it right.
And sometimes (at least in the Spanish section), I just have it listen to the dialog of whatever random (English) TV show I happen to be watching, and it'll get it right first try.
I think to english talking people is very difficult to know when use la and il, as lo and la in spanish, because english does not differ genre in article the!
People are asking "why is Apple feminine?" The problem is that you are thinking of the word in English when in fact you should be thinking of the word in İtalian. Apple mat not sound feminine to you (to me it does anyway) but MELA definitely sounds feminine. Generally words ending in "a" will be feminine, for example.
Definite: particular, specific. "the" is the definite article because it specifies which particular thing you're talking about.
Indefinite: not particular or specific. "a/an" is the indefinite article because it doesn't matter which particular thing, any will do.
I saw a large dog today. (I'm assuming there are multiple large dogs in the world. I saw one of them, but I haven't gotten around to saying which one.)
I saw the large dog today. (Either there's only one large dog in the world, or I already mentioned it and now I'm referring back to it.)
Are you the president? (If you're in the USA, this can only refer to the current head of state.)
I am a president. (It's a title that can apply to many different positions. I'm the head of a company, but not the leader of a nation.)
It can be either. It's a contraction of
lo, which is masculine, and a contraction of
la, which is feminine.
l' comes before any vowel, basically. You'll have to know whether the noun is masculine or feminine.
Strictly speaking, it's both. Which it is depends on the factors I described above. But in practice, the difference between "it's both" and "it's neither" is virtually non-existent. :-P
Thank you! :) I was getting them wrong because I thought it was a feminine word haha
Yes, this helps very much. The rules for those articles are so incredibly specific! I suppose it will come with practice. Thank you very much!
Apple, not apply. An apple is a fruit. Apply is a verb.
Also, "apple" is pronounced "AE p'l" and "apply" is pronounced "uh PLAI".
I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around this. I wrote A boy is eating an apple. The boy eats the apple just sounds weird!
"a boy" vs "the boy"
When we say "a boy", we are not specifying any particular boy. It could be any random boy at all.
When we say "the boy", we are referring to a previously specified boy.
Many languages do the same thing. "Un ragazzo" is "a boy" and "il ragazzo" is "the boy". Both are perfectly grammatical, but the meaning is different.
In the listening exercise the follow message appeared to me:"You have answered the wrong word" and the wright answer acording with that was "The guy eats the apple" being that it said "Il ragazzo" and this means the boy, if it was my mistake please correct me but if it is really a mistake please correct it the fastest as possible.
Technically, ragazzo can mean "guy" in some contexts. If you are talking about a young child, use bambino.
Could you PLEASE use another fruit besides an apple. How boring and not education after, say, ten sentences.
I'm getting confused. What's the diferrence between 'il' and 'la'? It both means 'the', right?
Yes, but since Italian has grammatical gender, you need to use the right form of "the", and there are other rules and different forms depending on how the next word begins. It's a little bit like "a" vs "an" in English, only more complicated.
Il ragazzo mangia la mela/ He eats the apple
Il-The (said by a male)
La-The (said by a female)
La ragazza mangia la mela/ She eats the apple
La-The (said by a female)
La-The (said by a female)
Broken down for both the male and female version
I hope it helps :)
For the most part (because no natural languages are perfectly regular) you can tell the grammatical gender of a noun in Italian by how the word ends:
If a word ends in -o in the singular and -i in the plural, it is masculine.
If a word ends in -a in the singular and -e in the plural, it is feminine.
Some irregular nouns end in -e in the singular and -i in the plural. You just need to memorize whether they are masculine or feminine. Also, there are some masculine words that end in -ma. These tend to derive from non-Italian sources.
You can also tell from the article that comes right before it:
What do you mean "alphabetic"? It uses the same base alphabet as Spanish, Portuguese, German, and English.
If you mean phonetic, yes. Each letter makes one sound (except for c, g, gn etc.).
I have studied French and these words are kind of pronounced the same please correct me if I am wrong
Well, French and Italian are sister languages, both having developed from Latin. It stands to reason that they would have a lot of cognates. But I wouldn't say that many words are pronounced the same, just that they share the same roots and look very similar on paper.
Question: We are eating dinner and my daughter is distracted and I want to tell her to eat her food. Should I use "Mangi" or "Mangia" when telling her to eat?
The second person singular imperative of "to eat" is "mangia".
I wrote "the boy eats the apple" but it corrected me saying it should be "the boy is eating the apple" which bugs my mind. Continuous tense wasn't introduced before
I love using the microphone because its heard to say some of the words but it is easy when the app tells you if your saying the words are right or not
Verbs are not simply singular or plural. They're also 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person. They have to conjugate to the subject of the sentence. "Il ragazzo" is 3rd person singular.
PLEASE NOTE--GENDER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW VERBS CONJUGATE. "Il ragazzo" and "la ragazza" take the exact same verb forms.
I am confused, why can't I translate this as the boy eats an apple (it is grammatically correct), but duolingo wants that I should translate this word by word - the boy eats THE apple
Just because something is grammatically sound, that does not make it an appropriate translation. "I am sitting at my desk" is grammatically sound, but it's a terrible translation of "il ragazzo mangia la mela".
Languages that have the definite and indefinite article tend to make the same distinctions between them. "An apple" is any old arbitrary apple. "The apple" is a particular apple that was previously specified.
Why is mangio, and mangia used for like: IL ragazzo mangia la mela. And IL ragazzo mangio una mela?
What is the difference between "the boy eats an apple" (correct) and "the boy is eating an apple" (incorrect)?
They should be equally valid. Next time, flag it and report "My answer should have been accepted."
What is the difference between "the boy eats an apple" (correct) and "the boy is eating an apple" (incorrect)
Both should be valid. If you typed it in, flag it and report "My answer should have been accepted." If it was multiple choice, you ought to have selected all of the valid answers, not just one of them, as the instructions on the page specify.
Also, be careful about THE vs AN. The prompt is THE/LA, not AN/UNA.