"Il ragazzo mangia la mela."

Translation:The boy eats the apple.

December 28, 2012

102 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nacaslina

I want to know what the difference between 'il' and l'

December 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dreamer71

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?

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justcents

Excellent you got it l'uomo il ragazzo

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LearnLy

Tnx this helped me alot i failed this course 5 times

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stickyclouds

omg so have i. i always get comfused with it

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annette622129

Thanks

June 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophiaSimp8

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.

November 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Except for all of the words ending in "e" that you have to memorize.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theomeek

Grazie!!!

December 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anthony484234

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.

July 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

This has been posted on this page a few times:
https://i.imgur.com/aJ7Qlgb.jpg

July 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erick.ayus

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"

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neodukduk

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")

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jessica.m.clark

That helps a lot.

March 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dovyuruk

I was about to point out the same! :)

May 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Minimorum

Correct!

August 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sparklygirl50

l' is for vowels and il isn't.

October 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kyra725213

Thx for simplifying

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlonEilat

If you want to know when to use "il, l', la, gli" etc. Go to this link it's VERY helpful:

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/815852/Il-lo-l-la-i-gli-le

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merzgzel

I only know that l is mostly used in l 'uomo. The other is used in la donna.

August 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

If you can see the other comments on this page, I have posted up a chart that illustrates when to use which form.

August 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheSaltySt

why is it "la mela" why is an "apple" feminine ? why not "il mela" ?

May 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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 i.

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 le.

If a noun ends with "e" when it's singular, then you just have to memorize whether it's masculine or feminine.

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caleb829123

I will never remeber this. Which is why people take notes.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claude174668

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

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mdav101

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?

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bianc4

melo is an apple tree, mela is an apple

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mdav101

Thank you! I have to write that down. I'm sure I'll get confused in the future, too. :)

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElsaMartin18

Thank you

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaaVocelli

Its trying to teach you the right way to say it. :P The Averge teacher status

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DemScotts

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?

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacklemire

Why is apple one of the first things you learn in any language on Duolingo?

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PugLove888

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. :-)

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BraidieJayde

My pronounciation must be total crap because it always always ALWAYS tells me I'm wrong

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/godprobe

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.

February 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/godprobe

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.

February 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FaustoOdil

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!

July 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bubble900577

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 ─░talian. 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.

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LearnLy

Confused about the words definte and indefinite

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.)

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LearnLy

thankyou helped me alot gave you a lingot

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riadawg

So is l' masculine or feminine?

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riadawg

So it's kind of just neither masculine nor feminine?

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riadawg

Thank you! :) I was getting them wrong because I thought it was a feminine word haha

December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColsonSapp0

I'm still confused as to when you would use "il" instead of "lo"?

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColsonSapp0

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!

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariamabel13

a boy eats an apply ?

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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".

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TihomiraAn

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!

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

"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.

September 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davi407175

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.

February 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Technically, ragazzo can mean "guy" in some contexts. If you are talking about a young child, use bambino.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrushka5

Could you PLEASE use another fruit besides an apple. How boring and not education after, say, ten sentences.

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Would you prefer them use the banana?

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cytisay

I'm getting confused. What's the diferrence between 'il' and 'la'? It both means 'the', right?

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarvis892105

Il ragazzo mangia la mela/ He eats the apple

Il-The (said by a male)

Ragazzo-Boy

Mangia-Eats (He/She/It)

La-The (said by a female)

Mela-Apple

La ragazza mangia la mela/ She eats the apple

La-The (said by a female)

Ragazza-Girl

Mangia-Eats (He/She/It)

La-The (said by a female)

Mela-Apple

Broken down for both the male and female version

I hope it helps :)

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kapil638748

Il ragazzo mangia la mela Why using eats not eat

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

I eat
you eat
he/she/it eats
we eat
you eat
they eat

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Io mangio
Tu mangi
Lui/lei mangia
Noi mangiamo
Voi mangiate
Loro mangiano

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophiaSimp8

I'm actually going to Italy! Thats why i'm taking this course.

November 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zhitian1

Apples & apple what is the difference?

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

Apples is plural. I have 2 apples.

Apple is singular. I have only 1 apple.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kris_1277

How do u know if something is masculine nouns or feminin

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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:

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

Good question here. Is Italian alphabetic like Spanish and Portuguese?

January 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

What do you mean "alphabetic"? It uses the same base alphabet as Spanish, Portuguese, German, and English.

January 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

If you mean phonetic, yes. Each letter makes one sound (except for c, g, gn etc.).

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dpeterle

I find using stereotypical Italian hand gestures very helpful in navigating tough pronunciations :D

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leia654251

I have studied French and these words are kind of pronounced the same please correct me if I am wrong

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nyckita

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?

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

The second person singular imperative of "to eat" is "mangia".

https://www.thoughtco.com/forming-the-imperative-in-italian-4092985

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Mangia il tuo cibo!

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carlos-lit

Great explanation, thanks.

April 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annabelle683385

I heard "il le ragazzo mangia la mela"witch makes no sence!

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/celeste553091

This thing is great

November 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dogukanlev

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

February 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterBech1

It is to avoid a clash between the two wowels the articles' and the noun's

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bethany48914

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

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesNettl4

How do you know when "eat" is plural?

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leanna317069

My autocorrect is throwing me under the bus

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WulfvonEuropa

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

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NotterNott

What's the difference between mangia, mangio, and mangi?

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bjrghildes1

Why is mangio, and mangia used for like: IL ragazzo mangia la mela. And IL ragazzo mangio una mela?

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neda721745

Why are they so hard to say

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

eel rah-gaht-soh mahn-jah lah may-lah

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenLefa1

What is the difference between "the boy eats an apple" (correct) and "the boy is eating an apple" (incorrect)?

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

They should be equally valid. Next time, flag it and report "My answer should have been accepted."

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenLefa1

What is the difference between "the boy eats an apple" (correct) and "the boy is eating an apple" (incorrect)

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2003

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.

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iSugar

sooooo much easier than Spanish lol. but I'm in the process of learning both, and I find myself doing the translations in spanish haha. i guess the lessons are working

June 23, 2019

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