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  5. "Il ragazzo mangia la mela."

"Il ragazzo mangia la mela."

Translation:The boy eats the apple.

December 28, 2012

116 Comments


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

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


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?


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

Excellent you got it l'uomo il ragazzo


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

Tnx this helped me alot i failed this course 5 times


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

omg so have i. i always get comfused with it


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"


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")


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


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

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


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. :-)


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

I don't know. it's also a basic food we learn in English too


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?


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

melo is an apple tree, mela is an apple


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

Really? So, what is Meli?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

mela = apple
mele = apples
melo = apple tree
meli = apple trees


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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.


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

Confused about the words definte and indefinite


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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.)


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

So is l' masculine or feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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


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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

"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.


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

How do u know if something is masculine nouns or feminin


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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:


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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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

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


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

Mangia il tuo cibo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmedWaly362

I want to know the difference between mangia-mangi


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

Il was not an option


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2516

The next time something like that happens, take a screen shot and submit a bug report:
https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin873821

The boy eats the apple: il ragazzo mangiA la mela.... but the girl eats the apple: il ragazzo mangiO la mela.... i am confused, why is it feminine with the boy and masculine with the girl and the apple is always feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2516

No, that's not how it works. Verbs don't have gender agreement, only adjectives. And nouns don't change to agree with other nouns. "La mela" will always be feminine, no matter who is eating it. Your brother does not become your sister just because you are female. Also, the verb only conjugates to the subject. Nothing else matters.

Regular verbs follow a pattern:

https://i.imgur.com/8atYu1Y.png

So both "il ragazzo" and "la ragazza" use "mangia", and "io" uses "mangio" no matter whether the speaker is male or female.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/orhun519722

Duolingo didn't accept my answer "the boy eats apple". Is there really a significant difference there? I mean should I always understand one determined object when article is used? Because I've seen some exceptions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

The boy eats apples, plural.
The boy eats an apple, singular.

IF it's being used as though it were an adjective, then the article can be left off.

The girl eats blueberry pie, the boy eats apple [pie].

Why "apple" needs the indefinite article but "pie" does not, I don't know. Perhaps because "apple" is considered a count noun and "pie" can be treated as a mass noun.


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
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  • 2516

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndjelaL15

apple begins with a, and with apple (like with other words that begin with o or a) always stand an not the.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2516

When you use the indefinite article, it's an before words that start with a vowel sound and it's a before words that start with a consonant sound.

When you use the definite article, it's always the. There is no other option.

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