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The 'g' is not silent. It's just part of a specific sound that in Italian is represented by 'gl' (please don't make it sound like 'l'. It's not even like the 'll' in Spanish).
See here for help with the pronunciations: http://www.italianlanguageguide.com/pronunciation/consonants/special-clusters.asp
It's because of the articles "il", "lo", etc. If they weren't there, and if it were simply I; ragazzo mangia aglio", it would be "The boy eats garlic". "Il" and "lo" act here almost act as demonstratives. The boy eats the garlic, meaning he eats that garlic right there, or this garlic, or garlic he's holding in his hand. But I would agree that, sans context, it's very clunky. Ah well, the troubles of learning a new language! I only know the above from several years of Ancient Latin and Attic Greek. I'm only in Level 3 of Italian!!
Hey, y'all, these are basic, FREE lessons in a foreign language! It's a nice mix of learning grammar and usage, while picking up the translations and sentence structure along the way...of course it's a little confusing! If it were so easy, we could all just go to Italy and pick up the language on a week or so...have been to foreign countries, so just keep working at it. These lessons are good!
I'm often surprised by the comments people have here. Considering the word "taglio" is not in the lesson and the fact that lessons basically repeat everything in 2-3 questions with different formats, why would this be expected? I understand the point is too learn to hear it but I think some test-taking intuition should be taken into account when making decisions.
It is a fact that the Romans invaded Britain and that happened before the Barbarians. When the Celts got the Latin influence, words in the English Language started getting regular conjugations, as in the "ed" for past tenses. The Barbarians messed it up again, and so it remains until today. But there is a lot of Latin in the English language as the basic pillars of the language.
Every noun has only one matching article; articles are not interchangeable.
For aglio (masculine noun starting with a vowel), the article is l'. This form is kept even when the article is in a compound form with f.ex. a, di, da, in, su... -> all'aglio, dell'aglio, dall'aglio, nell'aglio, sull'aglio...