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  5. "The cats eat fish."

"The cats eat fish."

Translation:I gatti mangiano il pesce.

December 30, 2012

71 Comments


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

wow, I just realized that this noun could be either male or female. Does anyone know if the words for other animals behave the same way?

BTW these discussions are great for getting extra help, love duolingo !


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

how can both i gatti and le gatte be correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandeepa2

Cat (singular) is "il gatto" and Cats (plural) are "i gatti" . Now we can refer to the female cat (in singular) as "la gatta" and female cats (plural) becomes "Le gatte"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monica998823

How could I just guess? Without a previous explanation?


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

It depends on if the cats are male or female. The English doesn't specify.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maria929998

Therefore when I used the feminine plural I should have been correct??????


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

Well, it said I 'have a typo' for the masculine plural, so I'd say they want singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

That's with regard to "fish". pesce/pesci is always masculine.

The other person was asking about "the cats", because that can be masculine or feminine depending on the sex of the cat.


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

It's a common concept in all Romance languages.


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

Why is il here? Is that "the fish"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Italian uses articles in the reverse way that English does. We use the definite article for a specific reference and omit it for the general case. Italian uses the definite article for the general case and omits it for a specific reference. That means that more often than not, if you use the article in English, leave it out of the Italian translation, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jessica2296

ok.. these comments are great to get more info on the subject..

Le gatte, because it is plural for female cats..

Why they used "il" pesce it is "The" fish or "a" fish? and not "i" pesci... many fish or just "pesce" they eat fish in general

So all cats are eating one fish?


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

Why is i pesci marked as a typo? I guarantee multiple cats are eating more than one fish, and with fish being both singular and plural in English both should be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Perhaps because just as in English, "fish" as a food is a non-count mass noun in Italian, which means that the singular is the appropriate form.


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

Sorry, grammar was never my strong suit. If it’s a 'non-mass', then why is there a plural form?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

For distinguishing the different types.

A lot of fish ~ fish in general

A lot of fishes ~ different kinds of fish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Also, perhaps in Italian they make the distinction between the individual animals (countable) and food (non-countable). Like potatoes vs mashed potatoes.


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

So for example the translation for "vegans don't eat fish" would also use "il pesce"?


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

If there are 99 female cats and only one male, and still it is masculine form, so, it means that Italian and french languages have a big mustache !!!


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

Aliyan: Spanish, too.


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

Basically, all romantic languages default to the masculine when in a mixed group or the gender is unknown


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

Same goes for Slavic languages


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

Not for all of them. For example in Russian words like horse, dog, pig, bird, fish etc. have the feminine form as a main one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

Please, call these languages Roman languages. Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian originate from Latin spoken by the Romans. It has nothing to do with romance.


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

The word "romance" only refers to love because romance stories used to be written in Romance languages. The word initially referred to the language and later developed a secondary meaning.

"Roman languages" would refer to the languages spoken in Rome, which also has two meanings - the Roman Empire and the present-day city of Rome. BTW, French, Spanish, Italian etc. were not spoken in the Roman Empire.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

The Roman languages evolved from the "Vulgar Latin", the language spoken by soldiers, slaves, the descendants of the people of conquered lands in the Roman Empire, the Romanized people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

No, it is correct to call the Latin-derived languages Romance languages. The meaning relating to love and relationships came later. (It is, however, a mistake to call them "romantic" languages.)

https://www.etymonline.com/word/romance


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

It is the same thing for Spanish


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

It is the same also with Arabic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pqhf5kd

What if the cats are a mix of males and females


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

Then it would be "i gatti". Masculine form dominates.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yolanda20

I answered 'le pesci', ok, it's wrong i understood afterward. But why duo showed me the correct answer was'dei pesci' instead of 'i pesci'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shreya31

What is the difference between gatti and gatte? And with what do we use le?


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

Gatti is the masculine plural. Gatte is the feminine plural. Gatte is only used when speaking about a group of only female cats. Le is feminine plural and I is masculine plural. Le gatte and i gatti.


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

Why not Gli gatti?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Gli is the plural of lo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gita-ji

And 'lo' is not the article to use with 'gatto'. It uses 'il'. So the plural is 'i'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pete103011

Isn't il pesce singular? Il pesce would indicate that the cats are eating "the" fish not. Seems that fish is being used in the plural here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Fish come in various sizes. Multiple cats can eat one fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marc41177

If it were just one fish (no matter the size) then the English here would be incorrect - that would be "the cats eat a fish" or "the cats are eating a fish".

But fish without an article in English would suggest that the cats eat fish in general - fish is their diet. It unlikely that the cats eat one fish their whole lives.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

I eat pizza. Doesn't mean that's my daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, if it's not fresh out of the water and still flopping, if that fish was processed into fish-based cat food, then it would be the mass noun, which looks singular and takes no article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/april57

Why do i have to use the article "il" for this sentence and on others I DON't


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

Gatti or Gatte for Cats? Confused when do you use "I" and when do you use "e" for plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Generically, the plural is gatti. But if you know for a fact all of the cats are female, then the plural is gatte.


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

why isn't it "I pesce"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Pesce is one of those irregular nouns: il pesce, i pesci.

If it were regular, then "pesce" would indicate that it's feminine and it would be "le pesce".


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

Why do you use the inifinitive "il" before the nounc "pesce"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

An infinitive is the unconjugated/dictionary form of a verb, like "mangiare" -- "to eat".

"il" is one of the definite articles ("the" -- indefinite articles are "un/una", like "a/an").

Italian uses the definite article before the noun because that's just how Italian grammar works. Different language, different grammar rules.


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

In English you make no gender difference for cat, but in italian there is la gatta, il gatto and their plurals


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJP22

This is simply wrong. The Italian does not say "the fish" it says "fish"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Translation is not about one-to-one word swaps. Different languages say things differently. English and Italian have different grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacqui.myatt

It asks me to translate 'the cats eat fish' but wants 'i gatti mangiano il pesce' which implies only one fish, whereas the English sentence is more general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

English and Italian are different languages with different grammar and different ways of saying things. Whatever a particular construction might or might not imply in one language does not mean it implies the same thing in another language.


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

So i have forgotten why we use "i" instead of "gli" in this case.. help please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Rules for the definite article:


https://i.imgur.com/aJ7Qlgb.jpg

Rules for the indefinite article:

Masculine

https://i.imgur.com/ioiRcSS.png

Feminine

https://i.imgur.com/7WZMfoO.png


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

Wouldn't "I gatti mangiano pesci" be the correct translation? It doesn't say "the fish".


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

why isn't it plural for fish? ie i pesci


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

It doesn't say 'the fish' singular, it just says 'fish.' which would be plural. So 'i pesce' would be correct. Correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

If it were "The cats eat the fish", then it could go either way singular vs plural.

But it says "The cats eat fish", making "fish" a mass noun, not a discrete noun. And the general tendency among European languages is to treat mass nouns as grammatically singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ado125900

I have a Samsung 7. Is there a key that will put the correct accent over a word? I have tried and don't know how to do it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

Press and hold the letter and see what pops up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anivad1

I addressed this problem on my newer model Samsung by adding Italian to my keyboard. Maybe this will work for you too.

Go into SETTINGS. Choose GENERAL MANAGEMENT. Choose LANGUAGE INPUT.
Choose LANGUAGE. Choose ADD LANGUAGE. Scroll down to ITALIAN (or any other language you want to add to your keyboard).
Choose ITALIAN.

Your phone will now allow you type in Italian. SWIPE YOUR SPACEBAR TO THE LEFT and your keyboard will change to Italian. You can now type Italian words with Italian accent marks.

To change back to English, just swipe the spacebar to the right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brindis15

It says wrong but how could i know they were females???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2471

How was the question presented to you? If it was a dictation question, then it'll ding you for not transcribing exactly what it said. If it wanted to you type in your answer, are you sure you didn't make any typos or other errors? Both "i gatti mangiano il pesce" and "le gatte mangiano il pesce" are equally correct in the absence of any context to tell us whether all the cats are female or not. If it was a multiple choice question, please pay attention to the instructions at the top. It says to select all of the correct options. If you don't do this, it will ding you for failing to recognize a correct answer.

If you're positive you did nothing wrong, well, the app does glitch sometimes.

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