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lo sbaglio - plural

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Laydhee, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Laydhee New Member

    hong kong, cantonese
    Hello! Well, this is my first time learning Italian and I just love the language and culture a lot though there are so many things to consider before one can master it perfectly.

    Well, I was revising my italian textbook when a question striked me and I am left in a haze. Here it goes:

    The rule: to change a singular masculin noun to its plural form, one may change the definate article e.g. (lo) to gli , right? But what about if the noun goes by : lo sbaglio , then can one change it to "gli sbaglii"? This I have learnt from the book which said that masculin nouns ending in o will be changed to i. But in this case, can 2 ii in the example above still be valid?

    I will deeply appreciate if someone can sort this mess out for me.Thanks
     
  2. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Hi, Laydhee, welcome to the WRF!
    The plural of nouns that end with -io is -ii only when they have the 'i' tonic (pendio, pendii; fruscio, fruscii), not when the 'i' is atonic (cucchiaio, cucchiai; fastidio, fastidi).

    PS: please, remember to put the precise subject of your question in the subject line.
     
  3. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    What about the plural of "principio"? Nowadays it's spelt "princìpi", to distinguish from the plural of "principe", but in older books I've seen "principii".

    This is an exception; I don't want to confuse Laydhee!
     
  4. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Well, actually nowadays it is spelt principi too, without tonic accent, since context can clarify the meaning; it's the same case of arbitro/arbitrio (àrbitri/arbìtri). Then also there are words whose plural differs from other words just by/for(?) the open or closed sound of a vowel, like osservatore/ osservatorio (osservatóri/osservatòri); and words that have identical spelling and also similar meaning, like assassino/assassinio or omicida/omicidio (in this case it's recommendable to write double 'i' at the end, once circumflex accent).
     
  5. lapostiza Junior Member

    SAT
    Spanish/EEUU
    I was reading Laydee's question, and I am not sure I understand. What the difference between tonic and atonic nouns. Would some please explain?

    Grazie mille,

    Marta
     
  6. niklavjus Senior Member

    Italiano (Italia)
    In Italian there aren't tonic nouns, but tonic syllables, or better, wovels. Looking at the above examples:

    For the words ending in "ìo" with accentuated wovel "ì" like pendìo, fruscìo, oblìo the plural is formed with a double "i" (ii) at the ending: pendii, fruscii, oblii.

    For those ending in "io" without accentuated wovel "i" like sbàglio, cucchiàio and fastìdio, the plural is formed as common with a simple "i" at the ending: sbagli, cucchiai, fastidi.
     
  7. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    The difference is between accented/ stressed and unaccented/ unstressed) vowels (the 'i' in this case), not nouns: pendìo, fruscìo; cucchiàio, fastìdio. :)

    Oh, thanks, Nik..!
     
  8. beccamutt

    beccamutt Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    English - US
    "...just with/because of the open or closed sound...":)
     
  9. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Thank you very much, beccamut! (even if it took you almost a year and half...!) :);)
     
  10. fitter.happier

    fitter.happier Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian
    I hope you don't mind my correction!
    I'm quite sleepy at the moment so please refer to this for further clarification about even if/even though :D
     
  11. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Hmm... dopo ripetute letture della spiegazione, credo di aver capito la sottile differenza...! ;)
    Grazie.
     
  12. fitter.happier

    fitter.happier Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian
    Il problema sorge dal fatto che sia "even if" che "even though" si traducono con "anche se". Quando sei in dubbio, prova a trasformare "anche se" in "anche nel caso in cui". Se la frase continua ad avere senso, allora la traduzione inglese è sicuramente "even if".

    Ad esempio:

    Anche se avessi tempo non lo farei ---> Anche nel caso in cui avessi tempo :tick: non lo farei. ---> Even if I had time, I wouldn't do that.

    Anche se ci ho messo due ore, alla fine sono arrivato a casa ---> Anche nel caso in cui ci ho messo due ore :cross:, alla fine sono arrivato a casa. ---> Even though it took me two hours, I eventually made it home.
     
  13. beccamutt

    beccamutt Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    English - US
    Una differenza molto sottile, visto che anche come madrelingua non me ne sono accorta prima di leggere i seguenti commenti! :eek:
     
  14. anglomania1

    anglomania1 Senior Member

    Piacenza, Italy
    UK English
    The words have a different stress anyway, "principals" would be "principi" and "princes" would be "principi".
    Interesting about the older books, though, I've never seen that spelling before:)
    Anglo
     
  15. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Certainly they have a different stress, which is why the accent, if used, helps to distinguish the meaning.
    Principii is not so rare; another even older form uses a single "i" with a circumflex in the place of the "ii".
     
  16. anglomania1

    anglomania1 Senior Member

    Piacenza, Italy
    UK English
     
  17. Memimao Senior Member

    Busto Arsizio, Italy
    United Kingdom English
    Many years ago I was working in an insurance company which had even older insurance policies in its archives that covered against Incendij :)
     
  18. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Yes, it was another way to write the plural... :)
     

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