# Persino i numeri sono solo oggetti astratti

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by elenuccik, Jan 8, 2009.

1. ### elenuccikNew Member

Italian
Devo scrivere una frase del genere:

"Persino i numeri sono solo oggetti astratti"

ma se scrivessi

"Even numbers are only abstract objects"

sembrerebbe che io stia parlando di numeri pari.

Scrivere

"even the numbers are only abstract objects" sarebbe incorretto, vero?

Quali altre soluzioni?

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2009
2. ### The curiousSenior Member

Paris
Italian - Italy
"Even the number are just abstract objects"

What do you say?

I thought also a translation like that:

"[...] are just some abstract objects" per dare l'idea del tipo: "Persino i numeri sono solo degli oggetti astratti"

Hope it helps.

3. ### TimLASenior Member

Los Angeles
English - US
Un problema interessante, e la soluzione dipende dal contesto.

Ti riporto esempi:

Though mathematics is said to be a concrete science, even numbers are abstract objects.

In this series of hieroglyphics, even the numbers are abstract objects.

C'è più contesto?

4. ### The curiousSenior Member

Paris
Italian - Italy
Thank you TimLA, but is my translation correct?

Why write "the numbers" would be wrong?

5. ### TimLASenior Member

Los Angeles
English - US
It this case, with the sentence standing alone, I wouldn't use "the".

But I could imagine in other situations where the "the" would be OK.

It's very contextual.

6. ### AlxmrphiSenior Member

Reykjavík, Ísland
UK English
When speaking of a general noun we usually ommit the definite article...

Cows smell
Presents are everywhere around xmas
When I see birds in the sky

As you introduced 'numbers' with ... 'even' .. in the perfino/persino way, it doesn't imply 'specific' numbers, it's a general thing, and this is why using the definite article is not good here.

7. ### The curiousSenior Member

Paris
Italian - Italy
Thank you Alex Murphy.
Yep I know, I just translated like that hoping to avoid the confusion with "numeri pari" .
Saying like that it's possible to get the idea?

8. ### AlxmrphiSenior Member

Reykjavík, Ísland
UK English
Ahh I see what you mean!

I didn't realise that when I first read it, it just depends on the stress, put the stress on 'numbers' when you say it you'll be fine, I didn't think of 'even numbers' the first time I read it, I think the mind knows that is not what it is about, so I don't think there will be much confusion!
After reading it again, I can see what you mean, maybe there might be.... I think the best way to resolve it is by using something like..

Some people even consider numbers to be.....

Or of course you can use the passive voice to avoid this:

Numbers are even considered to be abstract objects.

Or you can also replace 'even' with 'also'...

Numbers are also abstract objects...

Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
9. ### baldpateSenior Member

London
UK, English
Practically speaking, taken in a real context, there is unlikely to be much confusion. In Tim's first example, for instance ("Though mathematics is said to be a concrete science, even numbers are only abstract objects.") it would be a rather perverse reader who took this to mean "numeri pari" .

Alex's suggestion of the passive is good. Another might be to use the singular number to represent the class of all numbers : "Even number is only an abstraction"/"Even number is only an abstract concept".