Italian Language/use of "cosa"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the noun “cosa”  (thing).

I have found an entry in my dictionary where the singular noun “cosa” is used in the following sentences - “La cosa non `e chiara” (things are not clear)  and “Ti voglio spiegare la cosa”  (Let me explain things to you).  In these sentences the dictionary has translated the singular noun “cosa” as the plural English word “things”.

But, I have also seen “cose” used to express the  plural noun “things” as in:  “Sono cose che succedono”  (these things happen).

Can you please tell me if these dictionary translations are correct.

I am wondering if “cosa” in these sentences should literally have been translated  as the English singular noun -“thing”, but has  instead been translate as the plural word “things” just to make the sentence sound better in English.  

If this is true - could the sentences also have been written using the plural noun  “cose” as in:  Le cose non sono chiare” (things are not clear)  and “Ti voglio spiegare le cose”  (Let me explain things to you).

Thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

it is so: the noun “cosa” in the sentences that you mention  should literally have been translated  as the English singular noun -“thing”, but has  instead been translate as the plural word “things” just to make the sentence sound better in English.
 
Therefore those  sentences could also have been written using the plural noun “cose” as in: "Le cose non sono chiare” (things are not clear)  and “Ti voglio spiegare le cose” (Let me explain things to you).

In short, it is correct that your  dictionary has translated the singular noun “cosa” as the plural English word “things”.

All the best,

Maria

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.