Italian Language/conversation


QUESTION: Dear Maria,

My question is about Gabriella’s response to Piero in the following dialogue:

Piero:  Va bene.  Aereo.  Ma a una condizione.
Ok.  Plane.  But on one condition.

Gabriella. Quale?
Which one?

Can you please tell me if it would also be acceptable for Gabriella to use any of the following responses:

Quale č?  (Which is?)

E, quella č  (And, that is)

Che cosa č quella?  (What’s that?)

Che cosa č la condizione?  (What’s the condition?)

Che cosa condizione?  (What condition?)

I really appreciate your help with this question.  Thank you.



ANSWER: Dear Rich,

actually, apart from Gabriella’s response to Piero, i.e. “Quale?”, you could also say  “Qual č?” or “A quale condizione?”, while I have to tell you that the other responses that you have listed are absolutely wrong in Italian.

Kindest regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,  

Thank you very much for your help with this question.

Can you please help me to understand why it is not correct to translate these commonly used English expressions into Italian as possible responses to Piero.  

I understand that these expressions are wrong in Italian, and I very much appreciate your telling me so.  

I am trying to understand why I can’t translate and use these common English expressions in Italian.  

Once again, thank you for all of your help and patience with my questions.



Dear Rich,

as I’ve already said, in Italian  Gabriella’s responses to Piero in the dialogue that you have quoted can be “Quale?”, “Qual č?”  or “A quale condizione?”, while “E quella č ?”, “Che cosa č quella?”, “Che cosa č la condizione? “ and “Che cosa condizione?  “ are absolutely wrong, though in English you can say :” And, that is?”, “What’s that?”, “What’s the condition?” and finally “What condition?”.

Please note that :

-”And, that is?” corresponds to “Cioé?”, not to :“E, quella č ?”
-“What’s that?” corresponds to “Qual č?”, not to:“Che cosa č quella?”
-“What’s the condition?” corresponds to “Quale č la condizione?” , not to: “Che cosa č la condizione? “
-“What condition?” corresponds to “Quale condizione?”, not to: “Che cosa condizione? “

In short, you can’t translate and use these common English expressions in Italian simply because every language has its peculiarities, as I have often told you, so that what is correct in English cannot be correct in Italian and vice versa.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,


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


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I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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