Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar Nit question on "quale" + vowel

Nit question on "quale" + vowel

jrdevivo

In 5.10, there is a simple question as part of the vocab:  "Quale albergo?"

I would have thought it would had been "Qual'albergo"   because of the albergo starts with a vowel.  What the rules for worlds like quale, quello, etc when the next word begins with a vowel?   

Thanks,

Jay

drewster

Hi Jay,

Quale can be abbreviated to "qual" but it doesn't get an apostrophe (and I don't know why!). 

Cheers,
Drew

jrdevivo

Thanks buddy!

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Jay and Drew,

quello...
becomes quell' in front of vowels: quell'altro, quell'orso, quell'enunciato.

This is called elision (elisione) and it requires an apostrophe.

Quale and qual are independent words. The -e in quale is cut through apocope (troncamento), so there's no apostrophe involved.
It's either quale è or qual è, quale era or qual era.

Apocopes are also presents in words like buono/buon or grande/gran.

Its plural form, quali, gets the apostrophe because there's an elision involved: quali erano > qual'erano (although this is rare, normally you would use quali erano if no particular writing style is involved).

I hope this makes sense! It's a tricky question for natives too. Qual'è is a mistake, but it's still widely used. My high school Italian teacher once said that, if we really needed to put an apostrophe there, we might as well put five, as in qual'''''è. It eventually stuck that we had to put none because we would associate it with that funny writing.

Hope this helps!

Lucia

drewster

Better answer than mine!

jrdevivo

Very helpful - thanks again Lucia!  It seems behind every word, there is hiding another dozen grammar rules!

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