14.5.8 exercise 8: Asking for a noun or an idea

It seems that in no language, concerning the use of pronouns, a distinction is made between a noun and an idea. That's not the case in English nor in Italian. (At least in the case of the interrogative pronouns. In the case of the relative pronouns, there is a difference.)

a) What are you eating?
  b) What did you do yesterday?

In case a) the response is a simple noun (apple, bar of chocolate, yoghurt). In the case of b) the response is an idea, an amount of words (I went swimming; I cleaned the appartement etc.). Later we will see that in the case of relative pronouns it is necessary to understand the difference between a simple noun and an idea, but the relative pronouns are an exception. Decide whether in the following sentences "che cosa", "cosa" refers to a noun or to an idea.

idea = SZ
noun = Sub.

  Decide whether the answer is a noun or an idea   id. nou.     
  Che cosa hai fatto oggi? (Sono andato in piscina.)
What have you done today? (I have gone swimming.)
  Cosa cerchi ? (una sedia)
  What are you looking for? (A chair)
  Di che cosa state parlando? (di Maria)
  What are you talking about? (About Maria)
  Che cosa vedi? (una città)
  What are you seeing? (a town)
  Cosa volete? (qualcosa da mangiare)
  What do you want? (Something to eat)

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