Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Errore numero ventuno - I pronomi

Pronomi diretti e indiretti

The wrong use of direct and indirect pronouns is by far one of the most common mistakes, usually due to the fact that it is difficult to know which verb requires direct or indirect pronouns. Things are complicated further by the fact that some verbs can take both. There is no easy way out. If you read or listen to lots of Italian, eventually the right pronoun will come to you automatically. In the meantime, the best thing to do is to look the verb up in a good verb book which shows the prepositions the verbs come with.

In a nutshell, if the verb is transitive, ie its structure doesn't entail a preposition, the pronoun will be direct. Classic example:

Mangio la mela
I'm eating the apple

I'm eating it
La mangio (pronome diretto)

If the verb is intransitive, its structure is characterised by a preposition:

Faccio un regalo a Carla
I'll give a present to Carla

I'll give a present to her
Le faccio un regalo (pronome indiretto)


Faccio un regalo a lei (pronome indiretto accentato)

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