Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

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Neurotip
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Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby Neurotip » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:36 pm

I'm trying to get my head around the ordering of Italian clitic pronouns when one of them is 'si/se'. I've come up with the following example - can someone tell me if I've got it right?
If you want to learn something, it's important to understand it.
Se si vuole imparare una cosa, è importante che la si capisca. (and not *se la capisca)

thank you!
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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby tarvos » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:30 pm

Honestly in that sentence, I'd leave the "la" out, and rephrase the thing, but that's just my terrible Italian intuition talking...

Also, this is the type of thing you use grammars for...
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Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby Neurotip » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:42 pm

tarvos wrote:Honestly in that sentence, I'd leave the "la" out, and rephrase the thing, but that's just my terrible Italian intuition talking...

Also, this is the type of thing you use grammars for...

Hi tarvos, thanks. Fair enough, it probably isn't the most natural way of putting it. I've been reading Steve Mitchell's essays on Italian grammar which I think does confirm what I'm saying. I just wanted to check I've got the right end of the stick :)
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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby tarvos » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:05 pm

I understand, but the way you phrased it the sentence doesn't make a lot of sense. "Capirsi" would be more like knowing your way around something, knowing about something, but here I'd just say "Se vuole imparare una cosa, é importante che la capisca molto bene". Capirsi is more for like knowing your way around computers (though I wouldn't know what preposition follows it).

That said I'm no Italian expert.
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I'm miss autonomy, miss nowhere
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Miss androgyny, miss don't care
What I've done to me

Preferred pronouns: feminine.

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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby tastyonions » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:49 pm

Italian sometimes uses formally "pronominal" verbs like French uses the pronoun "on" or English uses "one" or the generic "you." I think that's what is going on here, at least. Example:

https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2011/0 ... no/103948/
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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby dampingwire » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:13 pm

You have the order correct. Here's a suitable example from the web:
Che la si capisca, la si comprenda e la si condivida oppure no, la politica può essere considerata un’arte come quella dei suoni, delle parole o dell’agire di un pennello su una tela bianca.
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新完全マスター N2聴解 : 94 / 103新完全マスター N2読解 : 99 / 177
新完全マスター N2文法 : 197 / 197TY Comp. German : 0 / 389

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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby Neurotip » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:10 pm

dampingwire wrote:You have the order correct. Here's a suitable example from the web:
Che la si capisca, la si comprenda e la si condivida oppure no, la politica può essere considerata un’arte come quella dei suoni, delle parole o dell’agire di un pennello su una tela bianca.

Excellent, thanks dampingwire, yes that's what I meant (capire with impersonal si, not reflexive capirsi). Cheers!
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Re: Italian pronoun syntax: specific question

Postby garyb » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:29 pm

but here I'd just say "Se vuole imparare una cosa, é importante che la capisca molto bene".


That completely changes the meaning of the sentence from an impersonal generalisation to a statement about a specific person. The "you" in the original English version is the impersonal, equivalent to "If one wants to learn something..."; maybe you're mixing it up with the formal second-person "lei"? Informal Italian does often use the "tu" form in an impersonal way, much like in English, so "se vuoi imparare..." could be interpreted in this way, but that's beside the point of the OP's question about the more formal form with "si".

Thanks to dampingwire and tastyoninons for clearing it up after these unhelpful and misleading responses from someone whose claim of an "advanced" level, from what I've seen of their writing, is a massive exaggeration.
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