Italian Language/Tu or Lei?


Hi Paolin:

I asked someone to give my regards to a woman I knew.

He said " si, gliela saluto".

Does the "la" refer to the woman or to me (using the form
Lei instead of tu?

thanks & regards


Hello Joe,

in this case, in the expression "gliela saluto", "la" refers to the woman. The form used is the polite "lei" form, instead of "tu". Here's the detailed analysis:
gli-(e)-la saluto  means literally [I]will greet her for you;
"her" is expressed with "la" and is the same either in the "lei" or in the "tu" form, because it's not referred to the direct interlocutor, but to a third person;
"for you" is expressed with "gli"; it is referred to the direct interlocutor, in the polite "lei" form.
In the informal "tu" speech, the same expression would be meant with "te-":
"te la saluto".
I hope this helps, don't worry to ask again if I let something unclear. Thank you for your question, good bye,


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I read and correct your italian texts, either translations or written compositions. I read or listen to your oral compositions, readings and speechs and help you improve your pronunciation and style. I read and correct also your advertising short and medium texts. I answer questions about Italian language, slang, style, punctuation. I don't answer about dialects and specific local slang.


I'm mother tongue; I graduated at Classic Lyceum (100/100), studying classic Italian language and classic Latin and Greek. The 5 years long daily exercise in translation from ancient Latin and Greek to modern Italian taught me to appreciate a correct italian translation and/or text composition. I graduated at University in Law studies and Jurisprudence, learning to appreciate deep differences between a strictly specific and technical language and other styles. I'm currently PhD candidate in Philosophy of Law. I read fiction, classic novels, philosophical books and papers, legal books and papers.

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Italian mother tongue; diploma at Liceo Classico (100/100; year 2001); Laurea at University (110/110 cum laude; year 2008); PhD in Law: Philosophy of Law and Sociology of Law

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