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Italian Language/use of: “perchè contrapposto”

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,  

Would you please help me to understand the use of “perchè contrapposto” in the following sentence:  

Tuttavia devo precisare che spesso usiamo il singolare “montagna” anche in senso generale, perché contrapposto al mare o alla campagna.  
(I have however to point out that we often use the singular form in a general sense, as opposite to the sea or to the country)

Can you please tell me if the word “perchè” is being used as an adverb (equivalent to the English adverb “as”) to modify the adjective “contrapposto”  (equivalent to the English adjective “opposite”)?   

Or, is “perchè” used in some other fashion – maybe as a conjunction or preposition meaning “as” with “contrapposto” being used as a noun meaning “opposite”.

Can you also please tell me if  “perchè” is  often used in Italian to mean “as” and if “contrapposto” can be used in Italian as either  an adjective or as a  noun to mean “opposite”.

Thank you very, very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

In the sentence “Tuttavia devo precisare che spesso usiamo il singolare “montagna” anche in senso generale, perché contrapposto al mare o alla campagna” (= I have however to point out that we often use the singular form “montagna” in a general sense, as opposite to the sea or to the country) the word “perché” is being used NOT as an adverb to modify the adjective “contrapposto”, but as a CONJUNCTION that introduces a causal clause  whose auxiliary verb  “è“ has been omitted, so that we have “perché contrapposto” instead of “perché è contrapposto” that corresponds to “as/because/for/since  it is opposite to“.


As for “contrapposto”, it can be used in Italian as either  an adjective like in e.g. “teorie contrapposte” (opposing theories) and “pareri contrapposti” (opposite views)  or as a  past participle of the verb “contrapporre”, just like in “perché  è contrapposto al mare....”.

Hope this is clear enough.
Best regards,
Maria


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you very much for your help with this question.  I hope that you will not mind this follow-up question

I am trying to understand why “essere” is used as the auxiliary verb (instead of “avere”) in “perchè è contrapposto”.  Is this because the past participle “contrapposto” comes from the reflexive verb “contrapporsi”?  If ‘yes”, can you please explain why a pronominal particle is not included as in -  “perchè si è contrapposto”

Can you also please explain why the auxiliary verb “è” can be left out as in -  “perchè contrapposto”

Thank you so very much for your help and patience with my many questions.  I am having a very difficult time understanding.

Very Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the verb  “essere” is used as the auxiliary verb in “perchè è contrapposto” because “essere” is just the auxiliary verb of the passive form “è contrapposto”  which comes from the transitive active  verb “contrapporre”, not from its reflexive form “contrapporsi”.   

Therefore we say  correctly “perché è contrapposto”, not “perchè si è contrapposto”.

See also:

-“La sua teoria fu erroneamente contrapposta alla mia”,  where  “fu contrapposta” is the “passato remoto passivo ”, i.e. the past tense, passive voice, of the transitive active  verb “contrapporre”.

-“La sua teoria è stata erroneamente contrapposta alla mia”, where  “ è stata  contrapposta” is the “passato prossimo passivo ”, i.e. the past tense, passive voice, of the transitive active  verb “contrapporre”.

-“Molti hanno contrapposto la sua teoria alla mia”, where “hanno contrapposto” is the “passato prossimo attivo ”, i.e. the past tense, active voice, of the transitive active  verb “contrapporre”.

-“Talvolta ci sono teorie che si contrappongono”, where “si contrappongono” is the  present indicative of the reflexive active verb  “contrapporsi”.

-“Ci siamo spesso contrapposti nell’enunciazione delle nostre idee”, where  “ci siamo contrapposti” is the “passato prossimo attivo ”, i.e. the past tense, active voice, of  the reflexive active verb  “contrapporsi”.

To conclude,  the auxiliary verb “è” can be left out as in “perchè contrapposto”,for it can  be easily understood, without changing the sense of the sentence.

Hope this can help you.Feel free however to ask me again.

Best regards,
Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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