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Dear Lauren,  

Would you please tell me if the following sentence is acceptable or not:

“Lei ci ha ditto sulla sua malattia.”
She told us about your illness.

Would you also please tell me if the following parsing is correct:

Lei  (subject)  =  she
ci  (direct object pronoun)  =  us
ha ditto  (verb)  =  told
su  (preposition)  =  about
la sua  (possessive adjective)  =  your
malattia  (noun)  =  illness

Thank you very much.



Hello Rich,

here's the Italian translation for the expression "She told us about your illness":
"Lei ci ha detto della tua malattia".
Literally, it should be translated "Ella ci ha detto della tua malattia", but it wouldn't sound fluent, especially in oral speech. By the way, keep in mind that it could be preferable in formal written composition.
Let's see now the sentence “Lei ci ha ditto sulla sua malattia.”. The only mistake here is the word "ditto": the right spelling is "detto".
To mean "about" you can use "sulla", but in this case it would sound better "della". That's just because of the verb "dire". You could use "informare" (to inform) and it would be "Lei ci ha informati sulla sua malattia".
It's not easy to learn how to use "di" or "su" to mean "about".
Finally, I notice that you translate "your" with "sua": I suppose, then, that you're meaning a formal speech, in which the polite "lei" form is used. The expression is therefore correct:

Lei ci ha detto sulla/della sua malattia .

You could use Ella ci ha detto della sua malattia as a totally formal expression, or Lei ci ha detto della tua malattia as a totally informal one.

As for the parsing, the pronoun "ci" in the Italian sentence is indirect object: it stands for "a noi"; it is called "complemento di termine".

Thank you for your question, I hope this could help! 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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