Italian Language/sentence structure

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the following sentence:

“La stessa cosa si può dire di “migliore” usato come superlativo relativo.”

Can you please tell me if my following translation is correct:
"One can say the same thing about “migliore” used as a relative superlative."

Would you also please tell me if I am correct in thinking that :

si  =  impersonal si that expresses or stands for the subject
può dire  =  verb
cosa  =  direct object
usato come superlativo relativo  -  subordinate clause

If this is correct, I was wondering if there is any special reason why the direct object (cosa) is placed before the verb (può dire) in this sentence.  This is a bit hard for me to understand, because I am very used to always placing the direct object after the verb.

Would it also be acceptable to place the direct object (cosa) after the verb in this sentence and say:

"Si può dire la stessa cosa  di “migliore” usato come superlativo relativo."
One can say the same thing about “migliore” used as a relative superlative.

I think it would be very difficult for me to remember to place the direct object before the verb in certain sentences without understanding why this happens in Italian.  

I really appreciate your patience and help.  I so much enjoy learning your beautiful language.  Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

your translation is correct. As for your grammatical analysis of “La stessa cosa si può dire di “migliore”  usato come superlativo relativo”, I have to point out that in “La stessa cosa si può dire”,  which stands for “La stessa cosa può essere detta”, the “si” is a “si passivante”(passive 'si'), not an impersonal “si” (“si” impersonale).

Therefore :

-La stessa cosa” = subject
-si  =  passive “si”
-può dire  =  verb that stands for “può essere detta” related to “stessa cosa”
-di “migliore” = indirect object
-usato come superlativo = subordinate relative clause, as the past passive participle “usato”  stands for “che è usato come...”

That being stated, you can understand why “La stessa cosa” which is  the subject of the sentence, not the direct object, is placed before the verb "si può dire" .

Anyway, it would  be acceptable to place “La stessa cosa” after the verb in this sentence and say:"Si può dire la stessa cosa  di “migliore” usato come superlativo relativo”, but in this case “Si può dire” can  also stand for “Possiamo dire “ and thus “si” can be considered an impersonal "si”, while “la stessa cosa” is the direct object of the sentence "Possiamo  dire la stessa cosa  di “migliore” usato come superlativo relativo”.


Lastly, please note that sometimes we can  place the direct object before the verb as in “La stessa cosa possiamo dire di te” or  “La mia casa la puoi vedere in lontananza” where “La stessa cosa” and “La mia casa” are direct objects placed before the verb just to emphasize them.

Hope this can be helpful to you and I am glad that you enjoy learning my language.

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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