Italian Language/translation


Dear Lauren,

My question is about translating Italian infinitives used with object pronouns.

I am wondering if an Italian infinitive with an attached object pronoun (such as conoscerla) can be translated into English as either an English Infinitive (to meet you) or as an English gerund (meeting you).

Can you please tell me if the following translations are both correct:

conoscerla   (Italian infinitive and direct object pronoun)   =  to meet you  (English infinitive phrase)

conoscerla  (Italian infinitive and direct object pronoun )  =  meeting you  (English gerund phrase)

Thank you.



Hi Rich,

I would say that this is really a contextual question and it will usually depend on the surrounding words within the sentence. Most times, the answer will be the infinitive 'to meet' but this will not be the case 100% of the time. There are also times when it may be neither infinitive or gerund (see below)

To give a few examples of when 'conoscere' will be used:
Sono felice di conoscerla - I am pleased to meet you (in this case, infinitive)
Mi sembra di conoscerla - I think that I know you
Faccio finta di non conoscerla - I pretend not to know you

Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any gerund examples at the moment with 'you' but plenty with 'it', usually in titles that I have found on the internet:
L'ansia: conoscerla e superarla - Anxiety: getting to know it and getting over it
Venezuela - conoscerla il tuo destino - Venezeula - getting to know it is your destiny

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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