Italian Language/use of "fallo pure"

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the phrase “fallo pure”.

In the past, I have learned that “fallo pure” is an idiomatic expression [composed of the noun “fallo” - error and the adverb “pure” - too]  that means “that would be a big mistake”,  “it was a big mistake”, or “it is a big mistake”.

Thanks to your help with a recent question, I have now also learned that “fallo pure”  can  be  the imperative form of the verb “fare”  used with the pronoun “lo” and the concessive adverb ”pure” meaning “you do it by all means” or “feel free to do it”.

Can you please help me to understand how I can know when “fallo pure” is being used idiomatically to mean "that would be a big mistake" and when “fallo pure” is being used literally to mean “feel free to do it”.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

I really would like to know where you have read that  “fallo pure” is an idiomatic expression [composed of the noun “fallo” – error  and the adverb “pure” - too]  that means “that would be a big mistake”,  “it was a big mistake”, or “it is a big mistake”, since such an  alleged “idiomatic expression” does not exist at all in Italian .

Therefore  whoever has said or written that “fallo pure” is an idiomatic expression has no knowledge or, so to say,  little  knowledge of  Italian and then has mistaken   the 2nd.person singular of  the imperative of the verb “fare” + the enclitic pronoun "-lo" and the concessive adverb "pure" for the noun “fallo”.

So, in the phrase “Se tuttavia vuoi tornare ad usare la tua lingua, fallo pure” ( meaning “If  nevertheless you want to return to using your language, feel free to do it” ) there is the If clause “Se tuttavia vuoi.....”  and the main clause “fallo pure” that corresponds to “fai pure ciò” where “ciò” is expressed by the enclitic pronoun “-lo” in “fallo” (2nd.person singular, present imperative of "fare") followed by the concessive adverb “pure”, as “fallo pure” means that you can feel free to use your language.

See also the following sentences  where the  concessive adverb “pure”  translates differently, according to its context:
-”Se vuoi ascoltarmi, fallo pure”(If you want to listen to me, feel free to do it).
-”Entra pure!” (please come in).
-“Andate  pure” (you may go).
-“Fate pure con comodo” (take your time).
-“Parlate pure liberamente,” (you can speak freely).
-“Sedete pure” (please be seated).
-“Telefona  pure  quando vuoi” (you can call me whenever you like/Feel free to phone me whenever you like).


As for the masculine noun “fallo” that can mean “error/ mistake/ fault” as in “ “Essere in fallo” ( to be at fault), “Cogliere qualcuno in fallo”( to catch someone  at fault), “Commettere un fallo in area di rigore” (to commit a foul in the penalty area), “Mettere un piede in fallo “ (to slip/ to take a false step ),”Verrò senza fallo” (I’ll come  without fail /definitely) , “E' stato un fallo imperdonabile” (It was an unforgiveable error), “Commettere un fallo”(to make a mistake ), “C’era un fallo nella trama di un tessuto “(there was a defect in the weft of a fabric), “Doppio fallo” (double fault), etc., it is a substantive that has nothing to do with “fallo” as a present imperative of the verb “fare”, 2nd.person singular.
Please note that in Italian we have also the anatomic term “fallo” (phallus).

But apart from what I’ve just said, the noun “fallo” is never used with the adverb “pure” and  the  phrase “fallo pure”  cannot ever mean “that would be a big mistake”,  “it was a big mistake”, or “it is a big mistake”, but only “feel free to do it”.

To conclude please note that:

1-“fallo pure” is NOT an idiomatic expression .

2-"fallo pure" can be ONLY  the imperative form of the verb “fare”  used with the enclitic pronoun “-lo” and the concessive adverb ”pure” .

3-I cannot help you   to understand how you can know when “fallo pure” is being used idiomatically to mean "that would be a big mistake" and when “fallo pure” is being used literally to mean “feel free to do it”, simply because “fallo pure” is  NEVER  used idiomatically to mean "that would be a big mistake”, “it was a big mistake”, or “it is a big mistake”.

Hope this is clear enough.
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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