Italian Language/use of “sé”

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

I have been trying to understand the use of the word “sé” in the following sentence.  

l’uso della preposizione “a” prima del verbo “festeggiare” nella frase “Ha davvero significato molto per me avervi con noi a festeggiare la prossima nascita della nostra bimba” è determinato dalla presenza dell’infinito “avervi”  che indica uno stato, cioè indica che è stato molto importante per chi ha scritto la frase avere accanto a sé a festeggiare  la persona cui è indirizzata la sopraddetta frase.

Would you please tell me if “sé” is what Americans call a “disjunctive pronoun” in this sentence?   

Would you also please tell me if  my following translation is correct:

The use of the preposition “a” before the verb “festeggiare” in the sentence “Ha davvero significato molto per me avervi con noi a festeggiare la prossima nascita della nostra bimba” is determined by the presence of the infinitive “avervi” that indicates a state, that is to say it indicates that it has been very important for who has written the sentence to have near to himself to celebrate the person the aforesaid sentence is addressed to.


Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

the word “sé” in “..... avere accanto a sé.......” is a 3rd.person singular reflexive pronoun that you have translated correctly as “near to himself”, where “himself” is just a reflexive pronoun related to the relative demonstrative  pronoun “chi” (the one who) in “...chi ha scritto la frase...”.

As for your translation “The use of the preposition “a” before the verb “festeggiare” in the sentence “Ha davvero significato molto per me avervi con noi a festeggiare la prossima nascita della nostra bimba” is determined by the presence of the infinitive “avervi” that indicates a state, that is to say it indicates that it has been very important for who has written the sentence to have near to himself to celebrate the person the aforesaid sentence is addressed to”, it is correct.

To conclude, the word “sé” in “..... avere accanto a sé.......” has nothing to do with what Americans call a “disjunctive pronoun”.
Instead, it is a 3rd.person singular reflexive pronoun such as in e.g. “Ognuno per sé” ( every man for himself), “Lei non pensa che a sé” ( she only thinks about herself), “Loro si preoccupano solo di  sé “ (they are only concerned about themselves), etc.

As you can see, the Italian pronoun “sé”  is either singular or plural as well as  both feminine and masculine, whereas in English it changes, according to the term it refers to.

Best regards,
Maria


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

QUESTION: Dear Maria,  

Thank you for your help with this question.  

Can you please tell me if there is any difference in pronunciation between "se"  and “sé” .

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the stressed wowel “e” in the 3rd.person indeclinable reflexive pronoun “sé”  is pronounced  like an open “e”, while the  unstressed vowel “e” in the conditional conjunction “se” (if) as well as in the 3rd.person singular/plural personal pronoun “se” as in “Se ne andò “( he/she went away)  is pronounced like  a closed  “e”.

I’m sorry I can't give you some examples of such pronunciation in your mother tongue as I think there is no  similarity.

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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