You are here:

Italian Language/reflexive verb and pronominal particle

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,  

Thank you for all of your help.  

I am still trying to completely understand your answer  dated 5/11/2013 (written in Italian) to my question about “esserti stata”, and I  hope that you will not mind another question.

My question is about the verb “si unisce” from your sentence: “Infine, il pronome complemento indiretto  “ti” si unisce encliticamente al verbo “essere” in “esserti”  per una questione di stile”.

Can you please tell me if “si unisce” is a “reflexive verb”?  My dictionary has identified “unirsi” as both a reflexive verb and as an intransitive pronominal verb.  I am thinking that in this sentence “unirsi” is being used as a reflexive verb meaning “to be joined”, but, of course, I do not know,  so I hope you will not mind telling me which way “unirsi” is being used in this sentence as well as the correct meaning of “unirsi”

An equally important issue to me is how to translate the pronominal particle “si” that is used with “unisce” in this sentence.  

I am thinking that this sentence is translated as:  “Finally, the indirect object pronoun “ti” is joined enclitically to the verb “essere” in “esserti” for a question of style”.

If this translation is correct, I am wondering if it is true that the pronominal particle that must always be included with both a reflexive verb and an intransitive pronominal verb, is not always literally included in the English translation.  Could this be true?

To try to explain my confusion further, I am thinking that a literal translation of “si unisce” would be “it is joined” but that in the English translation of this sentence -  the pronoun “it” need not be included.

Can you please tell me if - as a general rule for me to remember, it is true that the pronominal particle (also called reflexive pronoun by some sources) that must always be included with Italian reflexive verbs and Italian intransitive pronominal verbs may not always be literally translated into English?

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

in my sentence: “Infine, il pronome complemento indiretto “ti” si unisce encliticamente al verbo “essere” in “esserti”  per una questione di stile”  the verb “si unisce” is  just a “reflexive verb”, as you say, as it is being used as a reflexive verb meaning “to be joined”/ “to combine”/”to join ”.

Therefore you are correct in thinking that this sentence must be translated as: “Finally, the indirect object pronoun “ti” is joined enclitically to the verb “essere” in “esserti” for a question of style”.

Moreover it is true that the pronominal particle that must always be included with both a reflexive verb and an intransitive pronominal verb, is not always literally included in the English translation.

With regard to the literal translation of “si unisce” as  “it is joined” , please note that  the subject pronoun “it” must not be included, simply because there is already a subject, as the subject of the verb “is joined” (“si unisce” ) is  “the indirect object pronoun “ti” (“il pronome complemento indiretto  “ti”.....”).

Finally , as a general rule for you to remember, it is true that the pronominal particle (also called reflexive pronoun ) that must always be included with Italian reflexive verbs and Italian intransitive pronominal verbs may not always be literally translated into English.

All the best,
Maria
____________________________________________________________________________
P.S.
Please note that in your recent ratings you should have written:
”... Adesso posso comprendere molto meglio” instead of “....Adessso, posso comprendere meglio molto”
and :
“Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto! Distinti saluti, Rich P.S. Spero di aver  scritto correttamente la mia nota di ringraziamento” instead of “Sei molto gentile avermi aiutato tanto! Distinti saluti, Rich P.S. Spero che ho scritto correttamente la mia nota di ringraziamento.”  

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.