Italian Language/use of preposition

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,  

Thank you, again, for all of your help.

My question is about the use of the preposition "ad" in the following sentence:
“Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto!

I hope you will not mind the following questions about this sentence.

Will you please tell me if my following translation is correct:
“You have been very kind to have helped me so much!

Will you also please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “sei stata” is the passato prossimo of “essere”.

Can you also please help me understand why the preposition “a” must be included before the infinitive “avere” in this sentence.  

I so much appreciate your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

It is so: “You have been very kind to have helped me so much!” corresponds exactly to “Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto!”

Also, you are correct in thinking that “sei stata” is the passato prossimo of the verb “essere”.

As for the preposition “a”, it  must be included before the infinitive “avere” in this sentence because it is placed after the adjective “gentile” on which it depends, as in e.g.the following phrases:

-“Sei stato gentile a venirci a trovare”
-“Fu gentile ad aiutarmi in quella  difficile circostanza”
-“Per quanto tu mi conosca poco, sei veramente gentile ad offrirmi la tua ospitalità”
-“Sei gentile a fare questo per me”
etc.

Best regards,
Maria


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

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you very, very much for your help with this question.  I very  much appreciate your explaining to me that the preposition “a” depends on the adjective “gentile”.

I have found some examples of “gentile” followed by the preposition “da” as in: “vuoi essere tanto gentile da”  (would you be so kind as to) and the prepositon “con” as in “gentile con” (nice to).   Would you please tell me if these examples are correct?

If  “yes”  - can the prepositions “da” and “con” also depend on the adjective “gentile” ?  

Is there any way for me to know when to use “a”, “da’, or “con“ after the adjective “gentile’?  This is difficult for me because all of these examples use  “gentile” with a different preposition, but they all  translate into English as “kind/nice to”:   
gentile a  =  kind to    
gentile da  =  kind to     
gentile con  =  nice to


Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

first of all I have to point out that  the adjective “gentile” can be followed by different prepositions, according to the context where it is placed.

As you say, in fact, you can find some examples of “gentile”  followed by the preposition “da” as in: “Vuoi essere tanto gentile da...”  (would you be so kind as to...) and the prepositon “con” as in “E’ gentile con tutti ” (He is kind to everybody).

Anyway, "gentile" can also be followed by the prepositions "per" and sometimes "verso", as you can see below.

So, please note that :

-in “Vuoi essere tanto gentile da aiutarmi”  (Would you be so kind as to help me?), the adjective “gentile”  is followed by  the preposition “da”  that introduces a consecutive clause.
In this context the preposition “da” is followed by an infinitive expressing consequence or result.
See also: “Fu così gentile da venirmi a trovare”.


-in “E’ gentile con tutti” ( He is kind to everybody) the adjective “gentile”  is followed by  the preposition “con”,  because “gentile” is used to indicate that someone behaves kindly.
In this context the preposition “con” can be followed by a pronoun, a noun, a name.
See also:”Fosti gentile con me, quando ebbi bisogno di aiuto”;”Sii gentile con gli ospiti, te ne prego!”; “Devi essere gentile con Giovanni!”.

-in “Sei gentile a fare questo per me” (You are kind to do  this for me) the adjective “gentile” is followed by the preposition “a” because “gentile” governs an infinitive.
In this context the preposition “a” is followed by an infinitive that however does not express  consequence or result.
See also:” Sei veramente gentile ad offrirmi la tua ospitalità”; “Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto!”.

-in “Ha parole gentili per tutti” ( He addresses  kind words to everybody) the adjective “gentile”  is followed by the preposition “per” that indicates that someone is addressing  kindly to  the others.  
In this context the preposition “per”/"verso" is followed by pronoun, a noun, a name.
See also:”Abbi parole gentili per gli invitati” ; ”Ebbe parole gentili per Antonio”;"Fu gentile verso di me".


To sum up,  you can find  many examples of “gentile” followed by the prepositions “a”, “da”, “con”, “per” and sometimes "verso", according to the context.
 
As for your question on how you can know when to use “a”, “da’, “per” , “con“ after the adjective “gentile’, you can learn it from the above-mentioned  cases, though it is difficult for you because all of these examples use  “gentile” with a different preposition, but they all  translate into English as “to”.  


Hope this can be helpful to you.
All the best,
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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