Italian Language/parsing


Dear Maria,  

Would you please help me parse the following sentence:
“Fallo aspettare.”  (Keep him waiting.)

I am thinking that this sentence is in the imperative and that “lo” is a direct object pronoun meaning “him”.  But, I am also wondering if the infinitive “aspettare” is also being used as a direct object.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.



Dear Rich,

here’s the parsing of the sentence “Fallo aspettare!”:

-FALLO  =  2nd.person singular,  present imperative of the verb FARE.
Note that FALLO is  composed of  the 2nd.person singular, present imperative “fai”  or its apocopated  form “fa’ “ with the apostrophe  + the enclitic LO which is  the 3rd.person singular  pronoun.
In this case FARE is used as a “verbo fraseologico” to confer a particular meaning/sense to the verb by which FARE  is followed.

-ASPETTARE = present infinitive depending on FARE just used as a  “phraseological verb” that takes an infinitive as in e.g. “Fate entrare i vostri amici!”, “Fammi parlare!”, “Si fece venire a prendere all’aeroporto”, etc.

In short, the infinitive “aspettare” is  not  used as a direct object,but simply as a mood requested by the verb FARE,  while the enclitic  -LO  in the imperative form FALLO is a direct object pronoun meaning “him”.

As you can see, the enclitic pronoun “-lo” attached to the imperative “fai”  leads to the drop of the vowel "i"  and the doubling of the consonant "l" .


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