You are here:

Italian Language/placement of "ci sono" in interrogative sentence

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the placement of “ci sono” in the following interrogative sentence:
”Quanti pesci ci sono?”  (How many fish are there?)

I am trying to make sure that I understand why the subject (pesci) has been placed before the verb (ci sono) in this sentence.

Would you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “pesci” is the subject of this sentence and that “quanti” is an interrogative adjective.

If this is correct, would you also please tell me if it is true that the subject of all interrogative sentences that start with an interrogative word (such as “quanti” in the above example) and  also use either “c’è” or “ci sono” as the verb will  always be placed before the verb.

I am thinking that the subject "pesci" is placed before "ci sono" in this sentence because of the presence of the interrogative adjective "quanti".  I just wanted to make sure that this was correct so that I could apply  this same reasoning to other sentences.  The reason I am asking is because the subject is usually placed after “c’è" and "ci sono" in interrogative sentences.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

You are correct in thinking that “pesci” is the subject of the interrogative sentence ”Quanti pesci ci sono?”  (How many fish are there?) and that “quanti” is an interrogative adjective.

Moreover,  it is true that the subject of all interrogative sentences that start with an interrogative word (such as “quanti” in the above example) and  also use either “c’è” or “ci sono” as the verb will  always be placed before the verb.
See for example:”Quanti appartamenti ci sono in questo palazzo?”, “Quanto tempo c’è prima della partenza del treno?”, “Quanti spettatori c’erano in sala?”, etc.

In short,  the subjects "appartamenti", “tempo” and “spettatori” are   placed before "ci sono" , “c’è” and “c’erano” in the above  sentences because of the presence of the interrogative adjective "quanti"/”quanto”.  

Kind regards,

Maria

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.