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Italian Language/use of "chi" with prepositions

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Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if it is mandatory to always place the preposition used with “chi" at the beginning of the sentence as in saying - “Per chi hai preparato il pranzo?”  “A chi ti riferisci?”  “Di chi stai parlando?”  

The reason I ask this question is because many times in English (especially in colloquial conversation)  one will place the preposition at the end of the sentence as in saying – Who did you make lunch for?”  “Who do you refer to?”  “Who are you talking about?”  

I was wondering if I could ever expect to experience this same type of change in word order  in  Italian.     For example, is it acceptable to say - “Chi hai preparato il pranzo per?”  “Chi ti riferisci a?”  “Chi stai parlando di?”   Or, are such sentences totally wrong and therefore never used?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

first of all it is absolutely wrong  to say  “Chi hai preparato il pranzo per?”,  “Chi ti riferisci a?”,  “Chi stai parlando di?”   and therefore such sentences are never used, as it is totally wrong in Italian to  use the same type of change in word order  as  in English colloquial conversation where one can place the preposition at the end of the sentence as in saying  “Who did you make lunch for?”,  “Who do you refer to?” , “Who are you talking about?” .

In short,  it is mandatory to always place the preposition used with “chi" at the beginning of the sentence as in saying “Per chi hai preparato il pranzo?”,  “A chi ti riferisci?”,   “Di chi stai parlando?”.

The only change   in word order  that it is possible in Italian, especially in colloquial conversation, is to say, e.g. “Hai preparato il pranzo per chi?”, “Ti riferisci a chi?, “Stai parlando di chi?, where “per chi”, “a chi”, “di chi”, i.e. the interrogative pronoun “chi” preceded by its preposition, is used at the end of the sentence only when we want to informally emphasize it.

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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