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Italian Language/transitive vs intransitive pronominal

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if the following translations are correct or not:

[1]  Le sue basse insinuazioni mi rattristarono.
His low insinuations saddened me.

[2]  Le sue basse insinuazioni si mi rattristarono.
His low insinuations made me sad.

I am trying to make sure that I understand the difference between the use of the transitive verb – rattristare (to sadden) and the intransitive pronominal verb – rattristarsi (to become sad).

It would help me very much if you would please tell me if the following is true or not:

In sentence 1:  “rattristarono” is a transitive verb and “mi” is a direct object pronoun.

In sentence 2:    “rattristarono” is an intransitive pronominal verb and “si” is a pronominal particle and “mi” is an indirect object pronoun.   

Is it also true that pronominal particles such as “si” are included in sentences with intransitive pronominal verbs (such as in sentence 2 above)  to help identify the subject (which in sentence 2 above is “insinuazioni” (insinuations)?

Would you also please tell me if it is correct to place object pronouns (such as “mi” in sentence 2) between a pronominal particle and the conjugated verb.  

Would this also be true for reflexive pronouns that are used with reflexive verbs  -  is an object pronoun placed between the reflexive pronoun and the conjugated verb?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

Both “His low insinuations saddened me” and “His low insinuations made me sad” are a correct translation for “Le sue basse insinuazioni mi rattristarono”, but in the sentence 2 “Le sue basse insinuazioni si mi rattristarono”,  the “si”  is absolutely wrong and must be deleted.

With regard to the difference between the use of the transitive verb "rattristare" (to sadden) and the intransitive pronominal verb "rattristarsi" (to become sad), it is true that in sentence 1 “rattristarono” is a transitive verb and “mi” is a direct object pronoun, whereas the  sentence 2 “Le sue basse insinuazioni si mi rattristarono” is absolutely wrong.

To sum up, the verb “rattristare” (to sadden/to make sad) is a transitive verb , while “rattristarsi”  (to be saddened/ to become sad) is an intransitive pronominal verb used e.g. in :“Mi rattristai molto” (I became very sad), “Si rattristarono molto” (They became very sad), “Rattristarsi non serve a nulla: bisogna reagire, invece”, “Ti rattristerai quando verrai a sapere delle sue disgrazie”, etc.

That being stated, please note that:

-it is true that pronominal particles such as “ mi, ti, ci, si, vi” are included in sentences with intransitive pronominal verbs as in:"Mi rattristo quando ti vedo soffrire","Ti rattristi se mi vedi soffrire","Ci rattristiamo se non vi incontriamo spesso", "Si rattristeranno quando saremo partiti","Vi rattristate spesso per colpa nostra".

-it is incorrect to place object pronouns (such as “mi” in sentence 2) between a pronominal particle and the conjugated verb.  


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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