Italian Language/use of infinitive

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

I came across the following sentence while reviewing an answer to one of my previous questions:

Preferisco indossare pantaloni anziché gonne.
I prefer to put on pants rather than skirts.

Can you please tell me if the infinitive “indossare” is being used as a direct object in this sentence.  

Also, can you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “indossare pantaloni anziché gonne” is a “proposizioni oggettive”  (infinitive phrase used as a direct object) in this sentence.

Thank You


Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

In the sentence “Preferisco indossare pantaloni anziché gonne” (I prefer to put on pants rather than skirts) the verb “indossare”  is not used as a direct object, but simply as an infinitive mood depending on “preferire” which is used as an auxiliary verb (“verbo servile”, in Italian) like e.g. “potere”, “volere”, “dovere”, “solere” “essere solito”, "desiderare" that are often followed by an infinitive.

Therefore  “indossare pantaloni anziché gonne” is not a “proposizione oggettiva”  (infinitive phrase used as a direct object) in this sentence.

In fact, in a clause analysis of “Preferisco indossare pantaloni anziché gonne” I should say:

-Preferisco indossare =verb
-pantaloni=direct object depending on “indossare”
-anziché =conjunction
-gonne =direct object depending on “indossare”.

See also:” Preferisco leggere”, “Posso parlare?”, “Voglio andarmene”, “Devo uscire”, “E’ solito aiutarmi”, “Soleva rimanere a lungo in giardino”, "Era solito alzarsi all'alba", "Desidero vederti e parlare con te",etc.

All the best,

Maria


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

QUESTION: Dear Maria,  

Can you please tell me of "odiare" (to hate) and "desiderare" (to desire) also function like modal verbs in that they do not require a preposition before the infinitive form of another verb.

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

it is so: "odiare" (to hate) and "desiderare" (to desire, to want) also function like “verbi servili” in that they do not require a preposition before the infinitive form of another verb, as in e.g. “Odio aspettare qualcuno”, “Desiderava accompagnarmi a teatro”, etc.

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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