Italian Language/sentence structure

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if I have correctly translated the following sentence:

In città cominciavano ad accendersi le luci della sera.
In the city the evening lights started to come on.

Would you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “le luci della sera” is the subject of this sentence.  

If “yes”, can you also please help me to understand why the subject has been placed at the end of this sentence.    Is this just a speaker/writer choice?

Would it also be possible to re-write this sentence and place the subject before the verb?

For example, could one say any of the following:
In città le luci della sera cominciavano ad accendersi.
Le luci della sera cominciavano ad accendersi in città.

Thank you so much for your help and patience with my many questions.   I hope that you do not mind these questions.  Your answers and explanations always help me so much!!

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

“In the city the evening lights started to come on” (In città cominciavano ad accendersi le luci della sera) is correct.

But I have to tell you that the subject of this sentence is “Le luci” as “della sera” is a “complemento di specificazione”.

Such a subject followed by the indirect object has been placed at the end of this sentence  just  for a speaker/writer choice, and so it is also possible to re-write this sentence and place the subject before the verb as in “In città le luci della sera cominciavano ad accendersi” or “Le luci della sera cominciavano ad accendersi in città”.

To conclude, I’m glad to help you with your questions that show your interest in Italian language.

All the best,

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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