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Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please help me with the following  complementi di specificazione:

  L’Italia del Sud   Southern Italy

  Sud dell’Italia      Southern  Italy

I am wondering if both of the above complementi di specificazione are correct.  Can either “sud” or “Italia” be used to form  the complemento (the noun after the preposition di)?

Does the placement of “sud” change the meaning?  For example could “sud dell’Italia” mean something different than “L’Italia del Sud”?  

Does “sud dell’Italia” mean “south of Italy” as in saying “Sicily is south of Italy”?  Or, does  “sud dell’Italia” mean “Southern Italy” as in “I live in southern Italy”.


Would this also apply to other complementi di specificazione that are formed with the nouns - nord, sud, ovest, and est?

For example, is it acceptable to say both of the following:

  L’America del Nord   North America

  Nord dell’America    North America

If “yes”  -  is the translation “North America” correct for both?  Or, do these complementi have different meanings?  

I am wondering if it is possible that “L’America del Nord” is used to refer to the continent “North America” and if “Nord dell’America” does not refer to the continent, but rather is used to say “north of America” as in saying “Canada is north of America”

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

P.S.  Can you also  please tell me if it is correct to say “complementi di specificazione”  or should “specificazione” be plural as in “specificazioni”.  Thank you, once again, for all of your help.

Answer
Dear Rich,


Both “L’Italia del Sud” and “Il Sud dell’Italia” correspond to “Southern Italy” and both of the above “complementi di specificazione “ are correct, as  either “Sud” or “Italia” can  be used to form  the complemento (the noun after the preposition “di”).

Note that the placement of “Sud”  does not change the meaning, for “Il Sud dell’Italia”  does not mean anything different than “L’Italia del Sud”.

“Il Sud dell’Italia”  can also mean “south of Italy” as in saying “Sicily is south of Italy”, but “Il Sud dell’Italia”  can also mean “Southern Italy” as in “I live in southern Italy”.


This also applies to other “complementi di specificazione” that are formed with the nouns - nord, sud, ovest, and est, as in “ L’America del Nord” and “Il Nord dell’America” both meaning “ North America”.

As for “L’America del Nord”, it  is used to refer to the continent “North America”,  not to say “north of America” as in saying “Canada is north of America” which in Italian would be:”Il Canada si trova a nord degli Stati Uniti” or "Il Canada č a nord degli Stati Uniti".

Lastly, it is correct to say “complementi di specificazione”  or “complemento di specificazione”  with “specificazione” in the singular, while the noun  “complemento” can be in the singular (complemento) or in the plural (complementi).

Hope all is clear enough.

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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