Italian Language/preposition

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the preposition “a” and  the preposition “di” to link a verb to the infinitive form of two other verbs.

For example, can you please tell me if the following sentence is correct where I have included the preposition “a” before “ricordare evitare”:    “Proverò a ricordare evitare tali ripetizioni.”  (I will try to remember to avoid such repetitions).

I was wondering if I would have been more correct to include the preposition “a” before “ricordare” and also before “evitare” as in the following sentence:  “Proverò a ricordare ad evitare tali ripetizioni.”

Would it make a difference if I had included the conjunction “e” in this sentence as:  “Proverò a ricordare ed evitare tali ripetizioni” or “Proverò a ricordare ed ad evitare tali ripetizioni” (I will try to remember and to avoid such repetitions)?

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

the correct translation for the sentence “I will try to remember to avoid such repetitions” could be “Proverò a ricordare di evitare tali ripetizioni”, which however is too literal, so that it would be better to say:” Proverò a ricordarmi di evitare tali ripetizioni” or simply  “Proverò ad evitare tali ripetizioni” as well as “Mi sforzerò di evitare tali ripetizioni”.


As you can see, the use of the preposition “a” and  the preposition “di” to link a verb to the infinitive form of other verbs depends on the verb which governs such prepositions, so that for example in “Proverò a ricordare di  evitare tali ripetizioni” the “a” depends on “Proverò”, while “di” depends on “ricordare”.
Also,in “Proverò ad evitare tali ripetizioni” the preposition “ad” depends on “Proverò”, while in “Mi sforzerò di evitare tali ripetizioni” the preposition “di” depends on “Mi sforzerò”.


Therefore, “Proverò a ricordare ad evitare tali ripetizioni” is wrong as you should write: “Proverò a ricordare di evitare tali ripetizioni.”

Similarly, “Proverò a ricordare ed evitare tali ripetizioni” or “Proverò a ricordare ed ad evitare tali ripetizioni”, where you have included the conjunction “e”, are wrong.

To conclude, the use of a preposition to link a verb to the infinitive form of other verbs depends on the verb which governs such prepositions, so that the best way to know what preposition you must use is to consult a dictionary to see some examples where the verb you are looking for governs a preposition.

Best regards,

Maria


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

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you very, very much for your help with this question.  I hope you will not mind a follow-up question.

Can you please help me to understand why “mi” is included in the following sentence:
“Proverò a ricordarmi di evitare tali ripetizioni.”

Can you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “mi” is being used as an indirect object pronoun that is attached to the infinitive form of the transitive verb “ricordare”.

I am trying to understand why “mi” is included and how “mi” changes the meaning of this sentence.   

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

in the sentence “Proverò a ricordarmi di evitare tali ripetizioni”  (I’ll try to remind me to avoid such repetitions) the pronominal particle “mi” is being used as an indirect object pronoun that is attached to the infinitive form of the transitive verb “ricordare”.

As for the reason  why “mi” is included and how “mi” changes the meaning of this sentence, I can tell you that:

1)“mi” is included because  of a choice of the speaker/writer just to mean “to remind me”.

2)“mi”  does not change the meaning of this sentence since I could also say ”Proverò a ricordare di evitare tali ripetizioni” that however sounds less good as “Proverò a ricordarmi di evitare tali ripetizioni”, because in “Proverò a ricordare di evitare tali ripetizioni” there is a bad assonance between “–are” in “ricordare” and “–are” in “evitare”.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

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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