Italian Language/use of


QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you very much for your help.

Can you please tell me why one would use the transitive verb “servire” and say - “mi è servita” instead of using the verb aiutare in the following sentence:

Come sempre, la tua risposta mi è servita moltissimo!

Thank you very much.



ANSWER: Dear Rich,

I've used the intransitive verb "servire" in "Come sempre, la tua risposta mi è servita moltissimo!" in the context "Molte grazie del tuo aiuto. Come sempre, la tua risposta mi ha aiutato moltissimo!" simply because I wanted to avoid using the verb "aiutare" which has the same root as the noun  "aiuto" that appears shortly before in "Molte grazie del tuo aiuto".

This is the reason why I've used the synonym "servire" in " tua risposta mi è servita moltissimo".

In Italian in fact it's better to avoid repetitions.

Best regards,


[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you. I understand what you mean and I will try to remember to do the same in my writing.  I so much appreciate this help!

But, I am still confused and hope you will not mind the following questions.

Would you  please tell me the best way to translate the intransitive verb "servire" in this sentence.  

Does this verb mean "to serve" as in  -  "your answer has served me very much" ?

Also, -  is "mi" a direct object? Can an indirect object be used with an intransitive verb?  

Finally, would you mind telling me if this is in the active or in the passive voice.

Thank you so much for your kind help and patience with my questions.



Dear Rich,

the best way to translate the intransitive verb "servire" in the sentence  "Come sempre, la tua risposta mi è servita moltissimo“ is just -  "…. your answer has served me very much".

Note that  the  pronominal particle  "mi"  is an indirect object in Italian  as it stands for  “a me” in “  … tua risposta è servita moltissimo a me”.

Finally, the intransitive verb “servire” in “mi è servita” is in the active voice as in this context the intransitive verb “servire”  means “essere utile a qualcuno ”(to be useful to someone/to be of use to)) and takes the auxiliary “essere”.

See also: “Quel libro gli è servito molto” ( that book has been of great use to him/ has served him very much).

To conclude, I have to tell you that the verb “servire” can also be transitive as in ”Quel negozio serve molta gente” ( that shop has many customers)  or  in “Servire la patria” ( to serve one’s country ) and ”Servire  Dio “ (to serve God).

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Have a nice day,


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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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