Italian Language/Use of the subjunctive
QUESTION: Dear Maria,
Would you please tell me if I was correct to have used the past subjunctive in the following sentence:
Apprezzo moltissimo i molti esempi che tu mi abbia dato per studiare.
(I very much appreciate the many examples that you gave me to study)
Thank you very much for your help.
ANSWER: Dear Rich,
I’m sorry, but the past subjunctive in the sentence:”Apprezzo moltissimo i molti esempi che tu mi abbia dato per studiare” is absolutely wrong, because the pronoun “che” introduces a relative clause where we use the past indicative, and then we say correctly:” Apprezzo moltissimo i numerosi esempi che mi HAI dato da studiare”.
Apart from the past indicative instead of the past subjunctive, please note that:
-I used the adjective “numerosi” instead of “molti” to avoid repetitions (Apprezzo moltissimo i molti esempi…).
-I used the preposition “da” instead of “per” in “da studiare”.
Lastly, I have to tell you that it would be very useful to your learning to write your questions in Italian, so that you could improve your use of the indicative or subjunctive mood as well as the correct use of prepositions.
Have a nice day,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Maria,
Can you please help me to understand why you used the preposition “da” instead of “per” in “da studiare”.
I understand that “da” is placed before an infinitive to introduce the concept that “something can be done” or “something was done” as in saying - “… you gave me so as to study”. I also understand that the preposition “per” can be placed before an infinitive to express “in order to” as in saying “… you gave me in order to study”. What I do not understand is how to determine which preposition to use.
Is it possible that either preposition would be acceptable in this sentence?
Thank you very much.
p.s. I am very anxious to write more in Italian.
it is not possible that either preposition “per” or “da” would be acceptable in the sentence that you mention.
Therefore, it is correct to say “Apprezzo moltissimo i numerosi esempi che mi hai dato DA studiare”, whereas it is incorrect to say “Apprezzo moltissimo i numerosi esempi che mi hai dato PER studiare”.
I have in fact to point out that the use of a preposition often depends on the verb which governs it, so that “da” is used when e.g. it depends on the verb “dare”, such as in “Mi diede qualcosa di interessante DA fare”, “Dammi un libro DA leggere“, Ho qualcosa da darti DA fare”; etc. where the preposition “da”, which depends on “dare” and comes before the infinitive, denotes a purpose.
To conclude, it is just the use of the language that can help you to understand how to determine which preposition to use, apart from some general rules that you have mentioned.
I’m afraid I cannot help you more.