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Italian Language/subject pronouns in question clauses


Dear Lauren,  

Can you please tell me if, depending upon the context and the desired emphasis, it would be acceptable to place the subject pronoun after the verb in a question clause such as the following:

Lei il signor Rossi?
Are you Mr. Rossi?

Would I also be correct to think that normally - one would keep the subject pronoun before the verb and say:

Lei il signor Rossi?
Are you Mr. Rossi?

So just to make sure I understand correctly - can you PLEASE tell me if both methods are acceptable or not.

Thank you very much.



Hi Rich,

Yes, I can confirm that both ' Lei il signor Rossi?' and 'Lei il signor Rossi?' can be used.

However, I would say that 'Lei' is not a compulsory element of the sentence as I am sure you might know. You would only add this if you really want to emphasise the fact. Otherwise, it is perfectly understandable just as ' il signor Rossi?'

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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Letter of recognition from the Italian consulate MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies CELTA qualified C1 CILS C2 DELE

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