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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Would you please help me with the following sentence:
“L’uso di “il che” ha confuso a me.”
(The use of “il che” has been confusing for me.)

Would you please tell me if it is correct to have used the passato prossimo in this sentence.  I used the passato prossimo to express “has been confusing” because the English Present Perfect Progressive tense (has been confusing) does not exist in Italian, and I did not think it would be correct to say:“è stato confondendo”.

I was also wondering about the use of the pronoun “a me”to express “for me”. Can you please tell me if this is correct or not.


As always, thank you very, very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

The correct translation for “The use of 'il che' has been confusing for me“ sounds as follows: “L’uso di ‘il che’ mi ha confuso”, not “L’uso di ‘il che’ ha confuso a me” where “a me” is wrong, because in Italian the verb “confondere” is a transitive verb which takes the direct object “me” which becomes “mi” as a pronominal particle before “ha confuso”.


So,  it is correct to have used the passato prossimo in this sentence, but it is wrong to have used “a me” instead of the pronominal particle “mi” (direct object).

Lastly, as you say,  it would be absolutely wrong to say:“è stato confondendo”.

Best regards,

Maria




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

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you for your help with this question.

I hope you will not mind a follow-up question as I am confused about the use of the stressed pronouns – me, te, lei,lui, noi, voi, and loro (what are also referred to as disjunctive pronouns).

From what you have explained to me about not using “a me” in this sentence – can you please tell me if I am now correct to think that the Italian stressed (disjunctive) pronouns - me, te, lei,lui, noi, voi, and loro can never be used with transitive verbs.  

Does this mean that the Italian stressed (disjunctive) pronouns can only be used with intransitive and linking verbs?

The reason I ask is because in the past I had thought it was the speaker’s choice how he wanted to express direct and indirect objects in Italian.  For example I thought that either of the following sentences would be correct:
[1]   Mi puo scattare una foto con mia moglie?      
       mi  =  indirect object pronoun
  Can you take a picture of me with my wife?

[2]    Puo scattare una foto di me con mia moglie?      
       me  =  stressed (disjunctive) pronoun
  Can you take a picture of me with my wife?

Can you please verify for  that actually sentence #2 is wrong because “scattare una foto” is a transitive verb and therefore cannot be used with the  stressed (disjunctive) pronoun “di me”.

Thank you so much for helping me with this clarification.  I just had no idea that the type of verb (transitive, intransitive, or linking) was a factor in the use of stressed (disjunctive) pronouns.  

I am so thankful that you have been so kind so as to help me with this important grammatical point.

Very Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

Actually  the Italian stressed  pronouns “ me, te, lei, lui, noi, voi, loro” can be used with transitive verbs, if they are direct objects as in e.g.“Ho incontrato te, non lui”, “Cercavano me, non voi”, where “te”, “lui”, “me” ,”voi” are just direct objects of the transitive verbs  “incontrare” and “cercare”.

This however does not  mean that the Italian stressed pronouns cannot be used with intransitive verbs, provided that  such “pronomi personali” (stressed pronouns) are preceded by a preposition as in e.g. “Ho parlato di te”, “Partirò con te”, “E’ uscito con lui”, “Venne da noi”, etc., where “di te”, “per te”, “con te”, “con lui”, da noi” are indirect objects depending on intransitive verbs "parlare", "partire", "uscire", "venire".

As for the sentence that you mention,  you are right in saying “ Mi puo scattare una foto con mia moglie?“ with the “particella pronominale (unstressed pronoun)  “mi” instead of “a me” as an indirect object pronoun, whereas the phrase  “Puo scattare una foto di me con mia moglie? “ sounds not so good in Italian as we would like to say “Può scattare una foto a me e a mia moglie?” with the  stressed  pronoun “me” preceded by the preposition “a”, not “di”.

Please note that:

1)the sentence #2 , i.e. “Puo scattare una foto di me con mia moglie?” is wrong  because you should have said “a me”, not “di me”.

2)in  “scattare una foto”  the verb “scattare” is   a transitive verb as it takes the direct object ”una foto”, but the expression “scattare una foto” must be followed  by an indirect object such as “scattare una foto a qualcuno” (to take a picture of someone) and therefore  you must say “Può scattare una foto a me…?”

Hope this can help 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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