Italian Language/implied verb


Dear Maria,

Thank you for your help with my previous question about the use of objects.

Can you please also help me to understand the following sentences:
“Ti credevo innocente.”  and “Credevo te innocente.”

Would the following translations be the correct:
“Ti credevo innocente.”  =   I believed you were innocent.
“Credevo te innocente.”   =   I believed you were innocent.

Can you please explain why the verb can be left out of the noun clause in the Italian sentence.

I am wondering, for example, why one does not include a verb in the noun clause and say:

“Credevo te eri  innocente.”   =   I believed you were innocent.”

Thank you very much.



Dear Rich,

First of all I have to point out that when I said that “Ti credevo innocente”  was the equivalent of “Credevo te innocente”, where the 2nd person pronoun “te” is equivalent to the pronominal particle (particella pronominale)  “ti”, I  wanted to clarify that the 2nd person pronoun “te” was a direct object, hoping that you could better understand the reason why the particella pronominale “ti”  was just a direct object.

In short, we usually do not say “Credevo te innocente”, but always “Ti credevo innocente”, unless we want to emphasize the pronoun “te” as in e.g. “Credevo te innocente, non lui” where there is a confrontation between “te” and “lui” and then we cannot use "ti".

Therefore no  verb has been left out of the clause in the Italian sentence “Ti credevo innocente” where the verb is “credevo”, the direct object is “ti” and “innocente” is the adjective which refers to the pronominal particle “ti”.

As for the English translation “I believed you were innocent”, it would be the equivalent of the Italian sentence “Credevo che tu fossi innocente”, where “Credevo” is the main clause, while “che tu fossi innocente” is the object-clause whose verb is “fossi” (congiuntivo imperfetto).

To conclude, “Ti credevo innocente” is an independent clause, whereas “Credevo che tu fossi innocente” is composed of a main clause + a subordinate clause.

As you can see, it's once more clear that Italian and English are different languages with different  grammar rules, of course, so that the two languages do not behave in a similar way.

Hope this help.



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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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