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Italian Language/use of: "contento di"

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the following sentence:
“Sembra molto contento di stare con me.”

Would you please tell me if I am correct to think that “di stare” would be considered an “indirect object” in the above sentence and that this sentence can be translated as follows:
“He seems very happy to be with me.”

Can you also please tell me if it would be possible to say the following:
“Sembra molto contento di me.”
He seems very happy with me.

I have been trying to figure out what additional meaning is added to this sentence by including the infinitive “stare”.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

in the  sentence:“Sembra molto contento di stare con me” (“He seems very happy to be with me”) the expression  “di stare” is not considered an “indirect object”, for in Italian syntax it is a “proposizione subordinata implicita” which stands for a subordinate causal clause which would sound as “perché sta con me”, i.e. a “proposizione causale esplicita” as it has the indicative “sta”  preceded by the causal conjunction “perché” instead of the infinitive “stare” after the preposition “di”.

See for example:
-“Sono lieto di vederti” where “di vederti” is a “proposizione subordinata causale implicita, instead of “Sono lieto perché ti vedo” which is a “proposizione subordinata causale esplicita”;

-“Verrò per parlare con te” where “per parlare” is a “proposizione finale implicita", instead of “Verrò affinché io parli con te”” which is a “proposizione finale esplicita”.

As you can see, in this context the "preposizione subordinata implicita" takes the infinitive mood, while the "preposizione subordinata esplicita" takes the indicative mood.

Moreover, I have to tell you that we use the “proposizioni implicite” more than the “proposizioni esplicite”.

As for “Sembra molto contento di me”, it  translates exactly as “He seems very happy with me”.

Please note that “Sembra molto contento di me” -which indicates that somebody is satisfied with  me- is different from “Sembra molto contento di stare con me” which means that somebody is happy to be with me in the sense that he enjoys  my company.

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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