Italian Language/Potervisi

Advertisement


Question
What does 'potervisi' mean in Italian? What is are the elements that form this compound? I understand the compound potersi, but what is the -vi- doing in there? The sentence, from an old Italian reader, is 'Le sorelle [avevano] specchi da potervisi  mirare dalla testa fino ai piedi.' The sentence and meaning are clear (thanks to computerized translation), the word potevisi is not.

Answer
Hello, JS!

It's an archaic form, that is also used in legal documents. This -vi-has the same meaning as ci=here, there, so the translation of the sentence would be "The sisters had mirror so they can look (themselves) in it from head to toes", where this IT is the translation of VI.

I hope this helps!

If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

Jelena

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jelena

Expertise

I can answer pretty much any question regarding Italian grammar,orthography,semantics...Italian is not my native language,but I have a bachelor degree in Italian language and literature.

Experience

I worked as a free-lance translator and interpreter and a private tutor for over 5 years.

Education/Credentials
I graduated from University of Belgarde,Serbia, in Italian language and literature.I also took a one-year training for translators and court interpretors in Italian and a one-month course of Italian in Florence.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.