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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of a noun to stand for a noun in the genitive case as in “Il biglietto aereo” instead of “Il biglietto dell’aereo”.

Can you please help me to understand when a noun can stand for a noun in the genitive case as in “Il biglietto aereo”.  

Can this happen for any noun used in the genitive case that indicates a relationship between two nouns?  Or, does this only happen for certain nouns that must then be learned on a case by case basis?  

Also, I am thinking that maybe this would probably not happen for a noun in the genitive case that indicates possession.  Would this assumption be correct?

Thank you so much for your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the use of an adjective (aereo) to stand for a noun in the genitive case (dell’aereo) as in “Il biglietto aereo” instead of “Il biglietto dell’aereo” is common in Italian only when there is an adjective that  derives from a noun such as the adjective “aereo” from the noun  “aereo”, the adjective “solare” from the noun  “sole”, the adjective “estivo” from the noun  “estate”, the adjective “elettrico” from the noun “elettricitŕ”.

For example, we can say “Il biglietto aereo” instead of “Il biglietto dell’aereo”, “La luce solare” instead of “La luce del sole”, “Il caldo estivo” instead of “Il caldo dell’estate”,  “Il cavo elettrico” instead of “Il cavo dell’elettricitŕ”.

Anyway, it is necessary that these adjectives are not used in the figurative sense, but with their basic meaning so that we can say e.g. “La luce solare” instead of “La luce del sole”, whereas  “Una persona solare”, where the adjective “solare” is used figuratively to indicate a sunny person who is usually happy and relaxed, cannot be replaced by “Una persona del sole” which would make no sense at all, of course, because the adjective "solare" is not used in their basic meaning, but in a figurative sense.


So, the use of an adjective instead of a noun in the genitive case does not happen for any noun used in the genitive case that indicates a relationship between an adjective and a noun, but  this only happens for certain adjectives that must then be learned on a case by case basis.  Also, you are right in  thinking that  this does not happen for a noun in the genitive case that indicates possession.

Hope this is clear enough.

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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