Italian Language/double object pronouns/imperative
QUESTION: Dear Maria,
I have been trying to study the use of double object pronouns in the imperative. I found the following examples on-line:
Give it to me. - Dammelo.
Say it to her. – Diglielo.
Remind me tomorrow. - Ricordamelo domani.
Would you please tell me if these examples are correct.
I was thinking that they are not correct, and that I should say the following:
Give it to me. – Da’melo. or Daimelo.
Say it to her. - Di’glielo. or Diciglielo.
Remind me tomorrow. – Ricordami domani.
Would you please tell me if I am correct or not. I know that I have a lot to learn, so your help is very much appreciated. Once again – thank you very much for all of your expert help.
ANSWER: Dear Rich,
the examples “Dammelo”, “Diglielo” and “Ricordamelo domani”, corresponding to “Give it to me“, “Say it to her/to him“ and “Remind me of it tomorrow “ respectively, are definitely correct, whereas your versions are unfortunately wrong.
In Italian imperative in fact the double object pronouns are attached to the verb as enclitic forms joined at the end of the preceding word to form a single unit so that e.g. “Dammelo” is composed of the imperative “Dà” (alternate forms ”Dai” or “Da’" with the elision of the final –i and then the apostrophe) and the double object pronoun “-melo” with a double "–m" because of a better sound (euphony).
Similarly, “Diglielo” is composed of the imperative, 2nd person singular “Dì” (alternate form ”Di’” with the apostrophe as it has lost the final syllable "–ci" ) and the double object pronoun “-glielo”, while “Ricordamelo” is composed of the imperative, 2nd person singular “Ricorda” and the double object pronoun “-melo”.
To sum up, “Da’melo or Daimelo”, “Di’glielo or Diciglielo” are definitely wrong, while “Ricordami ” is different from “Ricordamelo” as it would mean “Remember me ”, as in e.g. “Do you remember me? ( Ti ricordi di me?) or "I will always remember you" (Mi ricorderò sempre di te).
Hope this can help you.
Have a nice day,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Maria,
Thank you very much for your help with this question.
Can you please explain why the first letter of the indirect object pronoun “mi” is doubled to form “dammelo”, but the first letter of the indirect object pronoun “gli” is not doubled – which results in saying - “diglielo” (not - “digglielo”). I am confused because both imperative verb forms - “da” and “di” are single syllables, so I am not able to understand why “m” of “melo” is doubled, but “g” of “glielo” is not doubled.
Also, could you please help me with “ricordamelo”. Is “me” (to me) in “ricordamelo” an indirect object? Is “lo” (it) in “ricordamelo” a direct object? Would a literal translation be - “Remind it to me”.
Thank you very much.
the first letter of the double object pronoun “-melo” is doubled to form “dàmmelo” because the consonant “-m“ as well as for example the consonant “–l“ in “dillo” (say it) are doubled just to have a better sound in Italian (euphony), while the first letter of the double object pronoun “-glielo” is not doubled in “dìglielo” because the consonant “–g”, if doubled, would have a bad sound indeed, especially because the "-g" is before the "-li" in a trigraph (Italian "trigramma"), i.e. a group of three letters representing one sound for in "gli" te "l" is a mere graphic mark which serves to the pronunciation of this trigraph.
In short, the fact that both imperative verb forms “dà” and “dì” are single syllables doesn’t mattert at all, since it is the consonant that determines its doubling, according to the quality of having a pleasant sound (euphony).
See for example :"ossia"(o+sia);"addio" (a+Dio); "avvenire"(a+venire); "accanto"(a+canto); "cosiddetto" (così+detto); "chissà" (chi+sa); "soprammobile" (sopra+ mobile); "quaggiù" (qua+giù)
As for “ricòrdamelo”, the pronoun “me” (to me) in “ricòrdamelo” is exactly an indirect object as it stands for "a me"(Dative case, aka "Complemento di Termine")), while “lo” (it) is a direct object, so that a literal translation would be - “Remind it to me”.