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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if the following translation is correct or not:

Ovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame.
The livestock was seen to graze everywhere.

Would you also please help me with the following questions in regards to this sentence:

[1]   Is “si vedeva” the use of “vedere” in the 3rd person singular imperfect in the passive voice?

[2] Is there any difference in meaning between “ovunque” as opposed to “dovunque”?

[3] Would it be acceptable to use “dovunque” in this sentence and say:  “Dovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame” and if so, would there be any difference in the meaning of this sentence?

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

Your translation is correct. As for  the following questions in regards to “Ovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame” (The livestock was seen to graze everywhere), please note that:

[1] in  “si vedeva” the use of “vedere” is just  in the 3rd person singular imperfect, in the passive voice (The so called "si passivante" in Italian so that "si vedeva" is the same as "era visto").

[2] there is no  difference in meaning between “ovunque” and  “dovunque”.

[3] it is thus  acceptable to use “dovunque” in this sentence and say: “Dovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame” without difference in the meaning of this sentence.

Best,

Maria


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you for your help with this question.   I hope you will not mind a follow-up question.

I was wondering if “ovunque” and “dovunque” are “adverbs”,   but can also be indefinite pronouns”.   Would you please tell me if this is true.

The reason I am asking is because  my dictionary states that “ovunque” and “dovunque” are “adverbs”.   But, some on-line sources state that “dovunque” is also a “pronoun”.

Would you also please tell me how "ovunque" is being used  in the following sentence: "Ovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame"
(The livestock was seen to graze everywhere).

Thank you.  As always, I very much appreciate your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

It is true that “ovunque”/“dovunque” is an adverb, whereas it is wrong that it can also be indefinite pronoun.
On the contrary, it can also be a conjunction as in e.g. “Lo troverò, dovunque/ovunque  egli sia (I’ll find it wherever  he is); “Siediti dovunque/ovunque tu voglia” (sit wherever you like); “Dovunque /Ovunque vada, si perde” (he will get lost wherever  he goes); “Ovunque/Dovunque  io  vada, me lo trovo davanti”; “Ti  raggiungerò dovunque/ovunque  tu sia”; “Andremo ovunque/dovunque  tu voglia”;etc. , where the conjunction “ovunque/dovunque” introduces a relative clause with the subjunctive.

As for the sentence  "Ovunque si vedeva pascolare il bestiame"(The livestock was seen to graze everywhere), the word “ovunque” is used as an adverb here, as it means “dappertutto” /”in qualsiasi luogo”(everywhere/anywhere).
See also:”C’erano uomini ovunque/dovunque”( there were men everywhere); “Ti seguirei ovunque/dovunque, anche in capo al mondo” ( I’d follow you anywhere, even to the end of the world), where the word “ovunque/dovunque” is used as an adverb of place.

To sum up, "ovunque", also written "dovunque", can be both an adverb and a conjunction, but not an indefinite pronoun.

Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,

Maria

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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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