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  5. "Gli dissi qual era il proble…

"Gli dissi qual era il problema."

Translation:I told him what the problem was.

November 10, 2013



I'm still trying to wrap my head around passato remoto. If, in this sentence, the "telling" is in the remote past, how can the "problem" be in the imperfect, since the "problem" must have happened before the "telling of the problem"? Or is this OK because the passato remoto sets the "absolute" time frame, and then everything else in the sentence is "relative" to this time frame -- so this is an ongoing/habitual problem occurring before the "dissi", which itself happened in the remote past?


Apparently the idea is that the problem continued to exist for a while. During that stretch of time I (punctually) asked what it was. Just like "I was eating when the phone rang."


I think that makes sense, thanks


I am reading Barron's "Italian Verb Workbook" and they actually call this tense "past absolute".

  • 2311

Isn't "gli" plural?


It could be plural, but it is also used as the third person masculine singular indirect object pronoun. Maybe you confused it with the article.


'I told them that was the problem', not correct?


yes, what you say is correct
The pronoun "gli" is nowadays widely used also for the third person plural

  • "gli dissi..." = "dissi loro..." = "I told them..."


I put this too and had it marked wrong. Is it in fact correct, and if not, why not?


WHy not "fu il problema" when you use passato remoto on the first part??

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