"Stasera sceglie lui il ristorante."
Translation:Tonight he chooses the restaurant.
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This is a great brainstorm for a sentence that can be somewhat confusing, so let's flesh it out:
Stasera lui sceglie il ristorante
Basic structure. He is making the selection and this is a fact. Because of the way simple present works in Italian, you're right guiletheavenger, in English "will" or "is going to" would work as well.
Stasera sceglie lui il ristorante
Moving the subject pronoun after the verb provides emphasis to who is doing what. That's the simplest explanation for this strange structure and it works most other times you see it as well: emphasis. Here are other sentences you might see:
- Guido io. I'm driving (not you)
- Andiamo noi. We're going (we can take care of this)
What I believe f.formica was trying to explain is that highlighting lui like this makes it seem similar to the subjunctive or the imperative in that it is not matter-of-fact. You could compare this to another structure: "Che scelga lui" and if you're familiar with Spanish, "que elija él". One interpretation of this sentence indicates a wish or desire, just like the imperative and subjunctive, but it is not the same mood or tense.
To keep it short, there are two options: you can remember that verb + subject pronoun is used for emphasis, or you can jump into an elaborate linguistics discussion on how this use resembles a different tense (I'd be happy to see that grow!)
Again, the problem with this language is inconsistency. Up until now, verbs always came after the pronoun; now, they don't. We must now remember some peculiar exceptions. This is very frustrating. I'm almost ready to throw in the towel. People say English has more inconsistencies, but regardless of the fact that someone might say I'm showing a bias since my native tongue is English, I would say this simply isn't true. English syntax almost always follows a linear and natural progression, but Italian doesn't. Basic words usually have one meaning, but this isn't the case with Italian. These are but a few examples of inconsistencies. I've come across many more. I REALLY want to become fluent in Italian, but I'm beginning to doubt this is possible, and I am greatly saddened by this reality.
Let's not forget also that DUOLINGO is teaching us the language progressively, that is, from the most basic structure of the langauge, that is, basic words and tenses, to its most complicated forms, i.e., higher register vocabulary and more complicated verb tenses and structures.
If you were to click on the particular verb we're now discussing, scegliere (to choose), you'll realize that DUOLINGO lists it, under CONJUGATION, as a PRESENT INDICATIVE verb and, therefore, it would behoove us not to complicate matters for us and to just look for its nearest equivalent in the English language, that is, the present indicative, instead of trying to use different tenses, like the FUTURE TENSE.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, why don't we keep it simple for us and wait until we've reached that level of sophistication in our learning of the Italian language in which we are required to wrack our brains trying to figure out whether to use the Passato prossimo, Trapassato remoto, Futuro semplice, Futuro anteriore, etc.---something I'm dreading and not particulary looking forward to.
In these cases, I like to write ‘he's choosing’; it's more likely to be accepted by Duolingo than ‘he will choose’, and more acceptable for near-future meaning in English than ‘he chooses’. (I actually think that ‘he chooses’ works in this case, although I don't think that I could explain why; still, there are certainly other sentences in Duolingo where this is more of a problem.)
The problem with that is that the sentence is explicitly not in the future tense. Furthermore, consider sentences such as "tonight, we dine like royalty" or more relevantly "tonight, he is choosing the restaurant" (its referring to the fact that he is being given responsibility for the restaurant choice, not that he is presently doing so).
Except this construct in English uses just the present tense when a future event has been decided - we are treating it as fact to our current situation: Tonight, we dine like kings! -In this case, this could be part of a large idea - You got to pick where we've gone all week; tonight, he chooses the restaurant.
stasera is translated directly as “this evening”, you are correct. (and btw, as of 7/2020, both “tonight” and “this evening” were accepted). but in italian, they often use stasera to mean tonight, in the way us english speakers are used to. Stanotte is more often used to talk about going to bed vs. something social. i hope that helps.
I think stasera can mean both i.e. this evening or tonight. Lorenzo provided a comment on this query six months ago above that I've copied here for ease of reference, I hope this helps -
LorenzoLM 257622 stasera is this evening, but also used as tonight. Italian uses stanotte almost exclusively when going to bed, not socially.
I hope this might help my classmates, for this beautiful language. The word ordering verb + subject is also common in English, so not strange at all. "How came you to be here?" "Listen you to what he has to say." "What have you to say?" And other examples I quoted elsewhere. (And lastly "Fare thee well." :-) )
Most assuredly those lilting phrases would be found in a Jane Austen novel spoken by a genteel lady with a British accent who was taught by a governess.
In the US, we ain't genteel. We butcher the Queen's English. You won't ever hear/see those phrases here. Maybe in Great Britain amongst the upper upper crust - the Brits will have to tell us.