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!)
In German, a sentence revolves around the verb, which in main clauses is in second position. One can put what's called "thematic" (given) information at the beginning as background. But what is emphasized as new information is still dependent on stress...In linguistics, a dichotomy has been drawn between "subject-prominent" and "topic-prominent" languages. In strongly SP languages, topicality doesn't determine the subject. The famous sentence, l'état c'est moi winds up in German as Der Staat bin ich, where "ich" is the new information and also the grammatical subject. In Italian, it's lo stato sono io..."Who's the oldest person in the room?" "That's me!" Modern English is like French in that regard: One doesn't normally say "That am I." But French can't stress subject pronouns the way English can: "Who ate the cheese?" "I did." "Qui a mangé le fromage?" "C'est moi (qui l'ai mangé)." But here French marks the subject of the relative clause with the first-person form of the verb...One can't say that languages are "illogical," but they can certainly be tricky! L'ho mangiato io il formaggio.
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.
A substantial portion of what ipecacuana says is no longer applicable, due to changes in the Duolingo interface. Verb conjugations are no longer available in the exercises, and only sporadically available in the discussion sections, with incomplete tables missing most of the different conjugations.
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.
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." :-) )
Though both Italian and French are Romance languages, French has developed a high-frequency clefting pattern (frasi dislocate/phrases clivées). It's a strategy for separating new information from given information: C'est moi qui ai mangé le pain. An English speaker is more likely to resort to stress differences: I ate the bread and not It is I who ate the bread. In Italian, one plays with the word order: Ho mangiato io il pane. One can also "copy" the object as a pronoun: L'ho mangiato io il pane.
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
2 REPLYGIVE LINGOT•6 MONTHS AGO