"Loro scrivono su di lei."

Translation:They write about her.

February 4, 2013



I suspect that "Loro scrivono di lei" would mean that they're using her blood for ink and "Loro scrivono su lei" would mean they're using her skin for paper. Maybe best to think of "su di" as a single compound word. At least it doesn't combine the two ideas!

January 21, 2014


I actually just got this wrong because I thought 'on her' was just too ridiculous haha

June 24, 2015


Maybe they're just a tattoo artist

January 28, 2018


I concur

April 8, 2017


not really, "Loro scrivono (su) di lei" means "they write about/on her" and "Loro scrivono su lei" is just wrong

December 4, 2014


Suppose I said Ho una scheda. (I have a card) What's wrong with Loro scrivono su lei? (They write on it.)

December 5, 2014


lei is only used for persons or animals, for objects like a card you have to use "essa" but i'm not sure you can say "loro scrivono su essa" and even if is correct you will never hear someone saying that, they'll say "loro scrivono su di essa". the only example i can think of that doesnt use "di" is when you are talking about someone famous, for example:"questo libro è su Dante Alighieri" (this book is about Dante Alighieri") in this case you cannot use "di"!

December 5, 2014


The is no such distinction between lei and essa. Both can be used for humans, animal, things, ideas... https://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronome_personale_in_italiano or http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia.
Essa feels sowewhat old fashioned but it's in no way only used for animals.

June 14, 2017


I have to correct you, the wikipedia page you quote here states explicitely that lui and lei can only be used on people and animals (no exceptions!), while esso and essa are used for things or animals (and in very rare cases for people):

lui e lei si usano nel linguaggio comune parlato e scritto per indicare persone e animali:

Chi è stato? È stato lui;

esso e essa si usano nel linguaggio parlato e scritto di registro alto per indicare animali o cose:

Il leone è un felino. Esso trova il suo habitat preferenziale nelle savane africane;

più raramente,[1] possono riferirsi anche a persona:

È uno scrittore colto e sensibile, ma anch'esso legato a una forma letteraria superata.;


August 25, 2019


Grazie per la tua risposta, comonque io ho una domanda. Come posso dicere "they are writing on it"?

May 24, 2015


Io credo "Loro scrivono su di essa" è la traduzione giusta.

November 19, 2015


Why not just "di lei" ?

August 27, 2019


Ha! Thanks, Greg! :)

February 22, 2014


yes, thanks greg.

February 27, 2014



September 7, 2014


Sorry, but those translations made me laugh. XD But I see what you're getting at.

May 9, 2019


I suspect that you're a psychopath.

July 27, 2018


Does anyone know why they use both su and di? Can't just one of them be used?

March 22, 2013


This seems to be like a phrase "su di lei" means, according to DL "about her".

May 26, 2015


I remember this song which starts with "su di noi' being stuck in my head for years without knowing the slightest bit what it's about.

October 27, 2015


Thank you for the song! I YouTubled "Su di noi", and the song is sooo beautiful! It will surely help me to remember "su + di + x" and to learn more vocabulary. :o)

September 5, 2019


Could one write "Scriviamo sopra lei?" (or am I just thinking too much in Spanish?)

August 11, 2015


sopra means above or on the top of

June 3, 2017


may be the object pronoun comes after di

September 17, 2015


So I translated "They write about you" because I did not pay attention, and yet it was accepted. Isn't that wrong?

March 3, 2014


Lei also means a "formal" you, so your translation is actually right, too.

March 3, 2014


Cool, thank you! That's a nice way to learn something new :-D

March 3, 2014


Same here. Thanks!

April 8, 2014


I wonder why it marked me wrong for using you?

August 21, 2014


Although "Lei" could be used; however, it's not correct here because the "Lei" with a capital signifies the formal "you". Here we just have "lei" which would simply be "her".

August 21, 2014


That's optional, though, and not as common as lower-case these days.

December 5, 2014


ah , I did not know this difference grazie!

August 21, 2014


Technically it should be wrong because the formal "you" is "Lei" with a capital "L"; however, that is for writing and not speaking

July 13, 2014


Why didn't "they write of her" work?

December 4, 2015


I'm reporting it.

March 31, 2017


The su part got me confused

April 12, 2015


Just a question.. In Italian if we want to say we write/talk about something we use " su di" for the "about?

June 21, 2016


I still have trouble finding the reason that "di" is being used here.. Can someone please explain? Thanks :)

October 1, 2016


I agree! They are writing "on of her"? When is "su di" used in normal conversation? What other times do we need to use this strange combination?

July 11, 2019


I find that this exercise is meant to help learners understand

su = [ about ]

▪︎di = the preposition to use

Perhaps you might want to check out Wiktionary's entry for di.


This is the 10th definition for "di" in Wiktionary.

10. Used in some expressions in a partitive-like function, often without article.

Some examples that help me remember this definition.

  1. {partitive without article}  

• penso di sì
[ I think so ]

• Io dico di sì.
[ I say yes. ]

• Dicono di no.
[ They say no. ]

• Loro sono contro di lui.
[ They are against him. ]

• Loro scrivono su di lei.
[ They write about her. ]


:) KK

August 5, 2019


Would, "They write of her", be a correct translation here?

November 11, 2016


It would be acceptable in British English. Although not commonly used in speech, it would be preferred in prose over "about".

June 29, 2019


I thought the same thing, but Duolingo seems to want strictly boring American English and not anything remotely literary or international.

November 6, 2017


Is "su di" fixed, regardless of gender and number? So i wrote about him/her/them would be su di lui/lei/loro?

What about if I wanted to use a different sort of article after su di? e.g "they wrote about the war" , "they wrote about those women"

I'm quite excited that I've come across a new phrase.

December 5, 2016


My answer of "They write on her" was accepted. A big difference in English from "They write about her". Just say'n

February 2, 2015


You could say ' they wrote a book on fishing in the Atlantic'

May 18, 2018


Do you need to put loro in front of scrivono, DL didn't put we in front of scriviamo?

June 15, 2015


Well, film Dangerous Liaisons come to my mind wit this "write on her" :-)

June 24, 2015


The sentence structure totally confused me, why does lei not mean of her

October 11, 2015


And what exactly are we writing on her?

July 21, 2016


Su di lei now makes a lot of sense

November 8, 2017


Is my reasoning correct?

Su = about

Lei = she Di lei = her

Su di lei = about her

Su lei =about she (which is obviously wrong)

March 23, 2019


This is how ive come to understand why its "su di" and not just "su" (i could be very wrong though): When you say "I write OF her" its implying that, while you do write some things of the woman, you dont write all the details. When you say "I write ABOUT her" youre writing a tell all; you can probably list a lot of details and be specific. To me, its the same difference betwern conoscere and sapere.

July 13, 2019


What a-to-do about su! (Okay I´ve been writing poetry lately, but let me tell you I am also a native English speaker (educated British, brought up American) and in neither would OVER YOU be used, though you can say, I wrote all over you when you were sleeping.....anyway, we are not here to discuss English, but to figure out if su di is a mistake or just a redundancy that is acceptable. So answer that please.

March 27, 2013

  • 2182

"Su di" is perfectly acceptable before singular indeterminate articles (un, uno, una) and personal pronouns (such as in this case); "di" doesn't serve any grammatical function, but in the case of personal pronouns it's so common that it feels odd without.

March 27, 2013


Then is it not correct to use only "di"? I'm still confused because Duolingo says both of them mean "about" and doesn't translate them as a phrase.

October 19, 2013


Thank you...appreciate your feedback.

April 18, 2013


Can you think of other examples where you would use "su di"? thank you!

January 28, 2014

  • 2182

I found an entry in Treccani's Q&A and they seem to list only those two cases too: http://www.treccani.it/magazine/lingua_italiana/domande_e_risposte/grammatica/grammatica_190.html A similar but different case is when "su" is followed by the partitive article, which has the same form as di+article, e.g. "un consiglio su delle cuffie" (an advice about headsets).

January 28, 2014


i understand that this sentence can mean both "they write about her" and "they write on her". is there any other way to say these sentences in italian? like, to be more precise because i dont want to confuse people. or people would understand me b/c of context anyway?

November 23, 2015


Shouldn't it be about her!!

December 7, 2015


Can we use"mettiamo su lo zucchero sulle torte"for "we put some sugar on the cakes", thanks.

December 9, 2015


In that case the translation would be: "Mettiamo DELLO zucchero sulle torte"

January 9, 2016


I thought it was also ridiculous. The owl is always right

August 21, 2016


Its just not a good sentence because it implies physical assault.

June 1, 2017


I am not sure if you are kidding or not, but you seriously need to not take this seriously (other than the fact that you've wrongly misinterpreted the sentence ).

June 1, 2017


So can I say, noi parliamo su di tu? We talk about you?

January 18, 2019


i wrote 'they write of her' shouldnt that be accepted?

July 22, 2019


My husband is italian and he says translate is complately wrong.....

April 17, 2017


That's not a terribly helpful comment. What would be helpful is for him to state WHAT exactly is wrong...

April 17, 2017


"Di lei" sounds like "delay" in English. XD

May 9, 2019
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