"Loro scrivono su di lei."

Translation:They write about her.

February 4, 2013

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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!


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


Maybe they're just a tattoo artist


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


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


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"!


Its strange that I have almost completed 2 levels of Duo and have yet to be introduced to essa/esso in anything but user's comments.


You will rarely hear esso/essa. They are rarely used because:
a) you don't really need personal pronouns as subjects in Italian since the subject is expressed by the verb (ex. Vado al mare).
b) Esso/essa are replaced by lui/lei nowadays.


Why not just "di lei" ?


I have the same question...


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


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


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.


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.;



Why isn't it "Loro scrivono sulla lei"?


It's a legitimate question. Why the double preposition in this sentence and why isn't it changed to match the gender of the pronoun ?

Here's a link to a Duo Forum discussion that answers that question and so much more! You don't change most prepositions when followed by a personal pronoun. E.g. Di me, da lui. However su, fra, and tra use an additional di in front of personal pronouns (although apparently this is not mandatory). https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28974161/Loro-scrivono-su-di-lei-They-write-about-her


Why should it be sulla lei?


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


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


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


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.


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)


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


sopra means above or on the top of


may be the object pronoun comes after di


What's the difference between 'Alla' and 'Su di'?


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


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


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


Same here. Thanks!


I wonder why it marked me wrong for using you?


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".


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


ah , I did not know this difference grazie!


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


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.


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


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


Very useful - thanks!


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?


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


The su part got me confused


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


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


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


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


Is my reasoning correct?

Su = about

Lei = she Di lei = her

Su di lei = about her

Su lei =about she (which is obviously wrong)


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


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


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


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


And what exactly are we writing on her?


Su di lei now makes a lot of sense


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.


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.


"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.


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.


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


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).


Thank you...appreciate your feedback.


Thank you!!! So only before sg. indeterm. articles and personal pronouns... So 'I write about the shark' would be 'scrivo sullo squalo' or 'scrivo dello squalo' rather than 'scrivo su dello squalo'?


Is it correct to assume that whenever di precedes a pronoun (e.g. Lui, Lei, Noi) it changes the meaning from "she" to "her" or "he" to "him" or "we" to "us"? According to google translate, that assumption does not work with "tu" or "io".


Can you say: "circa lei"? This su di lei is just too complicated


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


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?


Ok so i found out that "di" means about there is no point of su here If you type su di in italian to English it will tell you "on the"


Why do you put "su di" together in a sentence? su = on di = from su di = on the su di lei = about her but does "su di lei" really mean "about her" or its the English equivalent? Does "Loro scrivono su di lei" really mean = "They write on the her"? and you know what that means or does it really change?


I have real trouble understanding this particular (child's?) voice and often get these wrong because I just can't make it out....can we have some different voices please!?


With each lesson that uses the new voices, which are really bad, report it as something wrong with the audio. Otherwise the complaint here will not be addressed. I wish they were going to switch it back to the default voices, but they appear to be adding even more incoherent voices such as this child's voice.


But what if I write only *Loro scrivono di lei"? Isn't it correct?

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