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difference between 'egli' and 'lui'

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What is the difference between 'egli' and 'lui'? we learn only 'lui' here, but somebody told me, that 'egli' is the "better" word for 'he' and that 'lui' is 'him'. And DL accepts both 'egli' and 'lui' for 'he'. Is 'egli' something like old-italian?

March 4, 2014



Yes. Pronouns egli, ella, esso, essa, essi and esse are not used anymore, although still correct. Lui, lei and loro are used instead.

March 4, 2014


Theoretically, "egli" ("ella" for female, and "esso" for objects) is used as the subject of a sentence. As object of the sentence or after prepositions the correct form is "lui" (or "lei" for female). But anyway, everybody uses "lui" also for the subject. It feels weird to say "egli mangia", for example, even if this should be the correct (but "old") form

March 4, 2014


I forgot something: as far as talking is concerned, (almost) nobody uses "egli/ella/esso". But if you write something "official" (documents, papers...) the correct use is "egli" as subject and "lui" in the other cases.

March 5, 2014


Everytime I look up an italian verb and conjugation, I see they always use "egli" to refer "lui" (at first I did not know egli = lui)

March 8, 2014


because the correct form for the subject of the sentence is "egli". So in verbs' coniugations you will find "egli", since is the subject. But as object of after prepositions is wrong. For example, "scrivo ad egli" is wrong in any case, because it is not the subject of the sentence. But when someone is speaking, you will very rarely hear "egli".

March 9, 2014


I've heard people using "ella" in casual conversation, so it's not completely dead in modern speech. : ) To answer the original question, "egli" you'll see a lot in written works. "Egli" is more formal than "lui," but is rarely used in speaking. I'm not sure what the person who told you about meant about "him" and "he." "Egli" and "lui" are definitely both used as the subject ("he"). Maybe a native speaker can weigh in.

March 4, 2014


Sounds a bit like "ye" and "you" in English. Ye is the subject and you is technically the object, but nowadays everyone uses you as both the subject and the object.

October 9, 2015


So, here's a question, since "Lei" and "Loro" can both mean "you" formally, is it the same for "Ella", "Essa", and "Esse"?

November 15, 2017


Italian mother tongue here. “Lei” is the (very commonly used) formal pronoun when speaking to a single person. Originally it referred to “Sua Signoria” (Your Majesty – a feminine word). “Loro” is the equivalent for multiple people (much less used). “Ella”, “essa” and “esse” are rarely used (as “egli” “esso” and “essi”), both in oral and written forms. They’re sometimes used in sarcastic sentences! If a native speaker used these forms, he or she would sound extremely pompous – friends would probably laugh at you. They’re not used as formal ways of addressing people (possibly “Ella” is, but again super rare)

February 10, 2018
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