"He has taken us to the zoo."
Translation:Lui ci ha portate allo zoo.
I don't understand why "Lui ci ha portatE allo zoo" is correct instead of "Lui ci ha portatO allo zoo."
EDIT: Like f.formica pointed out "portate, portati and portato" should all be correct. This is because of direct object agreement: http://goo.gl/fxU68G At the end in this link it explains how portato is possible because the agreement is optional for direct object pronouns mi,ti,vi and ci.
- portate: means that those that he has taken are all females.
- portati: all males or a mixed group of males and females.
- portato: doesn't give us any information about the gender of "ci" (it could mean any of those previously mentioned), therefore it is not specific enough but it is still correct.
Both "lui ci ha portate allo zoo" and "lui ci ha portati allo zoo" should be correct; "lui ci ha portato allo zoo" works as well but it's frowned upon by some Italian grammars.
I believe that portati means us either all male or both male and female and portate means us females.
normally, yes, but in these cases it's to give information about gender referred to. See above - Dnovinc
i don't understand it either. why portatE, even if its plural.. i thought avere don't agree with singular, plural, male or female..
That is correct for the subject. When you use avere you don't agree with the subject. However you do agree with the object.
If the direct object is one of the four clitics lo, la, li, le then the participle must agree with it. If the direct object is any other clitic, then the participle may agree with it. If the object is a noun phrase, then the participle does not agree with it, although you might see this happen in old texts. And it never agrees with indirect objects, even if the clitic is le.
Exactly! Just what I was going to say! ....or not... Clear as mud, this is, for me. (Do not copy that (lack of) grammar, non-natives!) I keep thinking I have agreement sorted out, and then somebody tosses in nasty things like 'dative' and 'might'.
Grin. Okay, then here's the quick-and-dirty explanation:
When you're reading, you don't care if the participle agrees with anything. All you care about is what you have to write/say. So ignore the optional stuff and the old stuff.
The rule for avere is that if it has a la lo li or le in front of it, the participle has to agree with it. Otherwise leave the participle alone. For example:
L'ho visto is "I saw him" and L'ho vista is "I saw her" and Li ho visti is "I saw them" and Le ho viste is "I saw them girls." (Okay, "them girls" is a bit substandard, but I said "quick and dirty.") :-)
The only exception is that if le doesn't mean "them girls" then this rule does not apply. E.g. Le ho detto un racconto "I told her a story".
Is that better?
It is. And given another 39 or so repetitions, I might even have some of it sink in beyond the "I get it when I concentrate hard, hold my tongue just right, and also on the second Tuesday of each week" stage. I was with Moomingirl when they taught grammar, and THAT was of the English type in my case. Nothing like learning another language to prove how poorly you know your own.
I like your quick-and-dirty explanations. ;)
The in-depth ones sometimes sail straight over my head. I don't know where I was on the day they taught grammar, but it obviously wasn't at school.
I'll give you another example: I have eaten a pizza. Io l'ho mangiata tutta. Even though the verb 'mangiare' goes with avere, since 'l'ho' (la ho) is replacing 'pizza' that is femmenine, you must use a femmenine in the main verb.
my book says that you must make the past participle agree when using avere only with certain object pronouns... it says lo, la, li and le
ci means "us" in this sentence, which is an object pronoun, but it's not on the list I have for agreements!
Anyway, if ci does need agreement and the gender is ambigous, that would be why both portate and portarti could be correct.
The common interpretation is that in presence of a direct object clitic pronoun the past participle should always agree with it, but it's only mandatory for the third persons because they can all potentially be elided to l'; on http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/it/lingua-italiana/consulenza-linguistica/domande-risposte/accordo-participio-passato the illustrious linguist Luca Serianni argues that a possibility of choice in this case (number 2 in his list) has always existed in Italian, and he doesn't make a special case for the third persons.
why is "Lui ci ha preso allo zoo" wrong. That's the 1st hint they give and the most literal translation in English of 'ha preso' = he has taken
Yes. Prepositions don't directly translate. Portare implies movement (to bring, to carry), while prendere indicates a static act (to catch, to pick up).
Thx, I've been trying to wrap my head around prendere=to take and portare=to carry/bring. I finally understand that "Voglio prendere il mio amico all'aeroporto" can only mean I'm planning on picking him up (at that place) and never that I'm taking him there!!! Guess, I'll just have to get used to the idea that you can 'carry' (portare) a lot more than just things you can literally carry! ;-)
I just got it! Thanks to your explanation. It's the old "take from" and "bring to". Here's a lingot. :)
Ok I see why prendere is wrong in this context although it is very unhelpful when they offer that as the most likely hint. Thanks
I agree. The meanings seem nuanced but can make a lot of difference - rather like 'bring', 'fetch', take' etc in English
Holy ##/^/ each translation is different during the lesson versus the comment section. Portò or portate?