"He has taken us to the zoo."
Translation:Lui ci ha portate allo zoo.
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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.
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.
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.
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! ;-)
The motion thing is a bit of a red herring. I used avere for default, and learned the exceptions. Some are listed here: http://www.oneworlditaliano.com/english/italian-verbs/essere_as_auxiliary.htm
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.
The reason portato is wrong is because it needs to agree with the Preceding Direct Object (PDO). This means that if the Direct Object comes before the verb then the past participle must agree with it. In this case the Direct Object 'ci' comes before the verb hence the plural ending. Same rule in French - both languages come from the same root ie Latin
He has taken us to the zoo, does not make taken reflexive.
Reflexive verbs at the level I understand it, are things we do to ourselves. So for example, "I was the car", "I wash myself". The former is not reflexive, the latter is. In fact, I could just say "I wash". In Italian, there are verbs that are/aren't reflexive that are/aren't in English, but many are the same.
ci, does not of itself, make it reflexive. It just means "us". It's only reflexive if the verb means "we do it to us".
Mi chiamo (I call myself)
Ci sediamo (we sit ourselves)
si sveglia (he wakes himself up)
So of course, also reflexive if it's "i do it to myself", "he does it to himself", etc....
to the zoo.
This is one sentence that almost translates word for word. Clitics seemed crazy at first, and I still get them wrong, but they get better, you know what they are at least, and then past tense seemed crazy, however as you move on, the previous ones suddenly seem ok ;-)
Did I miss a rule or something, because I'm not quite sure why 'she gave it to me' is 'me l'ha' but 'he has taken us' is 'lui ci ha'. That is, in one example the person doing the thing is before the person that it's done to, and in the other it's the other way around. Why is that?