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"Numerosi uomini si unirono al gruppo."

Translation:Numerous men joined the group.

September 21, 2017

9 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen69472

What is wrong with: "numerous men united to a group"? I thought the "a" in "al" indicates a kind of direction "allo zoo" = "to the zoo" etc.

Wouldn't "Numerous men joined the group" be translated into italian by "Numerosi uomini si unirono il gruppo" ?

September 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

Italian verbs with a reflexive conjugation are very often intransitive, and unirsi is one of them. This means that any noun standing after this verb acts as an indirect object, therefore between the verb and the noun a preposition is needed (this is why si unirono il gruppo is wrong).
The two prepositions more likely used after unirsi are a ('to') and con ('with'). So you can say:

  • unirsi al gruppo (preferable)

  • unirsi con il gruppo or col gruppo

Beware that a, besides indicating a direction, can take many more meanings, depending on the words it is used with, and on the context of the sentence.

In English, if I am not mistaken, the correct preposition after the verb 'to unite' is 'with', rather than 'to' (I hope a native speaker can confirm this), but 'to join the group' would be more common than 'to unite with the group'.

September 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen69472

Thanks a lot, I got it now! Very good explanation. Have a lingot ;-)

September 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

You are welcome, thanks for the lingot.

September 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qi0Y6kKw

Numerous men united the group should also be correct.

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZsuzsannaB999549

'Several men...' isn't correct? (I mean, instead of 'Numerous men...')

August 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoannaMcKe1

"Numerous men" sounds really odd in English. I haven't found an alternative phrasing that duo will accept, but I will keep trying because "numerous" in this context is so vague as to be meaningless (four? Fifty? A hundred thousand?) which is not helping me discover how to use the word in Italian...

September 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoannaMcKe1

Got one: "many men" is accepted.

September 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juddmin

"A lot of men" was rejected yet it is better English than "numerous men", I think.

September 29, 2019
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