She does not miss her grandchildren

Apologies for raising this issue in a separate post, the explanation for the use of "mancare" has been excellently covered within the appropriate lesson. My query is in two parts : Is it the inclusion of Mancare that changes the order of the sentence. viz. "I nipoti non le mancano". If the verb was changed to "piacere", would the same construction apply viz. "I nipoti non le piaceno" - "She does not like her grandchildren". Now, if the verb was changed yet again to, say "Andare", would the sentence construction be "Lei non va con I nipoti". "She does not go with the grandchildren" ? One section of my notes is "irregular sentence structure" and another "general sentence structure". I currently have this sentence split between the two with appropriate notes, would someone please confirm I have this correct.

October 19, 2018


Your first two examples use (correctly) an indirect pronoun in front of mancare and paicere-- non le piacciono, by the way-- but your example with andare does not; you've used the direct pronoun "lei" in that one.
So those sentences can't be compared to each other, mostly because of your use of andare which won't take an indirect pronoun.
Try the same thing with "does not love her grandchildren", instead, and the sentence structure correlates once again but the plural moves to the pronoun for nipoti:

I nipoti non gli ama (the grandchildren she does not love them)

October 19, 2018

The example in the original post with "andare" works just fine - "lei" is a subject pronoun there. Your example with "amare" would require a direct object pronoun: "I nipoti non li ama." This is a sort of convoluted (though common) structure, which repeats the direct object ("Her grandchildren, she doesn't love them"). You could also say just, "Non ama i nipoti" ("She doesn't love her grandchildren").

Trev, if I'm understanding your question correctly, you're asking if Italian follows the Subject-Verb-Object order, and it does. "Mancare" and "piacere" aren't really exceptions - what we think of as the object in English (She misses her grandchildren.) is actually the subject of the Italian verb (literally: The grandchildren are lacking/missing to her.).

October 19, 2018

This is a sort of convoluted (though common) structure, which repeats the direct object

Yes, in everyday's conversation this is the most common way to speak the sentence. This construction is explained in detail here:

October 20, 2018

Indeed, the subject-verb-object order question was in there, and thankyou for confirming that. Of course, I understand that just like English and all other languages, there are exceptions both in structure and conjugations. Someone has made the case that going over the DL tree a second (and more) time can consolidate knowledge much better as one already knows what is coming. I'm still intimidated at the start of every lesson, but so far, once I'm some way through the "gold" section, the words and structure come at lot easier. Thanks for your reply.

October 20, 2018

Firstly, many thanks for the 3rd person correction, that is the first time I have come across it, I have made a suitable note. I didn't realise that the love/ enjoy verb would have the same effect, so that is useful to know, but the second part of my question is still "does any other verb change the sentence construction". I used Andare as an example, but apart from the ones where the object (the grandchildren) are put first, does the sentence construction change so that the object comes after the verb ? (I hope I haven't made a right Charlie of myself here, but I still feel a little in the dark.) Many thanks for your reply.

October 19, 2018

Mancare = To be missing (to someone).

"She does not miss her grandchildren" must turn into the Italian construction "Her grandchildren are not missing to her":

  • I suoi nipoti non le mancano.

Speaking of relatives, these nouns can alternatively drop the possessive adjective, when it is clearly understood from the context whose relatives they are:

  • I nipoti non le mancano.

Piacere = To be likeable (to someone).

"She does not like her grandchildren" must turn into the Italian construction: "Her grandchildren are not likeable to her":

I suoi nipoti non le piacciono.

and for the same aforesaid reason:

I nipoti non le piacciono.

Andare = To go.

"She does not go with her grandchildren" the Italian sentence has the same construction:

Lei non va con i / coi suoi nipoti.


Lei non va con i / coi nipoti.

P.S. - Piaceno is Roman dialect, so you are fully justified by me! :-D

October 19, 2018

Many thanks, I thought that some (if not most) verbs would come before the object and that the mancare/ amare/ piacere … group are exceptions. I haven't come across the "Coi" word as yet, but I'm sure that's not far away. The main thing is I'm no longer unsure about this particular sentence construction. (Roman dialect is your thing eh.. See if I can find any more before my next - inevitable - question. - "da paura")

October 19, 2018

You won't seee coi in Duolingo, but it is just an extention of adding an article to a determiner:

in + i = nei
su + i = sui
con + i = coi

October 19, 2018

I haven't come across the "Coi" word as yet

As Mabby wrote, coi is the alternative form of con i (either of the two is currently used, in both the spoken and the written language).

"da paura"

Da paura is a modern slang expression (not really a dialect one), which can very generically take meanings such as "awesome", "smashing", "very remarkable", "gigantic" "exciting", "terrible", and so on. So whether it takes a positive or negative meaning depends on the context:

  • un risultato da paura = a smashing result

  • un incidente da paura = a terrible accident

Note that it is always used after the noun (as it takes a strongly emphatic meaning), never before.
...But don't expect Duolingo to accept it. :-D

October 20, 2018

Such are the vagaries of quoting from a google search. I meant it as awesome, cool.

October 20, 2018

The negative of piacere, dispiacere works the same way, but other than mancare, I think those are the only three common verbs that do what you're asking.
The others follow the regular sentence structure that you're used to.

October 19, 2018

As a matter of fact, I've just referred to my new book (love collecting books on Italian !) - Collins Italian Grammar & Practice. Page 229 has a list of prepositions combined with the definite article and it lists "a, di, da, in, and su", but not con. Does this mean that "con" also combines with "il, lo, la, l', gli and le" ? I don't see why not.

October 19, 2018

"Con" is only commonly combined with "il" (col) and less commonly "i" (coi). The other forms have mostly fallen out of use.

October 19, 2018

The other forms have indeed fallen out of use in the written language. But in the spoken language, at normal speed, what you actually hear is very often colla, cogli, colle, because the ...n l... sequence is commonly subject to assimilation, i.e. the N turns into the following L, which is therefore doubled.

This phonetic principle also applies to all words that are formed by the prefix in- ("un-", "not") followed by a word that begins with L or R (liquid consonants), or by M (labial consonant).
legale → illegale = illegal
reale → irreale = unreal
morale → immorale = immoral
capace → incapace (not iccapace)
sensibile → insensibile (not issensibile).

October 20, 2018

Yes, it can.


You do see col used occasionally in Duolingo sentences.

October 19, 2018

Thanks Mabby, I am making a list of exceptions to various rules. They are not in any particular order but at the moment, it doesn't matter, I just read through them to refresh my memory.

October 19, 2018
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