"Lui come descrive la ricetta?"

Translation:How does he describe the recipe?

April 7, 2013

This discussion is locked.


In most sentences there is no personal pronoun as subject of the verb. The subject is just inferred. In this case "Lui" gets stressed very much. In combination with "come" the position of "lui" is either at the beginning, as given, or at the end. "Come descrive la ricetta lui?" If you put it behind "come" it will lose the stress and be dropped > "Come descrive la ricetta?"


So it's stressing that it's him describing it as opposed to anyone else?


Okay so what does "Come descrive la ricetta?" mean in English?


It means, "how does s/he describe the recipe?"


It means how does he/she describe the recipe, just as it does when its "lui come descrive la riceta" the difference being in the latter is the emphasis on him/her answering it.

A situation like this would occur if you were to ask the question to someone, but someone else has answered on behalf, but yoj want to know how would THIS SPECIFIC PERSON answer the question.


I think explain would make more sense but it may not be correct.


Can you also say "Come descrivi lui la ricetta?", if so, what has more emphasis, "Come descrivi lui la ricetta?" or "Come descrivi la ricetta lui?"


Where would the stress be if lui was at the end?


I believe it would still stress 'he'.


Why is it Lui come and not Come lui?


I believe it is to emphasis it is He who describes the recipe. If you wanted to break it down, you could work from "Him/ how/ he describes/ the recipe". 'Come descrive la ricetta' does not specify a person, so it is ambiguous and could be he, she or it (a person or, perhaps, a book?) It probably also indicates that the person may have already been mentioned in the conversation.


Hopefully you know the answer after 3 years but for a newb I'll make it very simple. Think of verbs as containers, every verb contains either; I, you, (he, she, it), we, you all, they, them etc.. With that being said Come lui (descrive) = How does he (he,she, it describe). So to place proper emphasis "He" we begin with "Lui". "Does" of course is implied by the "?", so direct translation is somewhat confusing for traditional English speakers, He how (he, she, it) describe the recipe? Anyway, hopefully that wasn't confusing.


But would it still be correct to say "come lui descrivi la ricetta?" ? or does the subject HAVE to come before the question word?


Thanks for that but what is a "traditional English speaker"?


As far as I know, the general rule is that when the sentence begins with a question word (come, quando etc.) the pronoun comes AFTER the verb, and this gives the emphasis. Come descrive lui la ricetta.


I believe it indicates brought up at a time when grammar was taught and slang, even 'isn't' 'can't' not acceptable in written English. Over the decades spoken English has developed away from that. Watch an English film from the 1950s and you should hear that.


ugh. i keep on accidentally translating into past tense english, forgetting that we haven't learned that yet...


Solidarity on that. I do it dismayingly often.


Hey, at least you're not putting Italian words in the English translation! I just put "How does he describe the ricetta?" =D


I have definitely done that an embarrassingly large amount of the time. My brain will translate from Italian to English and then retranslate from English to Italian. :/


I find myself doing the same thing. =D


I have confused French 'il' (= he) with Italian "il" (= the) out of sheer inattention. Also, have used Spanish 'el' for 'il'. Mind you, I think that 'el' is somehow a more intuitive word for the article.


The sound is not very good. I hear 'Lui come descriva la ricetta'.


You are right. Did you feedback?


I think so. The sound problems are still very numerous.


I agree. I could hear that too.


How come it's Lui come instead of Come lui?


When translating to English it would be much easier to do by putting "Lui" at the end of the sentence. We would never say "He, how does he describe the recipe" while sober.


I feel like the sensible literal translation which preserves the stress would be "he describes the recipe how?"


I find this kind of sentence really difficult to work out. If you do it literally, it is "He like you describe the recipe" which makes absolutely no sense at all!


"descrive" is the 3rd person (he/she/it). "descrivi" is the 2nd person (you).

So, the literal translation is "He like/how describes the recipe", not "He like/how you describe the recipe".

I believe that, if you wanted to say "How does he describe the recipe", you could either say "Lui come descrive la ricetta" or "Come lui descrive la ricetta". If you wanted, in the latter version, you could drop the pronoun all-together and just write "Come descrive la ricetta". The difference between putting the pronoun (lui) before or after "Come" is for emphasis. If you put the pronoun before "Come", as was done in this exercise, it adds emphasis to the person describing the recipe. If you put the pronoun after "Come", there is not emphasis on the person who is describing the recipe.

Also, you don't always have to think of "come" as translating directly to "like". It can also translate to "how". Another way of thinking of "come" is to translate it, interchangeably, to "in the way that" or "in what way does". For example, I could say "lui mangia come io" and translate it to "he eats in the way that I (do)" rather than "he eats like I (do)". Or, I could say "come mangia?" or "come lui mangia?" and translate it to "In what way does he eat?" I could also say "lui come mangia?" to stress the pronoun which would translate to "in what way does HE eat?"


I lived in Italy for a while, and a lot of people there (Treviso) said 'come?' to express 'what did/do you say/mean?'


Why is it "does" instead of "did" ? how do I determine the tense in this sentence?


@ Justin Sudar it's because of the present tense. Ex: How does he describe the recipe? Does becomes did in the past tense.


I just wrote "how is he describing the recipe", but DL rejected...


I struggled with the "lui" before "come", thinking it might translate as: "How does she describe the recipe to him"


I thought if 'come' wasn't at the start of the sentence it meant 'like' as in 'he described the recipe "like" this'. Can we put the 'question word' anywhere in the sentence?


Is 'come descrive lui la ricetta' wrong to say?


The verb is descrivere = to describe

descrivo = I describe

descrivi = you describe

descrive = he/she describes


Describe the recipe: "It is a pan Asian fusion of vegetarian cooking" is a description. "It was vegetarian, very tasty and filling but it wasn't nicely presented" Those are both descriptions. though it would be more usual to ask "describe the dish/meal'. What is the recipe? Can you give me the recipe? Do you have the recipe? Yes 1 aubergine, 2 chillis; 1 onion; 100g of basmati rice etc. ..... (native speaker UK)


can we ask 'come descrive la ricetta lui?


Again, very odd and non-linear syntax. I translated this as "He how describes the recipe," but rearranged the words in my American mind so that they made sense (because I like things to make sense) and guessed (which makes no sense . . . why should someone have to continually guess what something means) that the phrase meant "How does he describe the recipe." Then I picked my nose and moved on.


Sounds weird. Why are we practicing "special situations" and "special emphasis" instead of learnig the solid basics first? It is only confusing at this level.


So far there seem to be 3 options: 1. Come lui descrive, 2. Lui come descrive, 3. Come descrive lui. Come I feel a bit at a loss here?

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.