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?"
It also includes lei=she
lei/lui come descrive la ricetta? =
come descrive la ricetta?
io descrivo lui/lei descrive tu descrivi voi descrivete loro descrivono noi descriviamo.
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?"
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?
Hey, at least you're not putting Italian words in the English translation! I just put "How does he describe the ricetta?" =D
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?"
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 feel like the sensible literal translation which preserves the stress would be "he describes the recipe how?"
"He how does he describe the recipe?". That's how it translates here, it's distracting. It wouldn't be wrong to say "Come lui descrive la ricotta?" or "Come descrive lui la ricetta", would it?
It seems a bit much for it to count me wrong when all I did was by typo switch "i" and "e" to accidentally make "discreve".
"How does he describes the recipe" is considered a wrong answer and us corrected to be "describe" instead of the correct describes. Hundreds of supposed translations from Italian to English are full of errors.