"Mi hanno chiesto di studiare con loro."

Translation:They asked me to study with them.

February 13, 2019



What is the rule for using, or not using, 'di' before the infinitive?

February 13, 2019


The to of an infinitive must be translated with DI whenever there is a phrasal verb before, that is a verb which need a preposition, just like "to listen to" or "to wait for" in English. In this case we have chiedere di + infinitive. More in general remember:


A) when there are phrasal verbs with DI/A before them:

  • DI with verbs such as :

finire di (to finish), cercare di/tentare di (to try), pregare di (to pray/"please"), sperare di (to hope), ritenere di/pensare di (to think), credere di (to believe), decidere di (to decide), avere voglia di (to want), ricordare di/ricordarsi di (to remember), aver bisogno di (to need), sapere di (to know), smettere di (to stop), scusarsi di (to apologise), ringraziare di (to thank), aver paura di/temere di (to be afraid), chiedere di (to ask), dispiacersi di (to be sorry), essere capace di (to be able to/can) e.g.

La prego di entrare. (Please, come in.)
Ho finito di studiare. (I finished to study.)

  • A with verbs such as:

cominciare a (to start/begin), riuscire a/essere capace a (to be able to/can), provare a (to try), continuare a (to keep), essere abituato a/abituarsi a (to be used to/to get used to), andare a (to go), pensare a (to think), aiutare a (to help) e.g.

Non riesco a leggere. (I'm not able to read.)
Pova a nuotare! (Try to swim!)


Some verbs can be followed by both DI and A e.g. pensare a/di (in the first case "pensare" means occuparsi di - similar to "take the commitment to do/take care", in the second one considerare di fare - "consider doing") or finire a/di (same meaning).

The construct with DI might be replaced by subject + verb + che + subject + verb e.g.

(Io)Penso di andare a casa alle due. = (Io)Penso che (io) andrò a casa alle due.
(I think that I'll go home at two.)

at least when the subject of the infinitive and subject of the previous verb are the same.

B) when infinitives are purposes of previous verbs, and in this case you need PER as a link e.g.

Sono venuto qui per parlare con te. (I've come here to talk with you.)
Vado a scuola per imparare. (I go to school for learning.).


Sometimes you can put A too, such as in my first example venire a/per, but PER expresses the final clause better; it is the same about DI e.g. ringraziare di/per, scusarsi di/per, dispiacersi di/per. (basically it is the same as "to VS for" in English).

sub_ B) you need PER into the construct stare per + infinitive i.e. "to be about to do/to be going to do" e.g.

Sto per partire. (I'm about to leave/I'm going to leave.)

C) when you need DA as a link:

  • in the construct avere/c'è (impersonal form)/essere + infinitive, meaning you need/to have to , so something to do e.g.

Ho da fare una sola cosa. (I need/have to do only one thing.)
Ho da leggere due pagine. (I have to read two pages.)

C'è da pulire la cucina [like "bisogna"]. (You need/have to clean the kitchen.)
C'è tanto da imparare. (There is a lot to learn.)

Quel vecchio abito è da buttare [like "si deve buttare/deve essere buttato"]. (That old dress has to be thrown away.)
E' un lavoro da fare. (It's a work to do.)

  • in the costruct: indefinite pronouns (also implicit)/some adjectives + infinitive e.g.

Non ho niente da fare. (I have nothing to do.)
Ho molto da imparare. (I have a lot to learn.)
Hai qualcosa da dire? (Do you have something to say?)
Da'(qualcosa) da mangiare al mio cane. (Give something to eat to my dog.)

E' facile da capire. (It's easy to understand.)
E' carino da fare. (It's nice to do.)

=> Be careful: other types of prepositions could be between an adjective and an infinitive, because in these cases it depends on the adjective that can take a preposition rather than another e.g.

Io sono stanca di aspettarti. (I'm tired of waiting for you.)
Lui è impegnato a giocare. (He's busy playing.).

Anyways, when there are adjectives DA is used for expressing a consequence/causality e.g.

"it's so simple that it can be understood" = E' facile da capire.

This is the distinctive characteristic.

  • in all further cases in which infinitives express consequence/causality-function e.g.

Che traffico da impazzire! (What a traffic to go crazy! - consequence)
Dov'è la roba da mangiare? (Where is the stuff to eat? - causality-function)
Che cosa posso offrirti da bere? (What can I offer you to drink? - causality-function)

(coupled with nouns, without infinitives, it indicates function occhiali da sole/costume da bagno)


A) with modal verbs :

potere (can), sapere (can), volere (to want), dovere (must/to have to)

So nuotare. (I can swim).


if you translate "to want" with avere voglia di it'll fall into the group of phrasal verbs, while if you translate it with volere, being a modal verb it doesn't want any prepostions e.g. I want to eat something. = Ho voglia di mangiare qualcosa. / Voglio mangiare qualcosa.. It's the same in other cases, such as "can" which means potere/sapere, modal verbs, but also essere capace di-a, riuscire a, phrasal verbs, read the lists above.

B) with some other verbs such as:

piacere (to like), amare (to love), preferire (to prefer), desiderare (to wish), gradire (to like) , odiare (to hate), fare (to make), occorrere/bisognare (to need), osare (to dare), lasciare (to let), essere soliti (used to)

Mi piace ballare. (I like dancing.)
Lasciami studiare. (Let me study.)

  • in an impersonal construct (it's...) essere + adjectives/adverbs

E' utile leggere. (It's useful to read.)
E' meglio andare. (It's better to go.).

Usually we speak of adjectives such as bello, difficile, facile, piacevole, pericoloso, possibile, strano, utile, inutile ect.

=> Be careful: when the adjective has a subject, think of an impicit one, you need a preposition e.g.

(Il libro) E' utile da leggere. ( [The book] It's useful to read.)

I hope this help you, bye.

February 13, 2019


Grazie mille Emy!

February 13, 2019


Ciao, di nulla! Good luck!

February 28, 2019
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