Loro sono / or / Sono loro

Which do I use? In my Spanish for Italian speakers course, I came across sono loro. In my Italian for English speakers course, only loro sono is used.

I would've thought that sono loro would be used as a question (Sono loro bambini? Are they children?) but in the Spanish course, it is used just as it is (I'm doing Basics 2).

Sono loro

Any ideas? There is nothing about this on Google.

Civis? Linda? Anyone else?

(I'm putting this in the Italian for English speakers because I would prefer an answer in English)

May 28, 2019


Are they children? -> (Loro) sono bambini?

"Sono loro bambini?" - It is not wrong but it is emphatic,( not colloquial, used in poems)

it is used just as it is

In another type of sentence, es.:

  • Chi sono i vincitori?
    Sono loro!

  • Sono loro i vincitori?
    Sì, sono loro!

May 29, 2019

Grazie Mt.

May 29, 2019

Di nulla!
I'm sorry. I can't give a more detailed explanation... not in english!

May 29, 2019

I think it was very helpful, thank you!

May 29, 2019

As MT.italy wrote, the use of the subject pronoun at the end of the clause (postponed subject), i.e. after the verb, emphasises the pronoun. This requires a context, because one cannot start a topic using this construction. For instance, in MT.italy's example sono loro answers a question.

Here is a more in-depth but more complicated explanation.
When the verb of the sentence is essere, it is difficult to define whether a subject pronoun after the verb is a postponed subject or a pronominal predicate. This depends on the fact that most sentences that use essere as a verb, and whose construction is "A is B", in Italian can be reversed ("B is A"), so the subject becomes a predicate, and vice-versa.
For instance:

  • Loro sono i nostri amici. = They are our friends.

  • I nostri amici sono loro. = (literally) Our friends are them.

This second construction sounds odd in English, but in Italian it is normal.
In the first sentence, the subject is loro, and the nominal predicate is i nostri amici.
In the second sentence they are reversed, so the subject is i nostri amici, and the pronominal predicate is loro.

But the same second sentence can also be understood as if loro was the subject spoken in postponed position (thus emphasised), and i nostri amici was the nominal predicate dislocated (i.e. shifted) to the left, that is spoken at the beginning of the sentence.

I am aware this may seem complicated, but whether loro is emphasised or not in the second sentence depends on how the sentence is understood (which, in turn, largely depends on the context, or on the conversation topic).

May 29, 2019

Toh! Stavolta l'ho quasi azzeccata! ;-D

May 29, 2019

L'avevi spiegato bene.
È che a me manca il dono della sintesi. :-D

May 29, 2019

A me quello della dialettica. :-D

Possibile che non abbia fatto neanche UN errore??
Dai, puoi dirmelo. Non me la prendo mica!
Giurin giuretto. ;-D
Non ha senso che scriva in inglese se poi nessuno mi corregge.

May 29, 2019

Hai solo scritto "english" con la minuscola. :-D
Altri errori non ne vedo.

Oddio, un'altro erroruccio ci sarebbe...
Non puoi abbreviare "es." in inglese, ma "e.g." (exempli gratia).

May 29, 2019

Thank you so much! ;-*

May 29, 2019

Avevo sempre saputo che e.g. volesse dire "example given" come i.e. sta per "id est" (latino per "ciò è").

May 30, 2019

Ciao Chevy. I would go with "loro sono bambini" also as una domanda. But I'm always happier to wait for un madrelingua. Tanti auguri Chevy.

May 28, 2019

Thank you, Linda.

I was also wondering why it is used that way in the Spanish for Italian speakers course. I guess I'll be happy to wait for una madrelingua for that!


May 29, 2019
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