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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trev756863

Diciamo che non lo sappiamo

I've just started this section so this might be a silly question. Diciamo che non lo sappiamo - "Let us say we do not know it". The notes that come with this "imperative" unit state that pronouns are often (can be ?) built into the appropriate verb. So, could this sentence also be " Diciamoci che non sappiamolo". ?

June 12, 2019

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

Only "diciamo" is in the imperative, so you can't stick the pronoun on the end of "sappiamo" (it's just a normal present tense verb). You could technically put "ci" onto "diciamo," but it changes the meaning from "let's say" to "let's tell ourselves/each other." Grammatically correct, but I don't know that I would accept it as a translation for "let's say."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trev756863

Many thanks, that clears up other questions I have. It also clarifies just what the "imperative" is, although does that mean that, in Italian, you can only have one imperative verb in any given sentence ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

You could have more than one, but they're typically main verbs in the sentence (so not often used in subordinate clauses), which means if there is more than one, they are tied together by words like "and," "or," etc. For example: "Andiamo a casa e dormiamo un po'!" ("Let's go home and [let's] sleep a little!").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trev756863

I'll study this bit a little more, I think I understand but I've only just started imperatives so I'm sure the penny will drop. Thankyou


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pierobonal

It's a fine question. "Diciamoci che non sappiamolo" is wrong. "Diciamoci che non lo sappiamo" is correct. You can use "sappiamolo" (alone) or "allora sappiamolo!" only for "che noi lo si sappia" (it's could be "plurale maiestatico" or not). It's complicated, because these problems derive from the abandonment of the Latin declinations. (they was clearer !). Another translation, i.h.m.o., more literary, could be "lasciaci dire che noi non lo sappiamo". To let indicates an imperative, but also "lasciare". @mmseiple, I'm wrong ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

Yes, “let us” (not contracted) could also be “lasciaci,” in addition to the first person plural imperative. As the imperative, though, it’s typically contracted to “let’s,” which would not be interpreted as “lasciaci.” The contraction gets rid of the ambiguity.

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