"Lui ci ha portate allo zoo."

Translation:He has taken us to the zoo.

April 14, 2013

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I don't understand why the past participle ends in e here, not o.


Ooh, ooh, I just learned the answer to this one, so I'm happy to share the love. That you noticed that indicates that you have a good eye.

"When preceded by avere, participle does not change in gender and number except when the direct object pronoun (what substitutes la torta or le rane) moves behind the auxiliary."

In this case, the speaker is one of a group of women, and since there is a "ci" particle appearing before the "ha", the participle matches the gender and number of the direct object (in this case, although it doesn't actually appear, that would be ragazze or donne).

See this answer for a longer and probably more accurate explanation: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/271063


So actually the pronoun "ci" is substituting for "noi ragazze," not actually a general "we" like we think in English, where it only can be a neutral word, or where there is no such thing as altering verbs to accommodate gender/ number.
I think that if it were referring to a group of people of mixed gender or males, it would have to be Lui ci ha portati allo zoo.


>So actually the pronoun "ci" is substituting for "noi ragazze,"

wow, thank you for explaining that!


Your example sentence is also in this lesson. I just had it 2 sentences ago:

"Lui ci ha portati allo zoo."


yes, I agree, that is what I was thinking


I wouldn't think we but us in general. He took us to the zoo...


Well, I think they're just saying 'we' but mean 'us.' They're pretty much the same word, just one's a subject and one's an object, but you're right, in this sentence 'ci' does mean 'us.'


if 'Lui' was not there, the sentence would revert to ci ha portato allo zoo.


No, the direct object pronoun (ci) is what "portato" is agreeing with, so it has to be "portati" or "portate" since "ci" is plural. It has no relation to whether or not we use "lui".


Yes this is my understanding as well. It is not the pronoun lui that the past participle must agree with when avere is preceded, but the direct object ci. It makes sense that the Italian language gives a clue to the listener so they understand in this case that "us" refers to a group of girls. "Ha" then is also illuminated by including lui. We often lose our way in these situations and such assists are welcome, if we just learn to parse them out.


good explanation. but given the lack of context then "ha portati" should also be accepted, should "us" include atleast one male


I feel like it would be helpful to include a picture of the speaker (woman) so that we learners could make the connection implicitly.


Thanks very much. What a complicated language Italian is! But much helped by the helpful duolingo family. I'll follow the link and try to make sense!


Nice answer! I thought we French were the only ones to have so complicated rules. It is actually quite similar to Italian! :-)


French, Spanish, Italian are all based on Roman. I'm not sure about Portuguese but I think it's the same.


Also Portuguese, it's a Romance language


In Portuguese it'll be: Ele nos levou ao zoológico. Yes, Portuguese is also part of the romance languages group. :)


This is one rule I remember easily because it's the same in French. Though I find that a lot of Italian grammar is quite different from French...


English has its issues too in this regard. In English we might say the following: he took us to the zoo and then we went to the park. Who is included in the trip to the park? In Italian it would be obvious for the Duolingo example given further above. If he came along with the female group then the next participle would end in "i." If not, "e."


Just to add on to the discussion a bit, when the direct object pronouns lo, la, l', li, and le directly precede the transitive verb (a verb conjugated with avere) in the present perfect, the agreement of the past participle (in gender and number) with the pronoun is mandatory.

However, if the verb is directly preceded by mi, ti, ci, or vi, for example, as in this case, the agreement is completely optional. Thus, this sentence could also have been written "Lui ci ha portatO allo zoo." This gives you some options. :D Hope this helps!


aahrrgggg!!! now I am completely confused! Ah well, they will understand me in Italy whatever I say... portate, portati, portato, portate.... I´ll take my lost hearts with courage and struggle on ;)


Potayto potahto... sorry couldn't resist


You say portate, I say portato


Molto divertente...


Sorry for the silly question, but what part of this sentence indicates that it's "us"? Thanks.


the "ci" part indicates us. It is like this: MI ha portato.. (he took ME...), TI ha portato (he took you), LO (him), LA (her), CI (us), VI (you all), LI (them male), LE (them female)


but I think the "portato" changes, like "portate" in this sentence...


you are right!, I did not make all the sentences, thought it was clear like this. ;)


The meaning of this sentence is "He took us to the zoo". In my evening classes years ago I learned from my Italian teacher that in this case you use "andare a prendere". "Portare" was never mentioned. Unless the meaning is "He carried us ...".


From FluentSimple:


If the location indicates the end destination of the motion action (the place people are moving to/toward), we use the verb portare. In English, we can translate these sentences with the verb “to take”. For example:

  • Domani mattina ti porto alla stazione.

I’m taking you to the station tomorrow morning.

  • Maria mi ha chiesto se la posso portare a scuola.

Maria asked me if I can take her to school.

  • Ti posso portare a casa.

I can take you home.


If the location indicates the origin of the motion action (the place people are moving from), we use the verb prendere. In English, we can translate these sentences with the verb “to get”. For example:

  • Chi ti viene a prendere all’aeroporto?

Who is coming to get you at the airport?

  • A che ora devi andare a prendere tua figlia a scuola?

What time do you have to go get your daughter at school?

  • A che ora ti vengo a prendere a casa domani mattina?

What time should I come and get you (from your house) tomorrow?


I found it tricky to hear the portate and wrote potati as there seemed no indication they were female. shold have put it on slow


I have read your comment before and still relied on the fast audio, didn't play the slow one, lost a heart :-(


Why not "He had taken us to the zoo"?


This is passato prossimo, it is equivalent to past simple (took) or to present perfect (has taken), but not to past perfect (had taken):

  • Lui ci ha portate allo zoo = He took us to the zoo / He has taken us to the zoo


Thanks, this answers my question, which was "can this mean or ?" They are both the same tense in some other Latin languages


Brava! You are wonderful! Thank you : )


but: peterb12, how do we know they are women? Would it be portati if they were male?


Something is wrong here. I used Portate the first time and it was wrong, they wanted portati. Next I used portati and it was wrong and they wanted portate. What is it?


The expected answer is "Lui ci ha portate allo zoo." Was your sentence exactly the same as that or was there something different?


Why sometimes it's portate or portati when it's asking for the same translation?


It depends if "us" are group of all females (portate), a group of all males (portati), or a mixed group of males and females (also portati), so without that information either answer is possible.


Why "ha" and not "e" ? isn't portate a movement verb?


"Verbs of movement" is an easy-to-understand way of explaining which verbs take "avere" and which take "essere", however is not a 100% accurate method.

Transitive verbs (verbs capable of taking a direct object) take "avere".

Intransitive verbs (verbs incapable of taking a direct object, so often verbs of motion like "go") take "essere".

Since "portare" can take a direct object, it takes "avere".


Simple question: taking us somewhere is not "a verb of motion"? (How does one keep the essere's and avere's straight?)


How are we supposed to know it's a group of women and not men?


The masculine "ci ha portati" should also be accepted, if it wasn't then try submitting an error report.


How can it possibly be a group of women if it is a man's voice dictating ??? my answer of portati is correct I believe


You say portati...


I agree with Laura 65. He has taken: Lui ha portato. it seems like Lui should use portato


If the "ci" are all male, does the past participle take an "i" ending? It was two lesson's ago. How are we to know the gender of the pronoun out of context? I was marked wrong for this, but really I was right.

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