In Italian (and Spanish), one doesn't usually use the possessive with body parts. This might seem odd, but we sometimes do it in English as well, often as parts of figurative expressions . For example
You're a pain in the neck,
He's got football on the brain,
I took it on the chin, or some other less polite expressions.
I guess you could say so if you take 'mi' out and if you want to say (maybe in a kid's game) why you always hold my hand take some one else's instead. But if you are on starting a love story, you better use the sentence as here, asking 'why are you doing that 'hand holding activity' to me?'.
toutou - you are addressing a question of English usage there, not whether my translation is valid. And although the English usage you quote is real, it's not the only one - there is a more general one.
Most famously in this.Not a marriage proposal.
I know this comment was made quite some time ago, but it's a good question. What you are suggesting, would actually look like this in Italian: "Perché mi stai tendendo la mano?" Mark the extra letter d in the middle of the verb. So yes, it looks very similar, but there are actually two different verbs involved: tenere (to hold) and tendere (to stretch/hold out) ;)
"to hold out" has several meanings:
- to offer. Ex: When I said hello to them, they held out their hands in greeting.
- to last. Ex: Will the food hold out?
- to refuse to give in. Ex: We are holding out for higher wages.
- to withhold something expected or due. Ex: You'd better not be holding out on me.
- in the idiomatic expression "to hold out hope" (= to maintain hope)
AFAIK "hold out" can only be translated to "tenere" if it has the last meaning: tenere la esperanza.
Understand lack of mia possessive with body parts. but this is : Why are you holding me (IO) the hand. So , it becomes my hand . What if visitors expressed la mia mano? possessive personal pronoun always takes the article. So why is "mi" used here? stare + gerund is action right now.
tenere is holding tendere is stretch, pull, reach.
Annalinda: Maybe it'd help to think of it as "holding something for someone" e.g., "Why are you holding this door open for me?" In DL's example what's being held is the hand, and the someone for whom it's being held is the "me." You're dealing with a direct object (the hand) and an indirect object (me).
This is a good way of wrapping your head around it, but "mi" here is an indirect object (you can't have two direct objects). It works like this: you are holding the hand (the thing affected directly by the action) and this action indirectly affects me as a whole (indirect object).
lucaturilli: the 'my hand' part is conveyed by 'la mana'. Italian doesn't use possessives with parts of the body. The "mi" conveys the idea of "to me". So think of it as: "why are you holding your hand to me." Awkward to translate it this way, but that's the idea I believe.
This explanation from above seems the best solution to me.,
dieprinzessin 25 18 12 11 10 9 9 6 2 2 I guess you could say so if you take 'mi' out and if you want to say (maybe in a kid's game) why you always hold my hand take some one else's instead. But if you are on starting a love story, you better use the sentence as here, asking 'why are you doing that 'hand holding activity' to me?'.
"Mi" before the verb usually means "to me", so 'Why are you hand holding with/to me' kinda makes sense