The particular objects that I received a pair of happens to be feminine and plural, even though "a pair" is technically masculine and singular.
You might think it works this way because Italian is logical and cares more about reality than grammatical formalities. However, that's not actually true, since Italian also treats "la gente" as singular. Go figure.
So you're saying my reply isn't? Let's try this then: see https://www.thoughtco.com/using-ne-in-italian-4074179 for why the participle agrees with the intended object instead of the quantity, and see http://context.reverso.net/traduzione/italiano-inglese/ne+ho+ricevute for real life examples ("Ne ho ricevute una tonnellata", "ne ho ricevute qualche centinaio"). The agreement with "ne" is optional in many cases, including this one or the singular, but it supersedes the quantity: e.g. you cannot say "ne ho ricevuta una tonnellata" unless you're speaking of a female object.
Your english is excellent--much better than the person who uncharitably questioned your grasp of it when you were trying to explain the Italian concepts. As others have remarked, your comments are extremely helpful and add significantly to the learning experience on this site.
Because the sentence is Italian? On this sentence discussion you arrive from two types of exercises, translating to English and dictation, so I'm guessing you had the dictation exercise and couldn't understand the word: on that exercise you don't just have to write a correct sentence, you have to write the sentence that's been read to you.
Wow, this seems to be an involved case. Our venerated formica has translated "ne" as "of them". Is there a case where it can be translated "of it"? I imagine a conversation about, say, olive oil distribution in the family, where one participant says "Ne ho ricevuto due litri." So the "un paio"/"due litri" give information about what the "ne" refers to. Is that correct?
It seems to me that you don't have a good grasp of English. The particle ne is used in answer to a previous statement where the object and the quantity are implied. In this sentence: "Ne ho ricevute un paio, there is no previous reference. So how one can guess what the object and quantity are being talking about? Besides, you sent me a link that has nothing to do with this discussion.
I'm a native Italian speaker, there are certainly limits to my English.
So how one can guess what the object and quantity are being talking about?
So how can Duolingo teach such a topic in a single sentence? It's not like it can ask users to translate a whole dialogue or paragraph. What they chose was to show what a possible translation is, but they accept any possible one: so you don't have to guess anything, as long as your solution is grammatically correct.
Besides, you sent me a link that has nothing to do with this discussion.
I thought this discussion was about "Using “Ne” in the Past Tense." which is an actual chapter there showing gender and number agreement with "ne".
f.formica, is "un paio" more often used to say "two things belonging together" like in "a pair of shoes", "a pair of scissors", or is it more often used for "a few of", like 3, 4 of 5 pieces of one kind?
On wordreference.com I only see the meaning "a few". On dict.leo.org, an Italian - German dictionary I see "ein paar". The German word refers to both meanings, "exactly two" and "more than two", so I can't grasp the meaning of "un paio" :-)
It's the same in Italian, paio is used for both meanings, and it would be hard to say which prevails. For the meaning of "exactly two" the difference with "coppia" according to the dictionary is that the latter refers to matching things that have been coupled (the poker's pair, two lovers, the telephone wire, and so on) while "paio" refers to things that are normally a couple or made of two identical parts (shoes, mustaches, gloves, scissors, glasses, pants, and so on). But when hearing "un paio di mele", since apples don't come in pairs and aren't a couple, it would be hard to say if the speaker meant two apples or a few apples.
That's just how grammatically romance languages are set up. It's the same in French too with the word "en" (=Ne) . "....ne un paio" wouldn't make grammatical sense. Also, if you omit "un paio" then you'd just have "ne", but the meaning wouldn't necessarily change, you just wouldn't have "a pair" . Because of that, it needs to be put at the beginning of the sentence to signal that we are referring to something not directly admitted in the sentence.
It's complicated. See the top of the thread for a lot of information, especially @f.formica's comments. But here's a summary:
When an object pronoun appears before the verb, the participle of avere matches the direct object. In this case, the pronoun is ne. Finally, even though un paio is masculine singular, the actual objects are plural, and in this sentence happen to be feminine, so we use the feminine plural form ricevute.
Thank you. I guess my question is, why is the conjugation changing with the use of the auxiliary avere? My grammar book shows it always stays the same, i.e., ato, uto, and ito when used with avere. It only changes with essere auxiliary. In this instance, avere is the auxiliary. I know I am missing something simple but I don't know what it is. The rest of this course has been easy but now, yikes!
I don't know any books, but you can find a discussion at https://italian.stackexchange.com/questions/54/past-participle-and-changing-endings-with-auxiliary-verb-avere
By the way, French follows almost the same rules as Italian:
1) The participle of a verb that takes avoir (fr)/avere (it) does not change to match the subject of the sentence, and so usually takes the masculine singular form, BUT
2) If there's a direct object pronoun in front of the verb, the participle changes to match the direct object. In French, any direct object before the verb triggers the change, but in Italian it has to be a pronoun (including ne).
Let's say that "ne" is for "scarpe". We would say: "Ho ricevuto un paio di scarpe". Therefore, "Ne ho ricevuto un paio" should be accepted. However, it has been rejected. Could someone explain me, as grammatically it's not "scarpe" that I have "ricevute", but a "paio (di carpe)" that I have "ricevuto"?
I may be wrong here but it seems to me that using ne means we have to have the agreement in gender, without it we dont. I see your logic in un paio, but I think it is not un paio that we have to make the gender agreement with, but what ever it is that is being replaced. As it is a pair it must be plural. But could be masc or fem. In the case of scarpe, f. It is the shoes that you have received, two of them
Following your answer, here is the answer I got from a teacher of Italian whose native language is Italian. According to him, Italian people would say: “ne ho ricevuto un paio” if they consider that the complement is “paio”, “ne ho rivecuti un paio” if they consider that the complement is for example "occhiali” ("un paio di occhiali”), or “ne ho ricevute une paio” if they consider that the complement is for example “scarpe” (“un paio di scarpe”). But all those are wrong. In fact, it’s like in French. Although the object complement “ne” is before the verb “ho rivecuto”, there is no agreement of the participle, because the object complement is not a direct object complement, but an indirected objet complement. Indeed, “ne” = “di quello, di quella, di quelli, di quelle”. Therefore, in all cases the right answer is “ne ho ricevuto un paio”.