"Ne ho ricevute un paio."

Translation:I have received a pair of them.

May 13, 2013

This discussion is locked.


"Ricevute" is fem pl to agree with a fem pl object, not masc sg to agree with "un paio"?


In this case "ne" is partitive, "of them", so the past participle agrees with that to specify the gender.


...and "paio" is feminine? I so don't understand this.


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 ne is fem plural? and recevute agrees with ne?


Er no. Have a good read of the thread. The one to look out for is Formica who gives great explanations


Hi formica: Please read what Francis14 asked. His question is very clear.


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.


Formica I would just like to say how much I value your contributions to these discussions. As always your input is informed and knowledgable. Your knowledge in linguistics helps me a great deal.


Thanks, it's great to hear :)


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.


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?


If it is as you said why Ne ho ricevuto un paio is rejected?


I'm saying that this page is for exercises FROM Italian, as you can see by the fact that the Italian sentence is the title, so you cannot possibly have any choice in Italian. If you got here translating TO Italian, you must have experienced some bug.


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.


What are you talking about?


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".


Maria I find your reply to Formica a little rude. The replies you will get from Formica are always extremely well informed and extremely helpful. Rather than being snippy you should be grateful for the time taken to help us.


So if there were no "ne" at the beginning, it would be "ho ricevuto un paio"? Is the "ne" absolutely necessary when using "un paio"?


It's not because of "un paio"; in Italian you normally need a clitic when referencing something the reader/listener has to gather from the context. "Ho due" feels incomplete just the same.


"I have received a couple of them." was accepted, November 2013


To understand the grammar when "ne" is involved, it may help to look at the following sentences.

1a. I have received a dog
1b. Ho ricevuto un cane
2a. I have received two apples
2b. Ho ricevuto due mele
3a. I have received a pair of dogs
3b. Ho ricevuto un paio di cani
4a. I have received a pair of apples
4b. Ho ricevuto un paio di mele
5a. I have received a pair of them [dogs]
5b. Ne ho ricevuti un paio [cani]
6a. I have received a pair of them [apples]
6b. Ne ho ricevute un paio [mele]

Note that in 1 the direct object is sing masc “dog” and in 2 is pl fem “apples”. But in both cases the participle is the same, “ricevuto”. The participle does NOT change for number or gender.

In all the remaining sentences 3-6, the direct object is sing masc “paio”. But, once again, the direct object does NOT affect the form of the participle. It is a mistake to argue that in 5-6 the participle must agree with sing masc “paio”. It does not, any more than the participle agrees with the direct object in 1-2.

On the other hand, when “ne” is involved, the participle changes to agree with whatever “ne” is standing in for. And in 5-6 “ne” stands in for the individual items that make up the pair, NOT for the sing masc word “paio” itself.

Some of the posters here argue that we must look at "a pair of things" as an inseparable unit, with "pair" as the main word. Therefore, they say, the "ne" here must be referring to sing masc "paio".

But that is not how the partitive works. Even in English -- well, literary English, anyway -- we can make a separation. For example, instead of saying "I bought 3 pairs of gloves and 5 bottles of wine", we can say, in elegant style, "Of the gloves I bought 3 pair, of the wine, 5 bottles".

Furthermore, it makes no sense to say that "ne" is there to stand in for "paio", because "paio" is in the sentence already, as the direct object. It does not need a clitic to stand in for it!

So I would argue that it is wrong for Duo to accept here “Ne ho ricevutO un paio”, where the participle is modified to agree with sing masc “paio”. It is with the constituents of “paio” that the participle must agree.

Fortunately, Duo also accepts “ricevutI”and “ricevutE” here. That is, with the participle agreeing with the constituents, either pl masc or pl fem as the case may be.


It could be masculine too, depending on the gender of them; and it could be singular too, if the object were uncountable (paio here implies it is not, however). If duolingo rejected "ne ho ricevuti un paio" you should submit feedback.


great explanation for an extemely difficult rule (does the rule change after midnight or on humid days ;)? )


thanks, i was a little confused


great explanation. I understand better now


I would like to submit feedback but the "my answer is correct" option is missing


Can somebody please explain the function of "ne" in this sentence?


ne is "of them" or in another sentence could be of it. It refers to whatever you were speaking about so you dont repeat yourself. Hai di mele? Si, ne ho una. I might have the di wrong but you get the drift


Playing the slow audio, it definitely sounds like "net" which really threw me off


I hear "ned". It doesn't help either.


You are absolutely right.


It could also be ricevuto. It depends what gender the "them" is.


I am totally confused. The grammar book I have shows that with avere, the only endings are ato, uto, and ito. When conjugated with essere, the verbs change for number and gender. Is my book wrong? I am having a worse time with this section than I did with clitics.


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!


Simply put, your book is wrong. Or rather, it oversimplified things. Most of the time, participles of verbs that take avere are invariable. But when there's a direct object that comes before the verb, the rules are different.


Thank you! That actually makes me feel better. I need some reference book, though. Can you recommend one?


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).


No. There is a pronoun ne


The addition of a pronoun means there has to be agreement


Ne is really confusing to me, can anyone explain that logically ?


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" :-)

Thank you!


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.


Mustaches?? They come in pairs in Italian?

[deactivated user]

    why is "I have got" wrong?


    That means something different in uk english. Means possession, not acquisition


    Musari, although to qualify,inUK we are recently hearing more and more "can i get?" Instead of "could I have,/can I have" and are assuming it is everday AE?


    The verb is ricevere => to receive. Past tense is either received or have received.


    You can't really hear the "ho".


    I cant understand this "ne" at the beggining


    Read the. Omments onthis thread. Then study ne in a grammar book


    I didn't receive a pair of them, not accepted, why?


    "NON ne ho ricevuto un paio." = " I did NOT receive a pair of them."

    The audio did not have the word NON.
    So the answer is just "I have received a pair of them" or "I did receive a pair of them."


    I hate the new format on my droid. You can't even look back at what you typed.


    Why is the phrase a pair of them not kept together?


    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.


    Why do you have to adjust the past participle? I thought it's only necessary with words that are conjugated with essere? Or is it because of the "ne"?


    This is the most annoying construction ever hahahaha, not English nor Spanish or French construct this way... I'm puzzled. I don't think I'll ever be able to say something like this... OMG


    Make it simple. I received a pair Of them I receieved a pair I received a pair of them


    received or got is the same!!!


    So if there is a direct object BEFORE the verb we have to adjust to the DO? But if there isn't it's the normal past participle, like in Io ho ricevuto una mela?


    Why do we translate , I have received and not I received, please , I need to know when to use these tenses.


    Because the Italian uses a perfect tense: ho = have, ricevute = received.


    Good question. In fact the past perfect tense Ho ricevuto/ e is a simple past and ca perfectlty well be translated as I received. I have received is also correct but these are variations in English. It is not the case that you translate Ho and ricevuto separately. It is just the simple past. The past tenses ate not problematic but you need to know when to use the perfect and when to use the imperfect, which is not so straightforward in English


    Anyone heard "Ne"? I heard "Me"


    The correctionyou have made to my use of 'got' i s incorrect in English although used in american english. I do not accept that my translation is incorrect. Please acknowledge the oridinal English usage.


    Good morning Gill, am not sure who you are addressing, or where your original post is, I can't find it.


    of it should be accepted


    What is the function of Ne here? Without this it is also clear that he has lost his umbrella.


    How about a pair of it?


    I agree with Francis 14 -- I think the correct form of ricevere would "ricevuto" for un paio.


    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”.


    allora, DL è sbagliato, no?


    PapiSteve it would seem so


    Paio is masculine. Ricevute is feminine of a feminine noun. Unless the noun is spelled out why DL expects the students to guess what the noun is? Therefore, the translation should be:"Ne ho ricevuto un paio."

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