I am not sure about the difference between "Voglio che ci lavori lui su tutto." and "Voglio che lui lavori su tutto." Is the "ci" redundant in this context or does it imply something about where he is working, perhaps something like "I want him to work over there on everything"?
In this sentence, there is a special stress on "lui". The speaker wants him and not someone else to work on it (the subject is expressed and not in its normal position). The "ci" is part of the expression "lavorarci" ("ci lavoro/i/a") which means "work on it".
IMHO this explanation about "ci" is not completely clear. "ci" is used here in a pleonastic way to express emphasis on the object of the work and the sentence could be said without it. Reference: https://italian.stackexchange.com/questions/11038/voglio-che-ci-lavori-lui-su-tutto-meaning-of-ci
That's not what native Italian speakers said on the link I mentioned. Have you checked it?
Besides, neither https://www.wordreference.com/iten/lavorare nor http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/lavorare/ mention this form. Could you please point out a trustworthy reference which confirms what you are saying?
Sorry, I am mistaken about a form lavorarci as such but the combination of lavorare and ci to mean work on it is out there, Definitely on Reverso Context which you may or not find trustworthy and also here in Wordreference. I misled you suggesting the actual form, sorry. The meaning is correct https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/lavorarci-sopra.748805/
See also muttleys. Comment below that lavorarci is an idiomatic expression. Works for me
@confusedbeetle In the WR link you have mentioned, "ci" is not pleonastic as in this Duolingo exercise; "ci" simply replaces the object. The only reason "sopra" remains in the sentence is because in Italian some prepositions such as "sopra" and "su" (oddly) behave differently from other prepositions such as "a" when a object pronoun is used: they are not omitted. Some examples which hopefully will make it clear:
- Dovrò lavorare sopra/su il progetto -> Ci dovrò' lavorare sopra/su (no pleonasm)
- Voglio che lavori lui su tutto -> Voglio che ci lavori lui su (no pleonasm)
- Voglio che ci lavori lui su tutto (pleonasm)
The subject is very well explained in the Italian Stack Exchange link I mentioned before.
I don't think that "could be said without it" is the right approach to any sentence that needs to be translated.
For that matter, voglio che ci lavori lui is also valid.
I respect your point of view, but IMHO translating sentences in Duolingo is just a tool to learn how the language works. For each Duolingo sentence, I always try to understand how things fit together and to look for idiomatic alternatives to express the same meaning. IMHO that kind of active learning is very productive in the long term.
Coming back to this specific matter, I have just shared something that confused me when I read your explanation. Hopefully, others will find it helpful. Indeed, "voglio che ci lavori lui" is also valid.
I have a totally different approach. I am learning the spoken language. I hear it and discuss it with Italians. Language evolves. Yes I want to be grammatically correct but not over theoretical
There is another sentence in this lesson
Non voglio che lei lavori su tutto (I don't want her to work on everything). Presumably that could be
Non voglio che ci lavori lei su tutto?
Not really. "Ci" may be a tricky thing because it can take the places of several other parts of the sentence. In this case "ci" would stand for "su questo" and "lavorarci" is actually an expression (idiom) with the meaning work on it.
Besides, it seems to me that you are actually shooting the messenger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_the_messenger): Duolingo is trying to teach Italian that (as all languages) has nuances and meanings that are difficult to translate.
An open mind always helps :-)
HA, you are so right!! I just get so frustrated sometimes because in the last sentence I make a mistake and then have to do the whole exercise once more. Ah well, as you say, it is useful to make mistakes and learn by them. Thanks anyway.
Sorry, but I disagree. In the Italian sentence (if "ci" does not mean "here" or "there") there is either a "ci" or a "su tutto" out of place.This is a trick often used by DL, by purpose or for lack of knowledge of the language. Of course, the only possible correct translation (I want him to work here on everything) is consider wrong.
ci is very flexible and has several meanings:. http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/ci_%28La-grammatica-italiana%29/.
Lavorarci is an expression: it means 'to work on'. If you read the ci as the adverbs 'there/here' then su tutto doesn't make sense in the Italian sentence. The su tutto is indeed the signal that the expression lavorarci ('work on something') is used and not lavorare + ci ('to work here/there').
You can not teach me what "ci" means. "Ci", from low Latin hici (for the classical "hic") mean mainly here, there (not on) and is an adverb. It's a pronominal particle with "noi" (essi ci chiamano = they call us) or with the pronominal verbs (lavorare is not pronominal). Sometimes is simply pleonastic, and perhaps this is the case. "Su tutto" is a nonsense, as I wrote, or is redundant, if we consider the "ci". Of course when the sentence that we have to translate is another nonsense, any translation (as I wrote) can be a possible translation.
idiomatic verbs/ pronominal verbs need to be translated as they are with the idiomatic meaning. It doesnt work if you try to separate the pronoun and translate it separately
I simply don't grok why 'su' is used here with lavorarci. It seems redundant to use both.
I tell you a secret: Italians didn't create their language to test yourv ability to spot oddities. They created it so that they could communicate with each other. What doesn't make sense to you, is perfectly fine with Italians.
Lavorare (lavorarci) su means 'to work on'. Lavorare means 'to work'. English also requires 'on' to give the extra mening.
Actually, Muttley, the language evolved from Latin and various other modes of communication and Italians evolved with it, speaking it from birth. They didn't "create" anything. There was simply no incentive to question the living language because its randomness was second nature. Thousands of years down the road, there is nothing wrong with looking for rules that dictate grammar, or with expressing frustration when they are not there. It's a way to learn. While there is no real direct translation, my American brain considers this sentence and wonders several things. If lavorarci means work on IT, then the sentence seems to say "I want him to work on it everything." That sounds, and most likely is redundant, even if it is considered correct. Pleonasms are not hard to spot, and it becomes easier as one learns the correct usages of words in a new language. It's alright that my ear hears that oddly and looks for a correction whether it is correct in Italian or not. One thing I've learned in my year and a half of study on this site is that there are most likely half a dozen other ways to say the exact same thing in Italian, some of which probably make a more easily translatable sense. Nothing beats being in country and hearing the spoken language everyday, getting used to the sound of it and its sometimes nonsensical grammar as the natives have. It's a beautiful language, but if it were perfect it wouldn't be continuing to evolve. It is, phasing out less used verb tenses, etc. Lastly, Duolingo is not helpful by insisting that constructions are correct in one exercise, and insisting that they are wrong in another. The trainer is also flawed, as are all languages. Spotting oddities, i.e., using one's intuition, is the first step in being able to ignore what is counter-intuitive and move on.
Thank you for this reply! I find it very annoying when people degrade learners for taking an academic approach to learning a language. However random it may seem, there is always a pattern, and finding relationships between a familiar language and an unknown language is a lot more successful than "thinking like a child".
The joy is that we all learn in different ways. In fact I find this site one of the most tolerant and I dont think there is any intention to degrade each other. On the contrary most posters are pleasant and just reflect their own preferred style. Each to their own. Please dont feel critisised
The fact that Italian (and other Romance languages) evolved from Latin doesn't mean that there is a one to one relation between the two.
Expressions are created by speaker in a living environment and often don't make any actual sense.
And, most of the times, expressions are created out of the blue and then enter into the language: we can sometimes trace their origins but that doesn't help someone whose native language is not Italian. Indeed knowing the origin of an expression is not a requirement to use that same expression.
As for the rest, I agree with you.
Mutley I agree entirely. So much energy is wasted grappling with constructs that appear problematic in English. Particularly with pronouns. We simply have to familiarise ourselves ourselves with the Italian use of pronouns. This is just the way it is said. Think like a child. They dont care about the logic of language
Interesting discussion, and I agree with much of what's been said. We English speakers should not be fussy about logic. Have you ever tried explaining English phrasal verbs to a non-English speaker: give in; drop off; hang on; hold back; turn up; put out... and so on. How is the meaning of any of those verb-preposition combinations derived from some kind of logic?
Good common sense Richard. I try not to overthink it. A child just accepts that's how you say it. I think dome learners are more interested i logic and translation rather than listening and speaking which surely is the goal
I understand that 'ci' can replace 'su + noun', as well as meaning 'there' or 'us'.
so in this case 'ci' i think replaces 'on it' as in 'he works on it'. But then when we want to say 'all', by using 'tutto', we have to reintroduce the 'su'. So overall the sentence is saying "I want that he work on all of the (unknown) thing"
don't hold me to that though, i'm still very much a learner!
This is the first question in over a year of studying Duolingo that I have had to give up on. Absolutely impossible. I would be curious to know if anyone actually does get this question correct on the first try or whether it is just me having trouble.
I still have no idea how the grammar works. I guess it's just a case of memorising this particular sentence to pass the lesson.
It might make more sense (if language is supposed to actually make sense) to think of "ci" in this (and other similar cases) as a pronoun of reference or respect. It would not be translated but understood in English something like, "I want him to work on everything (in respect to this job or task)" In this sense one would not think that the meaning would be that he work on everything in the entire universe.
A previous sentence in this same exercise was: "Non voglio che lei lavori su tutto." Why is it acceptable to not have the "ci" in this sentence and yet unacceptable in the sentence above?
So, just for the record, would I be incorrect, and, more important, would I be misunderstood if I were to say "Voglio che lui lavori su tutto."?
I agree, I think the "ci" in this position means "there" maybe it is not necessary that it be translated...
There or here. Simply the "right" translation does not translate the "ci", and without this "ci" the sentence is different.(