"Voglio che ci lavori lui su tutto."
Translation:I want him to work on everything.
64 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
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
Thank you alanvoe for your exploration in this unhospitable country - i mean the grammar, not Italy or this forum. I think your stackexchange link is an important contribution (having both pronoun and clitic). After trying to resolve this muddle for an hour I came up with some ideas but I‘m way to dizzy to get a clear thought on the paper though. And yes, I bet a bottle of wine that you can just leave "ci" away here. This question has never been solved here, or has it? As Peter2108 said, there's a very similar sentence in this module and it's written without the "ci", see:
On the other hand I feel the "ci lavori su" slowly penetrating my mind.
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.
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?
@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.
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/
Can anyone explain why someone down-voted all four of the posts by alanvoe from 1 month ago? While I have never, in almost 72 years, heard the term 'pleonastic' (I didn't much care for English grammar when I was young), he seems to put a lot of time into studying the finer points of the language and his posts and references were informative. Sure, I've been told I just don't understand (un)social media, but the thumbs down seemed petty to me.
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 :-)
Dear Muttley, I don't understand your answer. First, I don't see any reason provided why "Non voglio che ci lavori lei su tutto" is not possible. Second, Peter is not shooting the messenger at all, he's asking a simple question.
Therefore I ask: "Could it be that your answer belongs somewhere else?"
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
Sorry, but I (native English speaker) learned Dutch in 4 weeks in the 1970s by using an audiovisual method which involved thinking like a child (look-hear-say). A Dutch language school which claimed to be able to teach me Italian via convoluted Dutch grammatical terms recently failed to do so in 6 expensive months. Sadly the audiovisual method to learn Italian seems to be universally absent.
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.
If I understand correctly, modern Italian was put together by Alessandro Manzoni in the 19th century from Latin and the Florentine dialect. I learned this from a RAI Radio 3 broadcast:
A great and wise post, Keith352848, but I think we shouldn't be too eager in the name of "evolving", to throw out babies with bathwater. For instance the subjunctive. Forgive me if I should be wrong.
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?
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 big Thank You goes to signor Mutley who has explained this in detail in many posts above!
I probably should not but I cannot help still trying to find the logic in how it is phrased.
voglio che = I want that
ci lavori = it (the work to be done) he works (as a wish/opinion/order)
lui = he
su tutto = on the whole
~ I want that he works on it, he on the whole
~ I want him to work on everything
~ I want him to do it all
Well . . I probably need to sleep on it.
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!
@SteveKillick: The ne in fregarsene is a pronoun that replaces 'of it'. So literally it means 'I don't give a damn about it'. If you remove it from the verb, then you have a completely different sentence as fregare means 'to fool/trick' someone. Since fregarsi is a reflexive verb, non mi frego means 'I don't fool/trick myself'.
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.