"We buy him a bottle of wine."

Translation:Gli compriamo una bottiglia di vino.

July 8, 2013

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For first and second person, direct and indirect are the same, so you only have to learn one set. Me is mi, you is ti, us is ci, you-plural is vi.

My mnemonic for the third-person ones is that direct objects are just as you'd want them to be lo is him, la is her, li is them, le is them-female. Indirect objects are all gli except single women, who're le.


This is so well explained! Thank you so much! I've been having lots of trouble with this clictics that is frustating. You helped me a lot! Thanks from Costa Rica!


Thanks so much, GregHullender!


Still get it wrong, later, though!


Now i just have to differentiate between 3rd person direct and 3rd person indirect.


Gli can also refer to a single woman.


I'm still trying to really understand the use of Gli here. I tried Lo....but I have trouble understanding when to use Lo, Gli, Li und Le....and even Ci and Si....and Se....I think. Can anyone help explain in detail?


The clitic pronouns change depending on how they're used: direct objects or indirect objects. In this case "him" is an indirect object, and it's more evident in Italian: we (subject) buy (verb) a bottle (direct object) [for] him (indirect object) = [noi] (subject) gli (indirect object) compriamo (verb) una bottiglia (direct object). If you were to make the direct object clitic it'd be "la": "la compriamo a lui" (we buy it for him); if you were to make both clitic it'd be "gliela compriamo".

The topic is pretty vast, and it doesn't help that these particles have a lot of uses. This link has a nice quick reference: http://www.uvm.edu/~cmazzoni/3grammatica/grammatica/personalpronouns.html


thank you very much! that link is very helpful! I think memorizing all these may be in order as a first step to competency!


Excellent breakdown of the sentence there. If only my brain could do that for every question!


That link no longer works


It worked for me today. Now if I can make sense out of it.


Grazie mille! Molto utile!


Thanks, f. formica!


The real culprit here is the verb "buy"; the sentence needs to be thought of as "we buy FOR him...", and the word "for" automatically makes it an indirect pronoun choice, so "gli" instead of "lo", which is the direct pronoun choice.

"lo" is always either (just) "it" or "him", while "gli" is either "to him" or "for him". There is no "gli" in the direct pronoun tables.

Would you say, "Him we buy a bottle of wine" or "For him we buy a bottle of wine"? Obviously "for him", thus making it indirect, thus making it "gli".

Even I get tricked now and then, but it is the implied use of "to" or "for" that always gets me.


Thanks that helped my brain a little!


Very good explanation!


Brilliant explanation, thank you. Lingot given.


Duolingo lacks a lot of explanation. I had to translate this sentence from English. The suggestions for "him" were "lo, lui, egli", so I used "lo". Wrong. That's not the way to learn a language!


why does the indirect object pronoun 'gli' come before the rest of the sentence?


sbaynes, click the tips and notes, where they explain this. As Gli is a clitic or unstressed pronoun, it usually comes before the verb and after non (if there is non in the sentence).


Is there any way i can just skip this section? I really struggle with it! As a tourist there are ways to avoid their use, surely?


Lucia - Of course you can skip it (just get through the first section, so that the next topic is unlocked) but you will never be able to get by as a tourist without arm-waving, pointing and horrible misunderstandings if you do. My advice is don't skip it, but move on and keep going back to it. Sooner or later it will all click, and you will wonder what the problem was. Do a spot of judicious cheating (cut'n'paste) if something completely foxes you and you just can't get it right, so that you get some sense of progress. But I promise it will all become clear, eventually. Good luck


Thank you for the encouragement! I will persevere!


Oh, it's very difficult for me to understand all these things!


Because we don't buy HIM - only a football manager or a slave-owner could buy HIM. The sentence means "we buy FOR him a bottle of wine" - hence, the indirect object pronoun. (Please excuse the capitals. I would have preferred to use italics as caps are a bit shouty.)


En español es le compramos. Im English is buy it. In italiano será. Noi compriamo


why is it "gli?"


We is the suject of the sentence: we buy. So why is We here suddenly Gli???


Theo - the "gli" means "for him" - we buy for him a bottle of wine. You can't say "we buy him" because one cannot (legally) buy people, unless one is a football manager of course. One can buy socks: one cannot buy him.


Where is "him" in the Italian sentence??


Thanks for the help, Greg


Can anyone provide an explanation of the differences between direct/indirect objects/subjects and clitics please. Im VERY confused.


I read a great explanation and if I find the link, I'll send it to you. But basically: to find out if you need a direct object pronoun, ask "(verb) what?" or "(verb) where?" e.g. "The crocodile swallowed the swimmer". Q: Swallowed what? A: the swimmer. So if it's "the crocodile swallowed him" you use the 3rd person singular masc direct object pronoun (in this case, 'lo'). On the other hand, if you ask "(Verb) to?" or "(Verb) for what?"or "(Verb) whom?" you use an indirect object pronoun. E.g.: "Scrooge left all his money to his nephews." Q: left it to whom? A: his nephews so in "he left it to them" you use the 3rd person plural masc indirect object pronoun which in this case, if I'm not mistaken, is gli. Now, I'm having a really hard time getting on top of these clitics, but I'm getting, there, I think. Subject pronouns you already know - I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they. Courage, dyn! Remember Rorke's Drift!

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