"We buy him a bottle of wine."
Translation:Gli compriamo una bottiglia di vino.
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.
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!
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.
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).