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  5. "Non penso che lui l'abbia pr…

"Non penso che lui l'abbia presa."

Translation:I do not think that he has taken it.

January 26, 2015



why is this "abbia presa" and not "abbia preso"?


in a compounded tense (auxiliary + past participle) the past participle agreed with the object pronoun in the case that a direct object pronoun in the third person singular and plural (la, lo, li,. le) is used. (in the other cases (mi, ti, vi,ci) the agreement is optional and nearly never used.

So in this case the l' has to be a la and not a lo

l'abbia presa = la abbia presa

l'abbia preso = lo abbia preso


Sandrabruck: You are obviously skilled at Italian. Would an Italian recognize, in ordinary oral conversation, that a mistake had been made if "preso" had been used instead of "presa"? (This type of question arises frequently, but this is as good an opportunity to pursue it as any.)


Even if an italian does not know the grammar rule, cannot do such of mistake and can easily recognize it. Sounds too strange :-)


However, being incredibly friendly, sophisticated, and well-mannered, and Italian would never say anything about it.


So why is the second one not allowed? Can the "it" not be a masculine object?


It can, but the sentence in the exercise has the participle end in "a," so "it" can only be feminine.


I answered with "I don't think that he HAD taken it" which was accepted, but the answer DL gave was "... he HAS taken it" which seems different - was I marked right incorrectly?


Prendere also means "pick up", so "I do not think (that) he picked her up" should be accepted!.


Raises questions:

  1. Do Italians "pick-up" women at bars, museums, etc., as Americans use that term (to meet someone knew and establish some sort of relationship, however fleeting).

  2. Do Italians refer to abductions or kidnappings as "being taken"?

Either would make "her" quite appropriate here.


I may have been wtong, but to give the idea of speculation I wrote "I don't think he will have taken it" and my "will" was corrected to "may".

But we simply don't use "may" after "I don't think". At least my answer was grammatical. Reported.


I'm surprised they accepted that at all, but your answer was also incorrect. The future perfect can express that idea, and it takes precedence over the subjunctive. This sentence is clearly referring to a past action, not a future revelation.


"I don't think he will have taken it" also clearly refers to a past action, not to the future. Modal perfect constructions are often used to speculate about the past. As we say in Scotland "You'll have had your tea". (ie I don't need to make you any) :)


But it is talking about a past event in a different way. You're projecting what you will discover about the event, and that carries a very different meaning than simply talking about the event.


I'll split the difference with you. First, my sentence has nothing to do with what I will find out in the future; "will" has no future meaning here - "will have" is simply being used to talk about something we are pretty sure happened in the past, just as we use "must have" and "can't have" to speculate about the past:

"We can also use will have to 'predict the present' - to say what we think or guess has probably happened - It's no use phoning - he'll have left by now. " Practical English Usage, Michael Swan.

But I agree that it is perhaps adding a particular point of view rather than being a simple statement, as in "that he's taken it". I am suggesting, perhaps, that he's not the type to take it.


Agreed. The sentence just sounds wrong.


I do not think that he has taken her …to meet his family.


I think "portare" would probably be more appropriate for that situation.


On reflection of your comment I agree that "it" is better. Grazie!


If l'abbia can be either masculine or feminine, as sandrabruck implies, then the only person to decide which, is whoever wrote the sentence and I'm not psychic.


As sandrabruck said, you can tell if the direct object is masculine or feminine by looking at the ending of the past participle:
l'abbia presA => has taken her or it (feminine object)
l'abbia presO => has taken him or it (masculine object)

I hope that helps.


I'm not sure how you encountered that issue with this sentence. If you were translating this from the Italian, the word "lui" is included, so the subject of the dependent clause is very clearly "he".


My translation " I do not think that he has grabbed it" is marked wrong. What is wrong here


The verbs "to grab" and "to take" carry different meaning. "To grab" = a sudden, eager grasp or snatch; seizure or acquisition by violent or unscrupulous means.


I got it wrong, but the correct response is shown as "I don't think that he may have taken it." No way. We just would not say that in English.

  • 2404

Why "I don't think she took it" is not accepted?


Because "lui" means "he" and "lei" means "she."

  • 2404

Silly me, I was thinking about neutral in English being represented in Italian with feminine. Didn't read the whole sentence, apparently.


Could the sentence "Non penso che lui abbia presa" be translated as "I don't think that he would take it", or does it have to be "I don't think that he took it"?


It has to be "took" or "has taken." Your sentence would be "Non penso che lui la prenderebbe."


I ellided l'abbia trovate for 'found them' and was marked wrong but here l'abbia preso for 'taken it' is correct . Us there a rulr i need to learn ?


Yes. You can't elide a plural direct object. So in your prior sentence, it would have been ok to have "l'abbia trovata" for a singular object, but it has to be "le abbia trovate" if it's plural.


Despite the explanations above, which if there is a thread that leads me to "presa" I can not see it, there is no indication in "I do not think he has taken it" whether the "it" is masculine or feminine. Therefore my translation ending in "preso" is just as correct as the one ending in "presa"


No one has said it has to be "presa." Either "presa" or "preso" work for the Italian translation of the English sentence. But since we're translating from Italian to English, we know that the object of the Italian sentence is feminine because it is written as "presa."

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