How do I know the difference between " Ask a police man" or "Ask for a policeman" in Chieda a un polizioto? :-\
Chieda un poliziotto => ask for a policeman Chieda A un polizziotto => ask a policeman
Why chieda here? Is this the polite form? Which doesn't sound polite at all to me...
Yes, it's the polite form. It doesn't sound polite because of the exclamation mark at the end (which transforms this sentence into a kind of order) but the speaker is probably talking to a stranger, so he/she uses the polite form.
My grammer cheat sheet says that "Formal You" requires Congiuntivo presente (present subjunctive) respectivly in either 3rd person singular or plural.
An explanation at the beginning of this lesson by duolingo would be great though!
for imperative, 2nd person singular, if the infinitive is '-are' then the command ends in a. If '-ire' or '-ere' the verb ends in i.
Except, in "-i/ere" verbs, like "chiedere," the formal imperative (for Lei) also ends in "-a."
what's wrong with "Ask for a policeman"? What's the function of "a" here?
iosonoyi, in your sentence you are commanding someone to ask/search for a policeman, because you don't have one in front of you to help you. However, Duolingo's sentence has a policeman, and it is just indicating that a question has to be asked to that policeman(Ask a policeman what you have to ask for).
I suppose that "a" works here meaning "ask it to any policeman you want". So, the correct meaning is "Ask a policeman".
ASK whatever you want to A POLICEMAN
So is this "Lei", then? Otherwise it would be "chiedi", right? Since NON-are verbs follow second person singular?
I wrote "cop" and was marked wrong. Is it really so inappropriate to use "cop" as a translation here?
Chieda formal of Lei. Chiedere form of verb requires di when an infinitive follows and meaing is "ask.". But chiedere is not listed in verbs that require "a" after but is shown in examples of "ask" with "a."
Surely if you're merely 'asking', there's no urgency and therefore you could take the time to use a more polite/formal tense than the imperative? I just can't imagine this sentence being put into use. 'Find' or 'call' a policemen, yes, but with 'ask' wouldn't you say 'you could try asking a policeman' or something less blunt?
I don't know about Italian, but in my Spanish-language experience I was surprised to find that the 'polite imperative' would be perfectly acceptable in many cases. English, lacking a polite form, will express politeness in a roundabout way, whereas Spanish (and perhaps Italian) does it with just the ending.