Reflexive verbs

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Strigah
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:58 pm

Reflexive verbs

Postby Strigah » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:04 pm

I'm having trouble getting a good sense of reflexive verbs and what they are meant to convey.

Example, what is the difference between these two sentences in translating the English phrase I forgot to read the book:

Ho dimenticato di leggere il libro (google translation)

Mi sono dimenticata di leggere il libro

Grazie :)
Steph

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Peter
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Re: Reflexive verbs

Postby Peter » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:04 pm

Strigah wrote:I'm having trouble getting a good sense of reflexive verbs and what they are meant to convey.

Example, what is the difference between these two sentences in translating the English phrase I forgot to read the book:

Ho dimenticato di leggere il libro (google translation)

Mi sono dimenticata di leggere il libro

Grazie :)
Steph


Hi Steph

I know what you mean. In Italian there are many reflexive verbs, far more than there are in English. The one constant is that they take essere as the auxiliary verb, whereas in their non-reflexive form they generally take avere. In this particular case either form can be used, which I know is very likely no help to you at all! In many cases, the reflexive form refers to doing something oneself, e.g. lavarsi - to wash oneself (mi lavo - the reflexive pronoun is always used when using a reflexive verb). Lavare means to wash something else (lavo la macchina - I wash the car).

The following link may be of interest to you: http://www.locuta.com/epronrif.html.
A presto


Peter

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Dylan Thomas
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Re: Reflexive verbs

Postby Dylan Thomas » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:42 pm

Hi Strigah.

What Peter said is right. I will elaborate on it just a little.
“Dimenticare” can be followed by the preposition “di” + infinitive. In this case it can be both an active verb (see [a]) and a pronominal verb (see [b]).

(a) Ho dimenticato di leggere il libro
Here it is in the active form (so you need “avere”).

(b) Mi sono dimenticato di leggere il libro
Here “dimenticarsi” is called “verbo pronominale”, that is verb (dimenticare) + unstressed pronoun (mi), and you need “essere”.

Either sentence conveys the same meaning: “I forgot (have forgotten) to read the book.” It’s just a matter of personal choice.

DT

Strigah
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:58 pm

Re: Reflexive verbs

Postby Strigah » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:00 pm

Ok, thank you.


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