Reflexive verbs

Have a question about Italian grammar? Need a quick translation from Italian to English or vice versa? Post it here!
Post Reply
Strigah
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:58 pm

Reflexive verbs

Post by 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

User avatar
Peter
Posts: 2856
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:41 pm
Location: Horsham, West Sussex, England

Re: Reflexive verbs

Post by 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.

Dylan Thomas
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:08 pm

Re: Reflexive verbs

Post by 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 ).

(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

Post by Strigah » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:00 pm

Ok, thank you.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests