Piu' dei paragoni

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lockettpots
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Piu' dei paragoni

Post by lockettpots » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:19 pm

Come si dice

A horse-fly can fly faster than a horse can run.

Una mosca cavallina puo' volare piu' veloce di quanto poteva correre un cavallo.

oppure forse

Una mosca cavallina puo' volare piu' veloce di quanto potesse correre un cavallo.

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Carlo
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Post by Carlo » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:53 pm

Ciao John

Devi usare il congiuntivo presente: "possa".

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Post by TrentinaNE » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:58 pm

Carlo, what is the "hypothetical" element that calls for the subjunctive there? It seems like a comparison of two facts: A horse can run, but a horse-fly can fly faster. :?:

Grazie!
Elisabetta
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Post by Carlo » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:45 pm

Hi Elisabetta

Actually I was reading on the Crusca site that some Italian grammarians have suggested abandoning the traditional association of the subjunctive with uncertainty, "unreal" situations etc since this does not cover many uses of the subjunctive:

Alcune più recenti descrizioni grammaticali, anche in base a osservazioni su casi come quelli appena descritti, propongono di abbandonare il riferimento al congiuntivo come modo dell’irrealtà

http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/faq/ ... &ctg_id=44

Just think of the following verbs/phrases with adjectives requiring the subjunctive:

Occorre/Bisogna che...
E' necessario/indispensabile che...
E' ora che...
E' giusto che...

There is no uncertainty here and yet the subjunctive is mandatory.

According to A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian both the subjunctive and the indicative may be used after "comparative + di quanto + clause". One example is "Mario è più intelligente di quanto credevo/credessi". However in an example very similar to John's they only give "possa".
I would definitely use "possa" in John's sentence. Maybe it's precisely because of the use of "potere"(which suggests "faster than any horse may ever run).

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Post by TrentinaNE » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:01 pm

Come sempre, una spiegazione molto completa e chiara. Grazie, Carlo! :D

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Post by lockettpots » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:21 pm

Grazie Carlo.

I had a feeling that the subjunctive was necessary to make this sort of comparison having come across the following about a new method of transmitting data.

<quote>
Il trucco, in questo caso, è far passare i dati da cavi di fibra ottica a 160GB al secondo, otto volte più velocemente di quanto possa fare qualsiasi dispositivo a fibre ottiche attualmente in uso.
<end quote>
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del pirata
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Post by del pirata » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:23 pm

A horse-fly can fly faster than a horse can run.
There are two subjects, hence the subjunctive.

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Post by TrentinaNE » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:34 pm

del pirata wrote:There are two subjects, hence the subjunctive.
An elephant is wider than a cow is tall.

Also two subjects: would it require the subjunctive as well?

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Post by Carlo » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:56 pm

Well, any comparative:

Sono molto più stanco di te

can be turned into two clauses with two subjects:

Sono molto più stanco di quanto lo sia tu

and I would indeed use the subjunctive here.

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Post by lockettpots » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:50 pm

But of course two subjects with one verb usually uses the piu'....di construction.

Marco scrive piu' veloce di Piero
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Post by TrentinaNE » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:58 pm

carlo wrote:Sono molto più stanco di quanto lo sia tu

and I would indeed use the subjunctive here.
Just checking, Carlo, because your answer above seemed to point to the verb potere as the key to requiring the subjunctive, while del pirata indicated that the trigger is two different subjects in the clauses. It's still not intuitive to me why two factual comparisons (one thing is, the next thing is more) requires the subjunctive, but I'll take your word for it. :wink:

Elisabetta
Last edited by TrentinaNE on Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Carlo » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:57 pm

Elisabetta

The trouble is that even we natives are at a loss when trying to offer guidelines since 1) the subjunctive is used in a bewildering variety of structures, including many cases where the "uncertainty" factor is missing and 2) grammar textbooks for natives, even ponderous academic ones, do not cover the topic exhaustively. So we are left trusting our ear - and one's ear is a notoriously subjective tool :)

To me the subjunctive feels right after "di quanto" but I'd like to hear from the other NIS.

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Post by Elisa » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:27 pm

Anche a me suona meglio il congiuntivo in una frase comparativa dopo di quanto, anche se ho trovato questo sito che, citando il Lepschy, suggerisce l'uso facoltativo del congiuntivo: http://www.maldura.unipd.it/romanistica ... ngiun.html

"In espressioni comparative, superlative, indefinite: è più grande di quanto mi aspettassi / è più grande di quanto mi aspettavo; Ugo è l'unico che sia venuto / Ugo è l'unico che è venuto"

(Carlo, 'sto congiuntivo ci perseguita eh? :D)
Elisa :)

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Post by TrentinaNE » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:35 pm

Elisa wrote:(Carlo, 'sto congiuntivo ci perseguita eh? :D)
In questa vita ed anche nella prossima, Elisa! :shock: :wink:

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Post by forumuser » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:17 am

TrentinaNE wrote:Carlo, what is the "hypothetical" element that calls for the subjunctive there? It seems like a comparison of two facts: A horse can run, but a horse-fly can fly faster. :?:

Grazie!
Elisabetta
Carlo's explanation was great indeed. I think the reason why the subjunctive is used is that there is an implicit if-clause behind: "If you compare the two", "Were you to ever see them racing each other", "if you race them and time them", etc.

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