Se

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ktab
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 12:34 pm
Location: Spain

Se

Post by ktab » Sat May 13, 2006 12:40 pm

Hi

I'm learning Italian and have just come across some sentences in my course that confuse me. What is the meaning/use of "se" in these sentences?

Non si ha bisogno di spazzatura e non se ne vuole.
Si vuole dei gioielli, ma non se ne ha bisogno.
Si vuole del cibo e se ne ha bisogno.
Qualche volta si ha bisogno di medicine, ma non sempre se ne vuole.

Thanks for any help!

Keith

Roby
Posts: 3850
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:06 pm

Re: Se

Post by Roby » Sun May 14, 2006 10:24 am

ktab wrote:Hi

I'm learning Italian and have just come across some sentences in my course that confuse me. What is the meaning/use of "se" in these sentences?

Non si ha bisogno di spazzatura e non se ne vuole.
Si vuole dei gioielli, ma non se ne ha bisogno.
Si vuole del cibo e se ne ha bisogno.
Qualche volta si ha bisogno di medicine, ma non sempre se ne vuole.

Thanks for any help!

Keith

Keith,

First, welcome to the forum. In these cases, SE means If.
I have posted a lesson on SE clauses in the grammatica section. Take a look at it. If you have any questions, please post them. Someone will gladly respond to your post.
Roby

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keithatengagedthinking
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:04 pm
Location: Rome, Italy
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Re: Se

Post by keithatengagedthinking » Mon May 15, 2006 2:50 pm

Roby wrote:
ktab wrote:Hi

I'm learning Italian and have just come across some sentences in my course that confuse me. What is the meaning/use of "se" in these sentences?

Non si ha bisogno di spazzatura e non se ne vuole.
Si vuole dei gioielli, ma non se ne ha bisogno.
Si vuole del cibo e se ne ha bisogno.
Qualche volta si ha bisogno di medicine, ma non sempre se ne vuole.

Thanks for any help!

Keith

Keith,

First, welcome to the forum. In these cases, SE means If.
I have posted a lesson on SE clauses in the grammatica section. Take a look at it. If you have any questions, please post them. Someone will gladly respond to your post.
Roby
I think, in this case, "se" is meant to replace a subject pronoun or a direct object pronoun. The "se" is not translated in English, per se. In the sentences that you described, the "se" is a pronoun substituted for the "si" because it precedes the word "ne".

Also, welcome to the forum!

Adriano
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:57 am
Location: Lincolnshire UK

Se

Post by Adriano » Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:47 pm

Hi Keith,

I think Roby missed the point of the specific examples that you gave. The "se" in these examples doesn't mean if. The clue is in the presence of the word "si".

Si plus another pronoun becomes "se". Thus si followed by ne becomes se.

Take the jewel phrase for example. One literal transalation is "One wants jewels but one doesn't have need of them". Hence the "ne" meaning of it or of them.

In each case the "si" construct has been used to avoid the passive mood which is rarely used in italian.

This is the same in the other examples. These translate in english using the passive mood as:

Brushing isn't needed and isn't wanted.
Jewels are wanted but aren't needed.
Food is wanted and is needed.
Sometimes medicine is needed but isn't always wanted.

Adriano

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