I pronomi diretti

Direct object pronouns

First of all: what is a direct object? Anything that can answer the questions What? and Who? is a direct object, as in Compro i peperoni and Oggi vedo mia sorella, where peperoni and mia sorella are direct objects of the verbs comprare and vedere.  Consider the following example:

Stamattina ho comprato i peperoni al mercato e ora li preparo.

In the example above, li stands for i peperoni. We use li to avoid repeating the word peperoni.  Li is a pronoun, that is, it stands in the place of a noun, in this case, a direct object. Here is the complete list of direct pronouns:

mi  [me] ci  [us]
ti  [you] vi  [you guys]
lo  [him – a person, masculine singular; it – a masculine singular object] li  [them – objects and people, masculine plural]
la  [her – a person, feminine singular; it – a feminine singular object] le  [them – objects and peoplefeminine plural]

Like ci and ne, these pronouns always go before the conjugated verb, i.e.: la compro, vi vedo, etc.  However, when there is a verb + an infinitive, it can go either before the conjugated verb or be attached to the end of the infinitive after you have dropped the last letter of the infinitive, as in assaggiare > assaggiar. Consider the two possible answers to the following question:

Hai già assaggiato la frittata?

  • No, ma la voglio assaggiare subito.
  • No, ma voglio assaggiarla subito.

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Spunti: Italiano elementare 2 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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