learn italian

  7.3 reflexive pronoun

The sister of this page is http://www.inglese-online.de. A page for italian native speakers who want to learn english. In that page we dedicated a whole chapter to the english reflexive pronouns. At first glance the reflexive pronouns seem to be something easy to undersand, but when you look at them closer, you will see that there are differences in their use between english and italian. The english reflexive pronouns are used in three different situations.

1) They are used as a direkt object when the agent of an action and the goal of an action are the same. person

I saw myself in the mirror.

2) They are used as an indirect object, if that indirect object is the same person as the subject.

I bought a car for myself.

3) They are used to stress the fact that the subject has realised an action himself.

I wrote the book myself, nobody helped me.

These different uses have a different translation to italian.

1) myself => me
I see myself. => Mi vedo.
2) preposition + myself => preposition + reflexivpronoun + stesso
I bought the car for myself. => Ho comprato la macchina per me stesso.
3) myself = personal pronoun nominative + stesso
I did it myself => Lo ho fatto io stesso.

Thats already enough to see that the reflexive pronoun in english doesn' t correspond really to the reflexive pronoun in italian. If you follow the link mentionned above, you will see other differences. For the right use of reflexive pronouns in italian it is crucial that you understand that the english personal pronouns are used in three very different situations and in each situation the translation to italian is different.

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