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Thread: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

  1. #1
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    all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    In Spanish, a common construction involves placing the neuter/abstract pronoun lo before an adjective (not followed by any noun) or adverb:

    lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving"

    What would be the equivalent of phrases like the above in the other Romance languages?

  2. #2
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    If we count Latin as Romance:

    lo normal: normale (neuter sing. of adj. normalis; norma = square, an instrument);
    lo bueno, lo malo: bonum, malum (neuter sing. of adj. bonus, bona, bonum = good, malus, ... = bad);
    lo lentamente: ;

  3. #3
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    French is not that flexible I would say.
    Most of the time, we will need to rephrase it as "what is + adjective" when we don't have a noun for it.
    lo normal "la normalité", "ce qui est normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "ce qui estbien et pas bien dans cette affaire"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "J'ai remarqué la lenteur avec laquelle il se déplaçait / à quel point il se déplaçait lentement"


  4. #4
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    In Italian I'd say il normale, il buono, il cattivo (il corresponds to Sp. el - masculine article) and also quello normale, quello buono, quello cattivo (quello corresponds to Sp. aquel - masculine demonstr. pronoun).

    But let's see the opinion of some native Italian ...

  5. #5
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    In Portuguese:

    o normal "normalness; that which is normal"
    o bom e o mau do assunto "what is good and bad about the matter" Grammatical, I guess, but we would more likely use another pronoun:
    o que o assunto tem de bom e de mau
    "I noticed how slowly he was moving" This we say a bit differently. There are a couple of options:
    - Notei como se movia lentamente. (the most natural, IMHO)
    - Notei o quanto/a que ponto se movia lentamente. (higher register)
    - Notei o quão lentamente se movia. (downright bookish and disused)
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  6. #6
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    In Italian I'd say il normale, il buono, il cattivo (il corresponds to Sp. el - masculine article) and also quello normale, quello buono, quello cattivo (quello corresponds to Sp. aquel - masculine demonstr. pronoun).

    But let's see the opinion of some native Italian ...
    In Italian we say:
    lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal" = la cosa normale/ciò che è normale (es. la cosa normale, in questi casi è che...)
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter" = la cosa buona/ciò che è buono (la cosa buona e quella cattiva)
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving" = ho notato quanto lentamente si muovesse/muoveva

  7. #7
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    Ciao, Nino. I agree, ovviamente, but in some situations e.g. "il normale è ..." is also used. Or it is not correct?

  8. #8
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    Yes, if you use normale as a noun, a general category, as in sentences like il normale è bello (il normale è + adjective) as synonym of la normalità.
    It is correct (but it is not the most used form).
    But, in general, it wouldn't be correct to say il giusto da fare è... but la cosa giusta da fare è...
    The form I wrote is the safest one (it works with every adjective).
    Last edited by Nino83; 12th May 2014 at 2:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: all Romance languages: lo bueno/lo malo/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DearPrudence View Post
    French is not that flexible I would say.
    Most of the time, we will need to rephrase it as "what is + adjective" when we don't have a noun for it.
    lo normal "la normalité", "ce qui est normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "ce qui estbien et pas bien dans cette affaire"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "J'ai remarqué la lenteur avec laquelle il se déplaçait / à quel point il se déplaçait lentement"
    Thank you for illustrating perfectly why I love Spanish and French gives me a headache. You need so many words to say something simple in French!

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