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Egli/lui, ella/lei, esso, essa

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by MingRaymond, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. MingRaymond Senior Member

    HK Cantonese
    I think these two words mean 'he' ,what is the difference? Grazie.
     
  2. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    in everyday spoken language there is no difference, one may use egli/lui if it is the subject but the rules say:

    egli=he
    lui = him

    pensavo proprio a lui = i was just thinking of him :thumbsup:
    pensavo proprio ad egli = i was just thinking of he :thumbsdown:
    egli/lui pensava a me = he was thinking of me:thumbsup:

    HTH
     
  3. MingRaymond Senior Member

    HK Cantonese
    That means I can choose one of them to use if it is the subject,right? If it is object, I should use lui?
     
  4. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    correct!

    please remember it's true only for spoken language.
     
  5. shaula

    shaula Senior Member

    Como, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    I would say that no one usese egli in spoken language, while you must use egli in written sentences.
    No one would ever say something like "Egli è il mio ragazzo". It sounds ridiculous :D

    Ciao
    shaula
     
  6. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Exactly. Always use "lui" in spoken language. No one uses "egli" which is just used in written language.

    Ciao!
     
  7. MingRaymond Senior Member

    HK Cantonese
    That means if it is the subject in written language,'lui' cannnot be used?
    So, if it is the subject, I should use 'essa' instead of 'lei' to represent 'she' ?
     
  8. shaula

    shaula Senior Member

    Como, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Perfect! You may see it in magazines or newspapers though, since it is spreading as the standard pronoun.
    The correct pronoun for a female is "ella" (essa is for feminine thing) and, yes, the use is the same as lui/egli :)

    Ciao
    shaula
     
  9. Silvia B

    Silvia B Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
    Just to understand.. Shaula, you said "perfect" meaning that he CAN use it, right?
    cause his question was negative =)

    Of course "lui" can be used in written language, as it is the most common among the two options. Egli is not even used in magazines I dare say.. Maybe in newspaper, but usually just in books.

    Ciao!
     
  10. rambler Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida (hurricanes!)
    English Canada (blizzards!)
    In the following, under what circumstances might “egli” be used instead of “lui”?

    Lo lui .canta. To him he sings.
    Lo egli canta. To him he sings.


    In the following, under what circumstances might “ella” be used instead of “lei”?

    Lo lei .canta. To him she sings.
    Lo ella canta. To him she sings.



    I know that “esso”, “essa”, “essi”, “esse” are rare,
    but are the following phrases still technically valid ?

    Lo lui .canta. To him he sings.
    Lo esso canta. To him he sings.

    Lo lei .canta. To him she sings.
    Lo essa canta. To him she sings.

    Lo loro cantano. To him they sing.
    Lo essi cantano. To him they sing.
    Lo esse cantano. To him they sing.
     
  11. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    one small curve in your question... to him = gli
    To him he sings = lui gli canta
     
  12. rambler Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida (hurricanes!)
    English Canada (blizzards!)
    Thank you for pointing this out.

    As a ...direct object, "Lo" .means "him" or "it". Correct?
    As an indirect object, "gli" means "him" or "it". Correct?

    In the sentence "To him she sings", is "him" a direct or an indirect object? (I thought it was direct.)
     
  13. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Indirect. Direct objects are not preceded by prepositions. She sings what? A song = a direct object.

    Jana
     
  14. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    Hi,

    I'm just beginning to try to learn Italian on my own using a rather old and somewhat limited instruction book that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Looks like this forum could be very helpful though!

    First question: when should I use lui vs egli and lei vs ella?

    Thank you.
     
  15. *Giulia* Senior Member

    California-USA
    Italiano / Italia
    Egli end ella are used only in formal letters or documents. I almost never use them. "lui" and "lei" are used both in formal and informal dialogues or letters.
    Hope this helps!

    And good luck with the learning of Italian! I think WR helps a lot!
     
  16. claudine2006

    claudine2006 Senior Member

    Andalucía Spain
    Italy Italian
    Egli/ella = subject
    Lui/lei = object

    Egli è un bravo ragazzo.
    Uscirò con lui.

    You will listen to "Lui è un bravo ragazzo". It's accepted just in speeches.

    Welcome to WR!
     
  17. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    I'm confused then..

    Why is 'he' subject in:

    Egli è un bravo ragazzo

    but object in

    uscirò con lui?

    I think there's a grammatical rule I'm not familiar with..
     
  18. claudine2006

    claudine2006 Senior Member

    Andalucía Spain
    Italy Italian
    Sorry. It's not the same sentence.
    I wrote two different sentence to show you the different use of egli and lui.
    Egli = soggetto
    (Con) lui = complemento
     
  19. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    I'm still a bit lost regarding the grammatical use, but at least I can use lui and lei while I try to learn the basics..

    :)
     
  20. claudine2006

    claudine2006 Senior Member

    Andalucía Spain
    Italy Italian
    Yes, you can. People will understand you.
     
  21. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Well, actually even if "egli" and "ella" are more correct, you'll hardly ever see or hear them. They aren't so much used anymore. :)
     
  22. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    Good, because it's a difficult enough language to learn as it is ;)

    My book is from 1957 which probably explains why it's 'egli' all over..
     
  23. pinturicchio07

    pinturicchio07 Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Duckie - I think that is the case. All my Italian textbooks rarely mention "egli" at all. You'd be fine in just knowing that it is the "ultra" formal way of saying he. Lui and lei are ok!
     
  24. claudine2006

    claudine2006 Senior Member

    Andalucía Spain
    Italy Italian
    I've express my opinion about that several times.
    If you use "egli" as subject nobody can tell you're wrong.
    At university, for example, during an exam, you cannot say "Lui è".
    Maybe it's because I've studied at "Liceo classico", but my teachers have always tried to make us speak good Italian.
     
  25. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    In my opinion, a foreign who's studying Italian needs to know they exist and what's their meaning, but why should they worry about using them, if we don't?
     
  26. claudine2006

    claudine2006 Senior Member

    Andalucía Spain
    Italy Italian
    I understand your point of you. But I think it depends what level the learner wants to reach. You can speak Italian without using passato remoto/condizionale/congiuntivo, but you'll never speak good Italian.
     
  27. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I'm happy you want to defend Italian, but about that, we actually use, for example, the conditional in our speeches, but no one (except maybe in the Liceo Classico) uses "egli" or "ella" nowday. If someone did, I would be surprised. :D
     
  28. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    Thank you all for your help!

    Claudine, I would like to understand the grammatical rules of when to use which word, but the examples you provided confused me.. if you want to try to explain it in more detail I'll be happy to do my best to understand :)

    Meanwhile, I'm studying prepositions :D
     
  29. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    In theory:
    Egli/ella are used only when they are the subject of the sentence. They mean he/she. Lui/lei are used when they are the object (only after the verb) and with preposition, like him/her.

    P.S. But you have still to study lo/la and gli/le (not the articles) ;).
     
  30. *Giulia* Senior Member

    California-USA
    Italiano / Italia
    My advice:
    use EGLi and ELLA only at the beginning of a phrase in formal letters or documents.
     
  31. duckie

    duckie Senior Member

    Copenhagen
    Denmark
    Could you give an example in English of he/she being subject in one sentence and object in another? I might pick it up then.

    What do you mean lo/la gli/le not the articles? Are they used for other purposes than the definitive article?
     
  32. Nate in California

    Nate in California Senior Member

    San Diego, CA
    USA, San Diego - English
    lo/la - are also direct objects
    gli/le - are also indirect objects
     
  33. Nate in California

    Nate in California Senior Member

    San Diego, CA
    USA, San Diego - English
    Ex.

    Ho comprato il giornale stammattina. Lo compro ogni giorno.

    Al mio papà piace leggere il giornale. Percíò gli do il mio quando finisco di leggerlo.
     
  34. BlueWolf

    BlueWolf Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Ok:
    Io ho incrontato lei. I met her. (object)
    Ella ha incrontato me. She met me. (subject)
    Do questo number a lei. I give this number to her (indirect object)

    Now, this is the theory but you hardly ever hear this sentences in spoken Italian. You'll probably hear:

    (Io) l'ho incrontata. I met her. (object)
    (Lei) mi ha incrontato . She met me. (subject)
    (Io) le do questo number. I give her this number (indirect object)

    You'll probably study it after, but lo/la, gli/le aren't only the articles, but they are pronouns too. Lo/la (accusative) is an other way to say him/her (object), but they are placed before the verb, not after (ho incontrato lei / l'ho (la ho) incrontata), and gli/le same thing but it's the dative, so they mean "to him/her". (io do a lei / io le do)
     
  35. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    奥地利
    Italian, Italy (Torino)
    Living in Vienna and knowing people who learn Italian, I noticed, that here the words "egli, ella, essi" are not teached: they only theach to use "lui, lei, loro". I would like to ask to foreign people, if the learned the verbs using "lui" or "egli". And what do the Italians think about? Is it good to teach directly "lui" or it should be avoided?

    Please answer and correct me! :)
     
  36. SweetSoulSister Senior Member

    American English
    I was never taught egli, ella, and essi. I don't really even know what they are. I see them once in a while, and I remember hearing them for the first time from a nun.

    "to teach" is irregular in the past, quindi e' "taught" not "teached"
    Ciao. :)

    EDIT: Most of the Italian that I learned, I obtained from friends and experience rather than school. Maybe that is why I never learned egli, essi, and ella.
     
  37. Rania New Member

    Greece
    Greco
    Sono utili tutti e due secondo me, però all'inizio conviene fare delle frasi soltanto con 'lui, lei, loro', se no sarà un casino per loro :) Communque si insegnano tutti e due!
     
  38. Alberto77 Senior Member

    Italy
    Egli, ella, essi are the correct ones, but you can hear almost always in spoken language lui, lei, loro, that should be "object", as him, her, them... but when you write you should use the correct ones, expecially if you are not writing only to a friend for example,
    ciao
    alb
     
  39. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    I'd LOVE to have a formal thread about these. I've seen them here on the forum and have been told that they are used formally - little else.

    Great idea!
    Thanks.
     
  40. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    奥地利
    Italian, Italy (Torino)

    :eek: Sorry :)
     
  41. gioprava New Member

    Verona, Italy
    Italian, Italy
    (I found it on the web... it seems to be correct...)

    A further note regarding the third person. Egli and ella, for he and she, are literary forms, which in spoken Italian are usually replaced by lui and lei (literally him and her). These are the masculine and feminine forms for persons. Esso and essa are the forms for "it", and have a masculine and feminine form according to grammatical gender of the noun of the thing to which they refer. In the plural, essi and esse are respectively the masculine and feminine form for "they" for persons and things. However nowadays spoken Italian prefers loro (literally, them) for persons.

    There are some other tips on the use of the third person with people you don't know...

    here is the url w*w://ilovelanguages.com/Italian/lesson2.html

    (Sorry for the * but I can't post directly links...)

    Hope it helps, Giovanni
     
  42. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italia
    Italian - Italy
    As lots of users have already said, in a written text you have to use egli ella essi. The problem comes when speaking: even if these are the correct ones, you will almost never hear them, because they are too much "correct" even for a very formal speaking contest (e.g. even if you're talking to your boss/teacher/old people you are not supposed to use egli ella and essi). The problem can be avoided by using a name (egli---->Luca e.g.).
    Hope it's clear.
     
  43. pinturicchio07

    pinturicchio07 Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I was told that they belong to older Italian. But from what I see, that is incorrect.

    Lorenzo
     
  44. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italia
    Italian - Italy
    What you say is true if you mean "old"="formal written" :D I mean:
    • written formal text: Egli ritiene che la guerra vada evitata (this is also the use of the grammar books)
    • written informal text: Lui dice che è stata Sara a baciarlo per prima (NOT:warn: egli dice che...)
    • speaking formal: (Lui/ il tale personaggio) ritiene che la guerra vada evitata (almost never you'll hear egli ritiene che..., especially in a dialogue; a bit more often you can hear egli in a conference, for example)
    • speaking informal: Lui dice che è stata Sara a baciarlo per prima
    Besides, remember that Italian uses personal pronouns only when the subject may be misunderstood, or in order to underline that it's the person we are talkin/writing about who has done something: in this case you can avoid the problem by using a name (Luca).
    The same rules can be observed for essi/loro.
    Ella is really uncommon and sounds really old and poetic.
    Hope it helps :thumbsup:
     
  45. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    I learned enough about them to recognize and understand them, but never to use them. In fairness sono quasi completamente autodidatta quindi non posso biasimare nessun sistema scolastico per il mio livello linguistico. ;)

    __________________

    Le correzioni sono sempre benvenute
     
  46. GiovanniO

    GiovanniO Senior Member

    Florida
    English (USA)
    I am fortunate to have an excellent teacher who uses different texts.
    Some use lui / lei / loro as the subjects.
    Others use the egli \ esso / ella \ essa / essi \ esse forms.
    We do the exercises using both.

    Is "ella" any less common than "egli"?
    If I remember correctly, I thought egli / ella were used for people and esso / essa were used for things.
     
  47. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italia
    Italian - Italy
    It's true: egli/ella for people and esso/essa for things.
    But ella less common than egli.
     
  48. Erinlad Junior Member

    The 1950 paperback edition "THE BERLITZ SELF TEACHER: ITALIAN" uses 'essa/egli' on page 20 to construct replies to questions of nationality.​

    ex: "Si, essa è italiana"​

    ex: "Si, egli è italiano"​

    The book doesn't say anything about spoken vs. written Italian and I naturally thought the book could be used to speak the language. ​

    In the examples above, are you saying that 'lei/lui' should replace 'essa(or should it be 'ella')/lui construction when speaking? Should 'lei/lui' be used in writing today's Italian? ​

    Is the book out of date with today's Italian usage? It keeps the personal pronoun in many of the sentence constructions when it seem to me that the verb conjugation would be enough. ​
     
  49. Andre Balian

    Andre Balian Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English, uSA
    I think a lot of old books with Italian grammer are incorrect, vague, and unnatural, generally speaking. I believe that esso/essa is used for things and even animals. Not people.

    I've never used egli or ella in writing, it is not taught.

    This was unclear:
    "you must use egli in written sentences"
    devi usare "egli" in frasi scritte?! :eek::confused: (Pensavo che volevi dire solamente egli)

    Vuoi dire non sempre, ma se si usa ella/egli, dev'essere nella forma scritta...
     
  50. Quovadis Senior Member

    Lompoc, California
    US English and Central American Spanish
    I've got an Italian text published in 1962, and it really copnfused me with these pronouns. But I think I've got it now.
     

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