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possessive adjective before nouns denoting family members

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by k_georgiadis, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    I have seen this sentence and was told by an Italian friend that it is perfectly correct:

    and now I am totally confused! I had understood that, in the case of a close relative such as "nipote" the article "la" would be omitted except for when:

    1) "nipote" were modified: la vostra nipote canadese
    2) "nipote" was in the plural form
    3) "nipote" was preceded by the possessive adjective "loro"

    Obviously I got the rule wrong. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. houellebecq

    houellebecq Senior Member

    Italy -- Italian
    The rule is right, so: Saluto vostra nipote
     
  3. dylanG3893

    dylanG3893 Senior Member

    CA
    United States
    Isn't there another exception to why one can omit the definate article before the possesive adjectives besides family members? I've seen it before.
     
  4. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    And yet Garzanti Linguistica has the following examples under "nipote:"

    mio nipote; la nostra nipote.

    I thought that it should have been "nostra nipote," whereas le nostre nipoti would have been correct. I am confused!
     
  5. Never Got a Dinner

    Never Got a Dinner Senior Member

    Boston
    America, English
    Like all students, I sweated over this rule. And amidst all the chaos, I had the hardest time figuring out whether it's la mia famiglia or mia famiglia. Turns out it's the former. The way to remember is that your family consists of many members (plural). Just wanted to throw that out there.
     
  6. angelico76 Senior Member

    Italy, italian
    I can give you some more examples to fix the rule:

    - Mio fratello va a scuola.
    - Mia sorella va a scuola.
    - Mio padre va a lavoro.
    - Mia madre va a lavoro.
    - Il mio papà va a lavoro.
    - La mia mamma va lavoro.
    - La mia famiglia è composta da 5 persone.
    - Mio nipote è maschio.
    - Mia nipote è femmina.
    - Manda i miei saluti a vostra nipote.
    - Manda i miei saluti ai vostri nipoti.
    - Mio nipote canadese va all'università.
    - Mia nipote canadese andava all'università.
    - Dai questo libro a sua sorella.
    - Dai questo libro alla (a+la) sorella (ma non alla sua sorella).

    Ciao
     
  7. Never Got a Dinner

    Never Got a Dinner Senior Member

    Boston
    America, English
    Whoa "Il mio papà" and "La mia mamma" are definitely wrong, if I may say so.
     
  8. angelico76 Senior Member

    Italy, italian
    I'm sorry,
    but you're not right.
    I wrote that without thinking too much but I wasn't wrong.

    Have a look at:
    http://www.aetnanet.org/catania-scuola-notizie-6467.html

    Briefly, it says that:
    "La mia mamma", "Il mio papà" is 100% OK
    "Mia mamma", "Mio papà" is acceptable but not 100% (according to italian grammar rules)

    The source, in this case, is Treccani, a very authoritative one.
    Ciao
     
  9. myoho New Member

    Italian
     
  10. myoho New Member

    Italian
     
  11. myoho New Member

    Italian
    You are not at all wrong, but this is older Italian usage, in modern Italian the article can be omitted in some cases. The best way is to consult a very good grammar book, in use today in Italian schools. By the way "mia mamma" correct when instead "mio papa" is not, you should use "il mio papa" however you can say "mio padre"
    More archaic forms of the language would use the determinative article, and it is not incorrect at all to use it, just not in use much anymore, and does not sound well either.
     
  12. Never Got a Dinner

    Never Got a Dinner Senior Member

    Boston
    America, English
    Bingo. LA mia madre and IL mio padre just don't sound good. Grammar books, schmammar books. Some books are saying that you don't have to say lo zucchero, that il zucchero is OK, too. YUCK! So you know, maybe I'm an iconoclast, but I don't necessarily agree with books all the time.
     
  13. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    Lots to read here which I'll do on tonight's long flight. Thank you all.
     
  14. angelico76 Senior Member

    Italy, italian
    Hi,
    well myoho is right:

    - Manda i miei saluti a vostra nipote. Mandate i miei saluti a vostra nipote
    Oppure: Manda i miei saluti a tua nipote
    - Manda i miei saluti ai vostri nipoti. Mandate i miei saluti ai vostri nipoti
    Oppure: Manda i miei saluti ai tuoi nipoti
    or:
    - Mandi i miei saluti a sua nipote
    - Mandi i miei saluti ai suoi nipoti
    - Mando i miei saluti a sua/vostra nipote
    - Mando i miei saluti ai suoi/vostri nipoti
    - (Luigi) Manda i suoi saluti a vostra nipote
    - (Luigi) Manda i suoi saluti ai vostri nipoti

    "manda i miei saluti a vostra nipote" non è molto corretto.

    Invece,
    "Dai questo libro a sua sorella" è corretto. Ad esempio, si stava parlando di qualcuno che non è riportato esplicitamente nella frase, e dico:
    "Senti Luigi, ti ricordi Francesco? Per favore, dai questo libro a sua sorella".

    Altrimenti, dovrei scrivere:
    (Egli) dà questo libro a sua sorella, e non (Egli) da questo libro a sua sorella (la differenza è l'accento). Questo, tra l'altro, è un errore abbastanza frequente ed anche piuttosto importante (onde non confondere con la preposizione da).
    Esiste poi anche la versione da':
    Da' questo libro a sua sorella. In questo caso non si tratta di accento ma di apostrofo (apocope o troncamento), e trattasi di forma monosillabica dell'imperativo Dai.

    Spero di essere stato chiaro,
    Ciao


    Ciao

     
  15. myoho New Member

    Italian
    Il zucchero is the correct way, but lo zucchero sound sooooo much better, ;)
    I guess you can use it and call it poetic license:D

    La mia madre :thumbsdown:
    Il mio padre :thumbsdown:
    They may be correct, but that means that my teacher in school agreed with me, they sound really bad. I come from the north of Italy, and I don't recall it being common, however in Southern Italy they are used. Italian language has evolved many times since Dante Alighieri. For example: spengere is the correct way, but spegnere is more in use, unless one lives in Tuscany. I am from Emilia Romagna, close to Tuscany, but not the heart of true Italian
     
  16. myoho New Member

    Italian
    Grazie Angelico, dopo quasi 20 anni negli USA avevo dimenticato che Da' non e' altro che la forma contratta di dai, dimenticando di metter l'apostrofo. Grazie a tutti per questa opportunita'. Accipicchia, devo imparare come inserire le vocali con accento.:eek:
     
  17. imaginedarius Junior Member

    Farsi and English
    Hi, i have one question that somebody can clarify. so for words without family members you would use the article, eg. i mei libri or il suo cappotto. But with family members in the singular you would drop the article and say mio padre or suo cugino. Does this apply for family members in the plural too? Grazie mille!
     
  18. Kraus Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    Shab bekheyr, Imaginedarius! :)

    No, it doesn't: we say i miei cugini, i miei fratelli, le mie sorelle... Onlu in the singular we (have to) drop the article.
     
  19. trinitalian Senior Member

    But there is another exeption with the possessive "loro" (3 plural person) where you always need the article. Example:
    la loro mamma, la loro sorella, il loro fratello
    le loro mamme, le loro sorelle, i loro fratelli
     
  20. rainbowizard

    rainbowizard Senior Member

    Venezia
    Italian - Italy
    Hi
    I would never say "La mia madre" or "Il mio padre" but it does not sound so strange to me "La mia mamma" or "Il mio babbo".

    I really don't know if there is a mistake or it is a dialect form... when the "severe" terms padre/madre are substituted by the familiar mamma/babbo/papà...
     
  21. trinitalian Senior Member

    It is used colloquially, especially in the North of Italy, but it is not proper Italian. It should always be mia mamma or mio papa'
     
  22. Kraus Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    That's true: "mia mamma" and "mio babbo/papà" are wrong: one has to say "la mia mamma", "il mio babbo/papà".
     
  23. housecameron

    housecameron Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian/ Italy
    Mia mamma/ mio papà (colloquial) are so widely used in some parts of Italy that it's actually unacceptable they are labelled as wrong.
    La mia mamma/ il mio papà (colloquial) are correct but to me they sound more childish.

    From De Mauro
    mì|o
    agg.poss. di prima pers.sing., pron.poss. di prima pers.sing.
    4a indica relazione di parentela; rifiuta l’articolo determinativo quando è seguito da un sostantivo che sia singolare o non sia accompagnato da attributo, apposizione o altra determinazione: m. padre, m. nonno, il m. caro zio, i miei fratelli; accetta l’articolo determinativo quando precede un sostantivo alterato o di tono affettuoso: la mia sorellina, il m. figliolo; può essere preceduto dall’articolo determinativo con oscillazioni nell’uso regionale: il mio papà, mio papà, la mia mamma, mia mamma | anche posposto, spec. in frasi esclamative o vocative: padre m.!, fratello m.!
     
  24. trinitalian Senior Member

    Kraus you misinterpreted what I wrote. I actually agree with Houcameron. What I wrote is: It should always be mia mamma or mio papa' because the other form (with la/il) it is used colloquially, especially in the North of Italy, as De Mauro says.
     

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