He heard her coming up the stairs

jbelveal

Member
USA and English
Are the two words interchangeable as in the following sentence?

L'ha sentita salire/ salendo le scale.

Thanks for the help.
 
  • L'Enrico

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Are the two words interchangeable?

    L'ha sentita salire/ salendo le scale.
    They are not. The present participle would mean that he was walking up the stairs, and the sentence would have to be recast to accomodate for that meaning.

    L'ha sentita salire le scale.
    L'ha sentita che saliva le scale.

    E.
     

    jbelveal

    Member
    USA and English
    I think I understand but just want to be clear. If you stated "L'ha sentita salendo le scale.", you are actually saying, "He heard her (while he was) coming up the stairs." . Is this correct?

    Also, in the second example you provided "che saliva le scale". I understand the use of the imperfect, but don't understand the use of "che". How would this sentence be interpreted?

    Many thanks - I am so appreciative of the assistance.
     

    giacinta

    Senior Member
    English
    "L'ha sentita che saliva le scale " = he heard her coming up the stairs (the person (una femmina) who was coming up the stairs)

    Giacinta
     

    Leo57

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think I understand but just want to be clear. If you stated "L'ha sentita salendo le scale.", you are actually saying, "He heard her (while he was) coming up the stairs." . Is this correct? Yes.

    ,...(re: second example) ... but don't understand the use of "che".

    Many thanks - I am so appreciative of the assistance.
    Hi there
    I hope this helps.
    L'ha sentita salire le scale. (Verbs of perception such as: ascoltare, avvetire, guardare, sentire, udire, vedere…etc. may be followed by a subordinate clause whose main verb is in the infinitive: Sento cantare Gianni OR Sento Gianni cantare. = I hear Gianni sing/ing.)
    L'ha sentita che saliva le scale. See note below*

    The subject of an Italian gerund is generally interpreted as identical to that of the main verb of the sentence in which it occurs. This means that sentences like:
    ‘Vidi il ragazzo uscendo dalla chiesa’ can only be interpreted as ‘I saw the boy as I came out of the church’ and never as ‘I saw the boy as he came out of the church’
    *The most natural way to express the latter meaning involves using the ‘pseudo-relative’ construction i.e. che + verb (e.g. Vedo Gianni che gioca a tennis = I see Gianni playing tennis. In other words, Gianni is the one who is playing tennis)

    (Ref: An extract taken from A Reference Grammar of modern Italian.)

    Ciao
    Leo:)
     

    L'Enrico

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I understand the use of the imperfect, but don't understand the use of "che"
    It's a construction we borrow from adjective clauses.
    There was a man [who was] staring at me from across the room = C'era un uomo che mi fissava dall'altra parte della stanza.

    It's like you could say I heard her [*who was] coming up the stairs.
    The insertion of "who" is necessary in Italian to make "her" the subject of the coming.

    E.
     
    Last edited:

    ben.n

    New Member
    Italian
    "Che mi fissava" non dovrebbe essere "THAT was staring at me" piuttosto che "WHO was staring at me"?

    Se no sembra che "who"(il quale, colui che) sia la stessa cosa che "che" soltanto.

    Magari sbaglio io eh.

    "che mi fissava" è un pò diverso da dire "il quale mi fissava". O no? Ora c'ho il dubbio.

    "Il quale" specifica CHI fa cosa.
    "che" specifica COSA viene fatto.

    Il peso si sposta dal CHI al COSA, mi pare un sottigliezza comunque rilevante.

    o no?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    Magari sbaglio io eh.

    "che mi fissava" è un pò diverso da dire "il quale mi fissava". O no? Ora c'ho il dubbio.

    "Il quale" specifica CHI fa cosa.
    "che" specifica COSA viene fatto.

    Il peso si sposta dal CHI al COSA, mi pare un sottigliezza comunque rilevante.

    o no?

    No :)


    Vediamo cosa ne dice Dante ( Inferno, Canto II, 1-9 ):



    Lo giorno se n'andava, e l'aere bruno
    toglieva li animai che sono in terra
    da le fatiche loro; e io sol uno

    m'apparecchiava a sostener la guerra
    si` del cammino e si` de la pietate,
    che ritrarra` la mente che non erra.

    O muse, o alto ingegno, or m'aiutate;
    o mente che scrivesti cio` ch'io vidi,
    qui si parra` la tua nobilitate.


    "Che" e' usato tre volte : la prima e la terza come soggetto, la seconda come oggetto.
     
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