tu/ti/te...

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Alwaysconfused

Member
NJ
English, US.
This is probably one of the most stupid questions ever asked... :(
How do you know when to use either tu, te, or ti?
What's the difference?
-is it just what sounds better?
Thanks!

-S.
 
  • lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    Tu is the subject pronoun you (informal) as in tu sei qui.
    Ti is an object pronoun as in ti do il libro
    Te is used after a verb as in io amo te
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    Ciao, alwaysconfused. Maybe we can help turn you into justsometimesperplexed. ;)

    In addition to lsp's great answer, About.com has some good Italian lessons, including this one about subject pronouns. From there, you can click to related lessons.

    In bocca al lupo! :)

    Elisabetta
     

    Stiannu

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    Te is also the second person singular indirect object; for example te darò il mio cuore

    No, Brian P: if I understood correctly, that would be "ti":
    "ti darò il mio cuore" (I will give you my heart, OR I will give my heart to you).
    One has to know the use of Italian verbs, and I guess that can come gradually with the practice: for example, the verb "dare" (to give) holds in Italian only one direct object, which is the thing given (the heart, in this case); the person (you, in this case) to which one is giving the thing is not considered a direct object, and so needs the preposition "a" (to) or the form "ti" (to you).

    "Ti" can be considered a synonimous of "a te", that is "to you".
    At the same time, just to make the situation more complicated, it is also the form for "you" as a direct object when used before a verb, and not after. We'll say "io amo te" (it's you that I love), but "io ti amo" (I love you). We'll never say "io te amo" (well, in poetry sometimes... but beginners can just forget it!) or "io amo ti"!

    To sum up:
    Ti darò il mio cuore or A te darò il mio cuore (in this case, "ti"="a te", "to you")
    Io ti amo or Io amo te (in this case, "ti"="te" BUT used before the verb).
     

    lily218

    New Member
    English
    Tu is the subject pronoun you (informal) as in tu sei qui.
    Ti is an object pronoun as in ti do il libro
    Te is used after a verb as in io amo te

    But in the phrase 'io amo te', isnt 'te' the object and so should be ti? Sorry, it's probably a stupid question.... I hate being English and so ignorant about grammar :'(... (no wonder we are terrible at learning other languages!)

    Thank you! :)
     

    lily218

    New Member
    English
    No, Brian P: if I understood correctly, that would be "ti":
    "ti darò il mio cuore" (I will give you my heart, OR I will give my heart to you).
    One has to know the use of Italian verbs, and I guess that can come gradually with the practice: for example, the verb "dare" (to give) holds in Italian only one direct object, which is the thing given (the heart, in this case); the person (you, in this case) to which one is giving the thing is not considered a direct object, and so needs the preposition "a" (to) or the form "ti" (to you).

    "Ti" can be considered a synonimous of "a te", that is "to you".
    At the same time, just to make the situation more complicated, it is also the form for "you" as a direct object when used before a verb, and not after. We'll say "io amo te" (it's you that I love), but "io ti amo" (I love you). We'll never say "io te amo" (well, in poetry sometimes... but beginners can just forget it!) or "io amo ti"!

    To sum up:
    Ti darò il mio cuore or A te darò il mio cuore (in this case, "ti"="a te", "to you")
    Io ti amo or Io amo te (in this case, "ti"="te" BUT used before the verb).

    So I could say.. for example... 'Io messaggio te' or 'io ti messaggio' and they are both correct? Thank you for this great explanation!! :)
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    But in the phrase 'io amo te', isnt 'te' the object and so should be ti?
    "Te" is the direct object; if it's before the verb, it becomes "ti", also direct object in this case (not sure about the rule, I'm clueless as to most of my native language grammar :D).
    (Io) ti amo vs. (Io) amo te = I love you

    So I could say.. for example... 'Io messaggio te' or 'io ti messaggio' and they are both correct?
    They're both grammatically correct, but only "io ti messaggio" is idiomatic in most cases (same goes for "ti amo" vs. "amo te").

    The pronoun is placed after the verb ("te") rather than before the verb ("ti") only (or mostly) for emphasis (e.g. when we want to stess who does what).

    That said, you might want to wait for some grammar experts if you want to learn about the "rule" behind the above.
     
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