Tutorial Transcript

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my channel! How are you? Finally today there's another grammar lesson, a video on grammar! As you can tell from the title of this video, today we're talking about pronouns. I wouldn't want to talk about pronouns in detail, meaning from the point of view of the grammatical rules, as in: the direct first person singular pronoun is "mi", etc. Because that you can easily find by opening up a book on grammar or searching up grammar rules on the internet. In this video, I want to focus on use of pronouns. And so I'll try to respond to the question: when do I need to use direct pronouns and when do I need to use indirect pronouns? Pronouns are very important in the Italian language because they allow the person speaking not to repeat certain words which would make the conversation heavy, weigh down the conversation. We don't like repeating the same words over and over! When an element is mentioned for the first time in a conversation, there is no longer a need to repeat the same word, because by now the object is known by the participants of the conversation. And it is here that pronouns come into play, which are fundamental to speaking well and being understood! Pronouns, as the word itself says, substitute nouns. They are used in place of a noun, and obviously have the same function as the direct or indirect object in the sentence, as the noun would. As we've already said, the pronouns that interest us in this video are the direct object pronouns and the indirect object pronouns. Direct pronouns are pronouns that substitute the noun which in the sentence corresponds to the direct object complement in the phrase. And so we have: mi, ti, lo/la, ci, vi, li/le. While the indirect pronouns substitute the noun that, in the sentence, is in the position of the indirect object complement. And the pronouns are: mi, ti, gli/le, ci, vi, gli. As you can see, the direct and indirect pronouns are for the most part the same, apart from the third person singular and plural. So the question is: how do I distinguish them in a sentence in conversation? How do I use these pronouns? How do I know if I need to use the direct pronoun or the indirect pronoun? Well, the key is to look at the verb. You need to know if the verb is transitive or intransitive. So knowing if the is transitive or intransitive is the key to using direct and indirect pronouns. What does it mean if a verb is transitive or intransitive? The verb is transitive when it transfers the action on an object in a direct way, that is without a preposition between the verb and the object. And it always responds to the question "Who?" or "What?". For example, the verb "guardare (to watch)" is a transitive verb. Because it transfers an action onto an object. I watch a film, I watch a commercial, I watch something. On the other hand, a verb is intransitive when it does not transfer the action onto an object, so the verb has a full meaning, like, for example "camminare (to walk)". I can simply say "I walk", and that sentence is a complete sentence because the verb has a full meaning. But it can also happen that the intransitive verb transfers the action onto the object, but in an indirect way, so with the help of a preposition. Therefore between the verb and the object we will find a preposition. For example, "telefonare (to call)" is an intransitive verb because I can't say, "telefono mia sorella (my sister)". I have to say "telefonare a mia sorella". So the action, to have meaning, needs to be transferred onto the object, but with the help of a preposition. So, "telefonare" is always intransitive, because I can also say: "io sto telefonando (I am calling)". The meaning is complete, I don't need to add any more. Or I'll need to say, "io telefono A mia sorella", so I need a preposition. Obviously there are also some verbs which are both transitive and intransitive, like, for example, the verb "scrivere (to write)". I can say, "scrivo una lettera (I write a letter)". So in this sentence "scrivere" is transitive. But I can also say "scrivo a mia sorella" and it becomes intransitive. So it depends on what you want to say. I can say "scrivo una lettera a mia sorella". In this sentence, the verb "scrivere" is at the same time transitive and intransitive, because there are two objects, a direct object and an indirect object, more precisely "un complemento di termine". So, let's get back to the point, to the initial question. If I know that "guardare" is a transitive verb, I'll need to use the direct pronouns. So if I say "guardo un film", if I want to transform this sentence and use a pronoun, I need to choose the direct third person singular male pronoun that will substitute "il film". So it would become "lo guardo". I watch the film. What do I watch? The film. If on the other hand I know that "telefonare" is an intransitive verb, I will have to use an indirect pronoun. So let's take the sentence from earlier, "telefono a mia sorella". I'll need to take a pronoun that substitues "a mia sorella", so an indirect third person singular feminine pronoun, "le". So the sentence becomes "le telefono". So, in order to understand when to use the direct or indirect pronouns, we need to look at the verb, we need to analyze the verb in the sentence and understand if it is transitive or intransitive. In the case of a transitive verb I need to use direct pronouns. On the other hand, if I'm dealing with an intransitive verb, I need to use indirect pronouns. This is the key understanding, the key to using these pronouns. Alright, I hope I was clear, if not totally clear, clear enough! Obviously if you have some questions, if you want to share an opinion, a thought, whatever, leave a comment down below. Thank you for having watched this video! Don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you haven't already done so. And then you can also find me on Instagram and on Patreon, you'll find all of the links in the description below this video. Thank you again and we'll see each other next week with another Italian lesson. Until next time, ciao!