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Are we allowed to ask grammar questions?

erniecox

erniecox

In lesson 3:6  there's the sentence:  "Vi assicuro che i vostri sforzi saranno ricompensati."  It can translate as: "I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded." 

Just wondering why the use of SFORZI and not SFORZATE, since the statement is addressed to more than one person. And also why RICOMPENSATI, and not RICOMPENSATE?   Obviously, I'm missing something,  perhaps to do with the fact that sforzi is a noun and not a verb? 

Also, this sentence in the same lesson:  "Sono le piccole cose che fanno una grande differenza!" 
"It's the little things that make a big difference."   Why the use of SONO and not È?  I've run across this before but forget the grammar behind it. 

Grazie. 

Ernie Cox
Ottawa, Canada

 
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Ernie,

Sforzi, like "efforts", is a noun. It's the plural form of sforzo, "effort". Sforzate, on the other hand, is an adjective, the plural feminine past participle of sforzare, "to force". (Sforzato, sforzati, sforzata, sforzate).
Now, sforzo, like almost all the nouns ending in -o, is a masculine noun. This means that any adjectives attached to it must be in their masculine form, too, and this is why you say sforzi ricompensati. Ricompensate is a plural, feminine form.

Now for your second sentence.
Like it happens for adjectives, Italian verbs must be conjugated according to the noun they address. Sono addresses le piccole cose, which is a plural noun (singular > cosa). This means that you'll have to begin the sentence with a conjugation of essere that suits this noun: le cose sono. This rule applies to every noun or personal pronoun. It works differently from English, where the impersonal "it is" is always used.
È lui che fa la differenza. (Lui è)
Sei tu che fai la differenza. (Tu sei)
Siamo noi che facciamo la differenza. (Noi siamo)
Etc.

Hope this helps! Don't hesitate to ask any questions if something isn't clear.

Lucia

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