position of adverb

joseph-p8

Why does the position of "bene" move?
For example when I say  "You speak italian well" it is "Parli bene l'italiano" (between the verb and the noun}
But when I say "I don't speak italian well" it is "Non parlo l'italiano bene" (after the noun)?

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Joseph,

In this case, bene can be placed both before and after the noun.

Parli bene l'italiano. / Parli l'italiano bene.
Non parlo bene l'italiano. / Non parlo l'italiano bene.

You can also use molto bene (very well):
Parli molto bene l'italiano. / Parli l'italiano molto bene.
Non parlo molto bene l'italiano. / Non parlo l'italiano molto bene.

The position of the Italian adverbs is not rigid, as there are no rules that say where to place them, however those adverbs that modify a verb are usually placed after it. Many times it's also a matter of ear. For example:

Non ho sentito bene.
Non ho ben sentito.

Non ho capito bene.
Non ho ben capito.

Both examples with capito are very common, but non ho ben sentito sounds a bit off to me.

Hope this helps! (And buon anno nuovo! :))

Lucia

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