Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar Subject pronoun- Tu/Lei vs Voi/Loro

Subject pronoun- Tu/Lei vs Voi/Loro

Jemma

Jemma

Ciao,

i have a slight confusion with the different types of subject pronoun (you).
first, I understand that Tu is used among young people while Lei is used when you speak to someone you do not know or an elder person.

Voi is known to be the plural form of you (Tu). When should i use Voi?
From what i know, Voi should refer to "you all"
However
, would i be right to use it in situation where there are more than 1 object. (example: Newspapers)
"Voi avete i giornali inglese? "Do you have the english newspapers?
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi jingling,

You use voi when you are speaking to more than one person (this regardless of the degree of formality of the situation). People used to address unknown groups of people with "Loro", but nowadays this form is almost never used.
The pronoun doesn't depend on the object (newspapers, here), but on the number of recipients of your message.

(Voi) avete dei giornali inglesi?
(Tu) hai dei giornali inglesi?

(Voi) avete una penna? - Do you all have a pen?
(Tu) hai una penna? - Do you have a pen?

Hope this helps!
Jemma

Jemma

Hi,

thank you for your help. I appreciate it a lot.
May i ask why is it "(Voi) avete dei giornali inglesi?" as "dei" means "of", not "i" which is the plural of the definite article "il (the)"?

Thank you.
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi jingling,

"Dei" is also a partitive article. They are explained in detail in lesson 8.7. In Italian, when you want to generally address a group of things (in your case, English newspapers), you use a partitive article instead of a definite article which is instead used to address a precise object or group of things.

Hope this helps!
Jemma

Jemma

Grazie Lucia,

 I would like to clarify another thing with you.

For the use of "non" to express "no",
Which is correct for "you are not eating the apple" (For example)?
Attempt 1: Tu sei non mangiando la mela. 
Attempt 2: Tu non sei mangiando la mela. 

Thank you for your help.
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Rachelyeo,

Your second translation is the most correct, but not correct altogether.
Tu non stai mangiando una mela.

While English uses a conjugation of to be, Italian uses a conjugation of to stay. In the present tense, it's like this:

Io sto
Tu stai
Lui/lei sta
Noi stiamo
Voi state
Loro stanno


"Non" is always placed between subject and verb, even in compound tenses, like Io sono andato, I have gone / I went, which becomes Io non sono andato (English: I have not gone).

Hope this helps!

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Italian trial here .