Which is the difference between Stressed and Not Stressed Italian Pronouns?

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Not Stressed Pronouns: Pronouns without their own Accent

Many of you, especially if your level is intermediate or higher, know the “NOT STRESSED PRONOUNS”.
The Direct Pronouns, the Indirect Pronouns, the Reflexive Pronouns and the Combined ones are NOT STRESSED PRONOUNS. But why do we call these pronouns “NOT STRESSED”? Because in pronouncing they make only one word with the verb. Think about how you do pronounce the phrases: “ti guardo” or “lo vedo!”.

There’s no any break between the pronoun (“ti”) and the verb (“guardo”). We pronounce this concatenation of sylllables as one unique word. The accent goes on the syllable “guar”: “ti-guar-do”. The same for “lo-ve-do”, “mi-sem-bra”, “non-te-lo-di-co” oppure “te-lo-di-co” and so on. The green bold indicates the position of the accent.

When these NOT STRESSED PRONOUNS  instead come after the verb, they directly make, also in the written language, ony one word with the verb: “in-for-ma-ti“, “la-scia-melo“, “di-glielo“, “pren-di-ti” etc. Pay now attention on where is the accent: “in-for-ma-ti”, “la-scia-me-lo”, “di-glie-lo”, “pren-di-ti” etc.

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Stressed Pronouns: Pronouns with their own Accent

Different thing for the STRESSED PRONOUNS. They keep indeed their own accent and never join the verb in one word.

“Vedo lui“, “Chiamano loro, non voi“, “Regalo a te questo cd”, “Torno da loro il prossimo sabato”.

If we write the sentences here above in the way we effectively pronounce them, we see that the “STRESSED PRONOUNS” take the main accent in each concatenation of words:

“Ve-do-lu-i”, “Chia-ma-no-lo-ro” | “non-vo-i”, “Re-ga-lo-a(t)-te” | “ques-to-ci-di”.

Here  a schema of the STRESSED PRONOUNS:

me noi
te voi
lui, lei loro

If we consider logically the STRESSED and the NOT STRESSED PRONOUNS, we can say that they keep the same function. The phrases “lo (NOT STRESSED) vedo” and “vedo lui (STRESSED)” say exactly the same.

Consdering instead the intention of the speaker, assuming in other words a subjective point of view, things are different: by one side we are just stating of seeing someone, lo vedo, by the other, we whish to give enphasis to the fact of viewing someone and not someone else.

Stressed and not stressed Italian pronounsThe same for sentences like “mi sembra che sia tardi” and “sembra a me che sia tardi”: it seams to me, maybe someone else is thinking differently, and so on.

Also, while any preposition ever preceedes the NOT STRESSED PRONOUNS, they can preceed the STRESSED ONES (a me, di me, con me, per me, tra me e me, da me, in me etc.).

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Stressed and Not Stressed Italian Pronouns



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