Words can be classified according to their role in a sentence.
|Subject||Carries out the action||Il gatto dorme.||The cat is sleeping.|
|Direct Object||Answers question: Who? What?||Io vedo il gatto.||I see the cat.|
|Indirect Object||Answers question: Whom? To/For What?||Io do da mangiare al gatto.||I feed the cat.|
|Complement||Adds further information||Vedo un gatto rosso.||I see a red cat.|
The subject of the sentence carries out an action determined by the verb.
|Io mangio una mela.||I eat an apple.|
|Mario ha deciso di aprire un ristorante.||Mario decided to open a restaurant.|
|Noi siamo contenti.||We are happy.|
The object of a sentence is a person or element which is affected by the action carried out by the verb.
Objects can be divided in Direct and Indirect Objects.
Direct objects answer the questions Who? What? and aren't generally introduced by a prepositions.
|Il vento apre la finestra.||The wind opens the window.|
|Vedo la mia ombra.||I can see my shadow.|
|Portami una penna.||Bring me a pen.|
Indirect objects answers the questions Whom? To/For What? and are generally introduced by a preposition.
|Ho dato il regalo a mia cugina.||I gave the present to my cousin.|
|Il postino ha portato questa lettera per te.||The postman brought this letter for you.|
|L'insegnante parla con il preside.||The teacher is talking with the principal.|
Complement is a general name for any element that adds further information to the object, the verb, or an object.
In some cases, complements are compulsory in order for the sentence to make sense.
Example: Mi ha dato i soldi. (She gave me the money)
Mi/Me and I soldi/The money are complements. This sentence wouldn't make sense if these two elements (or even if just one) were omitted.
It's the verb itself that determines what kinds of complements are needed for the sentence to make sense.
Sometimes complements are simply added in a sentence to specify new information, for completeness.
Example: Ho visto un vestito [rosso]. (I saw a [red] dress)
Notice how Rosso/Red could be easily omitted and the sentence could still make sense. This is because this kind of complement simply specifies a new, additional, information.
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