Is there any difference of meaning between the reflexive form and the non-reflexive form of the verb "sbagliare"? Examples:
- Lui ha sbagliato.
- Lui si è sbagliato.
Italian Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Italian language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The differences are subtle, IMHO, and this is by no means a complete answer. However, I will list common situations where these expressions are used, and how it can often be confusing.
The two can in many cases be used interchangeably, as in
Qui ho sbagliato.
Qui mi sono sbagliato.
The former expression tends to have a "stronger" meaning, and is more used in situations where the subject is particularly involved and the subject of the mistake is "broad".
Ho sbagliato tutto nella vita.
The above sentence would hardly be used with a reflexive form.
The reflexive form is instead used more often when performing a wrong evaluation, a concrete mistake. Also, it gives the feeling that the subject which has done a mistake is particularly involved in terms of personal action.
Mi sono sbagliato di grosso sul tuo conto!
In the above example, one could use
Ho sbagliato di grosso sul tuo conto!
(with a litte bit of a stretch) and it would sound a bit more solemn.