I know that the Italian gerund can be used in temporal, hypothetical, concessive and modal clauses, but I have just read the following sentence:

Partendo domani, ti ho comprato un regalo.

Is this idiomatic? If so, does gerund express cause here? Is that usage of gerund as usual as the expressions "siccome", "dato che", "visto che", "poiché" ?

  • Can you share the source of the Italian sentence? It almost sounds as an imperfect translation from another language...
    – DaG
    Sep 20 '19 at 21:58
  • I have read the sentence in a comment in an Italian language learning tool, therefore I am not sure if it is correct. Source: forum.duolingo.com/comment/335070 Sep 20 '19 at 22:01
  • 1
    Thanks. Gerund may well have causal uses, but this particular sentence doesn't sound like one of the first two or three ways an Italian would phrase it.
    – DaG
    Sep 20 '19 at 22:08
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    Have you considered trying reading actual Italian texts (novels, newspapers, comics, children books, whatever suits your tastes and level) rather than random snippets on the web?
    – DaG
    Sep 20 '19 at 22:10
  • @DaG, thanks for clearing it up! I suspected that sentence was wrong because the corresponding sentence in Portuguese (my native language) sounded odd too. I assume the problem in it is that the verbal tense of the main clause does not agree with the semantic tense expressed by the verb in gerund form? In this sentence, the former uses past and the latter expresses future. If both represented future events, the sentence would be fine. Example: Partendo domani, ti farò piangere. Sep 21 '19 at 18:01

I am currently studying gerunds with an Italian teacher in Lucca Italy. Based on my last weeks lesson, the example you gave partendo (leaving tomorrow with because or since inferred)does express cause which can be expressed by either using a gerund as it did in this sentence or using a conjugated verb plus dato che, perché, siccome, visto che or poiché. The choice is yours.

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