I have read the following sentence in a language learning tool:

Loro non sanno cosa si stanno perdendo.

Is there any difference between this sentence and "Loro non sanno cosa stanno perdendo"? The only meaning of "perdersi" in https://www.wordreference.com/iten/perdere is "to get lost".

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    The meaning of "perdersi" in this sentence is this one explained by Sabatini Coletti dictionary: «Con valore intens., lasciarsi sfuggire qlco., non parteciparvi: ti perderai il concerto, la discussione».
    – Charo
    Sep 22, 2019 at 15:02
  • So "si" is just an intensifier in "perdersi" . Could you please create an answer with that? Sep 22, 2019 at 15:10
  • 1
    Related question.
    – Charo
    Sep 22, 2019 at 15:22
  • 2
    It's not so easy to write an answer because, when "perdere" has the meaning of "lasciarsi sfuggire qualcosa" or "non partecipare a qualcosa", "si" can sometimes add an intensive value to the verb, such as in "Ho perso la lezione" versus "Mi sono perso la lezione", but in other situations, as in the example given by @egreg in his answer to the question I linked ("Che mi sono perso?" when you arrive late to a meeting), the version without "si" ("Che ho perso?") would sound really odd.
    – Charo
    Sep 22, 2019 at 15:38
  • Notice that "valore intensivo" in the definition given by Sabatini Coletti means this.
    – Charo
    Sep 22, 2019 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


It all becomes clearer if you paraphrase it a bit.

Non sanno cosa si sono persi

can be expressed as

Non sanno cosa hanno perso per loro stessi

That is because they're missing an event that would have been a great thing for them.

It works with others too: for example if I got lost with the car driving my daughter to a great school party, others could say to me

Non sai cosa le hai fatto perdere

Or maybe I deliberately didn't want her to go, others could say to me

Non sai cosa le stai facendo perdere

Obviously perdere is an intransitive verb and you have to change the sentence a bit when you go from a reflexive (io, noi) to other persons (tu, egli/ella, voi, essi/esse)

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