I'll explain my current knowledge for context.

Given there is 3 main types of verbs, namely, action (transitive or intransitive), linking (e.g to be, to become), and modal (or helping verbs).

Firstly, I understand that we use the si passivante when talking impersonally about an action on a noun. For example, "la porta si apre" (the door opened). We do not know who opened it but certainly that the action occurred. Clearly the si passivante is only applicable to transitive verbs. Hence, Linking verbs do not have a si passivante form I'll explain why this point is relevant.

My first question is that is it necessarily true in Italian that reflexive forms of verbs are actually standalone verbs unlike in English? Furthermore does a verb change form when transformed into the reflexive? For example the verb trovare is a transitive verb however the reflexive form trovarsi which means roughly to be located is a linking verb (although I could be wrong).

In the sentence "L'Italia si trova in Europa" is this the si passivante form of "trovare" or the reflexive?

Hope my questions make sense, any help will be appreciated.

  • 1
    Welcome to Italian.SE! It's really a bit hard to me to understand your question. What do you mean with "a verb change form"?
    – Charo
    Jul 9, 2020 at 19:25
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    I'm not sure if this is what you are asking, but many Italian verbs have transitive and intransitive uses. The verb "trovare" that you are mentioning can be transitive, but "trovarsi" is what is called a "verbo intransitivo pronominale", so it's intransitive.
    – Charo
    Jul 9, 2020 at 19:46
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    @DaG I guess something I would like an answer to is an analysis on the verb "trovarsi" and an example of it in use. I would also like to see an example of trovare used in the si passivante.
    – Luke
    Jul 9, 2020 at 20:20
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    The sentence "L'Italia si trova in Europa" is an example of use of intransitive pronominal "trovarsi" (what you call "reflexive form trovarsi" in the question). A way to see it is that you normally don't say "trovo l'Italia in Europa". You can say, for instance, "trovo molte conchiglie in questa spiaggia", so you can construct the sentence "si trovano molte conchiglie in questa spiaggia" as an example of "si passivante".
    – Charo
    Jul 9, 2020 at 20:47
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    I won't say "l'Italia" is acting on itself in this sentence: this is why "trovarsi" is a pronominal verb, but it isn't really a reflexive verb such as, for instance, "lavarsi".
    – Charo
    Jul 9, 2020 at 22:35


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