So I came across this sentence:

Ho un lavoro per te.

Someone explains the reason to use "te" instead of "ti" is because "ti" is clitic (unstressed), while "te" is tonic (stressed), and clitics should be placed before the verb. However, I still don't understand what "stressed" means. When shall I use tonics and when shall I use clitics? Is it only a fancy way to say word in different position in a sentence?

For example, can I say "ti ho lavoro"? Grazie.

1 Answer 1


Here is an example, maybe it could help you: "I love you": Io ti amo. "This book is for you": Questo libro è per te.

You can use "ti" in place of "a te" (to you) but you can't use it in place of "per te" (for you).

You can't say "ti ho lavoro".

  • 2
    Ma potresti anche dire "Io amo te". Penso che la domanda sia più sulle differenze di uso a livello grammaticale e anche sulle differenze di pronuncia (atono versus tonico). Comunque, benvenuto/a su Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 14:24
  • @Charo, grazie per il benvenuto. Hai ragione, si può dire "Io amo te", però si userebbe in contrapposizione con qualcosa che si vuole negare, tipo: "Io amo te, non un altro" e "non un altro" potrebbe anche essere sottinteso.
    – dscmax
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 14:30
  • 1
    dscmax, You might also want to make it explicit that ti may mean both te (accusative, as in your example ti amo) and a te (dative, as in ti do una cosa).
    – DaG
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 18:48

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