Thank you for asking. It's not really simple, being a peculiar Italian expression.
In one of these Begginer lessons we have: Anna: E' una foto di famiglia quella? Peter: Sí, lo è. meaning Anna: Is that a family picture? Peter: Yes, it is. => this literally should be "Yes, it is THAT". "lo"="that" doesn't substitute the word "foto"(which is feminine), but stands for "quello che hai detto"="what you said/meant/thought..."
So, we can also have A: Sei in vacanza? B: Sì, lo sono. meaning A: Are you on vacation? B: Yes, I am. (Lit. Yes I am that/ I am what you said)
This "lo" can be used for any person and also with negation. A:Sono sposati? B:No, non lo sono. meaning A:Are they married? B:No, they are not. (Lit.No, they are not that)
I hope this can help! Please, feel free to ask again if you want! Ciao e grazie, Ofelia Team ItalianPod101.com
Thank you very much for your prompt reply, it is becoming clearer
Almost like i verbi pronominali
andare to go andarsene to go away - literally to go yourself from it fare to do farcela to manage - I do not know the literal translation volere to want volerci to take - literally to want it where 'ci' = 'it' s a concept rather than a 'thing' sapere to know saperlo to know (it) - non lo so - I do not know
so I can think of four other 'verbi pronomiali' esserlo to be him / it esserla to be her esserli to be them masculine esserle to be them feminine
Is that Marco? yes it is him è Marco? si lo è Is that Maria? yes it is her è Maria? si la è is that a photo? yes it is (it) è una foto? si lo è is it raining? yes it is (it) piovere? si lo è
Can you give me a hint on when to use cioche meaning what / that is it puoi mostrarmi cioche hai comprato? - can you show me what (that which) you bought?
also how many ways can you translate 'that' in Italian I think along these lines -
quel libro that book quello that one lo that as an object ci that as a concept
I am probably making things far too complicated, sorry
andarsene to go away - lit. to go onelself/bring oneself away from there/here farcela to manage - lit. to do/make that volerci to take - lit. to be wanted/needed for that saperlo to know that - non lo so - I do not know
esserlo to be him / it /that esserla,esserli,esserle (these three are not very used)
Is that Marco? yes it is him Quello è Marco? sì, lo è Is that Maria? yes it is her Quella è Maria? sì, LO è is that a photo? yes it is (it)Quella è una foto? Sì, lo è is it raining? yes it is (it) piove? Sì, piove. (here the verb is "piovere", not "essere")
ciò che=that which/what puoi mostrarmi cioche hai comprato? - can you show me what (that which) you bought? Ciò che dici è giusto - What you say is right.
There are many ways to translate "that" in Italian, but the most important thing, when learning to speak or write a language is to imitate, to repeat. While doing so, sooner or later, you will grasp the meaning. So try to use all the difficult combinations you know, if you are wrong you will be corrected and you will learn. Of course also to try to understand is important Thank you!