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The modo condizionale (conditional mood) is one of the finite moods of the Italian language.
It is the equivalent of the English expressions "would/could/should do something".
It is thus used to express hypothetical facts or situations, such as if-clauses.
There are two conditional tenses in Italian:
The conditional mood is used to:
|Usage||Conditional present tense||Coditional past tense|
Potresti passarmi il sale per favore? - Could you pass me the salt, please?
||Vorrei abitare nel centro città - I would like to live in the city centre||Avrei voluto discuterne con lei - I would have liked to talk about it with her|
||Penso che dovresti comportarti meglio - I think you should behave better||Penso che avresti dovuto preparare una torta per il suo compleanno - I think you should have made a cake for his birthday|
||Il presidente sarebbe a bardo dell'aereo diretto a Tokyo - The President might be on board of the plane going to Tokyo||Il pilota spagnolo avrebbe vinto la gara - The Spanish rider might have won the race|
||Se mi piacesse studiare, andrei all'università - If I liked studying, I would go to university||Se fossi andata al mare, mi sarei abbronzata - If I had gone to the seaside, I would have got a tan|
||Cosa potrei fare per aiutarlo? - What could I do to help him?||Non so cosa avrei potuto fare per aiutarlo - I don't know what I could have done to help him|
Unlike English, in Italian the conditional is not used to express habits or continued events in the past, such as for example "I would go to school each day with my brother". The imperfetto is used for that: "Andavo a scuola con mio fratello ogni giorno".
The present conditional of regular verbs is formed by simply adding certain endings to the root of the verb.
|Cantare (to sing)||Leggere (to read)||agire (to act)|
Remember that there are also some irregular verbs whose conjugation has to be studied by heart!
The past (or perfect) conditional is a compound tense consisting of the present conditional of essere or avere along with the past participle of the main verb.
|Dormire (to sleep)||Riuscire (to succeed)|
|Io||avrei dormito||sarei riuscito/a|
|Tu||avresti dormito||saresti riuscito/a|
|Egli/Ella||avrebbe dormito||sarebbe riuscito/a|
|Noi||avremmo dormito||saremmo riusciti/e|
|Voi||avreste dormito||sareste riusciti/e|
|Essi/Esse||avrebbero dormito||sarebbero riusciti/e|
|1 Present conditional (condizionale presente) in Italian||A lesson on the Italian present conditional|
|2 Past conditional (condizionale passato) in Italian||A lesson on the conditional past tense in Italian|
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