• Italian grammar
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  • 1 Italian alphabet and pronunciation (letters,...)
  • 2 Function of Italian words (subject, object)
  • 3 Italian articles (the/a, an) [0/16]
  • 4 Italian numbers (cardinal, ordinal) [0/7]
  • 5 Italian nouns [0/13]
  • 6 Italian adjectives [0/17]
  • 6.1 Adjective agreement in Italian (endings) [0/2]
  • 6.2 Qualifying adjectives in Italian [0/3]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in Italian (my, your, his/her...) [0/3]
  • 6.4 Demonstrative adjectives in Italian (this, that) [0/2]
  • 6.5 Indefinite adjectives in Italian (some, any...) [0/3]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in Italian (one, the first...) [0/2]
  • 6.7 Interrogative adjectives in Italian (what/which,...) [0/2]
  • 6.8 List of adjectives in Italian (A-Z)
  • 7 Italian pronouns [0/28]
  • 7.1 Personal pronouns in Italian [0/6]
  • 7.2 Relative pronouns (who, that, which, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.3 Possessive pronouns in Italian (mine, yours, his, ...) [0/4]
  • 7.4 Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, ...) in Italian [0/3]
  • 7.5 Indefinite pronouns (few, some, many, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.6 Interrogative pronouns (who, what, which) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.7 Reflexive pronouns in Italian (myself, each other) [0/3]
  • 8 Italian prepositions [0/25]
  • 8.1 Italian simple prepositions [0/20]
  • 8.1.1 Italian preposition "di" (of, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.2 Italian preposition "a" (at, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.3 Italian preposition "da" (by, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.4 Italian preposition "in" (in, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.5 Italian preposition "con" (with) [0/1]
  • 8.1.6 Italian preposition "su" (on, over,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.7 Italian preposition "per" (for, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.8 Italian prepositions "tra/ fra" (between, among,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.9 "On" in Italian (su)
  • 8.1.10 "To" in Italian [0/4]
  • 8.1.11 Italian prepositions of place and time [0/3]
  • 8.1.12 Simple preposition chart - English to Italian [0/5]
  • 8.2 Italian articulated prepositions [0/3]
  • 8.3 Expressions with Italian prepositions [0/2]
  • 9 Italian adverbs [0/24]
  • 9.1 Italian adverbs of manner (good, bad, so) [0/4]
  • 9.2 Italian adverbs of frequency and time (always, now) [0/4]
  • 9.3 Italian adverbs of place (here, there) [0/4]
  • 9.4 Italian adverbs of quantity (more, nothing, enough) [0/3]
  • 9.5 Italian affirmation/negation adverbs (Yes, No, Neither) [0/4]
  • 9.6 Italian adverbs of doubt, interrogative/exclamative [0/5]
  • 10 Italian comparatives, superlatives (adjectives/adverbs) [0/7]
  • 11 Italian tenses and verb conjugation [0/17]
  • 11.1 Present tense in Italian (presente indicativo) [0/2]
  • 11.2 Past tenses in Italian [0/11]
  • 11.3 Future tenses in Italian [0/4]
  • 12 Italian verbs [0/94]
  • 12.1 Functions and classification of Italian verbs [0/1]
  • 12.2 Transitive and intransitive verbs in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.3 Active voice and passive voice in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4 Italian regular verbs [0/30]
  • 12.4.1 First conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -are) [0/16]
  • Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the first conjugation (Score -/-)
  • 12.4.1.1 Conjugation of abitare (to dwell) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.2 Conjugation of amare (to love) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.3 Conjugation of giocare (to play) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.4 Conjugation of lavorare (to work) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.5 Conjugation of mangiare (to eat) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.6 Conjugation of parlare (to speak) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.7 Conjugation of studiare (to study) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.8 Conjugation of pagare (to pay) in Italian [0/1]
  • 12.4.2 Second conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ere) [0/6]
  • 12.4.3 Third conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ire) [0/8]
  • 12.5 Italian irregular verbs [0/38]
  • 12.5.1 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -are [0/8]
  • 12.5.2 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ere [0/24]
  • 12.5.2.1 Conjugation of sapere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.2 Conjugation of leggere (to read) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.3 Conjugation of mettere (to put) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.4 Conjugation of piacere (to like) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.5 Conjugation of rimanere (to remain, to stay) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.6 Conjugation of conoscere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.7 Conjugation of scrivere (to write) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.8 Conjugation of vivere (to live) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.9 Conjugation of chiudere (to close, to shut) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.10 Conjugation of prendere (to take, to catch) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.11 Conjugation of bere (to drink) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.12 Conjugation of tenere (to hold, to keep) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.3 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ire [0/6]
  • 12.6 Italian modal verbs [0/6]
  • 12.7 Italian reflexive verbs [0/2]
  • 12.8 Verbi sovrabbondanti in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.9 Verbi difettivi in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.10 Verbi fraseologici in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.11 Verbi impersonali in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.12 Auxiliary verbs (essere, avere) in Italian [0/5]
  • 12.13 Verbs and prepositions in Italian
  • 13 Italian moods
  • 14 Indicative mood in Italian
  • 15 Subjunctive in Italian [0/9]
  • 16 Conditional in Italian [0/4]
  • 17 Infinitive in Italian [0/1]
  • 18 Imperative in Italian [0/3]
  • 19 Gerund in Italian [0/3]
  • 20 Present participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 21 Past participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 22 Italian sentences [0/15]
  • 23 Italian conjunctions [0/4]
  • Imperfect subjunctive Italian (congiuntivo imperfetto)

    What is the imperfetto congiuntivo in Italian?

    The congiuntivo imperfetto is another important tense of the subjunctive mood.

    Where and how to use the imperfect subjunctive in Italian

    The imperfect subjunctive appears in the same contexts in which both present and past subjunctive appear. Indeed, it is used in independent and dependent (final, concessive, conditional, relative and temporal) clauses to convey:

    • doubtshypotheseswishes and orders;
    • objective or personal considerations about something.
    Example Translation
    Nonostante Luca fosse una persona buona, la gente non parlava molto con lui. Despite that Luca was a good boy, people didn't talk much with him.
    Temevo che Andrea avesse mangiato troppo. I was afraid that Andrew just ate too much.
    Se ci avessero offerto quel lavoro, l'avremmo accettato. If we were offered that job, we would take it.

     

    Hypothetical sentence in Italian with imperfect subjunctive

    Italian imperfect subjunctive is mainly used to express hypotheses. In English, these clauses are the conditional clauses. In Italian, they are called periodi ipotetici.

    The periodo ipotetico obviously follows specific rules, such as the agreement of tenses between the verbs of the sentences.

    enlightenedIn Italian, the hypothetical sentences of irreality (with past tenses) must be always expressed by the conditional mood in the main clause and the subjunctive in the dependent clause.

     

    Dependent clause (protasis): imperfetto congiuntivo Main clause (apodosis): condizionale presente
    Se io avessi sete (If I was thirsty) berrei. (I would drink)
    Nel caso in cui io avessi bisogno (If I needed something) ti chiamerei. (I would call you)

     

    How to conjugate the imperfetto congiuntivo in Italian

    Below we will see how the imperfect subjunctive in Italian is formed.

    Regular verbs in Italian imperfect subjunctive

    As we saw for the present subjunctive, regular verbs in the past subjunctive are formed through specific endings. These endings are different according to the conjugations (-are, -ere, -ire).
    Let's see them in detail.

    Verbs of -are conjugation

    Amare (to love)
      Root Ending Example Translation
    (Che) io am -assi E se io la amassi? What if I love her?
    (Che) tu am -assi E se tu la amassi? What if you love her?
    (Che) egli / ella am -asse* E se ella la amasse? What if she loves her?
    (Che) noi am -àssimo E se noi la amassimo? What if we love her?
    (Che) voi am -aste E se voi la amaste? What if you love her?
    (Che) essi / esse am -àssero E se esse la amassero? What if they love her?

     

    Verbs of -ere conjugation

    Premere (to press, to push)
      Root Endings Example Translation
    (Che) io prem -éssi Se io avessi tanti soldi, girerei il mondo. If I had a lot of money, I would go around the world.
    (Che) tu prem -éssi Non sapevo che premessi tu il pulsante. I didn't know you were pushing the button.
    (Che) egli / ella prem -ésse* Credevo che lei avesse un cane. I thought she had a dog.
    (Che) noi prem -éssimo Se noi premessimo per farlo uscire, lui non verrebbe mai con noi. If we pressed on him, he would never go out with us.
    (Che) voi prem -éste Non credevo che voi russaste così tanto. I didn't think you snored so much.
    (Che) essi / esse prem -éssero Qualora Luca e Laura parlassero tedesco, andrebbero in Germania. If Luca and Laura spoke German, they would go in Germany.

     

    Verbs of -ire conjugation

    Servire (to serve)
      Root Endings Example Translation
    (Che) io serv -issi Tu credevi che io servissi i pasti al ristorante. You thought I served meals at the restaurant.
    (Che) tu serv -issi Lui credeva che tu servissi i pasti al ristorante. He tought you served meals at the restaurant.
    (Che) egli / ella serv -isse* Credevo che egli servisse i pasti al ristorante. I thought he served meals at the restaurant.
    (Che) noi serv -ìssimo Credevano che servissimo i pasti al ristoranti. They thought we served meals at the restaurant.
    (Che) voi serv -iste Credevano che voi serviste i pasti al ristorante. They thought you served meals at the restaurant.
    (Che) essi / esse serv -issero Credevi che servissero i pasti al ristorante? Did you think they served meals at the restaurant?

     

    * enlightenedRemember! The  singular person in the imperfect tense of subjunctive is different from the 1° and the 2° ones; otherwise, present and past subjunctive have the same endings for the singular forms.

     

    Irregular verbs of perfect subjunctive in Italian

    As we said before, in Italian there a lot of irregular verb forms. Most of them are verbs from the 2° conjugation (the infinitive ends with -ere). 

    enlightenedThe peculiarity of these verbs is that they don't follow any inflectional pattern or any grammatical rule, so they must be learned by heart.

      Dare (to give) Stare (to stay) Bere (to drink) Porre (to put, to set) Trarre (to pull) Tradurre (to translate) Dire (to say)
    (Che) io dessi  stessi bevessi ponessi traessi traducessi dicessi
    (Che) tu dessi stessi bevessi ponessi traessi traducessi dicessi
    (Che) egli / ella desse stesse bevesse ponesse traesse traducesse dicesse
    (Che) noi dessimo stessimo bevessimo ponessimo traessimo traducessimo dicessimo
    (Che) voi deste steste beveste poneste traeste traduceste diceste
    (Che) essi / esse dessero stessero bevessero ponessero traestero traducessero dicessero

     

    Auxiliary verbs in Italian imperfect subjunctive: essere / avere

    As you know, essere (to be) and avere (to have) are the auxiliary verbs in Italian.

    Essere (to be): che io fossi

      Verb form Example Translation
    (Che) io fossi Non sapevano che io fossi vegano? Didn't they know I was vegan?
    (Che) tu fossi Non sapevo che tu fossi così fortunato!

    I didn't know you were so lucky!

    (Che) egli / ella fosse Non sapevamo che lei fosse fidanzata. We didn't know she was engaged.
    (Che) noi fossimo Non sapevi che noi fossimo italiani? Didn't you know we were italians?
    (Che) voi foste Ero sicuro che voi foste così giovani!

    I was sure you were so young!

    (Che) essi / esse fossero Non sapevo che esse fossero così gentili! I didn't know they were so much polite!

     

    Avere (to have): che io avessi

      Verb form Example Translation
    (Che) io avessi Pensavi che io avessi fame? Did you think I was hungry?
    (Che) tu avessi Pensavo che tu avessi fame! I thought you were hungry!
    (Che) egli / ella avesse Non immaginavo che egli avesse tanta fame. I didn't imagine he was so hungry!
    (Che) noi avessimo Dubitano ancora che noi avessimo tanta fame quella sera. They still doubt we were so hungry that night.
    (Che) voi aveste Lei sicuramente non sapeva che voi aveste così tanta fame. She didn't know for sure you were so much hungry!
    (Che) essi / esse avessero Io non sapevo che loro avessero fame. I didn't know they were so hungry.

     

     

    Exercises

    Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the imperfetto congiuntivo in Italian

    Choose the correct form for the imperfetto congiuntivo of the following verbs