Italian conditional sentences (if-clauses)
If-clauses are used to express a possible consequence.
There are 3 main kinds and each one conveys a different degree of probability.
Type 1 conditional (Reality If-Clause)
Type 2 conditional (Possibility If-Clause)
Type 3 conditional (Impossibility If-Clause)
The structure is essentially the same for all three types of if-clauses.
If-clauses are introduced by the adverb Se (If).
The If-Clause can precede or follow the main clause.
If-clauses (1): Se + Clause + Comma + Main clause
|Se non ti conoscessi, penserei tu sia un ragazzo stupido.||If I didn't know you, I'd think you were a stupid guy.|
|Se piove, il terreno è bagnato.||If it rains, the ground is wet.|
|Se tu mi avessi ascoltato, ora non saremmo qui.||If you had listened to me, we wouldn't have ended up here.|
If-clauses (2): Main clause + Se + Clause
|Avremmo comprato i biglietti se tu fossi stato più veloce.||We would've gotten the tickets if you had been faster.|
|Usciremmo insieme se non avessi così tanto lavoro da fare.||We would go out together if I didn't have so much work to do.|
|Andrebbe tutto bene se tu non rovinassi sempre le cose.||Everything would be alright if you didn't always mess things up.|
1. Type 1 conditional (Reality If-Clause)
The hypothesis introduced in the If-clause is highly probable.
In both the main and iI-clause, the verb is on the imperative or indicative mood.
|Se fuori piove, prendo un ombrello.||If it rains outise, I take an umbrella.|
|Ti pago una cena se mi aiuti.||I'll offer you a dinner if you help me out.|
|Se il computer non si accende, premi questo tasto.||If the computer doesn't turn on, push this button.|
2. Type 2 conditional (Possibility If-Clause)
In this case, the hyphotesis expressed in the if-clause is possible but not certain.
The main clause takes an imperfect subjunctive, whereas the if-clause has a verb in the imperative or conditional mood.
|Se ti chiedesse qualcosa, tu nega tutto.||If he asks you something, deny everything.|
|Se il treno oggi arrivasse in orario, sarei felice.||If today the train arrived on time, I'd be happy.|
|Se Maria fosse più gentile, nessuno la odierebbe.||If Maria were kinder, nobody would hate her.|
3. Type 3 conditional (Impossibility If-Clause)
In this last case, the hyphotesis has no chance of being fullfilled.
If the hyphothesis refers to a present time, the main clause has a present or past conditional verb and the if-clause has an imperfect subjunctive verb.
|Se fossi in te, lascerei perdere.||If I were you, I'd just let go.|
|Se vincessi, non so cosa farei.||If I won, I don't know what I would do.|
|Se fossi il direttore, cambierei molte cose.||If I were the director, I'd change many things.|
If the hyphothesis refers to a past time, tha main clause has a past conditional verb and the if-clause past perfect subjunctive verb.
|Se fossi stato in te, avrei lasciato perdere.||If I had been you, I would have just let it go.|
|Se avessi vinto il premio, l'avrei dedicato a mia sorella.||If I had won the prize, I woud have dedicated it to my sister.|
|Se avvessero seguito i miei consigli, non avrebbero perso il lavoro.||If they had followed my advice, they wouldn't have lost their job.|
Some hypothesis could be built using mixed verb structures.
These sentences express the direct consequence on the present of a possible past action.
The main clause takes a present conditional verb and the if-clause takes a past perfect subjunctive.
|Se avessimo ascoltato il loro consiglio, ora saremmo ricchi.||If we had listened to their advice, we would be rich now.|
|Se non avesse incontrato Anna, sarebbe ancora single.||If he hadn't met Anna, he would still be single.|
|Se non avesse trovato un lavoro, sarebbe disoccupato.||If he hadn't found a job he would be unemployed.|
Practise with a private teacher on Skype!
- Private Skype lessons
- Learn any topic
- Flexible appointments
I teach: English, French, Italian
Italian is my mother tongue.I carry out different kind of lessons, aimed at those who want to live in Italy or travel; but also for... students (or PhD or Teachers) who need to learn italian to read and speak fluently (to read original manuscript, to speak at conferences, seminars etc). Read more
Italian, English, Spanish Private Lessons for Everybody
I teach: English, Italian, Spanish
Dear all,Would you like to learn a new language such as Italian, English or Spanish in a smooth, accessible and fun way? Then, it would be a... great idea to embark on an exciting journey together!My big priority is to make sure that my students will learn a new language and get much more familiar with a new culture as fast as possible by doing dynamic and funny activities which suit everyone’s needs and passions. Song lyrics, texts from your favourite books, literature, parts of movies, news, TV series, traditional recipes may be only some of the instruments that we can use in order to make the learning process more efficient and focused on using the new language in different fields.I have a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and Literature from the University of Verona (Italy) and a Master’s Degree, cum Laude, in Languages and Media from the University ‘Cattolica’ in Milan (Italy) and Chapman University in Orange, California (USA).If you are a proper beginner, if you already know a few words but you don’t dare to speak to anyone yet, if you are already very confident with the language but you still want to get to a higher level of proficiency, if you want to know better about one of these cultures, than this is a perfect course for you.A nice introductory chat can help both of us to understand which is the starting level and which is the goal of the course in order to tailor a proper class according to your need.Join the course and you will be immediately immersed in a new culture and in a heartbeat you will speak a new language!See you soon!Maddalena Read more
Translator and teacher
I teach: Italian
Hello EverybodyMy name is Luisa and I teach Italian for foreign students, English, French and German for Italian students Since... 1994, I have dedicated myself to translating and teaching thanks to my travels, abroad studies, foreign reading and writing. I provide fun and customized lessons based on the student's goals. I also triy to minimize English speaking during the lessons. I give homework exercises, and my lessons are intermixed with grammar, conversation, customs and traditions. My goal is to make certain that each student finds learning Italian exciting.I am available for any explanations also via e mail Read more