• Italian grammar
  • 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 -/-)
  • Conjugation of abitare (to dwell) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of amare (to love) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of giocare (to play) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of lavorare (to work) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of mangiare (to eat) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of parlare (to speak) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of studiare (to study) in Italian [0/2]
  • 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]
  • Conjugation of sapere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of leggere (to read) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of mettere (to put) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of piacere (to like) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of rimanere (to remain, to stay) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of conoscere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of scrivere (to write) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of vivere (to live) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of chiudere (to close, to shut) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of prendere (to take, to catch) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of bere (to drink) in Italian [0/2]
  • 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]
  • Subjunctive in Italian

    In the following pages we are going to see in detail the use and the occurence of the subjunctive mood in Italian.

    There are four main tenses for this mood:

    The subjunctive is very common among the Italian speakers. It is used both in independent and dependent clauses.

    Where to use the congiuntivo in Italian

    Independent clause

    In the independent clauses, it is possible to find the subjunctive to convey the following messages:

    • desire or a wish: e.g. Oh, se io fossi lì con te! (Oh, if I could be there with you!)
    • doubt or an assumption: e.g. Che abbia perso il treno? (What if he had lost the train?)
    • an order or a proposal: e.g. Prego, vada prima lei di me! (Please, go before me!)

    Dependent clause

    The most frequent use of the subjunctive mood in Italian can be observed in the dependent clauses.

    Let's see in detail for what it is used for.

    Clause Usage Example Translation
    • specifies the aim of the action described by the main clause.
    Chiamerò il taxi affinché tu possa arrivare a casa sano e salvo. I will call the cab in order that you would arrive home safe and sound.
    • is the subject of the main clause.
    Credo che tu abbia ragione. I think you are right.
    • is the direct object of the main clause
    Ho paura che sia tardi. I'm afraid it would be late.
    • is linked to a nominal element of the main clause
    Hanno cercato quale strada fosse la più breve. They searched for the shorter way to go.
    • is the direct object of an element of the main clause.
    Pensano che il ladro abbia agito da solo. They think that the thief did the rob alone.
    • specifies the cause of an action described by the main clause.
    Sono venuto con te in modo che noi potessimo parlare. I came with you so that we could talk.
    • specifies the relationship of cause and effect among clauses.
    Sebbene loro non fossero ancora arrivati, era già tutto pronto. Even though they weren't there yet, everything was ready.
    • specifies the necessity that something conveyed by the main clause will happen.
    Se voi poteste rispondere alla domanda, ve ne sarei grato. If you could answer my question, I would be so thankful.
    • specifies the time relation between clauses.
    Andiamo a casa sua, prima che sia tardi. Let's go to her house, before it would be too late.
    • specifies the hypothesis related to the happening of an event.
    Se tu non fossi stato così incauto, non ti saresti fatto male. If you hadn't been so careless, you wouldn't have hurt yourself.


    enlightenedRemember! The tense of the dependent clause and the one of the independent clause must present an agreement of tenses.


    The agreement of tenses: consecution temporum

    In order to preserve the grammaticality of the Italian sentences, tenses of the main clause and of the dependent clause must present an agreement.

    Below, we will explain the main rules for this agreement (namely, consecutio temporum) in Italian.

    For the subjunctive, we have to consider:

    • The contemporaneity, that refers to an event that it is happening simultaneously both in the dependent and in the independent clause.
    • The anteriority, that refers to an event that took place before the moment in which the speaker is talking.

    In particular:

    Main clause tense Time relation Dependent clause tense Example Translation
    Present indicative or conditional  Anteriority Past subjunctive Credo che abbiano perso il treno. I think that they lost the train.
    Present indicative or conditional Contemporaneity Present subjunctive Temo che non ci sia tempo. I'm afraid there is no time for this.
    Past indicative or conditional Anteriority Past perfect subjunctive Ho pensato che avessero perso il treno. I thought they had lost the train.
    Past indicative or conditional Contemporaneity Imperfect subjunctive Ho temuto che non ci fosse tempo. I was afraid there wasn't time for this.


    Next lessons

    1 Present subjunctive in Italian (congiuntivo presente) This is a course about the present subjunctive in Italian.
    2 Past subjunctive in Italian (congiuntivo passato) This is a course about the past subjunctive in Italian.
    3 Imperfect subjunctive Italian (congiuntivo imperfetto) This is a course about the imperfect subjunctive in Italian.
    4 Past perfect subjunctive (trapassato congiuntivo) This is a course about the past perfect subjunctive in Italian (congiuntivo trapassato).
    5 Italian subjunctive (summary) A lesson on the Italian subjunctive tenses