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Il Congiuntivo quiz – the answers Posted by on Aug 27, 2021 in Grammar

Ciao a tutti!

Last week I presented a quiz on the subjunctive, and I received lots of responses! See the answers below to see how you did:

I think they are rich. – Penso che siano ricchi.

I want you to work. – Voglio che tu lavori.

The teacher wants the students to listen. – La maestra vuole che gli studenti ascoltino.

He thinks that Caterina is wrong. – Crede che Caterina abbia torto.

We’re not sure he understands. – Non siamo sicuri che lui capisca.

We doubt that she will arrive. – Dubitiamo che lei arrivi.

Will you let me read? (formal) – Permetti che io legga? OR Mi permitti di leggere?

I insist that you sell these books. – Insisto che tu venda questi libri.

It’s important that they speak with the teacher. – E’ importante che loro parlino con la maestra.

If they had gone to Italy, they would have visited many cities. – Se fossero andati in Italia, avrebbero visitato molte città.

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I had mentioned that the bonus was particularly challenging, because it is an improbable hypothetical sentence. 

A hypothetical sentence (periodo ipotetico) consists of two clauses. The first is a dependent clause introduced by se (if)
indicating a condition, a possibility, or a hypothesis. The second is an independent clause indicating the result of the condition.
A hypothetical sentence can express real situations, probable situations, and improbable situations.

Real
Se vanno in Italia, visitano molte città.
(If they go to Italy, they (will) visit many cities.)

Probable
Se andassero in Italia, visiterebbero molte città.
(If they went to Italy, they would visit many cities.)

Improbable
Se fossero andati in Italia, avrebbero visitato molte città.
(If they had gone to Italy, they would have visited many cities.)

When unlikely situations are described, the se clause is in the imperfect subjunctive and the result clause is in the conditional:

Se lui avesse una macchina, andrebbe in montagna.
(If he had a car, he would go to the mountains.)

When impossible situations are described, the se clause is in the past perfect subjunctive and the result clause is in the conditional perfect:

Se avesse studiato, avrebbe superato l’esame.
(If she had studied, she would have passed the test.)

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To practice some more of these periodo ipotetico, translate the following sentences in the comments:

If I had the money, I would travel more.

If it’s too expensive, I will not buy it.

If you don’t understand, I will explain it again.

If I was born in Italy, I would speak Italian.

If you had left on time, you wouldn’t have been late.

If you were an animal, which one would you be?

If I was rich, I’d buy a house in Rome.

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language. Wannabe Digital Nomad.


Comments:

  1. Queta:

    I don’t understand the following example:
    Will you let me read? (formal) – Permetti che io legga? OR Mi permitti di leggere?
    If you are speaking formally to someone, wouldn’t it be Permette che io legga? Maybe the second option “Mi permitti de leggere” is a typo, since “permitti” is not any form of the verb permettere.
    Since I’m already writing this, I’ll just add that in English we would say “if I were born in Italy” and “if I were rich”, since you would use the subjunctive in English in a sentence that is contrary to fact

  2. Ciel:

    Brilliant explanation and examples, suddenly il congiuntivo doesn’t seem so scary. Thank you so much!

  3. Lorenzo:

    1. Se io avessi i soldi, viaggerei di piu.
    2. Se e’ troppo caro, non lo compro.
    3. Se non capisci, te lo spiego di nuovo.
    4. Se fossi nato in italia, parlarei italiano.
    5. Se tu fossi andato in tempo, non avresesti stato in ritardo.
    6. Se tu fossi un animale, quale saresti.
    7. Se io fossi ricco, costruirei una casa a roma.

  4. Anna:

    Se avessi avuto i soldi, avrei viaggiato di piu’.
    Se sia troppo caro, non lo comprerei.
    Se to non capisca, spiegeri ancora volta.
    Se io fossi nata in Italia, parlerei l’italiano.
    Se to fossi partito in tempo, non avresti stato in ritardo.
    Se to fosse un’animale, qually saresti?
    Se io fossi ricca, construirei una palazza a Roma.

  5. Anna Leonidovna:

    1. Se avessi avuto i soldi, avrei viaggiato di piu’.
    2. Se sia troppo caro, non lo comprerei.
    3. Se non capisci, ti spiegherei ancora una volta.
    4. Se io fossi nata in Italia, parlarei l’italiano.
    5. Se tu fosse partito puntualmente, non avresti stato in ritardo.
    6. Se to fosse un’animale, che saresti?
    7. Se io fossi ricca, construirei una palazza a Roma.


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