Should, Could, Would ? Posted by Serena on Aug 18, 2010 in Grammar
I recently received the following comment/question from one of my regular readers:
Profoundly busy with grammar italiano I need some help in order to prevent myself keeping in mind the wrong statements(being Dutch)-I want to be sure about.
In the ‘condizionale’ how to translate in italiano:
..I should be…
..I should have been…
..I should have had…
..I could have to…
..I could have had…
..I could be able to…
..I would like..
..I would have wanted..
..I would have to…
..I would have had…
..I would have been…
Mi scusi if I asked too much.
Hmm… bella domanda! (good question!) I think the answers are worth sharing with everyone because this is an especially tricky subject that sooner or later tends to ‘unhinge’ most students of Italian.
So without going into too much detail, believe me you don’t want to go there, here is a simplified summary:
|..I should be…||(io) dovrei essere, e.g. dovrei essere alla stazione per le dieci (I should be at the station by 10 o’ clock)|
|..I should have been…||(io) sarei dovuto essere, this is the most grammatically correct form, however, nowadays it is more common to use (io) avrei dovuto essere, e.g. avrei dovuto essere alla stazione per le dieci (I should have been at the station by 10 o’ clock).|
|..I should have had…||(io) avrei dovuto avere, e.g. avrei dovuto avere l’appuntamento stamattina (I should have had the appointment this morning).|
|..I could have to…||The correct translation would be potrei dover …, but we use other expressions instead, such as: può darsi che (io) debba, or è probabile che (io) debba, e.g. è probabile che io debba partire domani (I could have to leave tomorrow)|
|..I could have had…||(io) avrei potuto avere, e.g. avrei potuto avere un altro lavoro (I could have had another job)|
|..I could be able to…||(io) potrei farcela, e.g. potrei farcela a passare da te domani sera (I could be able to pop round to your place tomorrow evening). Another possibility would be to say se ce la faccio, passo da te domani sera (If I can manage it, I’ll pop round tomorrow evening)|
|..I would like..||mi piacerebbe, e.g. mi piacerebbe andare al mare (I would like to go to the sea)|
|..I would have wanted..||(io) avrei voluto, e.g. avrei voluto andare al mare (I would have wanted to go to the sea – this can also be translated as ‘I would have liked to go to the sea’)|
|..I would have to…||(io) dovrei, e.g. dovrei partire per le otto (I would have to leave by eight o’clock), N.B.. dovrei also means ‘I should’|
|..I would have had…||(io) avrei avuto, e.g. avrei avuto più tempo… (I would have had more time…)|
|..I would have been…||(io) sarei stato, e.g. sarei stata più contenta… (I would have been happier…)|