Congiuntivo Imperfetto in Italian – Part One

As you probably know, the Congiuntivo (subjunctive) is an Italian mood mainly used in subordinate clauses to express doubt, uncertainty or personal feelings. It includes four tenses that depend on the verb in the main clause.

The Congiuntivo Imperfetto can be used in different ways depending on what we what to express. In this tip we are going to focus on how to use it to express contemporaneity in the past or in the present between main and secondary clause.

First of all, let’s see how to conjugate it:

ARRIVARESCRIVERE
IOArrivassiScrivessi
TUArrivassiScrivessi
LUI/LEIArrivasseScrivesse
NOIArrivassimoScrivessimo
VOIArrivasteScriveste
LOROArrivasseroScrivessero

 

PARTIREFINIRE
IOPartissiFinissi
TUPartissiFinissi
LUI/LEIPartisseFinisse
NOIPartissimoFinissimo
VOIPartisteFiniste
LOROPartisseroFinissero

 

ESSEREAVERE
IOFossiAvessi
TUFossiAvessi
LUI/LEIFosseAvesse
NOIFossimoAvessimo
VOIFosteAveste
LOROFosseroAvessero

 

Now le’t see how to use it!

We can use the Congiuntivo Imperfetto in the secondary clause when we have a Past Tense (for example a Passato Prossimo or Imperfetto) in the main clause.

ItalianEnglish
Ieri speravo che mi telefonassi.Yesterday I hoped you called me.
La scorsa settimana ho pensato che fossi arrabbiato con me.Last week I thought you were angry with me.

 

We can also use the Congiuntivo Imperfetto in the secondary clause when we have a Present Conditional in the main clause.

ItalianEnglish
Vorrei che tu studiassi.I wish you would study.
Mi piacerebbe che venissi a trovarmi.I would like you to visit me.

 

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