Periodo Ipotetico – Unreality in Italian
In Italian the Periodo Ipotetico (Hypotetical Phrase) is made of two clauses: one expresses a condition and it is introduced by “se” (or “qualora“, “purché“, “nel caso che“) which means if, whereas the main clause expresses a consequence.
In Italian we have three different types of Periodo Ipotetico: the third type expresses unreality, so the hypotesis is something unreal.
In terms of its structure, there are two possible options:
- se + Congiuntivo Trapassato to express the hypotesis and Condizionale Presente to express the consequence.
The first clause expresses an unreal condition in the past, the main clause a consequence which is not realized in the present.
Have a look at some examples:
Se avessi studiato matematica
If I had studied maths
ora saprei fare questo esercizio
now I would be able to do this exercise
Se fossi andato dal dottore
If I had gone to the doctor
I would feel better
- se + Congiuntivo Trapassato to express the hypotesis and Condizionale Passato to express the consequence.
The first clause expresses an unreal condition in the past, the main clause a consequence which is not realized in the past.
Let’s see some examples:
Se avessi avuto tempo
If I had had time
sarei venuto a trovarti
I would have come to see you
Se mi fossi svegliato presto
If I had woken up early
sarei arrivato a lavoro alle 8
I would have arrived at work at 8
Can you think of any other examples?
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