Have you ever wondered how to say “supposed to” in Italian?
Like “She was supposed to go to the store to buy torrone, but she forgot” or “He was supposed to meet me at 5, but I guess he’s on Italian time”.
If you’re still starting out and you’re not sure what the heck I’m talking about when I say the imperfect tense, it’s the one you use when you want to talk about things in the past, like weather, descriptions or routines.
Now, to help you get an idea of how to use this in real life, here are some examples:
— Non dovevo lavorare oggi, però Giulia si è sentita male. – I wasn’t supposed to work today, but Giulia was sick.
— Dovevamo incontrarci alle 5, ma lui è in ritardo…come sempre. – We were supposed to meet each other at 5, but he’s late…like always.
— Doveva andare al supermercato per comprare del torrone, ma ha dimenticato. – She was supposed to go to the store to buy some torrone, but she forgot.
— Perché lei è qua? Non dovevi invitarla! – Why is she here? You weren’t supposed to invite her!
Of course, you can also use “dovere” in the imperfect tense to mean “should have” or “must have”, like in the examples below.
— Non doveva farlo. – He shouldn’t have done it.
— Ah, mi ricordo cosa dovevo dirti! – Ah, I remember what I had to tell you.
Have questions? Leave a comment below!