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I remember when I first learned that a subjunctive mood even existed.
After three years of Spanish in high school (where I have ZERO recollection of learning the subjunctive), realizing that the subjunctive mood was its own separate way of expression shocked me.
…mostly because I can be lazy and did not want to learn a whole new mood.
Buuuuuuuut because I really wanted to be fluent in Italian, I learned the new mood…and I’m still learning it.
In fact, I decided to read a whole book on the subjunctive mood called Viva il congiuntivo! Come e quando usarlo senza sbagliare.
It isn’t the easiest read (I’m only now becoming an academic Italian learner), but it’s been enlightening and fascinating.
(This is because I love grammar now. Isn’t it amazing what happens when you mature?)
The point I’m making here, after all this babble, is that the subjunctive mood is not the easiest to learn.
If you’ve tried, you know that.
If you are just starting, then you’ll find out.
But just because it can be difficult doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable.
We can make the subjunctive mood a good time (not like “Bachelorette party” good time, but at least like “a glass of wine with a friend” good time) by focusing on some of the phrases you typically use with it.
In a previous post I highlighted 12 phrases that stalk the subjunctive mood, and here are 12 more for you.
Mi fa piacere che…- It’s a pleasure for me that…
— Mi fa piacere che la cena ti sia piaciuta! – I’m glad that you liked dinner.
— Mi fa piacere che tu abbia trovato lavoro. – I’m glad you got the job.
— Mi fa piacere che tu mi venga a trovare domani. – I’m glad you will come to see me tomorrow.
Non essere certo che… – To be not certain that…
— Non sono certa che questo treno vada a Gubbio. – I’m not certain that this train goes to Gubbio.
È possibile che… – It’s possible that…
— È possibile che vogliano andare al concerto invece che giocare a bowling. – It’s possible that they want to go to the concert instead of going bowling.
Sembrare che… – To seem that…
— Sembra che molte persone siano arrabbiate. – It seems that many people are angry.
Essere stufo che…- To be fed up that…
— Sono proprio stufi che ci sia ancora così tanto traffico. – They are fed up that traffic is still bad.
È necessario che…- It’s necessary that
— È necessario che tu rimanga qui. – It’s necessary that you stay here.
È bello che…- It’s great that…
— È bello che si possa mangiare insieme stasera. – It’s great that we can eat together tonight.
While it might seem confusing that “si possa” is translated here as “we can”, it’s because we must use the impersonal form (si possa) when using the subjunctive tense. If we were to try and use “ci possiamo”, we would be incorrect because it isn’t used in Italian with the subjunctive tense. I know, tricky. There’s no need to understand it right away. Plus, if you accidentally use the “we” form incorrectly, it won’t be a travesty. Promise. :]
Preferire che… – To prefer that…
— Preferisco che tu mi dica la verità in proposito. – I prefer that you told me the truth about it.
Non basta che… – It’s not enough that…
— Non basta che ci abbiano servito del cibo orribile al ristorante? Dobbiamo anche andare a vedere un brutto film? – It’s not enough that they served us horrible food at the restaurant? Must we also go and see a bad movie?
Alternatively, without the subjunctive, you could say:
— Non basta che l’aver mangiato del cibo orribile al ristorante? Dobbiamo anche andare a vedere un brutto film? – It’s not enough that we had to eat horrible food at the restaurant? Must we also go and see a bad movie?
Pensare che… – To think that…
— Penso che preferisca andare a casa presto. – I think she prefers to go home early.
Dubitare che… – To doubt that…
— Lisa dubita che il suo ragazzo arrivi puntuale all’appuntamento. – Lisa doubts that her boyfriend will arrive at the meeting on time.
Volere che …– Wish to / want to
— Martin vuole che ti chieda se incontrerai i tuoi amici al museo. – Martin wants me to ask you if you will be meeting your friends at the museum.
Questions? Comments? Leave a comment below!