Blog Interactive Tools - All Levels

Italian Conditional or Hypothetical Clause

The Italian periodo ipotetico, or conditional clause, is made of two parts: one describes the conditional, and the other describes the consequence.

Their order can be swapped, so we can have condition + consequence OR consequence + condition. Because of this, we cannot learn that we always have the subjunctive in the first part and the conditional in the second part. We really need to understand what the sentence is trying to say!

Let’s analyse the different options:

  • Periodo ipotetico della realtà, or TYPE I: it describes something real, reality, something that can easily become true.

Se vado a Roma, vedo il Papa (= ne sono sicura)

Indicativo presente + indicativo presente = present tense + present tense

Indicativo futuro + indicativo futuro = future tense + future tense

Indicativo presente + imperativo = present tense + imperative

  • Periodo ipotetico della possibilità, or TYPE II: it describes something that is potentially possible. Not necessarily true at the moment, but it could potentially be.

Se andassi a Roma, vedrei il Papa (= è una teoria. Io posso andarci, e posso non andarci)

Congiuntivo imperfetto + condizionale presente = imperfect subjunctive + present conditional

  • Periodo ipotetico dell’ impossibilità, or TYPE III: it describes something impossible, that could not be true in the past, it can’t be true in the present, and won’t be true in the future.

Se fossi andata a Roma, avrei visto il Papa (= ma non ci sono andato, quindi non l’ho visto)

Congiuntivo trapassato + condizionale passato = pluperfect subjunctive + past conditional

  • Periodo ipotetico misto, or MIXED: a mix of type II and type III, it describes something that has a consequence today, or now.

Se fossi andata a Roma, oggi sarei a Piazza Di Spagna (= ma non ci sono andata, quindi oggi non sono lì)

Now I think it’s practice o’ clock. 🙂

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.