Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Presente

Weilà raga! This blog post correlates to my video Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Presente | Present Subjunctive. 

This verb mood is called the Present Subjunctive in English. But I find it easier just to refer to it by its Italian name.

This mood is used whenever talking about opinions, possibilities, desires, doubts, basically anything that's subjective and somewhat uncertain in nature.

Key phrases that will let you know when to use the Congiuntivo Presente:

  • Penso che – I think that
  • Credo che – I believe that
  • Spero che – I hope that
  • È possibile che – Its possible that
  • Sembra che – It seems that/It seems like

It's important to note that "Che" & "Se" are two words that are fundamental to this verb mood.

"Che" = "what" & "that." It just depends on the context.

"Se" = "if" no matter the context.

Let's take a look now at the verb endings for -ARE, -ERE, & -IRE verbs.

-ARE Congiuntivo Presente verb endings:

  • io - i
  • tu - i
  • lui/lei - i
  • noi - iamo
  • voi - iate
  • loro - ino

Now let's see how these endings apply to the regular verb Parlare.

Parlare - to talk

  • che io parli - that I talk
  • che tu parli - that you talk
  • che lui/lei parli - that he/she talks
  • che noi parliamo - that we talk
  • che voi parliate - that you guys/all talk
  • che loro parlino - that they talk

As you can see, contrary to what we saw with all previous verb tenses in Italian, we're now including "che" in the verb conjugations.

Now let's take a look at Parlare conjugated in the Congiuntivo Presente in a sentence:

Penso che lui parli troppo veloce - I think that he talks too fast.

This phrase expresses an opinion, therefore we have to use the Congiuntivo. There's also that key phrase at the beginning, "penso che," that also helps us to know that our verb has to get conjugated in the Congiuntivo.

Now let's move onto -ERE & -IRE verb endings which are the same in the Congiuntivo:

-ERE & -IRE Congiuntivo Presente verb endings:

  • io - a
  • tu - a
  • lui/lei - a
  • noi - iamo
  • voi - iate
  • loro - ano

Here's a regular -ERE verb conjugated in the Congiuntivo Presente:

Leggere - to read:

  • che io legga - that I read
  • che tu legga - that you read
  • che lui/lei legga - that he/she reads
  • che noi leggiamo - that we read
  • che voi leggiate - that you guys/all read
  • che loro leggano - that they read

Example: Spero tanto che tu legga il mio messaggio!

  • I really hope that you read my message!  
  • I really hope that you'll read my message!

I'd like to show you guys an irregular -ERE verb too (this verb was not conjugated in the video, just a little blog post extra for you guys,

Potere - to be able to/can

  • che io possa - that I can
  • che tu possa - that you can
  • che lui/lei possa - that he/she can
  • che noi possiamo - that we can
  • che voi possiate - that you guys/all can
  • che loro possano - that they can

Spero che possiate venire alla festa! - I hope that you guys can come to the party!

Though this verb is irregular, the only thing that makes it irregular is that the "stem" or "root" of the verb changes as it gets conjugated. In other words, instead of just cutting off the -ere of Potere, we cut off the -tere and it changes to a double S. So POSS is our root, then we just plug in all of the regular verb endings. I think irregular verbs have got a bad rap but they're not all that bad.

Now let's move into an -IRE verb. As the verb endings are identical to those of -ERE verbs, you're not going to notice anything all that different here.

Dormire - to sleep

  • che io dorma - that I sleep
  • che tu dorma - that you sleep
  • che lui/lei dorma - that he/she sleeps
  • che noi dormiamo - that we sleep
  • che voi dormiate - that you guys/all sleep
  • che loro dormano - that they sleep

Example: Non credo che la bambina dorma bene - I don't think that the baby sleeps well

Though this is Advanced Italian, it's not all that bad after you do some practice with it. Best of luck and importantly, have fun!

Always remember to spread the love!