Imperfetto/passato prossimo/condizionale passato etc

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by mekas, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. mekas Junior Member

    Bari-Italy
    Nigeria/English
    salvi tutti,
    quale delle seguenti frasi esprime migliore, l'espressione inglese:

    if her mother were here, this would not have happened.

    1. Se sua madre è stato qui, questo non accadeva

    2. Se sua madre è stato qui, questo non è accaduto

    3. Se sua madre era qui, questo non sarrebbe accaduto

    4. Se sua madre era qui, questo non dovuto accaduto
     
  2. yasemin Senior Member

    Turkey, Turkish
    3, direi...
    1 is incorrect grammatically, anyway. but it is a common mistake among italian kids as far as i know. 2nd one is the correct form of it: if her mother is here, this doesn't happen. 4th: if her mother was here, this would not have had to happen(!?:))

    what would you say, native speakers??
    sorry for all possible mistakes
     
  3. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Grammatically speaking, none of the four are correct renderings of the English phrase which should be translated as: Se sua madre fosse (or fosse stata) qui questo non sarebbe accaduto

    However No.3 is be common in everyday speech.

    Italian native speakers can explain in better detail.
     
  4. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    you are right!

    Se sua madre fosse stata qui questo non sarebbe accaduto is the only correct one because the 'thing' is just happened (it's a pasted action)

    Se sua madre fosse qui questo non accadrebbe the 'thing' is going to happen or is happening
    sad but true:eek:
     
  5. yasemin Senior Member

    Turkey, Turkish
    yesss
    the first part should be in congiunctivo passato and the second in condizionale passato, vero?

    aren't there any mixed if clause in italian, like those in english?
     
  6. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    vero:thumbsup:

    no i'm afraid we don't have
     
  7. mekas Junior Member

    Bari-Italy
    Nigeria/English
    sto studiando la grammatica (congiuntivo), ma indica che se + imperfecto conguitivo + condizionale usava per descrivere situatione immaginario (una situatione cio che non possibile)per esempio Se fossi ricca come Bill gates, comprarebbe tutti l'italia.
     
  8. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Winnie,

    Thanks for pointing out my error.

    May I I ask you whether the following sentence is correct:

    Se sua madre fosse viva, questo non sarebbe accaduto.

    grazie in anticipo
     
  9. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    No, please try to understand winnie's pattern (and exhaustive explanation):

    Either you construct starting from the existence of the mother (which is another way to introduce a thing that is happening or going to happen :)):

    Se sua madre fosse viva, questo non sarebbe:cross: accaduto.
    Se sua madre fosse viva, questo non accadrebbe:tick:.

    Or from the fact that a thing has happened:
    Se sua madre fosse stata:tick: viva, questo non sarebbe accaduto.
     
  10. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    some correction (hope you don't mind!)

    sto studiando la grammatica (congiuntivo), mi indica che 'se+congiuntivo imperfetto+condizionale' si usa per descrivere una situazione immaginaria (una situazione cioè che non è possibile) per esempio 'se fossi ricca come Bill Gates, comprerei l'Italia intera.'

    that's true but the 'situazione immaginaria' could be in the past as well.
    the grammar is

    (past) congiuntivo trapassato -> condizionale passato like in 'se fossi stata ricca avrei comprato l'Italia intera' (for istance this phrase is beeing said by people who came back home after a trip in Italiy)

    (present) congiuntivo imperfetto -> condizionale presente like in 'se fossi ricca comprerei l'Italia intera' (the people of the above example are still travelling in Italy)
     
  11. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Thank you, uinni.

    But bear with me for a while. To my mind it is conceivable to say something in this sense:

    If his mother was alive (now), this event would not have happened (then).

    I hope I'm not complicating matters unnecessarily and causing confusion.
     
  12. mekas Junior Member

    Bari-Italy
    Nigeria/English
    Winnie,grazie mille per le tue correzioni. sono molto utili per migliorare la mia conoscenza della lingua italiana .
    sono d'accordo assolutamete con la tua spiegazione. è il segue frasi justo

    Sarei partito prima d’allora (moltotempo fa) se non mi ha trattenuto Lucia.
     
  13. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    No, because there is a "grammatical caveat" and also in English I see the same situation (mutatis mutandis :) ):

    if + simple past -> present conditional:tick: (Type 3 conditional sentence)
    if + simple past -> perfet conditional :cross: (your example is this!)
    (if + congiuntivo imperfetto -> condizionale presente)
    if + past perfect -> perfet conditional
    (if + congiuntivo trapassato -> condizionale passato)



     
  14. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Sorry for the wrong "type 3 conditional sentence" quoting. To be reported to be "2 and 3 conditional sentences" respectively...
     
  15. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    I believe you need to make this change...
    se non mi avesse trattenuto Lucia
     
  16. Adel Junior Member

    U.K.
    Italy Italian
    If his mother was alive (now), this event would not have happened (then).

    Mmmhh But wouldn' t you say:
    had his mother been alive (does it matter when? I wander. She is not there/she was not there when it happened) this wouldn't have happened?
    Which is the same as Se sua madre fosse stata viva (but she isn't) (optional: questo) non sarebbe successo (now) or at some other time in the past)

    or If his mother were alive...(impossibility) she would....
    if I were here (impossibility as I am not)...I would...

    I don't think was in English expresses the subjunctive...:confused:

    To quote Carlo: mica ho confuso ancora di più?? :D
     
  17. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Adel,

    Rather than causing further confusion, I think you cleared up my difficulty completely. Thank you.
     
  18. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    It is often said this way (If his mother was alive) for both then and now, but it isn't technically correct for either, as you point out. Strictly speaking it should be, "if his mother were alive (now)" or "if his mother had been alive (then)".
     
  19. Adel Junior Member

    U.K.
    Italy Italian
    It is often said this way (If his mother was alive) for both then and now, but it isn't technically correct for either, as you point out. Strictly speaking it should be, "if his mother were alive (now)" or "if his mother had been alive (then)".

    Thanks Isp.
    I think your point made things even clearer.
    I'm sure Manuel agrees with me :) .

    And yes, you're right I hear the was as subjunctive all the time. Maybe more in verbal that written communication. I guess sooner or later the Grammar will officially change.
     
  20. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Alas, also in Italy you hear quite hardly ever people using conjunctive (but I hope -in vain- that grammar won't change):

    Se sua madre era :cross: viva, questo non accadeva:cross: /sarebbe accaduto.:cross:
    :mad::mad:
     
  21. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Non sarei così drastica. Sono d'accordo con te sul fatto che non scriverei mai se sua madre era viva questo non accadeva, ma non credo sia completamente sbagliato nella forma colloquiale.

    C'è questo interessante sito che mi ha aperto un po' la mente sui problemi di linguistica e che suggerisco a coloro che sono interessati al dibattito. Secondo me è un ottimo punto di partenza per una bella discussione!!
    Mi dispiace per coloro, tra i non italiani, che troveranno difficoltosa la lettura (è difficile anche per un italiano!), ma secondo me un tentivo vale la pena di essere fatto visto che anche il buon Manzoni scriveva:
    Se Lucia non faceva quel segno, la risposta sarebbe probabilmente stata diversa. (Promessi Sposi, cap. III).

    Sull'uso dell'imperfetto nelle frasi condizionali qui
     
  22. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    Great link, definitely worth the (considerable :D) effort it will require of me. Thanks, Elisa.
     
  23. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    :rolleyes: Stop cheating us! My non italiani wasn't referred to you!!!!:)
     
  24. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    :eek: ANATEMA su di te!!!!! :D

    Guarda che il povero Manzoni non sapeva per niente l'italiano (e non riuscì a far poi nemmeno tanto dopo aver risciacquato il suo romanzo in Arno). Di strafalcioni ce ne sono molti ne "I Promessi" (molti di meno nel coevo "Cofessioni di un italiano" - ma si sa, era troppo poco cattolico... :p ).

    Citando il Manzoni parte da un assunto sbagliato, vedi sopra :), sulle rimanenti motivazioni, temo che siano opinabili (anche se alla fine la lingua del sì soccomberà alla barbarie :D).
     
  25. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian
    Se credi, ma ho i miei protettori! :cool:


    Tutto qui? Dai Uinni da te mi aspettavo molto di più, queste sono chiacchiere da bar. Cercavo un dibattito culturale di alto livello!;)
     
  26. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    scusate se mi intrometto, ma questa frase:

    if her mother were here, this would not have happened

    è corretta in inglese?

    apparte il "was" al posto di "were"

    non dovrebbe essere ...
    "if her mother was here, this would not happen"
    oppure
    "if her mother had been here, this would not have happened"
    ?
     
  27. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    I think you can say if her mother were here (less correctly: if her mother was here) now, this would not have happened then.

    English native speakers?
     
  28. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Sì, if her mother were è il congiutivo in inglese -- ma tanti madrelingue sbagliano e dicono if her mother was.

    Elisabetta
     
  29. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Il madrelingua - i madrelingua. :)

    Jana
     
  30. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Grazie, Jana!
     
  31. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    sono sconvolto...sono sempre stato convinto che alla terza persona singolare si usasse was...non è così?

    e poi this would not have happenedsignifica questo non sarebbe successo?
    mentre this would not happensignifica questo non succederebbe?
     
  32. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Diventa were perche` congiuntivo

    Esatto
     
  33. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    porca miseria...non lo sapevo proprio...ero convinto si usasse il normale past tense....e alla prima persona singolare?
     
  34. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
    eheheh sei grande!
    sempre were!
    Es.: If I were you...
    Silvia
     
  35. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    a me sono crollate delle certezze e tu sfotti?:(

    e il congiuntivo di tutti gli altri verbi? capisco che "tutti" è un po' vago, ma grosso modo?
     
  36. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
     
  37. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
     
  38. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
     
  39. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    ah ok allora l'unica differenza sta nel verbo to be? sono meno sconvolto ora...:D
     
  40. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
     
  41. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
     
  42. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
    Sì, Fede, esattamente. Ho capito il tuo dramma...;)
     
  43. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Had he eaten apples instaed of salame, he would not have felt sick
     
  44. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Lecce
    Italy-italian
    Ok perfetto quindi tu sai che è un congiuntivo ma all'orecchio suona esattamente come un trapassato remoto, i.e. non c'è una coniugazione "diversa" per il congiuntivo.
    Silvia
     
  45. fredericks Senior Member

    Sciacca
    Italian
    Ragazzi....mi state facendo confondere:

    If I were to go è la stessa cosa di If I had to go?

    "Se scrivesse in modo piu' chiaro capirei"
    non dovrebbe essere
    If he wrote more clearly, I would understand
    ?

    Poi:
    Se avesse mangiato mele al posto di salame non sarebbe stato male?
    Questa è sbagliata?
    If he had eaten apples instead of salame, wouldn't he have felt sick?

    Questa non la capisco, è affermativa o interrogativa?
    Had he eaten apples instaed of salame, he would not have felt sick

    sarà il sonno....in attesa della risposta buonanotte
     
  46. Manuel_M Senior Member

    Malta
    Maltese
    Non c'e` una coniugazione diversa per il 'congiuntivo' , ma si usa in modo diverso da come si usa l'indicativo, no?

    Indicativo :
    I was
    You were

    Congiuntivo:
    (If) I were
     
  47. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    Bravi!!
    No.
    If I were to go = If I went, Se andassi
    If I had to go = Se dovessi andare

    Most people (AE) would say it as you wrote it:
    Se scrivesse in modo piu' chiaro capirei
    If he wrote more clearly, I would understand

    You are right here.
     
  48. Elisa68 Senior Member

    Italy Language:Italian

    Scusa Lsp, ti riferivi a questo?
    Ma non è una costruzione particolare come
    Should you need any help, call me
    non interrogativa ma uguale a
    If you need any help, call me ?
     
  49. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    (I thought) he asked if the intonation was the only difference between making this declarative or interrogative... and (I thought) the answer was yes. Was that wrong? :eek:

    Se avesse mangiato mele al posto di salame non sarebbe stato male (.) or (?)

    If he had eaten apples instead of salame, wouldn't he have felt sick?
    Had he eaten apples instaed of salame, he would not have felt sick.
     
  50. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    No, Lsp. He asked if the sentence "Had he eaten..." was interrogative (I think because apparently it has such a construction - I'd infer he had never seen it before), though it is not, as Elisa answered.
     

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