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Periodo ipotetico + future in the past

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by scorpio2002, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. scorpio2002

    scorpio2002 Junior Member

    Potenza
    Italy
    Hey everybody :)
    Before Easter holydays, I had a translation test and as our teacher loves us :mad:, she put this puzzling sentence in it:

    "Se avessi saputo che il viaggio sarebbe stato così pericoloso, non sarei mai partito"

    That's my translation:

    "If I had known that the journey would be so dangerous, I wouldn't have left"

    Well, yesterday, she gave us our tests back, and she changed my translation into:

    "If I had known that the journey would have been so dangerous, I wouldn't have left"

    But I must admit it sounds pretty elaborate to be an English sentence, doesn't it?:confused:

    Ciao :)

    P.s.: I had also thought that it could've been translated this way: ""If I had known that the journey was/were so dangerous, I wouldn't have left"
     
  2. Tede Senior Member

    Warwick, RI
    USA - English
    Sorry to say, but your teacher is correct. It is an elaborate sentence, but just as much so in Italian, there's a bunch of different tenses to keep track of. Unfortunately, your other translation is incorrect as well. I hope you didn't lose too many points!
     
  3. scorpio2002

    scorpio2002 Junior Member

    Potenza
    Italy
    Well, this time she wins... :D

    Anyway, cool avatar ;)

    Ciao and thanks,
    Donato
     
  4. Tede Senior Member

    Warwick, RI
    USA - English
    Refering to the title of your thread, this tense is also called il condizionale passato, or the past conditional.

    Leiha detto ieri che sarebbe venuta.
    She said yesterday that she would come.

    It appears you used the future in the past form, but it actually takes the past conditional, in this case to express a past intention or wish that can no longer be fulfilled. Future in the past is used when the action relative to the original point of view is in the future, but still in the past of the present tense.
     
  5. Tede Senior Member

    Warwick, RI
    USA - English

    Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  6. scorpio2002

    scorpio2002 Junior Member

    Potenza
    Italy
    Well... it's not that easy :) I'll try to figure that out.

    Lei ha detto ieri che sarebbe venuta.
    She said yesterday that she would come.

    What if she didn't come?

    Lei ha detto ieri che sarebbe venuta, ma non si è presentata.
    She said yesterday that she would've come, but she didn't.

    Is that what you meant? Or I just got confused... :confused:
     
  7. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I see a contradiction there about would come and would have come.

    Also, is "I wouldn't have left" the correct translation?

    non sarei mai partito = I would have never left

    Is that right?
     
  8. Tede Senior Member

    Warwick, RI
    USA - English
    Yes, and
    non sarei partitio = I would not have left
     
  9. scorpio2002

    scorpio2002 Junior Member

    Potenza
    Italy
    Oh, i see... I was too much concerned about the middle part... :)

    yet, i have to say that a native speaker told me the right one was:
    "If I had known that the journey was/were so dangerous, I wouldn't have left"

    I don't know why... anyway she's British.

    Bye,
    Donato :)
     
  10. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Either way, you now have something to argue about with your teacher!

    Quando si dice spaccare il capello in due... :D
     
  11. Judiths

    Judiths Senior Member

    Tuscany, Italy
    Spanish
    Ciao, stavo riflettendo sulle differenze tra il third conditional e il future in the past, per favore ditemi se va bene:
    una frase come avrebbe dovuto farlo si può tradurre in tutti i due i modi a seconda del contesto, giusto? e quindi sarebbe?
    - (Doveva farlo ma non l'ha fatto)--> He should have done it. -->third conditional
    -(In futuro non li sarebbe rimasto altro che farlo)--> He should do it. --> future in the past
    Grazie mille
     
  12. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Intanto:

    Doveva farlo ma non l'ha fatto = avrebbe dovuto farlo ma non l'ha fatto = he should have done it ;) but he didn't.

    La tua seconda frase in italiano è da rivedere;). Comunque, He should do it (but he hasn't done it yet) = dovrebbe farlo (non l'ha fatto ancora)

    Future in the past:

    He said he would come to my party - ha detto che sarebbe venuto alla mia festa.
     
  13. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    When "avrebbe dovuto farlo" has a "future in the past" meaning shouldn't it be translated as "he would have to do it"? For example, imagine this sentence in a narrative text:

    Prima o poi avrebbe dovuto dirle la verità

    He would have to tell her the truth sooner or later

    As for scorpio's original question, Tede agreed with his teacher that

    If I had known that the journey would be so dangerous, I wouldn't have left

    is wrong, since he should have used would have been.
    And yet I've asked a few speakers of BE and they all thought that would be was perfectly correct in that context :confused:
     
  14. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
     
  15. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Can we also note that if the person is on the holiday at the time of speaking, then the main sentence would be correct / acceptable.

     
  16. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Hi Alex,

    Do you mean that if the person is speaking after returning home from the journey then would have been should be used instead of would be?
     
  17. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Yep:)

    If I'm on holiday and there have been 5 accidents, (let's say it was a walking holiday) then I could say "If I had known this holiday would be so dangerous, I wouldn't have arranged it!"

    Of course as soon as the holiday was over I'd have to use "would have been", and of course change this->that.
     
  18. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
    Sorry Alex, but I disagree. Even if speaking after the holiday, I would still use "would be" in this sentence because at the time of arranging/leaving for the holiday I didn't know that it was going to be dangerous, so therefore this part of the sentence constitutes "the future in the past" and not the hypothetical situation.

    If I'd known at that time (hypothetical - I didn't know) that the holiday would be/was going to be so dangerous (future in the past - the holiday was dangerous), I wouldn't have gone (3rd conditional - concludes hypothetical situation - in reality I did go on the holiday).

    :):)
     
  19. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Ok, I wasn't thinking about making it the future in the past, but rather just reading the sentence contextless.

    Can you clarify what you mean by still using 'would be', because it sort of seems to me that you are suggesting that 'would have been' is wrong in this sentence, which I know cannot be what you mean at all.
    I'd only use 'would be' in your sentence if the tense in the main clause was "If I knew".... and not "had known"..

    "If I knew (at the time) that is would be / was going to be so dangerous, I wouldn't have gone"..
    That's fine for me, and so is "would have been" as well.

    I think both options are alright, but I wouldn't really use 'would be', considering it's a closed action, but then again I am not in the mindset of thinking about a future in the past construction suggesting this. I suppose I'd agree with you then, because of course 'would have been' is not a future in the past.

    I think I should have grasped the context of the whole trying to write a future-in-the-past sentence instead of just thinking of time periods and how I'd say it without any context.
    (...heads for the alcohol...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  20. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Ditto!:)
     
  21. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
     
  22. ALEX1981X Senior Member

    Italian
    Sorry guys

    Can this sentence - If I knew it would be/was going to be dangerous, I wouldn't go. have a "past meaning" ?

    I'll try to explain

    1) If I knew (that day, past action ???) it would be /was going to be dangerous (future in the past) , I wouldn't go .
    It doesn't seem right to me in order to describe something happened in the past. Much better the past perfect . I tend to see "If I knew" capable of expressing something hypothetical in the present

    2) If I knew (just now) it would be dangerous (now or in the next future), I wouldn't go (now)

    Please enlighten me natives thanks
     
  23. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Non mi è chiaro come lo vorresti tradurre in Italiano. Diversamente è una domanda per English Only.;)
     
  24. ALEX1981X Senior Member

    Italian
    In Italiano corretto a mio avviso sarebbe : se avessi saputo (allora) che sarebbe stato pericoloso (future in the past) non ci sarei andato (conseguenza)

    In italiano scorretto o forse molto colloquiale sarebbe : :cross:
    se sapevo che sarebbe stato pericoloso non ci sarei andato/ non ci andavo:thumbsdown:
    se sapevo che era pericoloso non ci andavo :thumbsdown:

    In Inglese invece l'unica che mi sembra corretta per esprimere la frase inizialmente proposta è :



    If I had known it would be/was going to be dangerous, I wouldn't have gone...

    L'altra versione con "If I knew" la vedrei corretta in uno scenario attuale ossia "a oggi" e non parlando del passato

    If I knew = Se sapessi (now)

    Come la vedi London ??
     
  25. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    If I had known it was going to be dangerous I wouldn't have gone
    Se avvessi saputo che sarebbe stato pericoloso non ci sarei andato

    If I knew it was dangerous I wouldn't go
    Se sapessi che fosse pericoloso non ci andrei.

    S'intende se sapessi di sicuro che fosse pericoloso, non ci andrei.:) Tipo: "Macché, mi hai preso per scemo? E' chiaro che non ci andrei se risultasse pericoloso".:)
     
  26. ALEX1981X Senior Member

    Italian
    OK Lo

    Quindi concordi con me che il past perfect è l'unico (in questo contesto) in grado di esprimere la frase proposta che è al passato.

    Mi è venuto un dubbio perche per un momento leggendo gli ultimi post , ho pensato che "If I knew" potesse avere il significato di "Se avessi saputo" (If I had known)
     
  27. EnglishRobin Junior Member

    Canada English
    I realize this is an old post but this topic is so important. English grammar in the past is challenging...even for native English speakers. You were perfectly right with your answer, "If I had known that the journey would be so dangerous, Ii wouldn't have left." (the journey was SURE to be dangerous.) You can say, "If I had known that the journey was so dangerous (an established fact), I wouldn't have left." Personally, without reflection, I would naturally say, "If I had known that the journey was going to be so dangerous, I wouldn't have left."

    "If I knew, I wouldn't have gone." non va. Si deve dire invece, "If I had known (before I went on the trip), I wouldn't have gone." Past Perfect: Un'azzione nel passato che accade prima di un'altra azzione.

    In quei giorni noto quardando la TV americana che gli americani usano spesso il Past Perfect invece del Simple Past. Dicono per esempio: "I had gone to my friends' yesterday for dinner." invece di, "I went to my friends'..." Uno studente spagnolo mi ha dato una spegazione. Mi ha detto che si usa il Past Perfect piuttosto che il Simple Past nella lingua spagnola. Pensa che lo sbaglio stia svillupando a cause dell'influenza dello spagnolo sulla lingua inglese perché ce ne sono tanti spagnoli nel USA.

    Un'altro sbaglio che fanno mai 'Speakers of English as a second language' ma fanno spesso gli 'English mother tongue speakers è il seguente: "If I would have known that it did that, I wouldn't have used it." Ma tanti Ingesi dicono questo tipo di frase. È orrendo!

    Direi: "If I knew (hypothetically / replacing 'were to know') that that route is so dangerous..."

    Ciao!

    Robin
    Montreal, Canada
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  28. davidforth Senior Member

    Torino Italia
    Italian
    la confusione avviene perchè nell'inglese parlato si utilizza pochissimo, nelle ipotetiche, il terzo tipo.
    In più e più occasioni nei tv shows ho riscontrato come nella traduzione italiana il tempo era sempre più remoto del tempo realmente utilizzato in English. Esempio: "If I knew it I would do that" riferito ad una cosa passata, veniva tradotto con: "l'avessi saputo l'avrei fatto", e non come "se lo sapessi lo farei". Nello schema dell'ipotetica del 3 tipo, la struttura è: "past perfect + past conditional" per questo non so quanto sia grammaticalmente corretta la traduzione: ""If I had known that the journey was/were so dangerous, I wouldn't have left" . Non è una duration form dove trattiamo situazioni conseguenziali dove quindi il past perfect è accompagnato dal simple past. Non lo so, la regola dice una cosa il "sound" un'altra. I'm confused, a bit :) Noto che l'inglese mediamente è più legato alla correttezza "sonora" della frase, più che alla sua scrittura. Mi sbaglio Natives?
     
  29. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    Hi Robin and David—just to make things even more complicated—let me post a couple of sentences that may (or may not :D) help:

    • If I knew how to do it, I wouldn't be asking you (Knew here is the infamous subjunctive mood – not a "proper" past tense indicating a past event – which comes into play when the clause describes a doubtful, unlikely, hypothetical situation in the present). The same applies to such sentences as if pigs could fly (today, not yesterday or last year)
    • If I met him, I wouldn't know him from Adam (again, subjunctive mood)
    • If I met him, I have no memory of it (plain old past tense, stating a real possibility)
    David is right in saying that getting the tense right is a matter of ear (that's what you mean by "sound", right?), but even native speakers occasionally botch their tense harmony and "backshifting". This often has to do with hearing ungrammatical use of English and slowly getting used to it, don't it? :p
     
  30. davidforth Senior Member

    Torino Italia
    Italian
    "If I met him, I have no memory of it", shouldn't be "If I meet him, I have no memory of it?"(primo tipo) it drives me crazy! :D
    by the way, of course it "don't" :D
     
  31. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    No David, it means: se l'ho (mai) incontrato non me lo ricordo. ;)

    Let me throw you another curveball or two:

    • If I meet him, I won't recognize him
    • If he was lost, he should have said so
     
  32. davidforth Senior Member

    Torino Italia
    Italian
    Ah ok ok, ora ho capito, è una falsa "If clauses".
    If I meet him, I won't recognize him. Questa è semplice. Ipotetica del primo tipo.
    If he was lost, he should have said so. Questa l'avrei fatta secondo lo schema: past perfect-past conditional, e cioè If he'd been lost, he should have said so.
    Ma sicuramente mi freghi, perchè se l'hai scritto, hai già la soluzione :D
     
  33. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    No trick question. ;) Just a case where the subjunctive would have been unwarranted.
     
  34. davidforth Senior Member

    Torino Italia
    Italian
    Perchè ingiustificato? "si fosse perso, l'avrebbe detto".
    Non so se esiste una regola vera e propria, nel caso me ne scuso,ma fosse come dici tu, anche con il verbo to born, dovrebbe funzionare così, ed invece più volte vedo scritto "have been born". Come faccio a comprendere in quale occasione il congiuntivo è più o meno lecito?
     
  35. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    Se si era perso doveva dirlo. In altre parole: si era perso [un fatto, non un'ipotesi] ma non l'aveva detto/ammesso. Quindi niente congiuntivo.

    E non c'è un verbo to born. C'è il verbo to bear. ;)
     
  36. davidforth Senior Member

    Torino Italia
    Italian
    A parte i miei errori elementari, visto il raro utilizzo se non nelle forme al past participle, e con altro significano, questa "furbata" gioca sulla doppia possibile traduzione in italiano dei verbi composti tipo appunto: should have said so, che noi traduciamo con "doveva dirlo", quando in realtà andrebbe tradotto con "avrebbe dovuto dirlo", questo in inglese ci fa confondere con una falsa "if clause", e quindi i polli come me ci cascano :) se avessi scritto: If he got/was lost, he had to say so allora non mi sarei confuso. :) Un'altro indizio: il congiuntivo va messo nella forma di "were" ma siccome spesso nel parlato si sostituisce con was, ecco un'altro tranello! :D
    I can't "bear" such messed up things ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

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