I was afraid the weather would be bad

sarajane

Member
English - England
I wondered if someone could help me with the tense I need to use here, as I'm confused as to whether the second half of the sentence represents a use of the 'future in the past' - i.e. a conditional past - and if it does, how to reconcile that with the subjunctive tense.

My attempt is:

Avevo paura che facesse brutto tempo

Any advice would be very gratefully received as I'm a real muddle about the use of the futuro nel passato in Italian!
 
  • Enigmista

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    It could be translated with the Italian "Condizionale passato"

    Avevo paura che il tempo sarebbe stato brutto

    Anyway, your attempt is fine and grammatically fine


    Hope this helps
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi, sara.

    "Avevo paura che avrebbe fatto brutto tempo" (this is the clumsy way we express the future in the past).

    Best.
    GS
    PS There's another situation in which you might want to say "Avevo paura che facesse brutto tempo". Suppose you were leaving for your friends' place in another town. You heard that in this town a storm was brewing, so you were afraid that at the present moment the weather was bad there (no future in the past, then, but supposition on present state of things).
     
    Last edited:

    sarajane

    Member
    English - England
    Hi, sara.

    "Avevo paura che avrebbe fatto brutto tempo" (this is the clumsy way we express the future in the past).

    Best.
    GS
    PS There's another situation in which you might want to say "Avevo paura che facesse brutto tempo". Suppose you were leaving for your friends' place in another town. You heard that in this town a storm was brewing, so you were afraid that at the present moment the weather was bad there (no future in the past, then, but supposition on present state of things).
    Thank you, Giorgio. The situation I'm describing happened in the past - I'm describing a recent trip to the US, and my pre-trip worries about the weather we would experience while we were there. So, in this case, the conditional perfect overrules the subjunctive?
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In this case it's future in the past and, in your own perfectly chosen words, our conditional perfect overrules the subjunctive.
    Best.
    GS
     
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