The Italian Subjunctive Mode: Easy to Conjugate but Tricky to Use!

This blog on the subjunctive mode, or il congiuntivo, is the first in a series on this topic that I’ve created for advanced students and teachers of Italian. Each blog will focus on real-life situations and give examples for when the subjunctive mode should be used. Below is an excerpt from the original post.

Visit the Learn Italian!  blog from April 25, 2016 to read the entire article, and get started learning how to express yourself more naturally and fluently in Italian!

Can you speak Italian? By now, many of you have passed the beginning stages of learning how to speak Italian and can read and comprehend quite a bit of the language. Meraviglioso!

But have you tried to take the next step to speak Italian fluently? Can you use the subjunctive mode in the correct situations? To express complex feelings in Italian correctly, it is important to use the Italian subjunctive mode. Using the subjunctive mode is difficult for English speakers, as we only rarely use this tense in English, and it’s something that I am always working on!

To take that giant step from simple beginning sentences to more complex and fluid sentences in Italian using the subjunctive, in this segment we will discuss the phrases that take the subjunctive mode and the conjugation of the subjunctive mode for “avere” and “essere,” with example sentences.

In each blog in the “Speak Italian” series about the subjunctive mode (“il congiuntivo”), phrases that take the Italian subjunctive mode will be presented. Then we will review the Italian conjugation for the subjunctive mode in the present and past tenses. Finally, examples of common phrases used in daily life with the subjunctive mode will be presented. Remember these examples as “anchors” in your knowledge for when you must speak Italian and try out the subjunctive mode in your next Italian conversation!

Enjoy the first blog in this series, “Speak Italian: How to Use the Italian Subjunctive Mode!”
—Kathryn Occhipinti

Some of this material is adapted from our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, found on Special thanks to Italian instructors Simona Giuggioli and Maria Vanessa Colapinto.


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