The use of congiuntivo in the Italian language

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Before telling you about the use of the congiuntivo in Italian, I would like to remind you of some particularities, which you must remember:

1) the congiuntivo mode describes uncertainty, doubt, probability, subjectivity;

2) the congiuntivo is usually used in subordinate sentences preceded by the word “che“. This word almost always indicates the obligation to use it

3) the congiuntivo can be used only if the subjects of the main sentence and the subordinate sentence are different. When instead the subjects are equal in the subordinate sentence the infinitive is used preceded by the preposition “di”. For example:

Penso (io) che Pietro (lui) abbia l’influenza. > Penso (io) di avere (io) l’influenza.

When is the congiuntivo used in the Italian language?

I. The use of the congiuntivo depends on the verb in the main sentence. Usually they are the verbs that express:

1) a subjective opinion, an uncertainty, for example: I believe, I think, I imagine, I have the impression, I doubt, I think, I’m not sure, they say, I believe, I suppose etc;

2) a feeling, a concern, a fear: I’m happy, I’m glad, I’m sorry, I’m afraid, etc

3) a hope, a will: I hope, I want, I wish, I hope, I prefer, I wait, I pretend;

4) an (im) possibility, a probability: it is possible, it is impossible, it is probable, it is unlikely, it could be etc.;

5) a necessity: it is necessary, appropriate, etc.

II. The subjunctive is used with many impersonal verbs (it is convenient, necessary, etc.). Even after the verb to be used impersonally with an adjective or an adverb the congiuntivo is used, for example: it is better, it is right, it is correct, it is important, it is strange, it is necessary, it is fantastic, it is horrible, it is incredible and so on .

Some examples:

È probabile che Luisa conosca questo ragazzo.

È importante  che Mario faccia in tempo questo lavoro.

È meglio che tu vada via.

Pretendo che tu vada via!

Non sono sicura che il negozio apra alle 10.

È strano che lui si comporti in questo modo; non è tipico per lui.

Bisogna che ti sbrighi per poter prendere questo treno.

Mi dispiace che tu stia male.

The use of the congiuntivo in the Italian language: exceptions

After these sentences and words, even if they express a subjective opinion and a probability, the indicative way is used:

per me, secondo me, forse, probabilmente, a mio avviso.

some examples:

Sondo me / per me / a mio avviso Claudio non parla bene l’inglese.

Forse / probabilmente Claudio conosce questa ragazza.