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Italian conditional

In Italian we have two Conditional tense: present conditional and past conditional.

The present conditional or simple conditional is as English “Would” (conditional of all verbs) and “Could”/”might” (conditional of “Potere“), but also “should” e “ought” (conditional of “Dovere”)

For example,

Vorresti / ti piacerebbe avere un gatto? = Would you like to have a cat?
Sarebbe bello = It would be nice
Matteo vorrebbe incontrarti = Matteo would like to meet you
(Io) vorrei / Mi piacerebbe andare in Australia = I would like to go to Australia
Con più soldi potrei viaggiare di più = If I had more money I could travel more

But generally we don’t use only the conditional of “Piacere” and “Volere” (= Would + like)

We prefer to use “Mi piacerebbe” and “Vorrei” [= “I would like”] to explain our strong desires, but we also say:

Ora berrei un caffé literally = Now I’d drink a coffee
Lo chiamerei se … literally = I would call him if …
Al tuo posto gli telefonerei literally = In your shoes I would phone him

Here is the irregular conjugation of Volere and Piacere that you can translate I’d like to …; You’d like to …; etc.

Volere (irregular)
Lui/ Lei / (and you polite) VORREBBE


Mi PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Mi PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)
Ti PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Ti PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)
Gli/Le PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Gli/Le PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)
Ci PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Ci PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)
Vi PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Vi PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)
Gli PIACEREBBE (+ infinito o nome sing.) Gli PIACEREBBERO (+ nome pl.)

Now listen to these songs:


And here is the regular conjugation:

Parl-a-re Legg-e-re Part-i-re
Parl-e-rei Legg-e-rei Part-i-rei
Parl-e-resti Legg-e-resti Part-i-resti
Parl-e-rebbe Legg-e-rebbe Part-i-rebbe
Parl-e-remmo Legg-e-remmo Part-i-remmo
Parl-e-reste Legg-e-reste Part-i-reste
Parl-e-rebbero Legg-e-rebbero Part-i-rebbero

Be careful: -are verbs have the same conjugation of -ere verbs

3 Responses to “Italian conditional”

  1. […] Posted by Monica Corrias on September 16th, 2007 Ciao, last week at school, a student had a problem on Italian “Condizionale presente“. […]

  2. elizabeth fugazzi said

    is there a similar page for past conditional?

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