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Using imperfect subjunctive

I came across this sentence :

"Vorrei che Marta non dicesse nulla di questo a Mario" ...and it was translated as "I would not like for Marta to say anything about this to Mario" 

why is 'dicesse' used instead of present subjunctive 'dica'? 


Aug 29, 2016 6:23 PM
Comments · 2

Ciao Kandance,

When the verb in the main clause is in the condizionale form, the verb in the subordinative is in the imperfetto form. It's a rule. 

Vorrei che tu fossi qui con me. I wish you we here with me.

Mi piacerebbe che tu mi dicessi la verità. I would like you to tell me the truth.

September 6, 2016

The imperfect subjective is used, after verbs like "vorrei", to express a desire related to a specific hypothetical situation, just like in your example.

If the subjective is used in the subordinate sentence, after the main sentence described a command, then you use the present subjective:

"Voglio (command/imperative) che tu non dica niente di questo a Mario"

August 29, 2016
Language Skills
English, Italian
Learning Language