“Even though” and “even if”: Italian grammar lesson 43

Summary

Dive into the nuances of Italian with our guide on “anche se”! Learn to express “even though” and “even if” like a native, and master the art of crafting perfect concessive clauses in Italian. 🇮🇹✨

  • Anche se translates to “even though” in Italian, and it’s your go-to for creating concessive clauses that show contrast without affecting the main statement.
  • Use Anche se with the indicativo (indicative mood) for facts that are definitely true, making it a breeze to remember and use without complex conjugations.
  • When you spot Anche se at the start of a sentence, expect it to be followed by a fact that, despite being true, doesn’t change the outcome of the main clause.
  • Flip the script and use Anche se with the congiuntivo (subjunctive mood) when you’re dealing with hypotheticals or uncertainties, shifting the meaning to “even if.”
  • Notice the dance between moods: if Anche se is paired with the subjunctive, the main clause often waltzes in with the condizionale (conditional), highlighting a mere possibility.

My thoughts

How to say even though in Italian?

We all know how useful the expression even though is. And this is exactly why today we will learn how to use it in Italian.

Grammatically, a sentence that uses this construction is called a concessive clause.

This means that it expresses an idea or a fact that is real but has no effect on the fact or idea expressed in the main part of the sentence.

Anche se è giovane, è molto interessante.

Even though he is young, he is very interesting.

Anche se ha iniziato a piovere, siamo andati al parco.

Even though it started raining, we went to the park.

Anche se is not always at the beginning of the sentence:

Andrò a lavorare oggi anche se non sto bene.

I will go to work today even though I am not feeling well.

How to use anche se?

Anche se is used with the indicative mood  (indicativo), while other expressions used in concessive clauses use the subjunctive mood (congiuntivo), like sebbene, nonostante, malgrado.

This means it is the easiest one to remember and use without worrying about difficult conjugations.

Marco continua a lavorare anche se è stanco.

Marco keeps on working even though he is tired.

Anche se sono libera stasera, non andrò alla festa.

Even though I am free tonight, I will not go to the party.

In this case, the verbs in the concessive clause (the one starting with anche se) and the main clause will be in the indicative form.

How to form anche se with the subjunctive?

Careful though… It is never that easy, is it?

Anche se can also be used with the congiuntivo in some cases, but the meaning changes a little!

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Anche se + subjunctive becomes the Italian equivalent of even if and it is used when the fact or idea we are talking about could be true or false, could happen or not happen.

Anche se fosse stanco, Marco continuerebbe a lavorare.

Even if he were tired, Marco would keep on working.

Anche se fossi libera stasera, non andrei alla festa.

Even if I were free tonight, I would not go to the party.

Have you noticed? When the verb in the concessive clause is in the subjunctive mood, the verb in the main sentence takes the conditional (condizionale), as it only expresses a possibility too.

Anche se: more examples

It is quite simple:

  • Anche se + indicativo = even though or although

Anche se non parla molto, Giacomo non è timido.

Even though he does not talk much, Giacomo is not shy.

Sono andata ad arrampicare anche se mi fa male la spalla.

I went climbing even though my shoulder hurts.

  • Anche se + congiuntivo = even if

Anche se mi chiamasse, non le parlerei.

Even if she called, I would not talk to her.

Andrei a trovarlo anche se mi dicesse di no.

I would go visit him even if he said no.

What does "anche se" mean in Italian?

"Anche se" means "even if" or "although" in English.

Is "anche se" always followed by the subjunctive mood?

No, "anche se" is not always followed by the subjunctive mood. It depends on the verb tense and the degree of certainty expressed in the main clause.

Can "anche se" be replaced with another phrase in Italian?

Yes, "anche se" can be replaced with "sebbene" or "benché," both of which also mean "although" or "even if."

Italian word of the day
passeggiata
Example
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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