How to say “as long as”: Italian grammar lesson 226

Summary

Unlock the secret to sounding like a native with our guide on using “as long as” in Italian! Discover the colloquial charm of sempre che and master the present subjunctive to set conditions like a pro. 🇮🇹✨

  • Colloquial Italian: Learn the everyday use of sempre che to express conditions, ensuring you sound authentically Italian. 🗣️
  • Condition Setting: Grasp how to set a condition with sempre che followed by the present subjunctive to make your Italian flow naturally. 🌊
  • Subjunctive Mood: Don’t just memorize; understand how the present subjunctive mood works to elevate your Italian speaking skills. 📚
  • Verb Conjugation: Get the hang of adding the right endings to the root of regular verbs for the present subjunctive, making your grammar impeccable. ✍️
  • Irregular Verbs: Tackle the present subjunctive of irregular verbs like a champ, with examples like essere (to be) and avere (to have). 💪
  • Negative Conditions: Learn to express negative conditions with ease by adding non before the verb in the subjunctive mood. ❌
  • Real-Life Examples: Dive into practical examples that show you exactly how to use sempre che in everyday conversations. 🗨️

My thoughts

How to use as long as?

There are different ways of saying as long as in Italian, but in this post, we’re going to focus on the more colloquial one.

Have a look at the example: You can have a dog as long as you promise to take care of it.

We could also say: You can have a dog only if you promise to take care of it.

As you can see, we’re talking about an expression that introduces a condition. If that condition is not met, then something won’t happen. It’s the same in Italian.

How to use sempre che in Italian?

In Italian, what you’ll hear more often among people speaking is sempre che.

The structure is sempre che + present subjunctive.

Don’t try to translate it literally because it doesn’t make sense.

Let’s rather have a look at an example:

Puoi venire anche tu, sempre che ti comporti bene.

You can come too, as long as you behave well.

As you can see, we’re talking about a condition.

If we want to use it negatively, we can simply add the word non to the sentence:

  • sempre che + non + present subjunctive

Puoi venire anche tu, sempre che non ti comporti male.

You can come too, as long as you don’t behave badly.

If you don’t know or don’t remember how to form the present subjunctive, read the following section. If you do, then skip to the following section.

How to form the present subjunctive?

To form the present of the subjunctive of regular verbs in Italian, you have to keep the root of the verb in the present indicative (parl-, ved-, part-) and add the correct endings, which are in bold in the table below:

  parlare vedere partire
io parli veda parta
tu parli veda parta
lui/lei parli veda parta
noi parliamo vediamo partiamo
voi parliate vediate partiate
loro parlino vedano partano

Here’s the present subjunctive of the most common irregular verbs:

Essere

(to be)

Avere

(to have)

Venire

(to come)

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Andare

(to go)

Volere

(to want)

io sia io abbia io venga io vada io voglia
tu sia tu abbia tu venga tu vada tu voglia
lui / lei sia lui /lei abbia lui /lei venga lui /lei vada lui /lei voglia
noi siamo noi abbiamo noi veniamo noi andiamo noi vogliamo
voi siate voi abbiate voi veniate voi andiate voi vogliate
loro siano loro abbiano loro vengano loro vadano loro vogliano

Sempre che: examples

Let’s now have a look at some more examples:

Partiremo domani, sempre che non piova.

We’ll leave tomorrow as long as it doesn’t rain.

Sempre che tu sia d’accordo, potremmo rimanere un po’ di più.

As long as you agree, we could stay a little more.

Parleremo con loro sempre che vengano.

We’ll speak to them as long as they come.

Verrò a trovarvi, sempre che voi siate a casa.

I’ll come to see you as long as you’re home.

Va bene sempre che sia vero.

It’s ok as long as it’s true.

Rimedieremo, sempre che voglia parlare.

We’ll make up as long as you want to talk.

How to use as long as?

Is an expression that introduces a condition that if not met, won't happen.

How to use "sempre che" in Italian?

By adding "sempre che" + present subjunctive. When negative the structure is "sempre che" + "non" + present subjunctive.

How to form the present subjunctive?

By keeping the root of the verb in the present indicative and adding the correct endings.

Italian word of the day
lavori
Example
Dove lavori? Lavoro in ufficio.
Where do you work? I work in an office.
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