Magari + subjunctive: Italian grammar lesson 214

To master this grammar topic, take Lesson 214 of the audio course Ripeti Con Me!
magari subjunctive in Italian
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Magari

In all languages, there are some words that are very useful, common, and carry lots of meanings. A good example of this is the Italian word “magari”.

We use magari to talk about a wish or a desire. There’s no direct English translation for magari, but it’s like saying perhaps or maybe with a sense of hopefulness and positivity.

This word is also used a lot with the subjunctive. In this case, we can translate magari + subjunctive as “if only”, “I wish”, or even as “it would be nice if“.

In other words, this word expresses a wish or hope.

magari congiuntivo

Magari + subjunctive

We use magari with either the congiuntivo imperfetto or the congiuntivo trapassato when we wish for something.

If you need to review these two constructions, we suggest you have a look at the Italian grammar lessons 209 and 210.

Now let’s look at the two possible scenarios:

  • Magari + congiuntivo imperfetto: to express a wish in the present
  • Magari + congiuntivo trapassato: to express a wish referring to the past
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Let’s compare the two following sentences:

Magari venisse alla festa!

If only she came to the party! / I hope she comes to the party! (She might or might not come.)

Magari fosse venuta alla festa!

If only she had come to the party! / I wish she had come to the party! (But she didn’t.)

magari subjunctive

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

Magari + subjunctive: examples

Let’s have a look at some more examples. Make sure you pay attention to whether the verbs are in the congiuntivo imperfetto or congiuntivo trapassato.

Magari potessi venire con voi, ma non posso!

I wish I could come with you, but I can’t.

Magari ci dessero più tempo per mandare tutti i documenti.

If only they gave us more time to send all the documents.

Magari aveste avuto una seconda opportunità!

If only you had had a second opportunity!

Magari facesse caldo!

If only it was hot!

Magari fossimo andati al mare!

I wish we had gone to the beach!

If only in Italian

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