Magari + subjunctive: Italian grammar lesson 214


Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn't find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you'll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.


Unlock the secrets of the versatile Italian word magari! Dive into the nuances of expressing wishes and hypotheticals in Italian, and master the art of hopefulness with our guide to using magari with the subjunctive mood. 🌟

  • Wishful Thinking: Use magari when you’re dreaming about a possibility. It’s like crossing your fingers and saying “maybe” with a sprinkle of hope. 🤞
  • Subjunctive Mood: Pair magari with the subjunctive to level up your wish game. It’s the difference between a simple “maybe” and a heartfelt “if only”. 💭
  • Present Wishes: Combine magari with congiuntivo imperfetto for current hopes. It’s your go-to for things you’re still holding out hope for. 🎁
  • Past Regrets: Missed chances? Use magari with congiuntivo trapassato to express that wistful feeling about what could’ve been. 😢
  • Real Examples: Get practical! Apply magari in sentences like “Magari potessi venire!” to express a genuine wish to join in. 📝
  • Emotional Nuance: Feel the mood. Magari isn’t just a word; it’s a vibe. Use it to add emotional depth to your Italian conversations. ❤️
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t just read about it; try it out! Use magari in your daily Italian chit-chat and watch your fluency soar. 🚀
  • Be Bold: Don’t shy away from the subjunctive. Embrace it with magari to sound like a true Italian speaker. 🇮🇹
  • Hopeful Expressions: Remember, magari is all about optimism. Inject your Italian with positivity and watch the world respond in kind. ✨
stefano lodola cover
Play Video about stefano lodola cover

What is magari in Italian?

In all languages, some words are very useful, and common, and carry lots of meanings. An excellent 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

How to use magari + subjunctive?

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

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.
Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

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 were hot!

Magari fossimo andati al mare!

I wish we had gone to the beach!

If only in Italian

Learn in the car with Think in Italian
Play Video about Learn in the car with Think in Italian

FAQs on Magari + subjunctive: Italian grammar lesson 214

What is the meaning of "magari"?

The origin of the commonly used expression "magari" can be traced back to its Greek roots, where it meant blessed or happy. It was originally used to convey hope or optimism, and can still be used in that context today. When using "magari," it is typically to express desire, aspiration, or hope for something.

What is the difference between Italian "magari" and "forse"?

The Italian language has two words that express possibility: "forse" and "magari". Although "forse" has a neutral connotation, "magari" implies a sense of excitement and optimism. When using "magari", you express a strong desire for that possibility to become a reality.

Italian word of the day
Finalmente abbiamo finito! Sono proprio contento.
Finally we’re done! I’m really glad.
Follow me to fluency​

Receive my free resources once a week together with my best offers! 

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.

Leave a Reply


Take a free lesson today!

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lessons and other resources.

I’ll also deliver my free resources my best offers to your mailbox (opt out at any time).

Read more about Italian grammar lessons
Try my courses for free​

Log in

Reset password or get in touch.

Not a member yet? Join today!

How long to fluency?

Find out how long it will take you to master Italian!
Get on the right track in 3 minutes.

dolce vita logo

We're already friends!

Coming from Luca and Marina?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
all language resources

We're already friends!

Coming from All Language Resources?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
50% OFF

To receive free resources once a week together with my best offers, just tell me where to send everything. Opt out at any time.

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.