The Italian subjunctive
We use the Italian congiuntivo, which is a verb form, to talk about hopes, hypotheses, desires, fears, possibilities, uncertain situations, and doubts.
And we use it a LOT!
You’ll usually find it after the word che and after specific words.
There are four types of subjunctive in Italian:
- Congiuntivo presente (present subjunctive)
- Congiuntivo passato (past subjunctive)
- Congiuntivo imperfetto (imperfect subjunctive)
- Congiuntivo trapassato(past perfect subjunctive)
In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the following structure:
- nonostante + subjunctive
In this specific case, that is when it is followed by the subjunctive, nonostante could be translated in the following ways:
- In spite of the fact that
- Despite the fact that
- Even though
We basically use nonostante to express a contrast between two things. In fact, nonostante is a conjunction which means it’s used to connect two clauses or sentences.
More specifically, we use it to say that something happens even though something else could have prevented it but didn’t prevent it.
Let’s have a look at some examples:
Continuano a studiare nonostante siano stanchi.
They carry on studying despite the fact that they’re tired.
Nonostante fossi stanco, sono rimasto sveglio!
Even though I was tired, I stayed awake.
Nonostante + subjunctive
There are many words that need the subjunctive.
Nonostante is one of those.
As we already mentioned, we use nonostante to talk about something hypothetical.
So, since we use the subjunctive to talk about hypotheses, this word triggers the use of the subjunctive.
Just so you know, nonostante can be followed by any of the four subjunctives, depending on what you want to say.
Nonostante + subjunctive: examples
Let’s now have a look at more examples.
Pay attention to the type of subjunctive nonostante is followed by in each sentence:
Stasera non esco nonostante abbia voglia.
I’m not going out tonight even though I want to.
Non abbiamo mangiato niente nonostante avessimo fame.
We didn’t eat anything in spite of the fact that we were hungry.
Nonostante piovesse, non ho preso l’ombrello.
Even though it was raining, I didn’t get the umbrella.
Non ci sono riuscito nonostante ci abbia provato.
I didn’t make it despite the fact that I tried.
Non lo ha riconosciuto, nonostante lo avesse incontrato molte volte.
He didn’t recognize him even though he had met him many times.
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