The Italian subjunctive
We use the Italian verb form congiuntivo, the subjunctive, to talk about hopes, hypotheses, desires, fears, possibilities, uncertain situations, and doubts.
And you will find it a lot in Italian after the word che and after other 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)
But in today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the following structure: nonostante + subjunctive.
What is the meaning of nonostante?
When nonostante is followed by the subjunctive, it could be translated in the following ways:
- In spite of the fact that
- Despite the fact that
- Even though
We use nonostante to express a contrast between two things because 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 it didn’t.
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.
How to use nonostante + subjunctive?
As we already mentioned, we use nonostante to talk about something hypothetical. And 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 have a look at some more examples.
Pay attention to the type of subjunctive nonostante is followed 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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