What is congiuntivo trapassato in Italian?
In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the congiuntivo trapassato. We use this structure to talk about an event that happened before another event in the past.
In this case, il congiuntivo trapassato is usually preceded by constructions like the following:
- pensavo che (I thought that)
- credevo che (I believed that)
- speravo che(I hoped that)
- sapevo che (I knew that)
- sembrava che(it seemed that/it seemed like)
- and all their variants, among others.
Its structure is similar to the indicativo trapassato, which combines the verb essere or the verb avere and the past participle.
The only difference is that this time, the verbs essere and avere are in the imperfect subjunctive.
How to conjugate avere and essere in the imperfect subjunctive?
Let’s review the verbs essere and avere in the imperfect subjunctive:
|lui / lei||avesse|
|lui / lei||fosse|
Here’s a tip for you, in case you don’t remember this:
- Avere is followed by most verbs like comprare (to buy), mangiare (to eat), leggere (to read), etc.
- Essere is followed by the verb essere and stare, and by all verbs that deal with movement.
Don’t forget the past participles are those words that end in –ato, –uto, and –ito like mangiato,saputo, and dormito.
As we mentioned in other lessons, there are many past participles that are irregular. Let’s review some of them:
Another important thing to remember is that the past participle of the verbs that go with essere agree in number and gender with the subject.
Il congiuntivo trapassato: examples
Pensavo che loro fossero partite la scorsa settimana.
I thought they had left last week.
Credevo che voi aveste già finito i compiti.
I thought you had already finished your homework.
Non sapevamo che voi aveste comprato casa.
We didn’t know you had bought a house.
Avevo paura che tu avessi perso l’aereo.
I was scared you might have missed your flight.
Mi sembrava che non vi foste divertiti alla festa.
It seemed to me that you didn’t have fun at the party.
Pensavamo che tu fossi già stata in Francia.
We thought you had already been to France.
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