Qualunque, chiunque, ovunque + subjunctive: Italian grammar lesson 223

Summary

Dive into the world of the Italian subjunctive mood, or congiuntivo, and master expressing uncertainty with words like qualunque, chiunque, and ovunque. This guide will have you weaving complex emotions into your Italian conversations with ease! 🇮🇹✨

  • Subjunctive Basics: Get to grips with the congiuntivo to express desires, doubts, and possibilities. It’s a must-know for sounding like a native Italian speaker. 🌟
  • Trigger Words: Words ending in -unque signal it’s subjunctive time! They add a layer of uncertainty, so make sure to follow them up with the right congiuntivo form. 🚦
  • Qualunque/Qualsiasi: Use these interchangeable words to mean ‘whichever’ and remember they demand a subjunctive verb to complete the thought. 🔄
  • Ovunque: ‘Wherever’ you go in Italian, ovunque will take you there, hand-in-hand with the subjunctive to express all the places you might end up. 🌍
  • Chiunque: ‘Whoever’ it may concern, chiunque is your go-to for talking about people in hypothetical situations. Just add subjunctive! 👥
  • Completing Sentences: Don’t leave your listeners hanging! Pair qualunque, chiunque, and ovunque with a clause to finish your thought. It’s like Italian suspense… but resolved. 😉

My thoughts

The Italian subjunctive

If you’re here, it means you probably already heard about congiuntivo (the subjunctive).

If you haven’t, here’s a quick explanation of what it is: the subjunctive is a verbal mood or a verb category, like the indicative.

We usually use the subjunctive to talk about hopes, hypotheses, desiresfearspossibilities, and doubts.

We use the subjunctive a lot in Italian. You’ll usually find it after the word che and after certain words.

There are four types of subjunctive in Italian:

In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on three words that need the subjunctive:

  • qualunque
  • chiunque
  • ovunque

What are the words that need the subjunctive in Italian?

Many words need the subjunctive such as sembra che, in caso, non sapevo che, nonostante, magari, and prima che.

In this post, we’re going to focus on those words that end in –unque:

  • Qualunque o qualsiasi: whichever
  • Ovunque: wherever
  • Chiunque: whoever

The –unque denotes generality or a degree of uncertainty. Since we use the subjunctive to express uncertainty, these words trigger the use of the subjunctive.

Just so you know, these words can be followed by any of the four subjunctives, depending on what you want to say.

Additionally, a sentence containing one of these words and the subjunctive needs to be complemented with another sentence. It’s the same in English: you can’t just say wherever you go and that’s it.

You need to complete your sentence, like in the example below:

Vi seguirò ovunque voi andiate.

I’ll follow you wherever you go.

You can check out our blog post about other meanings of these words and how they’re formed.

How to form qualunque + subjunctive?

Qualunque and qualsiasi are synonyms so they’re interchangeable.

They both mean whichever. It’s easy to remember this since you can split the words in two: quale (meaning which) + unque or siasi (meaning ever).

These words can be used as adjectives or words for describing other words:

Qualunque vestito tu scelga ti starà bene.

Whichever dress you choose will look good on you.

Qualsiasi cosa tu dicessi, non le andrebbe bene.

Whichever thing you said wouldn’t be fine for her.

Qualunque cosa io avessi fatto non sarebbe stato abbastanza.

Whichever thing I did wouldn’t have been enough.

How to form ovunque + subjunctive?

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Ovunque means wherever. It’s a shortened version of dovunque formed by dove (meaning where) + unque (meaning ever) and it’s really common.

Here are some examples:

Saremo con te ovunque tu vada.

We’ll be with you wherever you go.

Verrei a trovarti ovunque tu fossi.

I’d come to see you wherever you were.

How to form chiunque + subjunctive?

Chiunque means whoever. It’s easy to remember because it’s made up of chi (meaning who) + –unque (meaning ever).

Here are some examples:

Chiunque dica che non è vero mente!

Whoever says it’s not true is lying.

Chiunque avesse voluto dire qualcosa avrebbe potuto farlo.

Whoever wanted to say something could have done so.

What is the meaning of "qualunque", "chiunque", and "ovunque"?

Whichever, wherever, and whoever.

How to form "qualunque", "qualsisasi", "chiunque", "ovunque" + subjunctive?

Since -unque denotes generality or a degree of uncertainty, it's possible to follow all this words by any of the four subjunctives (present, past, future and imperfect) depending on what you want to say. Additionally, a sentence containing one of these words and the subjunctive needs to be complemented with another sentence.

Italian word of the day
passeggiata
Example
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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