Italian Present Subjunctive Tense

Congiuntivo in Italian

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Language is fluid, and its usage is constantly changing. A case in point is the subjunctive (il congiuntivo), which in English is rapidly becoming extinct. Phrases like "I suggest you go home immediately" and "Robert wishes that you open the window" are not frequently used anymore.

In Italian, though, the subjunctive tense is alive and flourishing, both in speaking and writing. Rather than stating facts, it expresses doubt, possibility, uncertainty, or personal feelings. It can also express emotion, desire, or suggestions.

Subjunctive Tense Phrases

Typical phrases that call for the subjunctive tense include:

Credo che... (I believe that...)
Suppongo che... (I suppose that...)
Immagino che... (I imagine that...)
È necessario che... (It is necessary that...)
Mi piace che... (I'd like that...)
Non vale la pena che... (It's not worth it that...)
Non suggerisco che... (I'm not suggesting that...)
Può darsi che... (It's possible that...)
Penso che... (I think that...)
Non sono certo che... (I'm not sure that...)
È probabile che... (It is probable that...)
Ho l'impressione che... (I have the impression that...)

Certain verbs such as suggerire (to suggest), sperare (to hope), desiderare (to wish), and insistere (to insist) require use of the subjunctive.

The table below provides examples of three regular Italian verbs (one of each class) conjugated in the present subjunctive tense.


io parli frema capisca
tu parli frema capisca
lui, lei, Lei parli frema capisca
noi parliamo fremiamo capiamo
voi parliate fremiate capiate
loro, Loro parlino fremano capiscano

Conjugating the Present Subjunctive Tense

The present subjunctive is the verb form of the Italian language in the phrase generally used to indicate secondary events seen as real or not objectives (Spero che voi siate sinceri) or not relevant.

This verb form is combined by adding to the root of the verb endings provided in Italian grammar in the three conjugations. Since the subjunctive must generally after the conjunction that, this is often repeated. As with the conjugation of the present tense, some verbs of the third conjugation - such verbs incoativi - involving the use of the suffix -isc-: che io finisca, che tu finisca, che egli finisca, che noi finiamo, che voi finiate, che essi finiscano.

Almost all irregular shapes can be, by way 'recipe, derived from the first person of the verb in the present tense:

I am of the indication vengo can be formed subjunctive - che io venga (che tu venga, che egli venga, che noi veniamo, che voi veniate, che essi vengano); dall'indicativo muoio può essere formato il congiuntivo che io muoia (che tu muoia eccetera); dall'indicativo faccio può essere formato congiuntivo che io faccia; similmente: che io dica, vada, esca, voglia, possa eccete.      

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Filippo, Michael San. "Italian Present Subjunctive Tense." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Filippo, Michael San. (2023, April 5). Italian Present Subjunctive Tense. Retrieved from Filippo, Michael San. "Italian Present Subjunctive Tense." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).