In previous lessons, we’ve mentioned that the subjunctive is often used after the conjunction che (that). The congiuntivo (subjunctive) can be tricky for Italians, not only for non-native speakers, so it’s fitting that conjugating a verb in the subjunctive be used as a challenge in a quiz show such as the one featured this week on Yabla.
Allora, io dirò l'infinito, tu mi devi dire il congiuntivo presente. Mostrare. -Che io mostri.
So, I'll tell you the infinitive, you have to tell me the present subjunctive. To show. -That I show.Play Caption
The contestant has to conjugate a verb in the present subjunctive, first person. Note that when Italians conjugate the subjunctive mood, they add che (that), the person, and then the subjunctive conjugation. That way, the subjunctive is distinguished from the indicative.
In the above-mentioned episode, we have the infinitive and the first person present subjunctive of several verbs. Can you provide the present indicative of the verbs mentioned? You can look up a verb’s conjugation here.
Some people are adept at memorizing lists of verb conjugations. Others might prefer to learn verbs in the subjunctive on a need-to-know basis, one by one. You will discover that certain verbs are used more often than others in the subjunctive, verbs such as:
andare (to go) - che io vada (that I go)
È meglio che vada a letto presto stasera (I should really go to bed early tonight).
fare (to make, to do) - che io faccia (that I do)
Cosa vuoi che faccia (what do you want me to do)?
essere (to be) - che io sia (that I am)
Pensi che io sia stupida (do you think I'm stupid)?
stare (to stay, to be) - che io stia (that I am, that I remain)
Non pretendere che io stia zitta (don't expect me to be quiet).
venire (to come) - che io venga (that I come)
È fondamentale che io venga alla riunione (is it necessary for me to come to the meeting)?
These are the verbs to learn early on. What verbs would you like to add to this list?
After practicing the first person subjunctive, move on to the other persons, one by one, and get the hang of them. In many cases, the third person is the same as the first person in the subjunctive. Using them in sentences will help you remember them.
To brush up or learn about the subjunctive, see Daniela’s lessons about the subjunctive here.