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  1. Patricia
    July 1, 2020 @ 6:40 am

    Hello! Can you give some reasons and examples of why one would use the imperfetto or the passato prossimo for modal verbs?


    • Serena
      July 1, 2020 @ 1:18 pm

      Ciao Patricia – I was planning to write about this interesting point this week – I am glad you anticipated me. Let me give you a couple of examples…

      + Ieri dovevo fare una chiamata…(maybe I made a phone call, maybe not)
      + Ieri ho dovuto fare una chiamata …(I made a phone call)

      The imperfect tense with modal verbs tells us we don’t know whether the actual action happened or not.
      The passato prossimo tells us the action did happen.


  2. Patricia
    July 2, 2020 @ 6:06 am

    Ciao Serena, Grazie! Questa spiegazione è molto utile. Non vedo l’ora per la tua nuova posting!


  3. Brian
    August 30, 2020 @ 11:19 pm

    I understand “non siamo potuti venire” but how is “ non potremmo venire” used ?


    • Serena
      September 8, 2020 @ 8:39 pm

      non potremmo venire = we wouldn’t be able to come
      potremmo (simple conditional of “potere”)

      Happy to help!


  4. Varda Petel
    December 4, 2020 @ 6:02 pm

    The explanation is very good. It helps a lot. I would be grateful if you explain in few sentences the modals with Gerundio. For Example: Vedendo quel film, mi sono messa a piangere:
    My question: Why this verb (vedendo) indicates Modal?


  5. Jeff Lamb
    January 11, 2021 @ 11:06 am

    From your above explanation, you say:-

    Sono voluta uscire – I wanted to leave
    If you wanted to say – voglio mangiare – in the past, the result would be:

    Ho dovuto mangiare – I wanted to eat

    Why is ‘ho dovuto mangiare’ = I wanted to eat
    why is not ‘I need/must eat’?


  6. Steve Austin
    March 13, 2023 @ 3:24 pm

    Well done! This topic is much clearer to me after reading this. If your other posts are this helpful, you’ve gained a new follower! (And maybe in a couple of months I’ll be able to write this response in Italian.) 🙂


    • Serena
      March 13, 2023 @ 5:27 pm

      Grazie! Se segui (un po’) i miei consigli, sono sicura che comincerai a scrivere in italiano presto.


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