Italian Language/modal phrases

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please help me to understand why - “tu hai voluto” in “Lei ha fatto come tu hai voluto” (She did as you wanted) ;  and “mi hai consigliato di fare” in   “Mi sono comportato come mi hai consigliato di fare”  (I acted as you suggested I do) are considered to be modal phrases.

I am confused because neither “tu hai voluto” nor “mi hai consigliato di fare” are in the subjunctive mood.  

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the phrase “tu hai voluto” in  “Lei ha fatto come tu hai voluto” (She did as you wanted) and “mi hai consigliato di fare”  in  “Mi sono comportato come mi hai consigliato di fare” (I acted as you suggested I do) are considered to be modal phrases (“proposizioni modali”, in Italian) that are introduced by the conjunction “come” which  does not require the subjunctive mood when it is used as a modal conjunction as well as a time conjunction.

See for example:
-”Come mi scorse, mi sorrise”( as soon as he saw me, he smiled at me).[Time conjunction]
-“Come arrivai, la salutai” (As I arrived, I said hallo to her).[Time conjunction]
-“Come tutti sanno, tu sei un mio amico” (As everyone knows, you are  a friend of mine).[Modal conjunction]

The conjunction “come” is used with the subjunctive mood only in the following cases:

1-when it introduces a declarative sentence depending on a main clause, as in “Tutti sanno  come la Luna sia un satellite della Terra” (Everyone knows that the Moon is a satellite of the Earth ); “Mi domando come tu abbia fatto”  ( I’m wondering how you did it);  “Avevo dimenticato come fosse difficile ritrovare la casa al buio”(I had  forgotten  how  difficult it was to find the house in the dark), where "...come la Luna sia...","...come tu abbia fatto..", "...come fosse difficile.." depend on  “Tutti sanno..", “Mi domando.." and "Avevo dimenticato..." respectively.

2-when it is followed by “se” and introduces a Conditional Clause of Comparison as in “Continuava a parlare, come se non sentisse quello che gli dicevo” (he went on talking, as if (o as though) he hadn't heard what I said),  “Aspirava a delle cariche pubbliche, come se fosse facile ottenerle” ( He sought offices just as if it were easy...), etc.

To conclude, in “Lei ha fatto come tu hai voluto” (She did as you wanted) and  “Mi sono comportato come mi hai consigliato di fare” the word “come” used as a modal conjunction does not require the subjunctive mood.

Best regards,
Maria

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.