Italian Language/present conditional

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the Italian present conditional of the verb “dire” in the following sentence:

Per favore, mi diresti se ho tradotto correttamente il dialogo seguente che succede tra Gabriella e Piero.
Would you please tell me if I have correctly translated the following dialogue that takes place between Gabriella and Piero.  

In this sentence I am trying to express the English modal verb “would” -  which I think is expressed in Italian by use of the Italian present conditional.  

I am thinking that saying   -    “mi diresti”   is used to express -  “would you tell me” .

I am also thinking that “mi diresti”  does not mean the same as “potresti dirmi” because “potresti dirmi”  (the present conditional of the Italian modal verb “potere”)   translates as “can you tell me” (not -  would you tell me”) as in the following sentence:

Per favore, potresti dirmi  se ho tradotto correttamente questo dialogo che si svolge   tra Gabriella e Piero?  
Can you please tell me if I have correctly translated the following dialogue that takes place between Gabriella and Piero.  

I am trying to learn and understand the difference between saying “would you”  and “can you” in Italian.

Therefore, would you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “would you tell me” is expressed in Italian as - “mi diresti” and that saying “can you tell me” is expressed in Italian as -  “potresti dirmi” .

I very much appreciate your help.  Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the Italian present conditional of the verb “dire” in “Per favore, mi diresti se ho tradotto correttamente il dialogo seguente che si svolge tra Gabriella e Piero?” translated as “Would you please tell me if I have correctly translated the following dialogue that takes place between Gabriella and Piero?” is just used to express -  “would you tell me....”.

In Italian however “mi diresti...” in the above mentioned context  is more or less the same as “potresti dirmi..”, though the English translation of "Potresti dirmi" would be “can you tell me” (not -  would you tell me”), as  you say.

Therefore, you are  correct in thinking that “would you tell me” is expressed in Italian as - “mi diresti” and that saying “can you tell me” is expressed in Italian as -  “potresti dirmi”,but I have to tell you that  we can use indifferently “Mi diresti” and “Potresti dirmi”  and thus say:” Per favore, mi diresti se ho tradotto correttamente il dialogo seguente che si svolge tra Gabriella e Piero?” as well as “Per favore, potresti dirmi  se ho tradotto correttamente il dialogo seguente che si svolge tra Gabriella e Piero?”, according to the speaker’s choice.

In short, the present conditional “Mi diresti” and “Potresti dirmi” can be used indifferently in Italian.

All the best,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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