Italian Language/use of: "come"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the subordinating conjunction -   “come” in the following sentence:
“Conosco come inizia una conversazione.”
I know how he starts a conversation.

Can you please tell me if I am correct to think that “come” is being used as a “modale”  subordinating conjunction meaning “how”  in the above sentence.

If “yes, will you also please tell me if “come” will always translate as either “as” or “how” when used as a "modale" subordinating conjunction.

I also have a question about the use of “come” as an adverb.  

Can you please tell me if “come” is classified as an adverb meaning “how” in the following sentence:
“Conosco come iniziare una conversazione.”
I know how to start a conversation.

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


Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the subordinating conjunction  “come” in the sentence “Conosco come egli inizia una conversazione” is being used as a subordinating conjunction meaning “how”.

See for example:”Mi raccontò come  era riuscito a ottenere il posto” (He told me how he had managed to get the job); “Ecco come sono andate le cose” (This is how things went ); “Tutto dipende da come tu consideri ciò” (It all depends on how you look at it ); “Ero inorridito nel sentire come sei stato trattato” (I was horrified to hear about how you had been treated); “Fammi sapere come  è andata” ( let me know how it went );  “Dimmi come posso aiutarti”, etc. where subordinating conjunction  “come” - meaning “how” /” in what way/manner”/” by what methods” - introduces an indirect  clause.

When however the conjunction “come” is used to introduce a comparative clause of manner, as in “Non  è ingenuo come sembra”( he isn’t as simple as he seems)  or “Tutto è andato come speravamo” ( everything went as we’d hoped), it corresponds to the English “as”.

As for the use of “come” in  “Conosco come iniziare una conversazione”(I know how to start a conversation), note that “come”  is not classified as an adverb, but as a subordinating conjunction meaning “in what manner”.

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.