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Italian Language/use of passato prossimo after "sperare"

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if I was correct to have used the passato prossimo – “non sono stato” after the verb “spero” in the following sentence:

Spero che non sono stato un problema.
I hope that I was not a problem.

I just want to make sure that I was correct not to have used the subjunctive in the dependent clause.

Thank you,  

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the best translation for the English sentence “I hope that I was not a problem” would be “Spero di non essere stato un problema”, whereas “Spero che non sono stato un problema” is a literal translation which sounds not so good in Italian.

In Italian, in fact,  the verb “sperare”, when the subject of the main clause  “Spero” and the subject of the subordinate clause “di non essere stato” is the same,  is usually followed by a “preposizione oggettiva implicita” with the infinitive mood as in “Spero di non essere stato..” instead of a “preposizione oggettiva esplicita” as in “Spero che non sono stato…” whit the conjunction “che” + the indicative mood.

See for example:”Spero di vederti presto”, “Sperava di poter partire per un lungo viaggio”, “Ho sperato di incontrarti per poterti salutare”, etc.

When however  the subject of the main clause  “Spero” and the subject of the subordinate clause is not  the same, we use the conjunction “che” + the indicative or subjunctive  mood.

See for example:”Spero che tu venga”, “Speravo che il mio amico venisse a trovarmi”, “Sperň a lungo che la loro amicizia potesse rivivere”, etc.

To conclude,  the passato prossimo “non sono stato” after the verb “spero” in the sentence “Spero che non sono stato un problema” is grammatically correct, but it is not in good Italian, as I've said above.

Best regards,

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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