I could have had....

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Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 1:22 am

I could have had....

Post by tolinrome » Tue May 19, 2015 1:36 am

Hello all,
I've never been language person, but I've lived overseas and can understand Italian pretty well, and I can speak it to a decent degree, but I use bad grammar sometimes due to not being proficient in the language. I can get my point across always but need to do some work.

How would I say:

If I could have had someone to help me then I could have finished it.

My try: se avrei potuto avere qualcuno di aiutaremi poi avrei potuto farlo. Or I would even say, which I know is grammatically incorrect, but heavily used in Italy: se potevo avere qualcono aiutarmi, potevo farlo.

Is that correct? Thanks.Sorry for the bad spelling.

Also, I get confused on when to say or use the word "sia". I heard someone who was Italian say something like "non lo so chi sia" (I dont know who it is). I know this is probably wrong, but I would have said "non lo so chi e".

Any help?

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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I could have had....

Post by Geoff » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:32 am

Well, to begin with I wouldn't have the first could - "If I had had someone to help me, then I could have finished it." is what I would have said and this would be:

Se avessi avuto qualcuno di aiutarmi, poi avrei potuto farlo (or completarlo).

With the initial could:

Se avessi potuto avere qualcuno ...

In other words, with hypothetical situations you have to use the imperfect subjunctive in the "if" clause. With the verb avere this is avessi, avessi, avesse, avessimo, aveste, avessero depending on who is the subject of the sentence.

In conversation you can use the imperfect instead the way you suggest.

Sia is the first, second and third person singular present subjunctive of the verb essere. Corresponding first, second and third person plurals are siamo, siate and siano. Among other things, the subjunctive is used to express doubt but it is too massive an area to go into further here. I suggest you get yourself a good grammar book if you wish to explore further. You certainly can't speak "good" Italian without an understanding of the subjunctive (congiuntivo in Italian) and when to use it.

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