41. What A Nice Dinner! (Intermediate)

  Level: Intermediate

One of Italian people’s favorite ways to relax and unwind after a long day at work is to have dinner with friends. Jane invited Massimo over for dinner the other night: she cooked a great meal and made first-class tiramisu for dessert. He brought some excellent Pinot Grigio, and they had a great time. Let’s talk about food, wine, and having a good time, all while learning about conditional sentences, and some other useful expressions. Enjoy!

Intermediate Level – Lesson Nr. 41

6 Responses to "41. What A Nice Dinner! (Intermediate)"

DaveG Says:

Am I correct saying that the rule for forming the present conditional is to drop the final -e in its infinitive form, then add an appropriate ending? Ex: credere becomes crederei (creder + ei)

LearnItalianPod.com Says:

DaveG, you are correct. The only change occurs with -are verbs, which change the “a” of the infinitive ending to “e”. Example: mangiare (infinitive is mangi + are) becomes mangerei (mang-e-r-ei). By the way, here are the present conditional endings: -ei, -esti, -ebbe, -emmo, -este, -ebbero.

Carlo Says:

Adding to that last comment the conditional endings is it..
Io -ei,
tu -esti,
lui/lei -ebbe,
noi -emmo,
voi -este,
loro -ebbero?
If so, I’m a little confused, wouldn’t “sarebbe” mean “lui/lei would like”, instead of “you would like” as you gave in the dialogue?

LearnItalianPod.com Says:

The idiomatic translation of “Sapevo che ti sarebbe piaciuto” is “I knew you would have liked it”. As you can easily see, the object of the Italian sentence is “il vino”, while the object of the English sentence becomes “you – Jane”.

The sentence can be broken down as “sapevo che il vino sarebbe piaciuto a te”. If we try to translate this sentence in English, the result is terrible: “I knew the wine would have been liked by you” – not really a good choice.

That’s why we have to use the idiomatic translation. This is one of those cases where is necessary to try to think in Italian.

marvin Says:


Regarding the sentence above (Sapevo che ti sarebbe piaciuto.)…another literal translation could be …’I knew it would be pleasing to you’…

Rita Says:

I agree with marvin – that’s actually a useful translation in order to explain the meaning of the Italian expression in English.

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