Translation:Then I think that I started laughing.
I see sentences like this and despair that I may never get my head around this language. Where is 'started'? and where does 'put' even figure? I understand that some things just dont directly translate, but this is just bizarre to me. When were we told that sometimes, seemingly without any reason, the word 'put' would be used for 'started', instead of the words we've previously been taught, like cominciato, or iniziato? If anyone can explain this sentence to me I would be so grateful. Unfortunately It may seem like you are trying to explain nuclear fission to Lloyd Christmas ;)
The literal translation, "Then I think that I was put to laughing," is a perfectly okay English sentence, along with "Then I think that I was moved to laughter." Many of Duo's sentences are obviously quotes from something, and there's nothing wrong with a little literary flare, without which discourse would be rather dry. But, that's my opinion. Plenty of others object, "That's not what people say," and "That sentence doesn't make sense," when the simplest or most common English phrases are not accepted. I think that's all Duo was trying to do here.
" "Then I think that I was put to laughing," is a perfectly okay English sentence" I couldn't disagree more. If someone said that to me, I would immediately know that English was not their first language. "Moved to laughter" is definitely English, but "I was put to laughing"? No way!
And yet, this is fairly useless for efficiently establishing a workable command of the conversational language. Can I say, "Poi penso che io abbia cominciato a ridere?" Is it equally correct? Or Goggle Translator's choice, "Poi penso di aver iniziato a ridere?" Both make much more immediate sense and do not obfuscate the obvious to the learner who is not interested in being flowery, but would really just like to be able to conduct a conversation.
Is it really correct to be using the subjunctive when the main clause and the subordinate clause have the same subject ( in this case 'io')?
http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/using-the-subjunctive-in-italian/ (note towards the bottom of the page).
http://www.uky.edu/~allaire/SUBJUNC.htm (note #4).
Besides, Italian has 'more elegant solutions' to say this, such as 'poi penso di essermi messa a ridere'