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  5. "Credo che lei mi usasse."

"Credo che lei mi usasse."

Translation:I believe that she was using me.

February 6, 2014


Sorted by top post


"I believe that she was using me", the knife said .

May 13, 2015


In the other sentences the imperfect subjunctive translated into the present tense in English. Why not in this sentence?


Most of the other sentences that translate that way are conditional ..
'vorrei' che lei mi usasse = I 'would like' her to use me.


Because the wording of the Italian lends itself to the more accurate English past tense, although the translation still avoids English subjunctive. Most of the time, Duo is using extreme "artistic license" when translating the past-tense subjunctive imperfect into indicative present.

Perhaps that is because the more literal translation into English past subjunctive is too stuffy or non-colloquial (not everyday) for Duo's taste. Instead of trying to translate Italian past-tense subjunctive into English past-tense subjective, Duo uses present tense English indicative or past indicative progressive (as here) because that is the only way Duo can make it work to Duo's satisfaction.

If this sentence were actually translated into subjunctive, if would be: "I believe she were using me." There's a nuance to that phrasing which is missing from "was using".

"were using" signifies that the use/misuse is uncertain - the speaker doesn't know, nor can anyone else know, that she may have been using him. With "was using", the use/misuse is not uncertain, it is 100% certain. The only thing that's uncertain is what's in the mind of the speaker.

More clarification here requires more context, which is not present. The point, however, is that there is a very real difference in the two English translations, and the abandonment of English subjunctive disserves us all by eliminating one of those forms of statement.


So... why can't it be "I believe she uses me"? I still don't follow.


I found this whole section frustrating; one just has to memorize DL's "correct" English translations which are a bit random: sometimes they use the infinitive, sometimes the present subjunctive, sometimes the past continuous.....


Credo che lei mi usi-->she is still doing it Credo che lei mi usasse-->she is not doing it anymore


now she's dead


La storia della mia ex fidanzata


Why is the Imperfect Subjunctive used here, since the first part of the sentence (before "che") is in the Present tense the second part of the sentence should be either Present or Present Perfect Subjunctive.


It does not have to be that way. If "I" believe it now, then it is present tense. The second clause is in the past tense because "I" am not with her anymore.


The “tips and notes” of the Subjective Perfect section states the following:

“Occasionally you will see the imperfect subjunctive following a present tense verb to show an action occurring before the main verb”.

In this exercise: “I believe (now) that she was using me (in the past).”


I think the alternative correct solution DL offers is incorrect: "I believe that she was using me" is in fact the translation for " credo che lei mi stesse usando". Which is different from "credo che lei mi usasse", and different meanings. Although both sentences refer to the past, there's a continuity of action in the first. I reported it of course; just wanted serious learners to know.


Well..., the thing is that «usasse» is the imperfect tense in the subjunctive mood. As we know, there are plenty of ways to translate the imperfect, for example "was using," "used to use," "would use," or sometimes even simply "used."


Yes, you are right. I checked; actually, "stesse usando" is just a periphrasis of "usasse". So, grammatically different; but semantically, the same.


Workin' on our night moves; I used her, and she used me

Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet Band



Why was "Credi che lei mi usassi" not accepted?

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