"Volevano che io diventassi avvocato."

Translation:They wanted me to become a lawyer.

May 21, 2014


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Most English speakers never use the construction "they wanted that I become something," which is the natural way that Italians and other Latin-language speakers would render this. Rather, native English speakers always express as "they wanted me to become something." (Native English speakers who use the other construction, feel free to correct me.)

It Italian, you will often hear native English speakers say something like, "Loro vogliono me di fare qualcosa." This sometimes leaves the poor Italian listener with a confused look on his face. That's because that construction is how you say it in English -- but of course, it doesn't work in Italian.

May 5, 2015


A lingot for this!

May 13, 2015


yeah, it's like a million backs, even a little better))

December 23, 2015


I agree and am a native english speaker but the translation, "they wanted that I became something," should also be accepted as it is correct and any english person would clearly understand ie it is not wrong not just the best answer. My Italian teacher living in london agrees.

June 27, 2016


In American English, "an attorney" is synonymous with "a lawyer." It should be accepted as a variation.

February 26, 2015



March 8, 2016


There is much discussion here about what is correct English (or Italian) and what is appropriate English (or Italian.) Because of common usage, not all correct English is appropriate. And it often depends upon the particular verb in question. However, the construction "They wanted that I ... " is almost never used under any circumstance, oral or written. It is almost always "They wanted me to ...", with the entire infinitive (to be..., to become..., to take... to eat... .) The first construction is a tip-off that English is not the speaker's first language. "They know the lyrics but not the tune."

May 1, 2016


Great response!

May 1, 2016


After reading through all of the discussion points posted by 'sbeecroft' and "Raymond904" I feel compelled to put my 2 cents in for what they're worth given the obvious effort each has put into getting their points across and I have no doubt their sincerity and conviction. That all said, I must absolutely come down on the side of 'sbeecroft' whose explanations are clear, logical, absolutely correct and I'd add very patient. I won't dare rehash any of their arguments, but to say in response to "Raymond904's" contention that DuoLingo is, in this exercise involving the subjunctive at least, all about translating correctly the Italian subjunctive into English. He insists on maintaining the equivalent subjunctive construction in English because it's a translation after all. Well, in my mind learning a language is not about learning to translate word for word, construction for construction from one language to another, but rather rendering -- 'translating' if you will -- IDEAS from one language into another in a way that is natural to that language. Raymond's insistence on strictly adhering to the subjunctive here because the idea for him is to translate, will inevitably, as in this case, result in stilted, bookish, non-standard English. So, as sbeecroft has patiently sought to explain, it's not the subjunctive per se that's incorrect in English, it's its application HERE in this particular sentence that's wrong. Yes, wrong precisely because no one speaks like Raymond wants us to, except someone trying to learn English and having just been exposed to the subjunctive. OK, this may exceed my promise of $.02 but hey, why quibble over a few cents, so long as it all makes sense in the long run, right?

January 8, 2016


"They wanted me to become an attorney" counted wrong; reported 5 May 2015.

May 5, 2015


Still wrong in January 2016!

January 31, 2016


As of November 22, 2017, "attorney" is accepted, but it reccomends that we use "lawyer" instead.

November 22, 2017


Why not attorney? Isn't a lawyer an attorney?

March 18, 2015


Not so much in the U.S., but as I understand it, in England, attorneys, barristers and lawyers serve different functions. One handles civil cases and another criminal ones, which begs the question: What kind of work does an avvocato do in Italy?

August 28, 2016


Thanks for responding to my query. Agreed, which is an avvocato,? Should you find a reasonable explanation, would appreciate it if you shared ? Are legal advocates divided similarly in France? Knowledge teaches us how little we know. ;-)

September 3, 2016


do you have doubt in italian or in english?

May 22, 2014


in english. suppose: my parents wanted that i became a lawyer but i didn't , i became something else. DL didn't accept my solution...

May 22, 2014


ok, Moniek! I'm italian so english is not my native language. However I've never heard a kind of sentence like yours: it sounds weird to me! I mean, usually, after "want" I always find "TO". That's why "they wanted me to become..." seems me more natural. Anyway, if you WANT TO be sure...you should ask a native english speaker.Viceversa, if you need a help in italian: no problem, you can count on me. Ciao!

May 22, 2014


thanks a lot!

May 22, 2014


I think that in order to be correct, become should be in the present tense: "They wanted that I become a lawyer". But I am not a native English speaker so let's hear what others say.

October 25, 2014


giovaug is correct. 'want' has to be followed by an infinitive

November 30, 2014


I am a native UK English speaker. In sentences such as these, we would usually avoid using 'that'. I suspect this is because 'they want that' is most often used in the sense of 'they want that one'. We would say 'They wanted me to become a lawyer'.

April 17, 2015


This is probably correct subjunctive structure in English, but I don't know anyone who would say it that way - unless they wanted to impress you with their "sophistication."

June 17, 2015


Better: My parents wish(ed) that I had become a lawyer.

August 31, 2015


why is it not possible: They wanted that I became a lawyer

May 21, 2014


Native Eng speaker; become not became. "They wanted that I become a lawyer", in the beginning. "They were glad that I became a lawyer", after I achieved the designation.

February 27, 2015



Which of these is right?

  • They wanted that I took the train (became)
  • They wanted that I take the train (become)
  • They wanted that I taken the train. (become)
March 11, 2015


the first one; "They WANTED me to take the train" (past is indicated by "wanted"). This is more common usage.

the second one; we would more likely say "They WANT me to take the train" (now is implied).

third one correction; "They wanted that I HAD TAKEN the train". (became) In English we don't use 'taken' by itself in this context. And we probably wouldn't say this either; it is formal and out of use. We might say "They WISHED I had taken the train" (looking back at the situation). (past still indicated by "wished").

Does that help or did I miss the point?

March 11, 2015


It was a "point the right one". 1, 2 or 3.

You mean none?

March 12, 2015


No, Danmoller, you were right in your response: None of them are correct. The appropriate English construction is, "They wanted me to take the train." In English, that type of sentence takes the direct object (either noun or pronoun) + infinitive.

So, "I wanted Bob to give the money back, but Bob wanted me to shut up and quit whining about it." You would NOT say, "I wanted that Bob give etc."

May 5, 2015


what are you translating? The sentence above is about becoming a lawyer not catching a train.

1 and 2 are technically correct

  1. is incorrect English for "they wanted that I taken the train". It is "They wanted that I HAD taken the train". See above.
March 12, 2015


If you already went on the train then 1

If they told you but you did not go on the train yet then 2

April 1, 2015


Why is there no indefinite article in the Italian version here? Many thanks

December 3, 2014


Non capisco perché la traduzione giusta sia con "I become" che teoricamente è presente quindi in italiano dovrebbe essere "io diventi", mentre "io diventassi" è passato quindi "I became", c'è qualcuno che può spiegarmi come funziona questa frase? Io ho messo"I wanted that I became a lawyer" e me l'ha data sbagliata

March 16, 2015


In inglese, non si coniuga il verbo; si usa invece l'infinitivo: "They wanted me to become a lawyer."

May 5, 2015


I'm going to make a guess and say that if you want to say "They wanted that I became a lawyer" then you would have to say "Volevo che io avessi diventato avvocato."

They way I see it you don't use the past unless you specifically want to make it clear that it was in the past. Now I'm not italian, I'm just making my own observations. If there are any italians in this forum please correct or confirm this hypothesis

April 1, 2015


needs to accept attorney but it rejects it reported 7 21 2015

July 22, 2015


they wanted me to become an attorney got rejected 7 28 2015

July 28, 2015


what's wrong with 'wanted me to become an advocate'? I is there a different term for advocate in Italian?

February 12, 2016


The problem's undoubtedly with your choice of 'advocate'. In the US at least, advocates in a courtroom setting, aren't lawyers or attorneys -- the two terms that would be used -- rather they're volunteers who help represent children e.g., who are unable to represent themselves.

February 12, 2016


Why isn't it attorney? When I did my internship in Rome, we address the avv as Attorney not lawyer.

April 17, 2016


In english the two terms are synonymous and essentially interchangeable. That said, you'll usually see 'attorney' used in the name in a law firm, as in "Attorney at Law". But when asked for one's profession you'd hear both used: I'm an attorney/I'm a lawyer. In the US the term "advocate" refers to someone who doesn't necessarily have to be an attorney, as e.g. a 'children's advocate' who represents or acts on behalf of a child or adolescent in court proceedings.

April 17, 2016


I only have one question: why is my using "an attorney" considered incorrect? Are not "attorney" and "lawyer" the same thing?

May 20, 2016


Yes, they are. You should report it.

May 20, 2016


Are the words lawyer and attorney interchangeable in Italian as they are in English?

June 26, 2016


Procuratore (attorney) and avvocato (lawyer) can be synonymous, but I think they refer to somewhat different positions. The Italian legal system is not identical to the US (or UK) system, so they are probably related but distinct things.

June 27, 2016


"Volevano che io diventassi avvocato" - They wanted me to ^become a lawyer. ^= Past Participle

"Non sapevo che lei si sentisse così" - I didn't know that she ^felt that way. ^= Simple Past and Past Participle

"Pensavo che lei non credesse all'amore" - I thought that she didn't ^believe in love. ^ = Simple Present

"Lo vedevo già prima che lui arrivasse in Italia" - I was already seeing him before he ^got to Italy ^ = Simple Past

Dumb question: Is there a standard tense for Congiuntivo Imperfetto verb? If so, what is it? Thanks in advance! :)

May 11, 2017


Yes. The standard tense for the Italian congiuntivo imperfetto is the English imperfect subjunctive -- which in most cases is identical with the regular imperfect tense in English. But there are a couple of exceptions:

  • Volevano che io diventassi avvocato "They wanted me to become a lawyer" -- This is not a past participle. Rather, it is a special English construction using the infinitive. We don't say this the way the Latin languages say it (e.g. "Volevano che io diventassi avvocato"), with a structure of "[Main subject and verb] che [subject of the clause] [subjunctive-conjugated verb] etc. Instead, in English, we use the construction "[Subject and verb] [indirect object] for ["to" form of the infinitive] etc." We often shorten this by leaving out the "for". In this case, we just use the infinitive form of the verb ("to go", "to be", "to do", or in this example, "to become"). So the subjunctive is irrelevant.

  • English does not always take subjunctive in the same situations that Italian does. For example, "I hoped that he was going with her" does not take the subjunctive; "I hoped that he were going with her", using the subjunctive in that second verb, is just plain wrong. But in Italian, this is exactly the case: "Speravo che lui andasse con lei." You have to use the subjunctive in this case in Italian, but not in English.

December 15, 2017


Sometimes the accepted English response for the sub/imp in Italian is present tense, other times past tense. It's confusing.

December 14, 2017


Is it just me or does anyone else first read this as 'they wanted me to become an avocado'? :'D

June 11, 2018


Actually that what my own parents wanted me to be so i am a lawyer thanks to them

September 18, 2018


What subject is this? Past tense subjunctive? Could i get the conjugations please, i seem to keep slipping up on those!

August 9, 2019
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