Gerundio is used often in dependent clauses where it has specific functions.
Temporal clause: "Camminando, pensavo a Giovanni (While I was walking I thought about John)". Here "camminando" can also be written "mentre camminavo" or "mentre stavo camminando".
Hypothetical clause: "Volendo, possiamo andare insieme (if we want we can go together)".
Causal clause: "Partendo domani ti ho comprato un regalo (as I am leaving tomorrow I have bought you a present". here "partendo" can be written "poiche' parto" or "dal momento che parto" or "siccome parto".
Concessive clause: "Pur studiando ogni giorno, non riesco ad imparare l'italiano (even if I study every day I can't learn italian)". Here "pur studiando can be written "anche se studio" or "sebbene studi" or benche' studi".
modal clause: "Ho raggiunto il faro camminando lungo la riva (I reached the lighthouse by walking along the shore)".
Very useful summary! One question regarding the sentence at hand. How do we know if the gerund refers to "if we want" or "if you want", referring to the communication partner? Thanks.
I believe the gerund refers to the subject of the conjugated verb, in the above example, 'we'.
No, Germanlehrerlsu is correct. The subject of the participle and the subject of the main clause are the same. To be sure, whether in this case we say 'if you want' or 'if we want' makes little difference to the meaning, but in other cases it might. So stick with 'if we want''.
You ask why the subjects "have to be" the same. The answer is that that is how Italian speakers use this construction.
Could it have been otherwise? Could it be otherwise in some parallel universe that we do not have access to? Perhaps.
But the reason the "rule" is what it is is that native speakers of Italian (or at least the majority of educated ones) use the construction in the way the "rule" describes.
Not at all, Teresinha. My point is about "rules" in a language. Some are more logical than others, but in the end they all come down to what most native speakers say most of the time.
Teresinha: see my -- and other -- comments above. When using a gerund, its subject is the same as that of the following clause. If there were a diffentent subject in the introductory clause, then a conjugated verb form would be used. So if you meant, "If YOU want, WE..." then you'd see Se vuoi, possiamo.. I believe that's correct and leave it for others more knowledgeable to confirm or correct.
I am currently in Italy and I have asked an Italian friend who is a language teacher about our problem. She said that volendo can be used with you, we, and even they (sentence different). It seems the best explanation is provided by pmm122 by translating volendo into willing. Even though it would be ackward in english it still conveys the meaning most clearly and lets us understand what is being said. Never mind the correct English translation, the object is to understand italian unless we all want to be professional interpreters. Haggling about the correct English translation is counterproductive and will not help us learn Italian. Volendo=willing is the best explanation. It would be great if some native Italians would comment on our difficulties in understanding Italian and guide us.
"Se vogliamo, possiamo andare insieme" is okay. The second part of the question is not clear to me.
"If you would like we can go together." is not accepted. Volendo can mean either "want" or "would like".
Duolingo really needs to loosen up with these kinds of things. It makes it very frustrating.
'Volere' is 'to want'. 'To like' is 'piacere'. 'Would like' is (i.a.) piacerebbe, conditional of piacere.
volendo is willing as in pmm123 example of God willing. if we want is se vogliamo and does not fit with volendo
Would "Se vogliamo" work in place of "volendo"? And is the gerund able to be used to mean "if we want to" in Italian?
When it is the first word in the sentence it can indeed add 'if' to the verb, I understand.
why does Duolingo not allow volere to be translated as "wish", as opposed to "want"? That's a natural way of saying it in English.
What's wrong with "If you are willing, we can go together"? This version includes a passing recognition of the gerund, but DL didn't accept it.
I think it has been rejected because it requires "we" as the subject of the gerund. The general rule is that the subject performing the action that is described in the gerund must be the same as that of the main clause. There are exceptions but in these cases the different subject is clearly stated or implied, which is not the case here.
tonidapillipi: I agree with roman2095. In the absence of a subject (and dependent clause), it has to be assumed that the subject implicit in the gerund construction is the same as in the main clause.
I think that is a reasonable, if non-literal, translation as the speaker would not be suggesting it if he/she were not in favour of it. So, even though Italian grammar rules apparently say that the condition implied by the gerundio is that "we" must both want to go, it effectively just leaves the implied condition of the second person also wanting to go.
Apart from the change in word order, volere means "to want" rather than "to like". So even though an English speaker might use "like" in this context this is not an accurate translation of volendo and so I presume that it has not been included in the list of accepted translations for that reason.
To me the most usual is gerund as in -ing participle, to make a continuous tense in English. Quite important the other cases though. But i am wondering if it is just a convenient way to say the same more analytical in these cases. For us, the learners from a different language background this way is easier. Gerund is not the same in all languages that already use it. In my native language is used with an adverbial use mostly, temporal use, in English is a noun actually.
I have met just only a few sentences like this one.
A couple of times, I've used "andarci" for this (because a place isn't specified, and the verb 'andare' feels like it needs some sort of location). Duolingo doesn't accept it, but I'd love to find out what a native speaker thinks. Wrong? Right? Sounds fine but means something different? Grazie in anticipo.