"Then I think that I started laughing."
Translation:Poi penso che io mi sia messa a ridere.
Oh man, this sentence is so messed up. It's really annoying.
"Penso che ho iniziato a ridere" is uneducated Italian, you may here it quite often, but it should be "penso che (io) abbia iniziato a ridere". All the same, no one really says the latter, which also sounds terrible, because the subject of the main clause is the same as the subordinate clause.
In a word, "Penso [di aver iniziato a ridere//di essermi messo/a a ridere]" is the most common and thus correct solution - but it's marked as wrong. Hope they solve it! (14/07/2014)
that isn't a rule. if the main verb is not realized in the subordinate clause (uncertainty) subjunctive is used regardless of either clauses subject. if certain conjunctions like 'a meno che', a condizione che', a patto che', et al., are used the subjunctive is used. again even when both clauses have the same subject. there are many more situations for using the subjunctive.
also, grammar has no rules, just guidelines. if there were rules our greatest authors would not have been able to write their masterpieces (and our worst authors too). we would still be speaking the same language our earliest ancestors grunted while they hid in caves from saber-toothed critters.
“Penso che ho iniziato a ridere,” is uneducated Italian…
Then Cesare Pavese must have been uneducated too:
Credo che mi annoiavo e anelavo il momento che la giornata riprendesse.
I think I was bored and longing for the moment when the day would begin again.
—Cesare Pavese, Storia segreta, in Racconti, Turin, Einaudi, 1960, p. 485
Credo che ho doesn’t means the same thing as credo di aver anyway. It corresponds more closely to probably.
Maybe before disparaging people who don’t talk like you as uneducated, you should educate yourself about Italian grammar.
One thing that bothers me about the about the correct answer and all the discussion of the native Italian speakers on this page is the use of the verb "mettere" (to put). I'd be interested to know from native speakers whether this is some idiomatic usage meaning "to start"? If so, does it only apply to certain types of things like laughing, crying etc, or is it because we are using "to start" in the subjunctive? Why not "iniziare" or "cominciare"? Would they be acceptable, wrong or just clumsy?
Not a native speaker but see Collins entry for the verb 'mettersi': https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/italian-english/mettersi
English also distinguishes between initiate and commence. One should hope the distinctions are rather similar, as, apparently, they have common origins. In English 'commence' is action intrinsic to a subject, i.e. 'the work commences on Monday'. For a person, the meaning of commence is more commonly conveyed with begin, i.e. 'I begin laughing every time I hear this story'. On the other hand, initiate appears to associate with an extrinsic action, e.g. 'by pressing the button they initiate the procedure', etc. Finally, there is also 'start', which covers both meanings.
While, semantically, I feel cominciare should convey the meaning of 'started laughing' or 'began laughing', my answer 'allora penso che abbia iniziato a ridere' was accepted! Go figure.
DL gives as a correct solution 'Poi penso che io inizia a ridere.' However, I do not understand 'inizia'. What form of iniziare is 'inizia'? See http://www.wordreference.com/conj/ITverbs.aspx?v=inizia
Italian is my mother tongue, so I think the correct alternatives should be 1. Poi penso di aver iniziato a ridere» or «Poi penso di essermi messa a ridere» (these are the most commonly used forms). 2. Poi penso che mi sia messa a ridere (less common, but still used). 3. Poi penso che io abbia iniziato a ridere (even less common, but still valid).
I am a non native and just asking: Does the clitic have to go before the essere as in "Poi, penso di mi essere messo a ridere" or "Poi, penso di mi sia messo a ridere" or can it go after in the case of "Poi, penso di essermi messo a ridere"? (I read in "A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian" that in certain cases with avere the clitic can be attached at the end of the infinitive but with essere it should be placed before the conjugated verb which happens to be the infinitive in this case).
The "mi" is there to make the verb reflexive; I believe that the sentence actually calls for the verb mettersi : "To put oneself".
It's very idiomatic as an expression, which is why there are so many complaints about it here. But the reason for 'io' and 'mi' does make sense, at least.