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  5. "Then I think that I started …

"Then I think that I started laughing."

Translation:Poi penso che io mi sia messa a ridere.

May 24, 2013



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)


Well said. One of the first rules I was taught regarding the subjunctive was that it is not used if the subject in both clauses is the same.


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.


"Poi penso di aver cominciato a ridere" is accepted as at May 2020.


And so is "Poi penso di aver iniziato a ridere". But (unless I mistyped it) the same thing with avere instead of aver is not.


marked wrong September 2020


“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.


I don't know about the authority of Mr Pavese on grammar, but cannot help my bewilderment at the poetical impression from someone's boredom while waiting for another morning.


I think that, if DL is going to include idiomatic phrases, then the hints on hover should, at the very least, give correct clues.


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


I never heard of this. Where does "mi sia messa" fit in here?


It's the congiuntivo passato of mettersi, applied to the set phrase mettersi a piangere/ridere, to start to cry/laugh. See part 3a of the Collins tab at WordReference: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/mettersi.


It just bothers me that every other sentence in this lesson uses the perfect subjunctive and all of a sudden they don't accept "che io abbia comminciato a ridere"


Italian distinguishes between iniziare and cominciare. I've run into the same problem in other sentences.


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.


Kind of like argomento = discussion, and discutere = to argue. Go figure. Language calisthenics.


The first solution is in the passato prossimo, not the subjunctive at all, as it should be. The second solution is in the feminine, 'mi sia messa' -the masculine should be accepted.


I agree...the same subject (in this case I) in both the independrnt and dependent clauses requires use of "penso di aver cominciato a ridere.".! 6/26/14


Normally we say "di essermi messo a ridere". More simple.


When using essere as the auxiliary verb does the mi 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 follow it as in "Poi, penso di essermi messo a ridere"?


Why wouldn't 'Poi penso di aver cominciato a ridere' work?


Because they are asking for conditional in the second clause.


"Poi penso di aver iniziato a ridere" was accepted 26/03/20


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


It was written 'iniziai' which is remoto.


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).


Delightful! Thank you! "mi sia messa a ridere" = I have put myself to laugh = I started to laugh

il capitolo ci chiede il condizionale.


Glad to have short, easy explanation. Grazie mille!


Interesting on the one hand, but horribly frustrating on the other that there are four ways to say the same exact thing, and the fourth, which is the least used, appears to be the closest to a direct translation of the English sentence...


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).


What a weird sentence...


why not! allora penso che abbia cominciato a ridere?


Why both 'io' and 'mi'? Don't they both refer to the person speaking?


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.


When the subject of the main sentence and the dependent sentence is the same, the infinitive is used instead of the subjunctive. (Paola Nanni-Tate) Could anybody pls tell me if in this sentence the subject on the main clause is different from the dependent clause?


"Then I think that I started laughing"

The subject of a sentence is whatever is "doing" the verb.

The main clause here is "Then I think", so the subject is "I".

The dependent clause here is "I started laughing", so the subject is "I".


DL really needs a section for idioms.


Duo is going to teach lots of people how to the subjunctive INCORRECTLY. The main clause and dependent clause subject is the same. Therefore, the infinitive is used.


" Poi penso che io abbia iniziato a ridere" , is correct and should be accepted.


I wrote the wrong answer which I found to be acceptable but disappointing.

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