The English version "I would like that you came at nine" might make it a little apparant clear how "venissi" fits in here as the imperfect.?
This is some weird time loop of a sentence, even in English.
"I would like (present) that you (in the future) had come (past)." F....
Perhaps the nearest thing in English, also using the subjunctive, would be "I would like it if you were to come at nine". Note that the "were to come" is getting close to "venissi". Although the English does not exactly have the past continuous (imperfect) construction about it, it is still very close, and definitely not in the future or pluperfect.
Much better, I think.
I don't know if the problem is with the translation or the Italian original. Translation here calls for some greater latitude, I think.
Also, I don't think this kind of issue can be easily resolved, if there is indeed nothing wrong with the Italian. It just takes getting used to, perhaps.
I am surprised that "venissi" translates as "to come". Where is the imperfect in this translation?
A more literal translation would be "I'd like you to have come at nine", i.e. the speaker is referring to a point in time after the coming. Am i right?
in italian there's an overabundance of verb tenses, and sometimes the congiuntivo presente and congiuntivo imperfetto are used interchangeably. This practice is so widespread that is commonly accepted, but below you'll find the grammatically accurate explanation. (EDITED: grazie DaGot66)
Keep in mind that this is a special case translation for English, because the verb /to want/ calls for an infinitive!
Here are two phrases which hold the same meaning and are translated the same way. 1 uses the presente and 2 the imperfetto 1) Voglio che tu venga [qui] alle 9. (I'd like you to come [here] at 9: this expresses a desire for an action yet to happen). 2) Vorrei che tu venissi [qui] alle 9. (I'd like you to come at 9: this still expresses a desire for an action in the future, even if it uses the imperfect (the conditional "vorrei" calls for the congiuntivo imperfetto). How do you tell? Well because of "Vorrei", which is present tense. How would you wish for something that has already happened?)
Anyway, even when used correctly, the imperfetto stills translates to an infinitive English verb IN THIS CASE! While on the other hand Trapassato translate to a "past infinitive (?)". Consider this: 3) Imperfetto: Volevo che tu venissi qui alle nove. (I wanted you to come here at nine) 4) Trapassato: Avrei voluto che tu fossi venuto qui alle nove. (I would have liked you to have come here at nine)
Congiuntivo Passato does not apply to the special case of /to want to/, because you cannot want now for a thing in the past to have happened, it already did.
This instead is the how you normally translate a congiuntivo
presente - simple present (non credo che lo sappia = I don't believe she knows); or present continuous (penso che parta oggi = I think she's leaving today); or an infinitive in special cases like /to want to/ (see above)
imperfetto - simple past (non credo che lo sapesse= I don't believe she knew); or past continuous (pensava che partisse oggi = he thought she was leaving today); or an infinitive in special cases;
passato - present perfect (non credo lo abbia saputo = I don't believe she has heard) (but simple past may be acceptable too?)
trapassato - past perfect (non credevo lo avesse saputo = I didn't believe she had known); or past infinitive in special cases
"How can you wish for something that already happened?" We do it all the time in English, expressing a possibly different outcome: "I wish you had come at nine." "I wanted them to have known about the traffic before they started." Such expressions are usually expressing regret, or possibly nostalgia? But I have no idea what this would mean in Italian...
I think that this is referring to something that is going to happen in the future isn't it? The "vorrei" is present conditional tense (I would like) used when expressing what you would like to happen in the future. Perhaps the nearest thing in English to this sentence, also using the subjunctive, would be "I would like it if you were to come at nine". Here is a link to some Reverso context for this phrase all of which indicate a present wish for someone to do something in the future: http://context.reverso.net/traduction/italien-anglais/Vorrei+che+tu+venissi+alle+nove
right. "I wish you had come at nine." translates in italian to "avrei voluto che (tu) fossi venuto alle 9" or better "avrei voluto che fossi stato qui alle 9". So the action you perform "to wish" is also in the past, because that's what you wanted and have been wanting since. You used the past tense yourself in the example "I wanted them to have known about the traffic before they started.".
"Venissi" is a subjunctive imperfect: http://italian.about.com/library/verb/blverb_venire.htm
Not always. Especially after volere. There's an example here (see p. 34): http://books.google.com/books?id=MIH09T_1II0C&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=Italian+subjunctive+volere&source=bl&ots=nGpwzJdG5o&sig=QLGYdWAP0saWjJcoUVo3hzJafm4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gP_pUe7-Ae2l4AO6y4HADA&ved=0CGgQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Italian%20subjunctive%20volere&f=false
Thank you, it has taken me a while to grasp that the imperfect subjunctive following a conditional does not have to mean a past tense
Why would I use venissi here, instead of venga? What is the difference between "Vorrei che tu venga alle nove" and "Vorrei che tu venissi alle nove"?
If you have the conditional you have to use imperfect subjunctive. You can say "Voglio che tu venga alle nove", or "Vorrei che tu venissi alle nove"
"If you have the conditional you have to use imperfect subjunctive."
Everything I needed. Thanks.
I am beginning to think that in my dash to colour all the medals on my tree gold, this tense is a tense too far for me :(
What is the real world application of this phrase? I am really not sure about this.
Is it a polite way to ask someone to arrive at nine? Or is it more that someone arrived at eight and I want to express she/he had better come at nine?
There is no way to adjust in English for this:
(i would want/ that / you / came / at nine)
(Present tense hope,wish / that / past tense action).
I suspect it is pretty weird in Italian as well.... Oh, DUO.... How you make us suffer.
you could use it (mi piacerebbe che tu venissi alle 9), it's a synonym. In my opinion it sounds more like a polite request and less like an imperative request.
Nothing wrong with using 'I should' in this context, and yet it gets a dong. Madness.
I think you can only use the 'di plus infinitive' form of subjunctive when the person(s) in the main and dependant clause are the same. Here we have 'I' and 'You' so the that/ che form is required