Actually, English uses the subjunctive in such clauses. It looks like the present indicative, but compare the alternate form "when I be able" that is clearly subjunctive. Nowadays we use "am" but the subjunctive sense is still there. I wonder why Italian doesn't use the congiuntivo. Any ideas?
this phrasing is very common! and "Verrò quando possa" is really bad Italian, I'll try to explain you why: It's all about "consecutio temporum" https://www.duolingo.com/translation/91000a67965312ed945d4f60255dfc34
*Why we say "verrò quando potrò":
if you use *quando to connect two verbs (not in the past), the verbs usually have the same mood (often the same tense too), except when the first verb is an imperative.
- contemporaneity: two action are done at same time (quando ho sonno dormo, quando avrò sonno dormirò, quando avevo sonno dormivo, etc.) in these cases the verbs have same tense and mood.
- will, prevision: I'm expressing what I'm doing or feeling now about somethig that will happend in the future (ora ti dico quando verrò a trovarti, già immagino quando ti sposerai, voglio viaggiare quando avrò denaro, etc.) in these cases you can change the tense but not the mood.
- imperative: I want to say when you have to do something (tu chiama quando sarà sera, avvertimi quando arriverà l'ospite, etc.) in these cases you change mood and tense because "imprative future" doesn't exist. But you can also use both present (chiamalo quando è sera, avvertimi quando arriva... etc.)
Why we CAN'T say *"verrò quando possa"*:
subjunctive is a mood that express something that isn't real, isn't sure. So if you use the indicative future in the first part (and verb wich express an action not a feeling or a thought), you're saying something sure, and the "condition" must be sure too.
Verrò (no doubt: I am coming) quando avrò finito (no doubt: sooner or later I will have finished).
Verrei (maybe, I'm not sure) se potessi (it's an hypothesis, so no indicative)
Non sono sicuro che io possa venire (I'm not sure, so I can't use indicative).
Pensavi che io potessi venire, invece non ho potuto (You thought something wrong, I was not really able to come. your conjecture goes in subjunctive, what really happened goes in indicative).
Fantastic reply. I'll take your word for it and adapt to consecutio temporum in Italian. Thanks for the link, too. One lingot, coming up! :-)
In Spanish (just for reference), the "when I can" part refers to a time that could be in a minute or in a year... we don't know when. That lack of certainty is what drives the use of the subjunctive. You'd never hear "vendré cuando podré" (indicative), only "vendré cuando pueda" (subjunctive).
Again, excellent, Stronzia. A problem for English speakers is similar to that of Spanish speakers. "When" (quando) does not always specify a time, but can be very similar to the Italian "se" (if). "I will do it (certainty) when Hell freezes over (the only 'certainty' is that I probably will never do it)." I think strict Italian would use "se" instead of "quando" and would use the subjunctive in the main clause as well. But this is a normal English phrasing, and if we try to translate literally we can produce really bad Italian. We need to understand our own language as well as the one we are learning. Grazie mille.
JeniferAird's comment from 5 months ago is apt. How can you learn about a verb, especially an irregular verb, if there's no explanation about how it's formed? In fact, Duolingo used to have a link that allowed you to access all the tenses learned up to that point--very useful and I wish they'd bring it back. Now, I've a bookmarked tab for the Italian Verbs Conjugator.
You misunderstand: I am not talking about the outdated second person familiar (although that is still very much used in parts of England). I am referring to the first person, both singular and plural, where the normal non-emphatic form should be "I shall" and "we shall". In the second and third persons, "shall" is the emphatic form, as in telling a reluctant child: "You shall do it!" But DL insists on the use of "will" for all persons, thus destroying this subtle but so useful distinction.
No, I do not think I misunderstand you. As a grammar school pupil in the 60s I was taught these rules, and the distinction you refer to between first and second/ third person usage (and its reverse for emphatic) WAS common. However, language grows and evolves.
To keep picking up on this point is like looking for the flaw in the Kohinnor diamond. DL is an amazing and (mostly) comprehensive FREE language tool with no adverts. There is facility to report errors and alternatives and it is evident that DL and their legion of helpers do take heed.