1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Era necessario che parlassi."

"Era necessario che parlassi."

Translation:It was necessary for me to speak.

February 26, 2015



How do we know it should be first person singular and not second ? There do not seem to be any indications about which it should be, or am I missing something obvious?


This is a case where you include the subject if it would be ambiguous. However if you don't, the default always seems to be "io" unless otherwise obvious.


Thank you for your help :-)


Ogni frase deve essere inserito in un contesto, nella frase precedente sicuramente c'è il soggetto (io oppure tu) e, di conseguenza, sappiamo chi sta parlando. Es: Mi stavo chiedendo (io): e se parlassi un po' di meno? Stai dicendo un sacco di fesserie (tu): e se parlassi un po' di meno? Nel caso non ci sia un soggetto chiaramente espresso e ci sia il rischio di ambiguità, io o tu vanno inseriti prima, o talvolta dopo, del congiuntivo. Ad esempio, un libro narra che, a teatro, uno spettatore disturba, il protagonista lo riprende e nasce un fastidioso battibecco. Leggiamo: e se parlassi un po' di meno? (può essere il protagonista del libro che lo sta pensando tra sé rivolto a se stesso, oppure lo sta dicendo al disturbatore). Nel primo caso diremo: e se IO parlassi un po' di meno? nel secondo: e se TU parlassi un po' di meno? al che, il disturbatore potrebbe rispondere. E se parlassi TU un po' di meno?

Spero sia chiaro.


Grazie mille ma, il mio problema è con quest'esercizio non abbiamo ogni informazione senza "era necessario che parlassi" ... in una situazione così (una situazione artificiale) deve assumere che sia "io" in assenza di altre informazioni?


It's absolutely impossible to know who the subject is. It may be I or you. But it's also absurd to find a clause without a context. Were I to find a piece of paper on which someone wrote: ...spoke to the Queen! Could you tell me who spoke? And in this case we have not only I and you as unknown subjects, but also he, she,we you and they.


Thank you .... that's what I thought but I wasn't sure if there might be some rule about what you could or should assume if you had no other information. At least I now know that it's not me being particularly dense. You have been a great help to me as usual my friend :-))


Ok, I wrote "It was necessary that you spoke." and got it right. However DL offered another translation "It was necessary that I speak." How can both be accepted for "Era necessario che parlassi." Those two translations have different objects: you spoke/ I speak!!!!!!!!!!!!


In the past subjunctive the two verb forms are all the same: che io parlassi, che tu parlassi. In the present subjunctive it's even worse, the singular forms are all the same. To be unambiguous in Italian you'd have to use the personal pronouns (which is something you always do in English but rarely in Italian).


For a language that is so nuanced in all its various verb forms, its carelessness with the identity of persons - first, third, possessive gender, etc. - is remarkable.


The problem is that the subjunctive is not used much in English as a distinct tense. Therefore, "It was necessary that you spoke" and "It was necessary that you speak" are both possible, though I'd favor the latter. [Native US English speaker]


I do not agree, the former version is superior as it expresses the subjunctive.


An important point of grammar: the two sentences have different subjects not different objects.

It's important because of the difference between nomination (subject) case and objective case in English (the only two cases in most English sentences and phrases):
Subject (Nominative case): He
Object (Objective case): Him
subj.: she
Obj.: her
Subj.: they
Obj.: them


I keep thinking that "i" ending in this Subjunctive Verbs section refer to "you". They seem also to refer to "me". I see others have noticed this too. The hover DOES indicate "I/you spoke" I think you'd have to put the "tu" in if you wanted to stress that "you" spoke.


also accepted was "it was necessary that you talked."

I just don't get it.


"Parlassi" is both the first and second person imperfect subjunctive form of "parlare," so "era necessario che parlassi" can mean both "it was necessary for ME to speak" and "it was necessary for YOU to speak."


Would someone saying this usually use a pronoun or would one have to know by context who has had to speak?


Why is parlasse not used?


That's a different subject, simply a choice Duo made. Duo chose a verb parlassi with two possible subjects: I/you. With parlasse, there are three possible subjects: He/She/Formal You (Lei). "It" is not a possible subject because inanimate objects don't speak (expect perhaps in poetry.)

The conjugation here is:
io parlassi
tu parlassi
lui/lei/Lei parlasse


Obviously context is everything here to differentiate "I speak" from "you speak."

IMPERFETTO che io palassi che tu palassi http://www.italian-verbs.com/italian-verbs/conjugation.php?parola=Palare+

To the point about English subjunctive, possibly a better translation using the subjunctive is something like "It was necessary that you would speak."

Past imperfect implies the action was not complete, and subjunctive weakens it even more. Maybe even though it was necessary, you did not speak.


Maybe I'm just old but I prefer the translation "It was necessary that I speak.". It has the virtue of being correct though, perhaps, archaic in English and I believe it is a literal translation from the Italian.


I translated it as: it was necessary i would talk It gave me the right version as: It was necessary for you to talk. In the forum it says that the correct version is: It was necessary for me to speak.


Too ambiguous! It could be Io or tu


"It was necessary for me to talk" was incorrect. I think both "speak" and "talk" should be accepted in this sentence.


Could the sentence not also be translated with "It was necessary that you speak"


Bonjour, Je ne comprend pas pourquoi on ajoute "for me", alors "che parlasssi" = Que tu parle


C'est ambigu: 'che parlassi' peut être 'que tu parles' mais aussi 'che je parle'


Even though this is the Subjunctive Imperfect tense, I assume that it is still about the presence of doubt in the given statement. There is no doubt in the above sentence. So I must assume that the tense is triggered by "che" regardless of its degree of definitiveness?

Also, I believe that the Italian sentence also mean "It was necessary for YOU to speak." It would make of itself a better learning tool if Duo listed ALL the correct translations.


era necessario che parlassi. Che parlassi chi? First and second person have the same ending. Do we need a crystal ball to guess who has to talk? Please DL don't try to trick people that is struggling to learn


Would a simple "It was necessary to talk" work here?


Why is it not accepted "It was necessary for YOU to speak"?


Could this also mean "it was necessary for you to speak" ?


Why me? Implied. Duh?


How do you know it was the first person?


Or it was necessary for you to speak.


More literal translation:"It was necessary that I spoke".


Not sure why it can't also be "it was necessary for you to speak"?


Could'nt "It Was necessary that I should speak" be accepted ?


Could also be - it was necessary that you spoke


It was important that I spoke. Wrong?


It was necessary that you spoke. Also marked correct.


Why in english is 'for me' added?


Could this sentence also be translated to: it was necessary for you to speak


it was necessary to talk?


I tried "It was necessary to speak" and was donged. But I cannot see that it is a bad translation.


You've missed the "for me" part (subject)


how can these phrases be two different times... sometimes its would sometimes its was???


In translating, you sometimes have to take a lot of liberty with the translation, in order for it to sound good in the language you're translating to. Context has a lot to do with it.

If this sentence were translated literally, it would go something like this: "It was necessary that I/you were speaking." That doesn't make that much sense in English, so you have to approximate it, give it it's best meaning closing to what the Italian means. Sometimes that means using "would", sometimes "was", sometimes "is", and sometimes something else.

However, becoming fluent in a language means learning to think in that language. You don't translate it in your mind as you hear or read it, you simply understand it, like you understand your native tongue. That only comes with experience and exposure and practice and study, hopefully some of it tutored by an expert. When you become fluent, you'll stop asking many of these questions, because it will make sense.

Which isn't to say you have to give up trying to figure out how it fits together in terms of your own language - it's just a word of encouragement that it will all get a lot more clear the more you work on it.


Neither :) it were.

In daily (some would say sloppy) English it is quite common to say "it was" instead of "it were".


Why is parlasse not


As for the English sentence, "for me" should not be necessary. Duo should accept, "It was necessary to speak."


"I needed to speak" Not accepted

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.