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  5. "Non potemmo rimanere."

"Non potemmo rimanere."

Translation:We could not stay.

June 13, 2015



Does this particular tense(historic past) only retain to things that are like centuries ago? Because I've seen a few sentences that are probably about things that happened recently, i.e. this one

October 10, 2016


It depends on where you are in Italy. The farther south you go, the more likely you are to hear them using this tense in speech to refer to recent events. But outside of those regions, this tense is only used in literature. In non-fiction, it generally refers to events from a very long time ago, but I believe it's a little more flexible in fiction.

The main thing is consistency. If a writer uses this tense for the simple past, then they will not mix in the present perfect to get the same meaning.

November 29, 2016


how did the conditional get into this? perhaps DL was thinking of "potremmo"

July 19, 2016


"Could" in English can either be past tense or conditional.

August 28, 2016


Nope it's the opposite! 'Potremmo' is conditional, 'potemmo' is passato remoto :)

January 23, 2018
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