I need to translate this sentence to Italian

The year 1300 was to see an increased sale in coffee.

I did some research (I am not an expert). The tense seems to be future perfect, and the Italian equivalent would be 'futuro anteriore'. But I still cannot figure out what that would look like, especially the 'was to see'.

My attempt

L'anno 1300 era da vedere un sostanziale aumento di vendite di caffè.

  • The English sentence does not make any sense to me. May 22, 2020 at 9:38
  • 1
    It is a sentence written on the past (1300) and on the immediate future of that point in time.
    – DottoreM
    May 22, 2020 at 9:43
  • You need to convert your sentence to proper English first :) "was to see" is colloquial; the 'proper' version is "The year 1300 would see an increased sale in coffee". With that, the answer you've got should be perfectly clear :)
    – postmortes
    May 22, 2020 at 19:36
  • Out of curiosity, why did you add "sostanziale" to your translation? The original sentence is about a generic increase, not a substantial one. May 22, 2020 at 20:44
  • @Postmortes, indeed but the orginal text is not very well written
    – DottoreM
    May 23, 2020 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


The futuro anteriore (in a first approximation) denotes an event that is going to happen earlier than another future one (for which the futuro (semplice) is used). The futuro anteriore is constructed with the future of an auxiliary verb (essere or avere) and the past participle of the verb we need. For instance:

Quando tutto sarà finito, andremo in vacanza.

(Compare, for instance, with: “Domani finirà tutto. Dopodomani andremo in vacanza”, with two uses of futuro semplice.)

But what you need in your example is not this, a “past in the future”, but rather a “future in the past”, and this is expressed in Italian with the passato tense of the condizionale mood. Hence, a sentence like yours can be expressed as:

L'anno 1300 avrebbe visto un sostanziale aumento nelle vendite del caffè.

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