Do we say

"non potrò votare domani perché sono ammalata"


"non riuscirò a votare domani perché sono ammalata"?

These two verbs often confuse me as to their usage. When do we use each?

3 Answers 3


Both can be used:

«non potrò votare domani perché sono ammalata»;

«non riuscirò a votare domani perché sono ammalata».

If you say "non riuscirò a" you are implying that you wish you could do it; in positive sentences «riuscirò a» implies that you feel comfortable at doing something and you will make it.

"Riuscire" can sometimes be replaced by "farcela":

«non ce la farò a votare domani perché sono ammalata».

Note that if you are trying to do something and you can't make it, you cannot use the verb "potere", you need to use the verb "riuscire a" or, if you are desperate, "farcela a". Unless you are implying that you have tried and you have realized it is not possible for you, it is beyond your possibilities: then you can use the verb "potere".

You may also want to have a look at 1, 2, 3.


I would plainly translate them respectively as

I cannot vote tomorrow, because I am ill.


I won't be able to vote tomorrow, because I am ill.

The difference I hear (in Italian) is that in the second case I would really like to vote, but there is something that does not allow me to do it, while in the first one I am not implying anything and I am just stating that there is something that won't let me vote. Of course I could say

Non voterò domani, perché sono ammalata

and I am not saying anything at all whether I would like to vote or not.


You would use POTERE in this case. This is common for beginner Italian speakers and not just of English.

RIUSCIRE means literally (to) 'come-out/exit again' so if you can't even make an attempt to vote, you can't even come out of trying to vote successful or not. That is what we interpret as.

Now, if you are able to be there to vote and attempted at it:

Non sono riuscito (a votare) perché ero/sono stato troppo malato.

That would make sense and be correct.

POTERE is correct because you are not capable to even (try to) vote being sick cause you simply while not be there at all.

P.S. 'Posso' would have been just fine given 'domani' is close future wise.

  • 1
    Welcome to Italian.SE! I removed the (wrong) “ci” particle, that would make the sentence incorrect. However, I find that “non riuscirò a votare” is good Italian as well.
    – egreg
    Jun 28, 2015 at 9:41

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