In Ligabue's "Cosa vuoi che sia?" he has the line "sembra un posto in cui si scivola." I was under the impression that the verb sembrare requires the subjunctive making the correct verb form 'si scivoli'.

Is this correct or is something else at work here?

  • While I always try using the subjunctive when needed, in this case I'd use the indicative; the subjunctive would be correct, too.
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


Transform your sentence into

sembra che sia un posto in cui si scivola

and you'll see where the subjunctive finds its good place.

In the shorter sentence you are examining, the entire phrase un posto in cui si scivola is the object to sembra, so the verb's mood is (or can be) independent of subordination.

I'm not saying that scivoli is incorrect, but it's at least rather old fashioned. I'd not use it, notwithstanding I'm a fan of subjunctive.

  • +1 I am a fan of the subjunctive, but I wrote an answer (now deleted) in which I stated that "sembra un posto in cui si scivoli" is incorrect. I haven't found any conclusive evidence proving that, so I deleted my answer. Anyway, I still think that "sembra un posto in cui si scivoli", or "sembra un posto in cui faccia caldo", and alike are disgusting to say the least, and I strongly advise against using them. I wish I found some authoritative source stating they are also incorrect.
    – gd1
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:02

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