Avremmo dovuto provare per saperlo! Bastava ce l'avesse fatta uno solo di noi.

Given the use of the past conditional "avremmo dovuto" in the preceding sentence, I assume that they are talking about a past (conditional) event that actually didn't take place:

They wanted to try doing something but couldn't – they should have – and it would have been enough if just one of them had done it / succeeded.

When the verb "bastare" is involved, do you usually use the combination of Indicativo Imperfetto "bastava" and Congiuntivo Imperfetto "avesse fatta" like this to convey a past conditional meaning?

Incidentally, could it be that "ce" in "Bastava ce" is a colloquial or regional variant of "che" used to introduce a subordinate clause?

  • Sorry, I don’t think I can translate the answer today (working day) , maybe other users will do.
    – user519
    Jun 4, 2018 at 6:31
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 4, 2018 at 12:28
  • @Alone-zee Please, if you must continue this discussion do so in the chatroom above. I'm thinking of writing a meta post about this this evening. I'll link to it when I do.
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 4, 2018 at 12:43
  • @Alone-zee Here's the meta question
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 4, 2018 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


It is a very common colloquial form of the verb bastare used in the following meanings:

Often used in impersonal form, “basta, è sufficiente, non occorre altro, e simili”: per oggi credo che basti; bastava che m’avvertisse.

Special locutions : a) ”Basta che, purché”: basta che tu lo chieda, te lo dànno subito; even with the infinitive (and without che): basta chiedere con buone maniere, si ottiene tutto ciò che si vuole.

A more correct version is

Avremmo dovuto provare ...sarebbe bastato che...

The usage of the particle “ce” is correct, since it does not substitute the conjunction “che” (here omitted) but is part of the following verbal phrase (ce l’avesse fatta, see: farcela) .


  • Hi. What is the exact function of "ce" or "ci" in "farcela"? And I hadn't expected that the Congiuntivo "avesse fatta" could immediately follow "bastava" like this without having "che" in between. So is this construction colloquial? Jun 4, 2018 at 5:36
  • @Alone-zee Yes, this construction is colloquial. Regarding farcela, if the link in the answer does not help you, why don't you ask it as a separate question?
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 4, 2018 at 7:20
  • @DenisNardin Interesting. Do you mean that the Imperfetto construction "Bastava ce l'avesse fatta" itself with the conditional meaning is colloquial, or the fact that the conjunction "che" is dropped is colloquial? Jun 4, 2018 at 12:12
  • @Alone-zee Both are colloquial, but dropping the che more so (and in fact I'd go as far as discouraging the latter).
    – Denis Nardin
    Jun 4, 2018 at 12:26

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