I would translate the example sentences as follows:
Se l'avessi chiesto dopo, non avrebbe accettato
Se avessi il suo numero, la chiamerei
Se avessi avuto il suo numero, l'avrei chiamata
This kind of sentences are called periodi ipotetici (hypotetical sentences) in Italian. An exposition of the rules about them can be found here. Let me briefly summarize ...
One of the reasons for this, among others, is the merging of 2nd (-ēre) and 3rd (-ĕre) Latin conjugations into the 2nd Italian conjugation. As you may know, 2nd Latin conjugation has the long "e", while 3rd has the short "e". You can still notice this in Italian when you compare "crédere" (notice the accent) and "tenére".
Notice how "credere" is a 3rd ...
"Non vuole mangiare" is wrong because it is present tense, whereas "she didn't want to eat" is simple past.
However, "Vuose" is not an Italian word. What you are looking for is the word "volle", the 3rd person singular of the passato remoto tense of the verb "volere".
So, the correct translation for "She didn't want to eat" is:
Non volle mangiare.
We prefer the use of imperfetto because it describes an event that has lasted for a while, like could be the wheather.
You can use passato prossimo describing something that has ended, like rain or snow for example:
- Ieri ha piovuto.
- Ieri ha nevicato.
"Ieri ha fatto bel tempo" sounds a bit weird.
A fantastic question. I reserve to edit and further add details to this answer as soon as I get some.
There are many texts that acknowledge the differences in the usage of the past that you mentioned, but none of them digs into the reasons why this difference exists.
At the moment, I have found this reference, which links the differences in the usage of ...
Just as for English, the same distinction can be done in Italian, using the subjunctive + conditional vs the indicative.
Se fossi ricco vivrei su Long Island. (present subjunctive + present conditional)
or, in the past
Se fossi stato ricco avrei vissuto su Long Island.
Se sono in ritardo è a causa del [ritardo del] bus (present indicative)...
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 ...
The first sentence indicates an action that will happen in the nearest future, while the second one doesn't necessarily imply that the action will take place after a short lapse of time.
Just to give you an additional information on the historical development of that tense, the first sentence is rendered in latin with the participle future in combination ...
I answered to your analogous question for the present continuous, now I do the same for the past :).
First of all, as DaG already told you, Italians don't usually say:
Io stavo andando a casa
Stavo andando a casa
unless you want to emphasize the subject, for example (here io and tu are stressed):
Oggi io ho cucinato, io ho lavato i piatti e tu ...
Present perfect is translated in Italian with passato prossimo when:
there is an implicit link between past and present, the action is completed an the focus is on the effects of the action
I have cleaned up the room.
Ho pulito la stanza.
with just, already, yet, still, ever
We have just married.
Ci siamo appena sposati.
Have you ever ...
Both your examples sound good in the present tense:
Cammino nel parco da un anno.
I walk in the park and I've been doing it for the last year. It does not imply I'm walking in the park right now.
Vado in quel negozio da quando ero adolescente.
Same as above, I've been going to that shop since I was a teenager and I still do it but I'm not necessarily ...
Yes, you can, and the weather is no special case as far as verb tenses are concerned. The choice between imperfetto, passato remoto and passato prossimo is made according to the usual grammar rules.
Piovve così tanto che i fiumi esondarono.
Pioveva quando ci siamo baciati la prima volta.
La sposa è preoccupatissima perché ha piovuto ininterrottamente per ...
In italiano si usa il futuro indicativo:
Che cosa farò quando sarò guarita?
Non c'è un motivo preciso, probabilmente perché il parlante qui è sicuro di guarire, mentre il congiuntivo è il modo della possibilità. Per esempio qui si usa il congiuntivo:
Che cosa farò domani ammettendo che io sia guarita?
Using the conditional form is more polite and it is sometimes used as an alternative to add other pleasantries like “per favore”.
The crux of the question is that by expressing a question (or an order) as a hypothetical question, one (theoretically) leaves the answerer open to ignore the question. Of course, nowadays everybody understand it's a ...
No, "sono dietro a..." it's not a widely understood phrase. The correct Italian form is to use the verb "stare" followed by the gerund.
Furthermore the quite similar phrase "sono indietro a..." means a very different thing: "I'm behind in...", so I would not assume that people understand what you mean.
It's used also in Veneto (son drio a fare/*so drio fare*, depending on the actual location), but it should be marked as dialectal and not standard Italian. I don't think such an idiom would be understood outside Northern Italy.
When I was in elementary school, I frequently heard hypercorrections such as sono dietro facendo. Our teachers always frowned upon ...
From Alkire, T., & Rosen, C. (2010). Romance languages: A historical introduction. published by Cambridge University Press, section 7.8.1 The main Romance future:
The future stem of ‘be’ is a special case. Forms like Popular Latin *ESSER - AT, instead of syncopating, lose their initial syllable to give Italian sarà and French sera (Spanish será could be ...
Choosing between imperfetto and passato remoto/passato prossimo is sometimes difficult for people speaking languages where this distinction is missing.
English has a kind of imperfetto with the construction used to or the progressive form, but they don't fully overlap.
I used to live in Rome when I was a student ↔ Abitavo a Roma quando studiavo
I was living ...
"Voglia" in "avere voglia" is a noun, not a verb in the congiuntivo.
"Avere voglia (di fare qc)" can be literally translated as "To have the desire (to do sth.)".
The difference to "volere" is similar to the difference between
"I feel like dancing" and "I want to dance" (volere)
I hope a ...
English and Italian behave in the same way on this matter.
Andrò a casa di mio cugino
I will go to my cousin's house
have the exact same meaning: I've decided to go to my cousin's house in the future.
The same applies to the sentence you mentioned in a comment to martina's answer
iOS 7 will be the OS used from 97% of the sold cell phones
"She didn't want to eat" is Simple Past, which in Italian is translated with either Passato Prossimo or Passato Remoto of the Indicativo form. You translated it with a Presente, which would be translated to "She doesn't want to eat."
The correct translations are "Non volle mangiare" or, the more frequently used, "Non ha voluto mangiare".
To express an action that will happen in the future is not the only use of the simple future tense in Italian. According to Federica Colombo in her book Grammatica e pratica della lingua italiana per studenti stranieri:
Il futuro semplice può essere usato anche per esprimere direttamente l'atteggiamento personale di chi parla rispetto al contenuto della ...
As always, only the context may say the actual meaning of this sentence. Anyway, taken by itself, the apparent meaning is, as in the first translation given, “I had to sell all my things to buy this car”. Moreover, the use of the imperfetto rather than passato prossimo or passato remoto tends to suggest that something else happened next. Say,
Premetto di non essere un linguista, ma potrebbe derivare dal latino noli, imperativo seconda persona singolare del verbo nolo ("non volere"). In latino, noli richiede l'infinito alla seconda persona singolare, e viene usato per intimare di non fare qualcosa.
Un esempio piuttosto famoso è "noli me tangere", che letteralmente significa &...
Yes, the present can be used instead of the future, but a time specification must be present:
Vado a prendere la macchina nuova
Domani vado a prendere la macchina nuova
In the first case, without time specifications, the speaker is going to get the new car now. It can also be
Sto per andare a prendere la macchina nuova
if the action will take place in a ...
The past conditional (e.g., sarebbe andato, avrebbe trovato) is used to express a future meaning with respect to a reference point in the past. In such cases you cannot use the present conditional. This is an unusual aspect of Italian; as pointed out in A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian (Section 15.2), English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese typically ...
Scrivo una risposta basata sulle spiegazioni e gli esempi che appaiono nel libro Nuovo Contatto C1. Corso di lingua e civiltà italiana per stranieri di R. Bozzone Costa, M. Piantoni, E. Scaramelli e C. Ghezzi.
Hai ragione sul fatto che l'imperfetto si usa
per esprimere al passato fatti ripetuti con carattere di abitudine (spesso segnalato da avverbi).
I'm from Trentino, Val di Non. In our dialect, called Nones, we also have that expression. It is actually the only way to form the gerund. E.g. son dria a far bergot - I'm doing something. Thus, I would assume that this is a characteristic shared with other northern Italian dialects too. In standard Italian, the one of the Accademia della Crusca, it is not ...