How do you say AS IF in Italian?

How exactly do you say as if in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at how to translate and use this expression in Italian. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


How do you say as if in Italian?

Come se

Come se is how you translate as if in Italian.

Come se
As if

For example, you could say…

Ricordo quella giornata come se fosse ieri.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

Parli come se sapessi tutto.
You talk as if you knew everything.

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Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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How to use come se

Like in English, as if in Italian is used to describe made-up scenarios. The situation itself can be likely to happen or downright impossible to occur. It introduces a hypothetical situation.

Sonia parla inglese come se fosse la sua lingua madre.
Sonia speaks English as if it were her native language.

If you are an Italian beginner, you might have wondered where fosse comes from.

You see, whenever we talk about a hypothetical situation in Italian, we need to use the subjunctive mood. This mood doesn’t exist anymore in the English language, but if you think about it, remnants of it still live on in expressions such as if it were.

There are two tenses in the Italian subjunctive mood:

  • congiuntivo imperfetto (imperfect subjunctive)
  • congiuntivo trapassato (past perfect subjunctive)

➡️ Brush up on the Italian verb conjugations here!


Come se + congiuntivo imperfetto

First things first, let’s see the cogiuntivo imperfetto conjugations for the very common verbs essere and avere.

iofossiavessi
tufossiavessi
lui, leifosseavesse
noifossimoavessimo
voifosteaveste
lorofosseroavessero

You use congiuntivo imperfetto to introduce events happening in the present, hypothetical possibilities, and events happening at the same time. For example, we could say…

Che bel tramonto! È come se il cielo andasse a fuoco.
What a beautiful sunset! It’s like the sky was on fire.

Come se fossi ricco!
As if I were rich!

poor man sitting at an empty table

Come se + congiuntivo trapassato

Yet again, let’s start with the congiuntivo trapassato conjugations of the verbs essere and avere.

iofossi stato/aavessi avuto
tufossi stato/aavessi avuto
lui, leifosse stato/aavesse avuto
noifossimo stati/eavessimo avuto
voifoste stati/eaveste avuto
lorofossero stati/eavessero avuto

You use congiuntivo trapassato to introduce events happening in the past and hypothetical possibilities occurring before any other events introduced in the same sentence. For example, we could say…

È come se avessi sempre saputo come sarebbe andata a finire.
It’s as if I had always known how it all was going to end.

Il gatto saltò in aria come se avesse calpestato una spina.
The cat jumped into the air as if he had stepped on a thorn.

angry cat jumping at the reader

Here are a few other examples with as if in Italian:

Tom si comportò come se nulla fosse successo.
Tom acted as if nothing had happened.

Tom si comportò come se nulla fosse successo.
Tom acted as if nothing had happened.

Mi sentivo come se decine di occhi mi stessero guardando.
I felt as if dozens of eyes were looking at me.

Laura guida come se fosse la padrona della strada.
Laura drives as if she owned the road.


Idiomatic expressions with come se in Italian

There are a number of idioms featuring the translation for as if in Italian. Some of these are…

  • fai come se fossi a casa tua! (make yourself at home!)
  • fare come se niente fosse (do as if nothing happened)
  • come se non bastasse (as if this weren’t enough)

And that’s it, now you know how to say as if in Italian!


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say as if in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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