Learn Italian Online|Italian Conditional Tense for the verb Want, Vorrei – Songs Edition

In this lesson we will explore some of the uses of Vorrei, the Conditional Present form of Volere, which is regularly used in Italian conversations.

To help you get this word stuck on your mind, allow me to invite you to listen to a wonderfully melancholic Italian song titled “Vorrei”, by Cesare Cremonini.

The bittersweet lyrics talk about a guy who expresses his devotion to his loved one by telling her just what he wishes he could do for her.

At first you get the impression that he’s simply trying to impress his partner by mentioning that he’d like to fulfill all of her desires and erase everything that she didn’t want (vorrei esaudire tutti i sogni tuoi, cancellare cio che tu non vuoi), but that wouldn’t explain the terribly sad and hopeless atmosphere of the melody.

He states that he would like to stay with her as they are, forever (vorrei stare insieme a te cosi per sempre) and wishes she could be happy in every moment ( vorrei che fossi felice in ogni istante)….and yet?Why can’t that happen? Is one of them about to die or leave? Why is his wish followed by a ‘but’ (però)?

With a superficial listening(read as “non paranoiac listening”), it simply appears that although, like any (mad) person in love, he would like/wishes he could perform some great romantic gestures for his loved one, but that, quite obviously, it’s simply not in his human powers to make them come true. Sounds legit.

And yet.

Is he just not capable or is he not allowed to carry on with his acts of love?  Maybe what this song is really about is a one sided love story. It certainly would make more sense to me, considering the overall mood of the song.

That might be why he begs her, if she wanted, to let him in her heart (se vuoi portarmi dentro al cuore tuo con te, io ti prego) close to her so that he doesn’t just live through her eyes (io vivo attraverso gli occhi tuoi)

Well, listen to the song and let me know what your thoughts are.

The actual lesson regarding the conditional tenso of the verb to want (Volere), follows below.

 

 

Vorrei/ I wish

Vorrei, vorrei/ I would like
esaudire tutti i sogni tuoi/ to fulfill all your dreams
vorrei, vorrei/ I wish i wish
cancellare ciò che tu non vuoi/ to erase anything you don’t want
però, lo sai che io vivo attraverso gli occhi tuoi/ but you know that i live through your eyes

Vorrei, vorrei/ i wish i wish
che tu fossi felice in ogni istante/ you were happy in every moment
vorrei, vorrei/ i wish i wish
stare insieme a te, così, per sempre/ to stay with you like this, forever
però, lo sai che io vivo attraverso gli occhi tuoi!/ but you know that i live through your eyes

E vorrei poterti amare/ and i wish i could love you
fino a quando tu ci sarai/ until you’ll be here
sono nato per regalarti quel che ancora tu non hai, / i was born to give you what you don’t have yet
così se vuoi portarmi dentro al cuore tuo con te io ti prego, e sai perchè/ so if you want to carry me in your heart with you, i beg you (please do) and you know why

Repeat first verse

 

I would like

Volere, to want, is considered both a modal verb (verbo modale o servile) in Italian.

Vorrei can be translated as °I wish or “I would like” and it generally implies that we are making a request of some sort which might or might not be fulfilled.

To be even more specific,

  •  the actual translation of “Vorrei” would be “I would want”,
  • “Mi piacerebbe” is the more literal translation of “I would like”,
  • and “Desidero” is the more direct translation of “I wish”

But their meanings are so close, that usually we can use them interchangeably.

Vorrei vedere una sirena – I would like (I wish) to see a mairmade

Vorrei rimanere sveglio fino all’alba – I would like to stay up till dawn

Besides this use, Vorrei is always used as a polite form to make a request.

Vorrei fare una prenotazione – I would like to make a reservation

Vorrei provare questa penna – I would like to try this pen

Vorrei (Mi piacerebbe) sapere la tua opinione – I would like to know your opinion

Vorresti venire al concerto con me? – Would you(singular) like to come to the concert with me?

 

Present and Past Conditional Tenses Conjugations of the verb to want in Italian:

Conditional

Presente/Present
io vorrei/
tu vorresti/
egli vorrebbe
noi vorremmo
voi vorreste
essi vorrebbero

Passato/Past
io avrei voluto
tu avresti voluto
egli avrebbe voluto
noi avremmo voluto
voi avreste voluto
essi avrebbero voluto

 

That’s all for this lesson. Stay tuned to learn more about the verb Volere with all its conjugations and uses!

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