Flashcards in Subjunctive I or the Special Subjunctive (Indirect Discourse) Deck (7)
The Subjunctive I form is used with indirect discourse when reporting what someone says in a formal, impartial way. The indicative can also be used to imply a statement of fact, while the subjunctive II can be used to imply the statement is open to question (since subjunctive II is used with contrary to fact statements.) These three distinctions are quite subtle, although they are important. In everyday conversation, the tendency is to avoid the subjunctive I and to choose instead between the indicative and subjunctive II.
Present Tense of Subjunctive I:
The present tense of Subjunctive I is derived from the present tense of the indicative and formed by adding the following endings to the stem of the verb. Note that the subjunctive I forms never have the stem vowel change found in their present indicative counterparts (a does not become ä, e does not become ie, etc.)
Haben, Werden and Wissen in the Subjunctive I:
Notice that sein has no endings in the ich and er forms:
Past Tense of Subjunctive I:
The past tense of Subjunctive I is derived from the present perfect tense of the indicative. It is composed of the subjunctive I form of haben or sein and a past participle. The future tense of Subjunctive I is simply the subjunctive I form of werden and an infinitive.
The tense used in an indirect quotation is dependent upon the tense used in the direct quotation that underlies it. If the direct quotation is in the present tense of the indicative, then the indirect quotation must be in the present tense of the subjunctive I. If the direct quotation is in any tense referring to past time in the indicative (simple past, present perfect, or past perfect), then the indirect quotation is in the past tense of the subjunctive I. Subjunctive I only has one tense when referring to past time, as compared to the three tenses of the indicative. If the direct quotation is in the future tense, then the future tense of subjunctive I is used. If the original quotation is in subjunctive II, then the indirect quotation will also be in subjunctive II.
Tense in direct quotation | Tense in indirect quotation
present indicative | present subjunctive I
simple past, present perfect, past perfect indicative | past subjunctive I
future indicative | future subjunctive I
subjunctive II | subjunctive II