Flashcards in Subjunctive II or General Subjunctive (Conditional) Deck (10)
This subjunctive mood is used to make statements that are contrary to fact, instead of factual statements that are made in the indicative mood. There are two forms of the German subjunctive: Subjunctive II and Subjunctive I. Subjunctive II or the general subjunctive is used with if...then (wenn... dann) statements and conditional sentences. Subjunctive I or special subjunctive is a less common mood that is used with indirect discourse. (If you study other languages with a subjunctive mood, please don't confuse it with the German subjunctive. They are not the same!)
Present Tense of Subjunctive II:
The present tense of Subjunctive II is derived from the simple past / imperfect tense of the indicative. For weak (regular) verbs, the subjunctive II is the same as the simple past tense. For strong (irregular) verbs, the present tense of the subjunctive II uses the stem of the simple past, adds an umlaut where possible, and then adds the following endings:
Strong Verbs in the Subjunctive II:
Sein, Haben and Werden in the Subjunctive II:
Some exceptions include the mixed verbs, modals and wissen which use the same endings as the simple past:
Imperfekt | Subjunctive II
brachte | brächte
dachte | dächte
durfte | dürfte
konnte | könnte
mochte | möchte
sollte | sollte
wollte | wollte
mußte | müßte
wußte | wüßte
Past Tense of Subjunctive II:
The past tense of Subjunctive II is simply the subjunctive II of sein or haben (whichever auxiliary the verb takes in the indicative) and a past participle. The future tense of Subjunctive II is the subjunctive II of werden and an infinitive.
These sentences are based on an if... then (wenn... dann) pattern in both English and German. Dann can be omitted in these sentences also. Remember that wenn is a subordinating conjunction, and forces the conjugated verb to the end of the clause.
Present Subj. II: Wenn ich Zeit hätte, (dann) ginge ich ins Kino. If I had time, (then) I would go to the movies.
Past Subj. II: Wenn ich Zeit gehabt hätte, dann wäre ich ins Kino gegangen. If I had had time, (then) I would have gone to the movies.
case, wenn disappears and dann may be replaced by so:
Kommt er heute nicht, (so) kommt er morgen. If he's not coming today, then he'll come tomorrow.
A conditional sentence may begin with the dann clause as well; but in this case, dann is not actually used and the clause uses normal word order:
Wir trinken den Kaffee nicht, wenn er zu heiß ist. We don't drink coffee if it is too hot.