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  • Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir "Mir ist egal was er von mir erzählt" sagen möchte?
  • Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir sagen möchte "Mir ist egal was er von mir erzählt"?

Is either ungrammatical or advised against for other reasons?

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Why the möchte? If you just want to say something, but have not done so yet, nobody can believe or disbelieve it. –  Wrzlprmft Dec 30 '13 at 16:20
It's not obvious to what the glauben refers to. It may either refer to sagen (möchte) or to the expression quoted. If it refers to sagen the möchte is legitimate. –  alk Dec 30 '13 at 16:33

3 Answers 3

I would say that without the use of a direct quote:

Glaubst Du mir, wenn ich dir sage, dass es mir egal ist, was er von mir erzählt?

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The möchte seems to got lost. –  alk Dec 30 '13 at 16:17
Und müsste das nicht egal sei und von mir erzähle heissen? Wegen der nun indirekten Rede eben? –  alk Dec 30 '13 at 16:23
This sounds more natural: "möchten" seems to be superfluous in this context. I would even leave out the "wenn ich dir sage" - "Glaubst Du mir, dass es mir egal ist, was er von mir erzählt?" - Better: "was er über mich sagt." which hints that not everything he says might necessarily true. –  Tilo Dec 30 '13 at 17:35
@alk: Habe ich mir überlegt, aber es ist so formuliert keine indirekte Rede. Das wäre es in folgendem Beispiel: "Ich sagte dir schon, dass es mir egal sei, was er von mir erzählt". –  PMF Dec 30 '13 at 17:44
@alk german.stackexchange.com/q/7446/1224 –  Em1 Dec 30 '13 at 19:30

I believe that they're both grammatical, except for the latter sentence the quote is moved outside the verbal bracket, which disrupts the sentence less.

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the most common, which one? –  Khaled Dec 30 '13 at 15:02
@Khaled: The latter is nicer, as per the not disrupting the sentence's melody. At least the longer the inserted direct quote is. –  alk Dec 30 '13 at 16:19
  1. »Was er über mich erzählt« (“what he tells about me”) is better German than »was er von mir erzählt« (“what he tells of me”).
  2. »Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir etwas sage?« is better than »Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir etwas sagen möchte?«.

ad 2:
The version containing »möchte« is a sentence of the pattern »Glaubst du mir, wenn ich [etwas bestimmtes tun] möchte?« (“Do you believe me if I want to [do something in particular]?”). You could believe or not that someone wants to do something, but to believe something if someone wants to do something else is a little bit bizarre. This would mean, that your belief is depending on what an other persons wants.

My personal favorite solution:

Glaubst Du mir, wenn ich dir sage es wäre mir egal was er über mich erzählt?

Also fine (similar to the answer of PMF, but with »über mich« instead of »von mir«):

Glaubst Du mir, wenn ich dir sage, dass es mir egal ist, was er über mich erzählt?

The next version is correct german, but it is hard to understand, because this is a sentence that you say while talking to another person, so the whole sentence is direct speach. The usage of direct speach inside direct speach leads to misunderstandandings. The fact, that you can't hear the quotation marks in a spoken sentence makes it even harder to understand the sentence.

Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir sage: »Mir ist egal was er über mich erzählt«?

All about direct speach is also true for the next version. But this version has an additional disadvantage: The direct speach is inserted into the sentence. To understand the surrounding sentence you must keep 85% of it in mind while processing the inserted sentence. It is better to let the listeners brain first complete processing the surrounding sentence before it starts with the inserted one.

Glaubst du mir, wenn ich dir »Mir ist egal was er über mich erzählt« sage?

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