2

Taken from a job description:

Sollten Sie momentan nicht verfügbar sein, aber jemanden aus Ihrem Umfeld kennen?

Sollten Sie an diesem Projekt interessiert sein, dann freuen wir uns auf ihre baldige Kontaktaufnahme!

In both these sentences there's a fragment Sollten Sie.

Dict.cc does not provide me with any suggestions. There are only a few meanings as follows:

You ought to...
You should...
You had better...

But these all are the beginnings of declarative sentences.

What could Sollten Sie mean when talking about questions?

  • The first example is likely not complete as it stands here. – Emanuel Nov 4 '14 at 11:51
  • @Emanuel I altered my question a bit. See edit. Thanks. – Alex Herman Nov 4 '14 at 11:57
  • Now I'm confused... I checked the edit but the first example is still the same :) – Emanuel Nov 4 '14 at 12:00
  • @Emanuel Oops, my apologies. Could you delete the bad example then? Is it "...dann freuen wir uns auf ihre baldige Kontaktaufnahme!" ? Thanks. – Alex Herman Nov 4 '14 at 12:02
  • No, it's "Sollten Sie momentan..., aber jemanden aus Ihrem Umfeld?". The problem is the second part (after "aber") because it lacks subject and verb. "Jemanden aus ihrem Umfeld" is a direct object. – Emanuel Nov 4 '14 at 12:46
3

It means "in case". The construction is an omitted wenn-sentence.

Hätte ich Hunger, würde ich essen.

is the same as

Wenn ich Hunger hätte...

The "sollten" underlines the "conditionalness" while still leaving within the realm of possible and just generally polite.

Wenn Sie an dem Job interessiert sind.... (rather straight-forward)
Wenn Sie an dem Job interessiert wären ... implies that you're not
Wenn Sie an dem Job interessiert sein sollten...

The last one is a nice mix of uncertainty and politeness but the structure isn't all that nice and so the "sollten" gets moved to the front.

Sollten Sie interessiert sein...

You can roughly compare it to English sentences like

In case you should have any questions...

  • Much easier: Sollten Sie interessiert sein -> Should you be interested. – Robert Nov 4 '14 at 17:32
  • @Robert... I wasn't sure whether it worked in English or not. I guess it does, then. Anyway, since OP is from Belarus a more elaborate answer may have its merits – Emanuel Nov 4 '14 at 18:55
4

Here, the Konjunktiv II of „sollen“ is used to form a conditional clause:

„Sollten Sie etwas brauchen, rufen Sie mich bitte an.“
(“Should you need anything, please call me.”)

It can be replaced by a conditional conjunction:

„Falls Sie etwas brauchen, rufen Sie mich bitte an.“
(“If you need anything, please call me.”)

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