In another question recently asked here, there was an als sentence as a subclause of indirect speech. The question was whether to use subjunctive or preterite and the only answer there stated that the subjunctive is fine. Here are two simplified examples, one with haben and one with sein:
Thomas sagt, dass er, als Maria nach Hause gekommen sei, geschlafen habe.
Maria sagt, dass sie, als Thomas geschlafen habe, den Kühlschrank sauber gemacht habe.
Both these sentences sound rather wrong to me and the subjunctive feels out of place.
I actually think it’s not possible to question a statement while at the same time questioning the timestamp it has. Let me explain. In the first example we have two claims: she came home is A, he slept is B. If we mark both with the subjunctive we’re implying that either one is not verified. So maybe he didn’t sleep and maybe she didn’t come home.
However, both statements are not on the same level. Statement A is a mere timestamp for statement B. So if statement A is wrong, statement B basically doesn’t exist.
And that makes no sense.
My questions are
- Is a structure like this proper German? Can we really use subjunctive in the als part?
- Does anyone have real-life printed examples for something like this?