I've got the instance doing a lesson on Duolingo:

Sie sollte nicht alleine gehen.

The sentence translates as She shouldn't go alone.

So, why is sollen put here in form sollte, but not just as soll? I didn't find an answer on Duolingo. Any tips will be appreciated..

Updated: I've understood what it is.. It's Präterium!

Pic from konjugator.reverso.net

  • Actually: de.duolingo.com/comment/56187
    – Ingmar
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 5:20
  • @Ingmar I've been starting to understand how it does work.. Thank you!
    – devshok
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 5:33
  • So if you understood: What is your Question? Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


No, it's maybe not the simple Präteritum (Hard to judge without further context, though).

You should rather look at this table fragment (note, for "sollen", the only thing that looks different is the heading):

enter image description here

The form is Konjunktiv II (Irrealis), expresssing something that should/could happen, but doesn't.

Your form (simple präteritum) expresses

She wasn't allowed to go alone

The Konjunktiv II expresses

She shouldn't go alone

Both can be valid and both look the same.

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