Every conjugator gives a different form for certain verbs and I'm trying to decide which form is the correct or more common one to use. If someone could help me:

In Konjunktiv II

stünde or stände
schwöre or schwüre

After searching in context engines the landslide winners appear to be stände, and schwöre. Can I expect that the umlaut over the past tense (stand --> stände) will always be the most common form and is the existence of the second form merely to distinguish from the present tense of schwören? Is there a rule for when to use the less common form?

Also, is there a particular reason that werfen is

du würf(e)st
ihr würf(e)t

in Konjunctiv II(i.e. can drop the e unlike other verbs) or is this another memorization of exceptions?

In Präteritum

1 Some conjugators are giving:

ich veranlasste
du veranlasstest

instead of ich veranließ. Does someone know if the weak form is correct vs the dictionary that filled in using lassen model verb?

2 Some give for wachsen

du wuchsest
ihr wuchst


du wuchs(es)t

Others also have:

du wachstest

3 For vertreten 2nd singular some conjugators say no e, some with e, some both but atleast none give a weak form for this verb)

du vertrat(e)st

4. With weisen some say the singular e is optional and the plural contracts, some say the plural is optional, some say niether is optional

du wies(es)t
ihr wies(e)t

Weisen has an infinite number of derivatives from adding a prefix (hin, be, zu, nach, auf, ver) surely someone recognizes which is correct. You have to write something when using the verb so which are people writing?

  • 5
    You know, you should really restrict yourself to one question at a time ... makes it way more useful for those who come after you.
    – Ingmar
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 5:58
  • Regarding your Example 2: Are you sure you found "wuchsest" with a regular u in some of your reference books? That sounds odd. Should be "wüchsest" with ü-umlaut in any case. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:28
  • @ChristianGeiselmann, Example 2 is under heading Präteritum, not Konjunctive II. Does it still sound odd? It's hard to read the colored links on this page but there are lots of hidden links to the conjugators. I've been measuring the first 10 proposed conjugators on google against the few welcome responses I get from native speakers saying something sounds odd as my "Blindenführer". Eventually I will pick the best machine. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 5:21

2 Answers 2


You ask:

"Can I expect that the umlaut over the past tense (stand --> stände) will always be the most common form?"

No. It is a question of personal preference or 'what you like more'.

"and is the existence of the second form merely to distinguish from the present tense of schwören?"

You ask as if these forms were engineered for a specific purpose. But languages somehow do not work like that. There is common practice, and this at some point in history gets written down into rulebooks (grammar books, textbooks). That's how some forms get accepted although they may be different from what you get if you follow the general rules how to construct the forms (e.g. by using the root of the present or past tense etc.).

But, yes, you can use the alternative forms such as "schwüre" in order to avoid homophony of Konjunktiv II forms with other forms.

Of course the only reason I can imagine why you would insist on doing that is that you want to indicate to your audience that you are aware of Konjunktiv II forms and where to use them. Which will get you applause or hate depending on whom you speak to.

Using Konjunktiv II forms correctly is a sign of mastery of German language. But it is not so much a question of having swot up all the forms. Rather it is a question of having read a lot of books and having become familiar with the appropriate, educated use of those forms.

Famous example for consequent use of Konjunktiv II:

Was hülfe es dem Menschen, wenn er die ganze Welt gewönne und nähme doch Schaden an seiner Seele.

Matthew 16.26, in M. Luther's words. Or wait, no... the original words were actually:

Was hülffs den Menschen / so er die gantze Welt gewünne / Vnd neme doch schaden an seiner Seele?

(By the way, note the rare use of helfen + Akkusativ)

Regarding the optional 'e': this is a question of style (high tone vs. even higher tone) and of comfort: 'wüchsest' avoids getting a knot in your tongue.

In conclusion I would recommend: don't try to look for rules here. Just learn the word forms that are listed (in a grammar book you trust) and use them in practice so that you get used to their sound, and one day they will sound familiar and natural to you.


Do not trust some random website. To me veranließ sounds just wrong, even though it is not as funny as beglitt which we had in another question and was listed by what I though was a reputable dictionary publisher. I have generally found de.wiktionary.org to be helpful and reliable.

The forms with an extra e are mostly a matter of style and personal preference.

For many of your examples, I would also not be sure what to use. These forms are rarely used at all. You can always replace Konjunktiv II by a würde construction. And instead of Präteritum you can use Perfekt, except maybe when writing a novel, and then you do not use the second person forms.

Regarding wachstest und wuchst, these are two different verbs. Your source also states that at the top of the page.

  • +1 for the proposal to use an auxiliary construct when in doubt. That is what most native speakers do and it is a recent change in German that auxiliary Konjunktiv II constructs are actually commonly accepted.
    – tofro
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 9:28
  • I do not agree on what you say about "würde" to be a good replacement for real Konjunktiv forms. Yes, it is widespread everyday practice. But in professional publishing (e.g. a good daily newspaper) you must be able to differentiate and correctly use these forms. Again, there are many journalists today who cannot or do not, but anyway: you do not qualify for a professional writer if you do not use this correctly. For reference: Wolf Schneider's books on German style. Ludwig Reiners' "Stilfibel" (old but still valuable). Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 13:27
  • @ChristianGeiselmann, I was not trying to give style advice, I was only trying to explain that for some of these forms even native speakers cannot always say what they should be, since they are used so rarely.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 15:21

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