1

I have the grasp of both konjunktivs but there are still a few questions I have surrounding the topic:

In Konjunktiv 1, I've seen:

"Er sagte, er hätte einen Hund"

However, LEO gives no conditional form for konjunktiv 1, just present and perfect, so I don't know how it's used.

Also, in konjunktiv 2 I've seen sometimes würde with haben at the end, but sometimes just hätte. Is there any difference and does this apply to all verbs?

I know this has nothing to do with the konjunktiv but I'm also lost when it comes to the past tense in the passive voice, with it sometimes being used with wurde and sometimes with worden. I've found that wurde is imperfekt and worden perfekt but I want to know if these are both used as interchangeably as it normally is in active voice.

  • On the wurde (preterite) versus worden (perfect) in German: german.stackexchange.com/q/7293. On verbs whose subjunctive 2 form is actually used: german.stackexchange.com/q/22604. – Jan Dec 21 '17 at 3:31
  • Furthermore, you are asking three questions only mildly related by the subject. Imho, this is too broad. Please narrow it down to one. – Jan Dec 21 '17 at 3:32
  • (not native speaker) There is no conditional form of konjunktiv 1. Instead, you could consider konjunktiv 1 as a "lighter form" of konjunktiv 2. I considered it always as a beautiful "syntax sugar" in the language, this may be the reason, why is it not very well supported by the other parts of the "framework". – peterh Dec 21 '17 at 12:43
3

Konjuktiv I is used for indirect speech:

Please note haben is a tricky word because it can be both a full verb (meaning: besitzen – to possess) and an auxiliary. Let's use besitzen instead:

Er sagte, er habe einen Hund. (Konjunktiv I Präsens)

Er sagte, er besitze einen Hund. (Konjunktiv I Präsens)

Er sagte, er habe einen Hund gehabt. (Konjunktiv I Perfekt)

Er sagte, er habe einen Hund besessen. (Konjunktiv I Perfekt)

You can also build other tenses but as they are straightforward, grammars do not list them:

Er sagte, er werde einmal einen Hund besitzen. (Konjunktiv I Futur I)

Putting conditionals into indirect speech calls for Konjunktiv II instead.

Er sagte, er besäße einen Hund, läge seine Wohnung nicht im vierten Stock. (Konjunktiv II Präsens)

It's not possible to tell apart indirect speech conditionals from bare conditionals. Konjunktiv II ruled conditionals are reporting from a talk to the inner self.

Er besäße gerne einen Hund, läge seine Wohnung nicht im vierten Stock. (Konjunktiv II Präsens)


About using würden: This is a general replacement for using genuine Konjunktiv forms and may be used anytime. It is the preferred way to express the Konjunktiv mood if the Konjunktiv form of a verb isn't different from the Indikativ form, which happens often. Another way to get around that limitation is using the Konjunktiv II form instead but the latter is only allowed for that reason, not as a general replacement.

Wir lügen nicht. (Indikativ I Präsens)

Wir sagten, wir lügen nicht. (Konjunktiv I Präsens – indistiguishable from Indikativ)

Wir sagten, wir würden nicht lügen. (Konjunktiv I Präsens – würden replacement)

Wir sagten, wir lögen nicht. (Konjunktiv II Präsens – replaces Konjunktiv I)


Please open a new question to discuss your passive voice problems.

  • So, if it is the case that you use Präsens and Perfekt, is it possible to use Imperfekt as well – Tom Edwards Dec 21 '17 at 15:30
  • German has no imperfect tense; because it has the same meaning as Perfekt, it's called Präteritum. And yes, Präteritum can be set in Konjunktiv as well, but the forms for Konjunktiv I Präteritum and Konjunktiv II Präsens are indistinguishable. Some grammars even say Konjunktiv II is the Präteritum of Konjunktiv I, but if you say that the difference between tense and mood vanishes. – Janka Dec 21 '17 at 16:07
  • I have seen that being said in some places. So, are you suggesting it's best to avoid the Präteritum when using Konjunktiv 1? – Tom Edwards Dec 21 '17 at 16:12
  • No? They can be told apart by their use. Konjunktiv I is used for indirect speech, Konjunktiv II for uncertainty and conditionals. – Janka Dec 21 '17 at 16:28
  • Oh yes, of course. So, is the Präteritum as it usually is e.g. haben = hatten and sein = waren, because I've seen hätte being used to mean had in some examples of using konjunktiv 1. – Tom Edwards Dec 21 '17 at 16:35

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