I got a question about this sentence:

Wenn du ein bisschen mehr nachdenken würdest, würden dich weniger Leute für einen Vollpfosten halten.

The question is - why is "würdest" used in the same part of the sentence as "wenn"?

Wouldn't it make more sense to put "nachdächtest"?

2 Answers 2


We have learnt at school: "Wenn mit würde ist ohne Würde!"

But obvious both of your versions would be possible:


Konjunktiv II and Konjunktiv II (Ersatzform)

I would prefer:

Dächtest du ein bisschen mehr nach, würden dich weniger Leute für einen Vollpfosten halten.

  • Nicht nur in gesprochener Form, sondern sogar in der Schriftform empfinde ich diese Formulierung als sehr gestelzt, um es mal vorsichtig auszudrücken. ;-) Es mag aber sein, dass es diesbezüglich regionale Unterschiede gibt. Feb 14, 2019 at 13:37

Nachdächtest would be the present form of the conditional 2 (Konjunktiv 2). With würden the future form (Futur 1) of nachdenken is correctly flexed for the conditional 2 (Konjunktiv 2). In English, the phrase would say something like If you would be going to reflect more.

The Konjunktiv 2 emphasises, just as in the English language, that an event or action is very unlikely (read: impossible) to happen and is used in such phrases sarcastically.

Wikipedia on the Konjunktiv 2

  • What's "present form of the indicative (Konjunktiv 1)" supposed to mean? And what does Futur 2 have to do with all of that? Anyway, "nachdächtest" is neither indicative nor Konjunktiv 1, but Konjunktiv 2.
    – DonHolgo
    Feb 12, 2019 at 8:57
  • Yes, I've made mistakes looking up the English equivalents of the terms and mixed up quite a bit. I've tried to correct it now.
    – harryak
    Feb 12, 2019 at 21:50

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