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Could the use of the Konjunktiv I in an unexpected place be used to generate derision or mockery? For example, assume I was writing a gossip piece and I tossed in a "sei" after making my opinions very clear. Would this be interpreted as "apparently, ..." or just a grammatical mistake?

Example: (Regarding Theresa May's third attempt to pass her Brexit deal, assuming I had previously made clear that I don't believe this.)

„Dieser Deal sei anders.“

If it would not be in the way of the former, how might I achieve the apparantly, ..." effect?

What are some other ways to achieve the effect, regardless of the answer to the original question?

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    I have no idea where you would want to insert "sei" to change the tone of your message. Could you give an example? FWIW, the best way to achieve this is to use the word "angeblich" explicitly. – Rudy Velthuis May 1 at 19:11
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    Please take more care when tagging your question. You apparently tag all of your questions just with [standard-german], which is not an appropriate tag for either of them (please read the tag wiki). – Wrzlprmft May 1 at 19:35
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[Regarding Theresa May's third attempt to pass her Brexit deal, assuming I had previously made clear that I don't believe this.] "Dieser Deal sei anders."

If you use sei here, you are indicating that it is (just) what she said (I think this is called indirect speech), i.e. it may indicate you don't really believe it or, at least, that you leave it to the listener to make his or her own judgement about the veracity of it. If you already expressed doubt anyway, it is clear what you meant.

If you write "Dieser Deal ist anders", then it is a statement from you, and doesn't show any doubt.

  • I don't agree that use of indirect speech (on its own) may indicate that you don't believe what was said. Indirect speech is rarely used in everyday language but usually is not judgmental. – Roland May 2 at 7:42
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    @Roland: I didn't say that the use of indirect speech directly means you don't believe something. But well, if you say "she said this deal was different" that may be what the listener gets from it, and is not the same as when you say "this deal is different". "Sei" implies indirect speech, and if you use it this way, you indicate you leave it to the listener to judge the truth of the statement. OP said he already made his opinions very clear, so there is not much to interpret here. – Rudy Velthuis May 2 at 10:07

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