I have come across this use of wollen in an article:

Die verbreitete Annahme, Männer schwitzten stärker als Frauen, wollen australische Forscher vor drei Jahren in einer Untersuchung mit 60 Probanden widerlegt haben.

I can guess from the context that the meaning is "The researchers claimed to have proved...". Is this correct?


1 Answer 1


Your assumption is correct.

See Duden, meaning 1d).

This usage of wollen expresses that the author is skeptical with respect to the researchers' claim.

  • that's nonsense. konjunktiv 1 is not sceptical, jts agnostic and the usual mood for reported speech. preterite would mean konjunktiv 2, irrealis, so that's principally not used. those distictions are a minefield however, because there's no strict rule that summaries had to be written in present tense.
    – vectory
    Jul 6, 2020 at 0:00

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