Wenn man die Traditionen fremder Kulturen kennenlernt, gibt es weniger Missverstaendnisse.

Wenn man die Traditionen fremder Kulturen kennenlernen würde, gäbe es weniger Missverstaendnisse.

My question regards turning an indicative sentence into its subjunctive analogue.

  1. Why did kennenlernt get pushed from the past tense to the present when turned to subjunctive form?

  2. Why is that we didn't write kennenlernen in subjunctive form?

  • 2
    Can you be clearer on where you see past tense and present tense in (1), and what form you would have expected in (2)?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


The verb form kennenlernt is Präsens. The past tense (Perfekt) ist kennengelernt hat and the narrative tense (Präterium) is kennenlernte.

The reason why it's kennenlernen würde (alternative Konjunktiv II) rather than kennenlernte (Konjunktiv II) is that the latter form is the same as the Präteritum form. That is the case for all the weak and many of the strong verbs. When that happens, you should rather use würden+Infinitiv.

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