If I want to say, If I want to say, do I simply say, Wenn ich will sagen?

Or do I have to use falls instead of wenn: Falls ich will sagen?

Or can both wenn and falls be used in this context?

I know a similar question has already been asked, but mine is about usage, not just grammatical theory, as is the other question. Thus said, I do not consider this to be a duplicate question.

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    Actually I don't understand what your question is about, if not what has been asked in the other question. - Anyway. will must be behind sagen ;) - And in your case, both are correct, wenn and falls. – Em1 Jul 27 '13 at 13:30
  • @Em1 My question is, I think, quite straightforward: I simply want to know which one is the correct version for If I want to say. Is it Wenn ich will sagen (with wenn), or Falls ich will sagen (with falls)? – indoxica Jul 27 '13 at 13:35
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    @indoxica: As Em1 already pointed out, the word order is wrong. Apart from this, both wenn and falls are possible, but Wenn ich sagen will is more natural. – chirlu Jul 27 '13 at 13:43
  • @chirlu OK. But why sagen will? In my textbook, this inversion is said to take place only with double infinitives: Das hat er nicht sagen wollen. – indoxica Jul 27 '13 at 13:56
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    @indoxica The inversion takes place because of the conditional wenn. It's not related to having more than one infinitive. Falls and vorausgesetzt, dass ... induce inversion too. – c.p. Jul 27 '13 at 14:03

To those answers to the question to which you've linked I'd add my own: I would definitely use wenn. I'd use falls, however, if I'm listing many hypothesis an the like, just in order to not repeat the same word many times. Falls tends to sound a little more formal.

Wenn ich red squirrel auf Deutsch sagen will, wie buchstabiert man dieses Wort?

If one sets a scale from 1 to 5, being 1: rarely used, and 5: used all the time, the use of wenn is is 5 (d.h. sehr häufig) and the use of falls is 3. The links are to Duden.


"Wenn" means "if" of course. I would tranlate "falls" as "in case."

"Wenn" is the "general" term that is almost always correct in these contexts. I would reserve "falls" for "special cases."

"Wenn ich sagen will," is correct.

You don't have to use "falls" instead of "wenn": "Falls ich sagen will".

You can use "falls" for emphasis. The connotation is, "In case I want to say..." But that is not the normal or common usage.

  • Generally speaking, you hit close to home. However, I'm not sure if I completely agree with 'emphasis'. It depends on what you really think of that. I think a good point would be to relate to 'hypothetical situations'. If that's what you meant by 'emphasis', I agree with you. – Em1 Aug 2 '13 at 14:17
  • Actually, it was already bothering me since the question came up: It sounds odd to me to use "falls" in this context at all. Whenever I want to make sure I'm talking about a hypothetical situation I'd say "Mal angenommen ich wollte [whatever I wanna say] sagen" or "Nehmen wir mal an, dass ich sagen möchte, dass [whatever I wanna say]". But again, technically, both wenn and falls are correct. – Em1 Aug 2 '13 at 14:20
  • Also falls ich jemals 'falls ich sagen will' sagen wöllte, würde ich genau diese Worte benutzen : ) We can often think of some context where even strange constructions make sense. But I agree, 'falls' sounds more hypothetical to me. – blutorange Aug 2 '13 at 21:02
  • @Em1: "In case" basically refers to a hypothetical. – Tom Au Nov 12 '13 at 0:46

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