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This German study website gives the following examples for Konjunktiv I

Du sagtest, du lernest!
Du fragst, ob das alles sei.
Max sagte, dass du weglaufest.
Die Zeitung schreibt, dass es regne.

My question is: why does the first example start with "Du sagtest" (Konjunktive II) and the second with "Du fragst" (Indikativ)

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    Looking in a conjugation table shows that the preterite indicative and conjunctive forms are identical. VTC Oct 25, 2023 at 20:03

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Du sagtest, du lernest!

The initial clause Du sagtest isn't Konjunktiv II but Präteritum. Those share the same forms. Präteritum is for storytelling. Only Northerners use it sometimes in place of Perfekt.

The second clause is Konjunktiv I, which marks it as indirect speech. But that's a bad example as native speakers do not speak nor write that way. Instead they write, and say:

Du hast gesagt, du würdest lernen.

This is Perfekt and the Konjunktiv II Futur I replacement for Konjunktiv II. In German, you mark the past with Perfekt tenses, and use the Futur I/II replacement forms of Konjunktiv II if the synthetic forms are indistiguishable from Präteritum.

Why Konjunktiv II? Because in this context, it's likely that it is a non-fact rather than a mere indirect speech, as the person who told it is the same person that is learning. Or rather, not learning.

Alternatively, you can skip Konjunktiv II mood altogether and let the listener guess it from context:

Du hast gesagt, dass du lernst.


Du fragst, ob das alles sei.

That is Präsens in the initial clause and Konjunktiv I in the second clause. It's the standard way to mark indirect speech. But again, you can skip Konjunktiv I mood altogether and let the listener guess it from context:

Du fragst, ob das alles ist.


Max sagte, dass du weglaufest.

Again that is Präsens in the initial clause and Konjunktiv I in the second clause. But this example is again bad as this is not how native speakers write, or speak. They write and say:

Max sagte, dass du wegläufst.

Forget about Konjunktiv I in second person. It's an oddity.


Die Zeitung schreibt, dass es regne.

That is Präsens in the initial clause and Konjunktiv I in the second clause. It's the standard way to mark indirect speech, and in this third person context, Konjunktiv I is actually common.

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