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Video:Learn German: Conjugate the Subjunctive Tense

with Iris King

The subjunctive tense is a useful conjugation to know when speaking German. This About.com video will show you how to conjugate the subjunctive tense.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn German: Conjugate the Subjunctive Tense

Hello, I am Iris. I am here for About.com from Bond Street Languages and now I am going to talk to you about the subjunctive I and II.

Subjunctive I Verb Tense in German

Let's start with the subjunctive I. We will start with the conjugation. The conjugation with the verb "haben." Ich habe, du habest, er habe, wir haben, ihr habet, sie haben.

It is called "Konjunktiv 1" in German. In English, there is no literal translation for the subjunctive I. We often use it when we are not sure about whether it is the case or not, in cases of indirect or reported speech. So, we see the verb "sagen." "Er sagt, ich habe keine Zeitung." We use the subjunctive because of the introductory verb "sagen." We do not know whether it is the case, but he says it is the case. That is why we have to use the "Konjunkiv 1" or subjunctive I.

Subjunctive II Verb Tense in German

The subjunctive II is known as "Konjunktiv 2." It is almost the same as the subjunctive I, but the only difference is, we use it in the past tense. "Er sagte, er wäre zu mir gekommen." We use the "Konjunktiv 2," or the subjunctive II when we are not certain whether it is the case or not. For example, with verbs like: "sagen": "to say", "meinen": "to mean", "denken": "to think".

Structure of the Subjunctive II

So, the structure of the subjunctive 2 is: subject plus "hätte" or "wäre" plus past participle. The past participle does not change at all. The only verb we have to change is "wäre" oder "hätte". "Hätte" for no movements and "wäre" for movements. "Gelesen" is from "lesen": "to read". So it is not a verb of movement. That is why we use "hätte". Ich hätte gelesen, du hättest gelesen, er/sie/es hätte gelesen, Sie hätten gelesen, wir hätten gelesen, ihr hättet gelesen, sie hätten gelesen. Ich wäre gekommen, du wärst gekommen, er/sie/es wäre gekommen, Sie wären gekommen, wir wären gekommen, ihr wärt gekommen, sie wären gekommen.

I was here for About.com from Bond Street Languages and I was showing you the subjunctive. For more information, please go to About.com. Thanks for watching!

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