Being polite and dreaming in German — Konjunktiv II

Learning a second language is hard, especially for adults. Why? Because it’s like you’re a child again. In your native language and any other language you’ve mastered, you can express yourself clearly and eloquently. In your new language you want to talk about complex things like a news story, something that happened to you, what you would do in a certain incident etc. But there you are with a limited vocabulary and only a few grammatical structures to help you do all that. Fret not! As I’ve written in past posts, with a little you can say a great deal. In fact, you might be expressing yourself clearer than you would be in your native language. So take time to stop and think: what can I say, what structures do I have and how can I best use them? You’ll be surprised just how much you can.

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  1. […] other week we looked at how to use the German Konjuntiv II form for being polite and expressing unreal conditional clauses. This week I want to look at a few other ways that we can use conditionals. If you apply these […]

  2. […] our sentence is in the subjunctive (Konjuntiv) meaning there could be exceptions we use eigentlich. Use eigentlich for things with a certainly […]

  3. Hallo Christian,
    noch ein super Post. Man kann deutlich sehen, dass du extrem viel mühe gibst für jeder Post. Kudos dafür.
    Eine Frage für Konjunktiv 2: Warum ist es ”Wenn Mark eine Lohnerhöhung bekommen WÜRDE” und nicht ”Wenn Mark eine Lohnerhöhung bekommen HÄTTE”?
    Danke für die Antwort und alles Gute.

    1. Hoi Edvin,

      Mit würde = Gegenwart/Zukunft (er wünscht sich eine)
      Mit hätte = Vergangenheit (also er hat keine bekommen)

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