Konjunktiv II - how to form it

ilikescotch

Senior Member
spanish, mexico
sorry first, is haben a modal verb??

second, how does the konjuktiv II work?? how do i use it in senteces like:

"if i had lots of money, i would buy a ferrari." you know, with conditional, since it doesn't exist in german

thankss
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    ilikescotch said:
    sorry first, is haben a modal verb??

    second, how does the konjunktiv II work?? how do i use it in senteces like:

    "if i had lots of money, i would buy a ferrari." you know, with conditional, since it doesn't exist in german. I didn't understand this affirmation.

    thankss
    No, haben is not a modal verb. Apart from being a meaningful verb (to possess), it is also an auxiliary Verb.

    The sentence translates like this:
    Wenn ich viel Geld hätte, würde ich eine Ferrari kaufen.

    Other sentences:
    Wenn du mich nicht stören würdest, würde ich schneller arbeiten (if you didn't disturb me, I would work faster).
    Wenn ich reich wäre, könnte ich mehr reisen (if I were rich, I could travel).

    As you see, there are different patterns for the same English if-sentence. But it is not difficult at all:
    In principle, both verbal constructions should be translated by würde + verb (conditional).
    However, verbs sein, haben, all modals (but you never use wollen in such situations, mögen fully replaces it), wissen (wüsste) and a few others (kommen - käme, gehen - ginge etc.) are translated using Konjunktiv II.

    Click here (post 6) to learn how to form Konjunktiv II.

    An exercise for you (you can consult Verbix if you have doubts):
    If I knew him, I would ask him for help (hint: bitten um etwas).
    If I didn't have to do homework, I would go to the cinema.
    If you bought me ice-cream, I would tell you a secret (hint: das Geheimnis).

    A few mod comments:
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    Looking forward to seeing your exercise. :)

    Jana
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    There were two small mistakes in your great explanation: ;)

    The sentence translates like this:
    Wenn ich viel Geld hätte, würde ich einen Ferrari kaufen.

    Other sentences:
    Wenn du mich nicht stören würdest, würde ich schneller arbeiten (if you didn't disturb me, I would work faster).
    The second example can read "Wenn du nicht störtest, ...", but this would sound awkward. :)

    There's also the possibility to omit "when" in German:

    Hätte ich viel Geld, (so/dann) würde ich einen Ferrari kaufen.
    Had I much money, (then) I would buy a Ferrari.
     

    selters

    Member
    Norwegian, Norway
    Jana337 said:
    However, verbs sein, haben, all modals (but you never use wollen in such situations, mögen fully replaces it), wissen (wüsste) and a few others (kommen - käme, gehen - ginge etc.) are translated using Konjunktiv II.
    In fact, all strong verbs have Konjuntiv II forms that you can use instead of würde+infinitive of the verb in these "Bedingungsgefüge". So the "few others" you mentioned amount to some 150 verbs. Some of them are, however, perceived as quite old fashioned and/or formal.

    Either way, here are some examples:

    Wenn du im Gefahr wärest, hülfe/hälfe ich dir./Wenn du im Gefahr wärest, würde ich dir helfen.

    Wenn es im Buch stünde, wüsste ich es.

    Wenn ich eine Million im Lotto gewänne, könnten wir uns ein Haus kaufen.

    Exactly which forms are considered old fashioned and which forms are considered ok in modern German, I don't know. In addition to the ones that have been mentioned so far, these ones are mentioned in the grammar that I use (Tysk grammatikk by Håvard Reiten): gäbe, käme, fände, täte, läge.

    Does anyone have any statistics?
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    selters said:
    In fact, all strong verbs have Konjuntiv II forms that you can use instead of würde+infinitive of the verb in these "Bedingungsgefüge". So the "few others" you mentioned amount to some 150 verbs. Some of them are, however, perceived as quite old fashioned and/or formal.
    Exactly - but I didn't throw rarely used forms at a not very advanced learner. :)
    Either way, here are some examples:

    Wenn du im Gefahr wärest, hülfe/hälfe ich dir./Wenn du im Gefahr wärest, würde ich dir helfen.

    Wenn es im Buch stünde, wüsste ich es.

    Wenn ich eine Million im Lotto gewänne, könnten wir uns ein Haus kaufen.

    Exactly which forms are considered old fashioned and which forms are considered ok in modern German, I don't know. In addition to the ones that have been mentioned so far, these ones are mentioned in the grammar that I use (Tysk grammatikk by Håvard Reiten): gäbe, käme, fände, täte, läge.

    Does anyone have any statistics?
    For whatever it is worth, I don't think I would use the read forms for fear that I would sound ridiculous.

    Jana
     
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