modal auxiliaries

anonymous asked:

I'm yet to get to German subjunctive but your post intrigued me so much, could you tell me more about this German awesomeness? :3

This… is gonna be long.

Okay, so in German, we have two forms of the subjunctive, creatively called Konjunktiv I (the present tense) and Konjunktiv II (the past tense). Konjunktiv II is much better known because it’s also what we use for the conditional, so I’ll start with that one before going on to what I meant before.

So first of all: forming it. You take the imperfect forms, if there’s a possibility to stick an umlaut on, you do so, and you add in an -e(-) as part of the ending if there wasn’t one already. Eg:

war       -      wäre
warst    -      wärest
war       -      wäre
waren   -      wären
wart      -      wäret
waren   -      wären
Here you see the added umlaut as well as some e’s

hatte       -      hätte
hattest    -      hättest
hatte       -      hätte
hatten     -      hätten
hattet      -      hättet
hatten     -      hätten
Here there were no e’s to add, but we have the umlaut

ging       -      ginge
gingst    -      gingest
ging       -      ginge
gingen   -      gingen
gingt      -      ginget
gingen   -      gingen 
Here there are no umlauts, but you see the extra e’s still

Many weak verbs have no difference in form, eg passte could be indicative or subjunctive. 
With some exceptions, the only verbs that are really used in Konjunktiv II are auxiliaries or modals (so sein, haben, werden, müssen, wollen*, sollen*, wissen, dürfen, können, mögen..). Wollen and sollen don’t take umlauts, and some of these verbs have forms you may have already seen (ich möchte, ich könnte for example). Werden (würde, würdest, würde, würden, würdet, würden) is used as an auxiliary for most other verbs, eg ich würde passen instead of ich passte and ich würde gehen instead of ich ginge.

The main use of the imperfect subjunctive / Konjunktiv II is for the conditional or for hypothetical situations etc. For example:

Wenn ich reich wäre, würde ich nie wieder arbeiten.
If I were rich, I’d never work again.
Wenn ich die Zeit hätte, würde ich gern mitkommen.
If I had the time, I’d gladly come along.
Wenn ich Auto fahren könnte, müsste ich nicht den Bus nehmen.
If I could drive a car, I wouldn’t have to take the bus.

Onto the present / Konjunktiv I then. First we’ll talk about forming it, then I’ll explain its uses. This also works with extra e’s - you take the stem of the infinitive (ie remove the -en), and add the endings -e, -est, -e, -en, -et, -en. So we get:

You’ll notice that the ich, wir, and sie forms are all the same as the indicative, as they already had the e.


But what’s important is that almost all irregularities (except for sein, which I’ll get to) leave when you do this - you really do just take the stem, regardless of the verb.

habest* (not like hast)
Here again the ich, wir, and sie forms are still the same.

könne (not like kann)
könnest (not like kannst)
Here you’ll see that the ich form is also different because it’s not longer irregular like it used to be, though wir and sie are still the same

As I said, the one verb which has its own forms is sein, which goes sei, seiest, sei, seien, seiet, seien.

The most important thing that the present subjunctive is used for is reported speech. If you’re relaying somebody else’s words, you kind of “take a step back” from it, and so people can see that what you’re saying is not what you think, or even necessarily true, but what someone else has said. You’ll see it all the time in newspapers and any journalistic writing, really.
(I’m looking for good example sentences and so many of them are relationship advice hahaha)

Er sagt, ich sei seine Traumfrau (oder: Er sagt, dass ich seine Traumfrau sei).
He said that I’m his dream woman.
Sie sagte mir auf Englisch, sie könne kein Deutsch (oder: .. dass sie kein Deutsch könne).
She told me in English that she couldn’t speak German.
Er sagte, er habe das schon gemacht (oder: Er sagte, dass er das schon gemacht habe.
He said he already did it / had already done it.

It’s almost exclusively used in the 3rd person (sometimes in the 1st but not really ever in the 2nd). Because it communicates the idea of reported speech, you can use it without a clear “speech” word (sagen, behaupten, laut etc) and it means it can sort of take the idea of “supposedly/supposed to” or “apparently”. 
(NB - it also has a small use in like “wishes”, in parallel to other languages, so sentences like “long live… (Germany, the king etc)” or “thank god!/god be praised!” (es lebe… (Deutschland, der König usw) / Gott sei dank!) would also take this)

Finally, although it’s the present subjunctive that is normally used for reported speech, if the form is the same (so normally for the plural), you would replace it with the past. For example, in the sentence Die Leute sagen, sie haben kein Geld (The people say they have no money), haben could be indicative or subjunctive, so you’d see it put into the Konjunktiv II instead to make sure it’s clear - Die Leute sagen, sie hätten kein Geld.

This is a very long post and yet I feel like I’ve covered an awful lot in a very short space of time. Let me know if there’s anything I messed up or anything else you want further clarified!

Writing for the Avengers’s Schedule

I have a few things coming up for the next weeks, and as a procrastinator that loves deadlines, I have set these for my own good and the good of this dying blog.

Originally posted by taketimetodream

(writing in a nutshell)


Friday 25: Yoga (Natasha Romanoff x Reader) SMUT

Tuesday 29: Writing tips: The Continuous Tense


Tuesday 6: L.A Girl (Steve Rogers x Reader)

Friday 9: The Light (Loki x Reader)

Sunday 11: Writing tips: The (Mighty) Perfect Tense

Tuesday 13: Priorities (Scott Lang x Reader)

Thursday 15: The intern (Natasha Romanoff x Reader)

Saturday 17: Broken self (Tony Stark x Reader)

Monday 19: Day of reopening requests!!

Thursday 22 : Survivor’s guilt (Steve Rogers x Reader)

Friday 23: Still Here (Pietro Maximoff x Reader) Rewritten version.

Saturday 24: Writing tips: Verbs  → Auxiliary Verbs

Sunday 25: First Christmas (Thor Odinson x Reader) Christmas one shot

Tuesday 27: Writing tips:  Verbs → Modal Auxiliary Verbs.


January 3: Writing tips: Verbs  → Full Verbs.

January 4: Love don’t cost a thing (Tony Stark x Reader)

January 6: Bucky Barnes x Reader

From January 8 to proably the 17 I won’t be able to post anything so I will only leave a queue. I will be in Brazil getting gorgeously tanned and drunk from so many caipirinhas. Yassss.

anonymous asked:

Hi, I wanted to make this ask for months, but was afraid to, but now I feel like I can do this. Is it easy to learn German, I stared the basics not too long ago and the gendered nouns are a huge pain imo. Any tips to remember which form of 'the' to use?

hi! first of all, you don’t need to be afraid, to ask anything – i’m glad you have the courage to now. this is going to be under a read more, because i think it will be a long post, i’ll give you all my knowledge about my language. i’m so happy you’re learning german!!

so, for any german learners, this is for you: tips from a native speaker!

                                                                                                  … as written by mod elise

Originally posted by kaisoh

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Another little Norwegian lesson with Ylvis - the modal auxiliary verb; ‘vil’.

Since my last Ylvis-related lesson in Norwegian was surprisingly well received, I’ve decided to do another one. And this one I think would get Ylvis engaged themselves, as it deals with what we in Norway call a ‘modalt hjelpeverb’ (modal auxiliary verb) which has been discussed more than once by the brothers. Ref: I will however present a specific Norwegian problem that Bård has addressed himself once:

The problematic modal auxiliary verb ‘vil’.

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