Forming and using the Konjunktiv II

The Konjunktiv II (subjunctive II) is used to express imagined wishes or conditions. It can also be used to give advice or suggestions, or to make a sentence politer.

Ich würde gerne zum Mond fliegen. (irrealer Wunsch)

I would like to fly to the moon. (imagined wish)

Wenn Tim Geld hätte, würde er eine Reise machen. (irreale Bedingung)

If Tim had money he would take a trip. (imagined condition)

Magda, könntest du bitte das Fenster öffnen? (Höflichkeit)

Magda, could you please open the window? (polite)

Sigi, du solltest zum Arzt gehen! (Ratschlag)

Sigi, you should go to the doctor! (advice)

Wir könnten ins Kino gehen. (Vorschlag)

We could go to the cinema. (suggestion)

Forming the subjunctive II:

  • Subjunctive II of werden (will, become) werden, Konj. II Präteritum + infinitive

Ich würde schlafen.

I would sleep.

Wir würden fahren.

We would drive.

  • For modal verbs, we simply added a subjunctive ending (without werden).

Ich könnte zu dir kommen.

I could come to you.

können en
ich könnte
du könntest
er/sie/es könnte
wir könnten
ihr könntet
sie/Sie könnten
dürfen en
ich dürfte
du dürftest
er/sie/es dürfte
wir dürften
ihr dürftet
sie/Sie dürften


  • The verbs sollen (shall, should) sollen, Konj. II Präteritum and wollen (want) wollen, Konj. II Präteritum have no umlaut in the subjunctive.
  • The verbs sein (to be) sein, Konj. II Präteritum and haben (to have) haben, Konj. II Präteritum are formed like the modal verbs, without werden.

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