German Subjunctive 1

Subjunctive 1 - use, formation, exceptions

  • Created by: R Mayes
  • Created on: 31-05-10 14:02

Subjunctive 1 - USE

Subjunctive 1 is used to express indirect speech in formal language, for example:

- She says she is reading the book

instead of:

-She says "I am reading the book"

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Subjunctive 1 - FORMATION


Formed by adding -e, -est, -e, -en, -et, -en

Er sagt, er lese das Buch - he says he is reading the book


Formed by using the present subjunctive 1 form of werden (e.g. er werde) plus the infinitive

Er sagte, er werde das Buch lesen - he said he would read the book


Formed by using the present subjunctive 1 form of haben or sein plus the past participle

Er sagte, er habe das Buch gelesen - he said he had read the book

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Subjunctive 1 - EXCEPTIONS

  • When the Subjunctive 1 form would be idenitcal with the present indicative, it is replaced with Subjunctive 2:

Er behauptete, Sie spielten kein Golf - He maintained you did not play golf

Ich kündigte an, dass ich den Empfang in der Botschaft gäbe - I announced that I would give the reception in the embassy

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  • In colloquial language, Subjunctive 1 is almost entirely avoided and replaced with the present indicative or Subjuntive 2

Er hat mir versprochen, er wird/würde es versuchen - He promised me that he would give it a try

Mein Freund hat gesagt, die Rezession ist/wäre vorbei - My friend said that the recession was over

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