What is the present participle of do?
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Present / future
simple K II
K II + gladly
Verb on P 1
K II for K I
|The subjunctive II is more versatile than the subjunctive I and - in contrast to the K I - it is also indispensable in spoken language. In its main function, it represents what has been said as something that does not exist in reality, but only according to the possibility or in the imagination. From this basic meaning there are other ways of using the K II to express wishes, to politely soften requests, to cautiously withdraw claims for certainty, etc. |
If the weather isn't so miserable would, could we're still swimming in the lake.Note: In the article Konjunktiv I you will find introductory remarks on the relationship K I and K II. A compact representation of K II can be found under Konjunktiv II (pdf).
to shapeIn the subjunctive II there are only two time levels: an incomplete present / future on the one hand and a closed past on the other. We deal first with the two possibilities of referring to present or future things in K II, then with the past.
Subjunctive II for present / futureThe subjunctive II for the present / future can be formed in two ways. First of all, every verb has a simple subjunctive II, which can be derived from the past tense:
I was ⇒ I would be;In addition, a compound subjunctive can be created from each verb according to the formula would + Form infinitive:
i would be, i would have, i would go, i would see ...The meaning of the subjunctive, whether it is formed in one way or the other, is always the same. There are no differences in content associated with the difference in form:
I would be = I would beHowever, the simple and the have would-Form preferred use cases. The basic principle is that in the spoken language the would-Form is much more common, while in sophisticated, formal or literary German the simple forms are used even more often. But this principle does not apply without restriction: Even in spoken German, the simple form is preferred for certain verbs, especially the auxiliary and modal verbs. In spoken language, the following are common:
I would, I would, I could, I should, I should, I should, I would, I knew.Most other verbs use the would-Preferred subjunctive:
I would go, I would see, I would play ...
The simple subjunctive IIThe simple form of the subjunctive is formed by adding -e to the stem of the past tense, if the ending -e is not already in the ending: stay
For verbs with -a-, -o-, -u- in the stem, umlaut is added.
So far we've only looked at strong verbs. If we now remember the conjugation of the weak verbs, we see that a problem must arise: The weak verbs have the same endings as the subjunctive II because of the inserted -t- in all forms of the past tense received, this means: The simple subjunctive form of the weak verbs does not differ from the simple past:
What are the consequences? While it is not impossible to use weak verbs in simple K II:
If you really loved meBut the coincidence of the forms of Praet. And K II intensifies the tendency to use the would-Subjunctive, in spoken and written language. Therefore mostly:
If you really loved me ...up
would + InfinitiveThe would-The subjunctive is formed with the - now known in principle - subjunctive forms of become and the infinitive:
Infinitive: become ⇒ Simple past: has been ⇒ K II: wouldK II with would of play:
I would play
you would-est play
he would play
we would play
you would play
they would play
So we know the possible forms of the K II for the present / future.
The pastThe mix-up of the time levels in the K II is a very common learner problem. This is certainly also due to the fact that the two forms of K II, which we have got to know so far, are formally related to the indicative past tense. The simple forms or the auxiliary verb would can be derived from the past tense, so they "sound" similar to past tenses. Let us therefore emphasize once again that the two forms of K II discussed above never have any significance in the past! - So now to the past tenses, the formation of which is actually unproblematic. The "formula" is:
would / would have + Participle IIExamples:
If you had learned more, you would have passed the exam.You can of course also combine a subjunctive for the past and a subjunctive for the present:
If you'd helped us, we'd be done now.If you look at these examples, you will also quickly see a major source of error in the use of the subjunctive. Many mistakes are due to the fact that the verbs to have and be can be used on the one hand for the present (as normal verbs) and on the other hand for the past (as auxiliary verbs):
If she wasn't so lazy, she'd have better grades. - PresenceServe in the second movement would and would have as auxiliary verbs to form the past stage of the subjunctive.
The verbs be and to have can be used as normal verbs in the subjunctive II for the present or as auxiliary verbs in the subjunctive II for the past. Actually, the difference is easy to see: Only if a past participle is in the sentence to have or be occurs, let's talk about the past.
Conditional clauseThe most important use of the subjunctive II is in compound sentences with main clause and if-Sentence (conditional sentence):
If I could swim better, I would go to the sea on vacation.A common cause of errors when using the K II should be pointed out here. Once learners have learned the K II and its many possible applications, they tend to use it even when the indicative is required, namely in sentences such as:
* If flowers were not watered, they would wither.What is meant is that flowers always wither if they are not watered. Such causal relationships, which are always valid, are not formulated in K II, but in the present indicative. Compare:
If you watered your plants more often, they would be nicer.The subjunctive makes it clear that in reality the flowers are rarely watered, so it implies ... but you don't water them often. Such a subsequent clause would be wrong or pointless in the first example: ... but you pour it. There it is only a question of establishing a connection between a condition and a consequence without saying anything about whether the condition is fulfilled. The subjunctive says something about it, namely that it is not fulfilled. Another example:
If you try, you will pass the exam.Only the second sentence says that in the opinion of the speaker the addressee is not making enough effort, so it contains a but. The first sentence, on the other hand, simply establishes a connection between a presupposition and the consequence, without saying anything about the fulfillment of the presupposition. It must be noted that a K II related to the future does not have to be an "unrealis" in all cases, i.e. does not necessarily imply a but. It is not uncommon to use K II and indicative as an alternative without a major difference in meaning:
If I got the job, I would have no more money problems.The first movement emphasizes more the uncertainty of the occurrence of this event, it is better suited for a fantasizing to dreamy view of the future. The second, on the other hand, aims more soberly at establishing a connection between condition and consequence.
K II + with pleasure for wishesAlso very important - and used far too little by learners - is the K II + construction with pleasure for wishes:
I would like to go to China one day.The last sentence is the standard order in the store - which, strangely enough, learners often go unnoticed for a long time. By the way, you should definitely not use the adverb with pleasure to forget. If you do, the result is no longer a wish, but an incomplete main clause waiting for its conditional clause:
I would go to China one day ... - If ...?In this function, the use of the simple K II is hardly possible, except for be, to have and knowledge:
I would like to be in Italy now.
Wish sentencesNot to be confused with the expressions just discussed with pleasure are the desired sentences of the following type:
If only the rain would finally stop!Like the with pleasure-The actual main clause can be "missing" in sentences here as well. In order to indicate that this is a closed statement, you have to have a particle here too, in this case just or just, use - otherwise the listener will expect a continuation. For the verb position in the last two sentences see below verb in position 1
Courtesy, suggestions ...At the beginning it was already said that the K II allows particularly polite formulations. A few more examples:
Can you do me a favor?The K II is also useful for suggestions:
We could meet on Tuesday, is that okay with you?One often uses subjunctive formulations for this purpose, such as the following:
How about a beer? = Would you like one, should we drink one?
pretendAnother quite special but useful use case for the K II is expression pretend + K II in some variants:
He pretends not to hear you.Such constructions are probably most common with the verb to do (in other languages their meaning is represented by verbs such as pretend in English), but you can use any other verb that lends itself to it in terms of content:
He stared at her like he had never seen a woman before.For the verb position see below verb in position 1
Verb in position 1 in the conditional clauseYou may have already noticed a peculiarity regarding the verb position in some example sentences from earlier sections. In certain cases, subjunctive II is possible in sentences with a verb first:
If you had told me about your worries right away, maybe I could have helped you.By removing the finite and moving it to the beginning, the last part of the subordinate clause is somewhat straightened out and relieved. At least with the auxiliary verbs at the top, such sentences are not uncommon in spoken German. There was also this possibility for the desired sentences:
If only he hadn't passed it on!And finally it was also in the as if-Sentences to notice a position abnormality:
She pretends she didn't know anything about it. (normal)The finite verb is not in position 1 - claimed by the conjunction - but it follows this immediately.
No "conditional"For Romansh native speakers, among others, it should be emphasized that the same forms are used in the main clause and in the subordinate / conditional clause. So you don't have to be careful like German learners of Italian who struggle to distinguish between an Italian subjunctive and a "conditional".
K II for K IThe subjunctive I is often indistinguishable from the indicative. In such cases the K II can step in:
The vacationers reported they would have (instead of K I: to have) have to wait for hours.In colloquial language, this K-I substitute is often used when the form of the K I differs from the indicative:
Eva told her would have (instead of have) have to wait for hours.Since the K-I forms differ from those of the indicative here, there is actually no "good reason" to switch to the K II. Therefore, this use is not considered to be entirely clean. But the subjunctive I sounds so formal that it is extremely reluctant to use it in everyday language. There is therefore nothing wrong with using the K II in everyday German in this function. Only when writing is it better to stick to the rule: K II for indirect speech only if the K I cannot be distinguished from the indicative.
Substitute infinitiveThe participles of modal verbs appear in the past in the form of the infinitive when they themselves govern an infinitive:
I couldn't have done that. - no infinitive too canCompare also the keyword Perfectwhere the same rules for using modal verbs apply. Also see the following section on verb position.
Modal verbs: past tense and subjunctive IIOnce again the subject of modal verbs, but now the point is to identify the cause of a very common mistake. Make the problem clear to yourself. In the case of a weak verb, you only need to add a -t- + personal ending to the present stem for the past tense:
kiss - I kiss-t-eSimilarly, many learners would like the past tense of e.g. have to form:
have to - I have toBut what comes out is of course not a past tense, but subjunctive II. The umlaut is, so to speak, not the same as that in the present tense, but the one we know from the strong verbs, where it indicates the subjunctive:
to drive - praet. to drive ⇒ conj. to leadSo take special care not to confuse the forms of Prateritum and K II of the modal verbs.
Notes | Adjective | Adjective declination | Adjective valence | Adverb | Accusative | Active | The conjunction as | Article | Prompt | Requests | The conjunction with it | Dative | Declination | only, already, only | something good | Inflection | Future tense | Genitive | Gender | Main clause | be from | Imperative | Indicative | Indirect speech | Infinite verb forms | Infinitive | the more | Case | Comparison | Comparative | Conjugation | Conjunction | Subjunctive 2 | Subjunctive 1 | let | Opinion | Modal verbs | Mode | want | like | must | Subordinate clause | Nominative | Object | Participle | Passive | Perfect | Person | Personnel form | Past perfect | Prepositions | Present tense | Past tense | Pronoun | Advice | Reflexive verbs | Relative clause | Weak verbs | should | so and such | Strong verbs | Subject | Noun | Superlative | Separable verbs | Irregular verbs | below or below | Verbs | Suggestions | Alternating prepositions | Word order | Wishes |
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