Konjunktiv 2: Anwendung & Bildung – Präsens, Futur & Vergangenheit

How Do You Form the Konjunktiv 2 with “würden”? –
Wie wird den Konjunktiv 2 mit “würden” gebildet?

(Curious Antrim) Super. We’ve established that my teacher is wrong on the “why” part of the lesson, but can we get to the “how” part? I still need to learn the Konjunktiv 2 for the chapter test in Herr Dummkopf’s class. 

Certainly. The easy way to form the Konjunktiv 2 is to start with the verb “werden”. You have to conjugate “werden” in the Konjunktiv 2 and put the other verb you want to use at the end of the clause or sentence in the infinitive form. For example:

Ich würde ein Pony kaufen.
I would buy a pony. 

Forms of “würden” –
Formen von “würden”

The forms of “werden” that you need for the Konjunktiv 2 are as follows: 

ich würde – I would 
du würdest – you would 
er, sie, es würde – he, she, it would 
wir würden – we would 
ihr würdet – you would 
sie, Sie würden – they, you would 

Examples with “würden” –
Beispiele mit “würden”

Ich würde einen Hund kaufen.
I would buy a dog.

In this sentence, I’m not buying a dog. I could have restated this sentence in the indicative form by saying, “Ich kaufe keinen Hund.” (I’m not buying a dog.) The use of “würden” indicates that you might purchase a dog, if you were in a different situation, but the reality of the situation is that you aren’t buying a dog.

Examples with Irreality –
Beispiele mit Irrealität

Ich würde vier Hunde haben.
I would have four dogs.

Würdest du je so etwas machen?
Would you ever do something like that.

Zod würde dich nicht am Leben lassen.
Zod would not let you live.

Mein Bruder und ich würden nie ein Zimmer teilen können.
My brother and I would never be able to share a room.

Würdet ihr eine Rinderzunge essen?
Would you eat a cow tongue?

Die Außerirdischen würden dich zurücklassen.
The aliens would leave you behind.

Examples with Politeness –
Beispiele mit Höflichkeit

Würdest du bitte die Tür zumachen?
Would you please close the door?

Würdet ihr bitte nicht so laut reden?
Would you please not talk so loudly?

Würden Sie mir ein Glas Wasser bringen?
Would you bring me a glass of water?

Ich würde gerne einen Vorschlag machen.
I would like to make a suggestion.

Würden Sie mir bitte einen Daumen hoch geben?
Would you give me a thumbs up?

Würdest du etwas in die Kommentare schreiben?
Would you write something in the comments?

Wenn ihr diesen Kanal auf Patreon unterstützen würdet, würde mich das freuen.
If you would support this channel on Patreon, I would be happy.

Ich würde gerne wissen, warum du denkst, dass deine Meinung so wichtig ist?
I would like to know why you think that your opinion is so important?

Examples with Sarcasm & Irony –
Beispiele mit Sarkasmus & Ironie

Mich würde es höchstens erfreuen, wenn Sie mich nie wieder anrufen würden.
It would please me greatly, if you would never call me again.

Wie wär’s, wenn du einfach nach Hause gehen würdest?
How would it be, if you simply went home?

How Do You Form the Konjunktiv 2 without “würden”? –
Wie wird der Konjunktiv 2 ohne “würden” gebildet?

The second option for forming the Konjunktiv 2 is to use the actual Konjunktiv 2 version of the verb you need. Every single verb in the German language has a Konjunktiv II version. I rarely ever use any of them other than the forms of “sein”, “haben” and the modal auxiliaries. The rest of the time, I either use “würde” and the infinitive of the verb I need or “wäre” or “hätte” and the past participle of the other verb. “Sein” and “haben” are popular for obvious reasons.

While every verb in German has a Konjunktiv 2 version, not all of them are used in the Konjunktiv 2, as the Präteritum indicative form of regular verbs are usually almost completely identical to the Konjunktiv 2 version. For this reason, most people default to the “würden” + infinitive constructions. If you do use the Konjunktiv 2 version of a verb, it will very often include an umlaut in the stem of the verb that wasn’t there in the Präteritum. For example: 

“sein” in Konjunktiv 2

“sein” in Präteritum indicative is “war”. Add an umlaut and some endings to make the Konjunktiv 2. 

ich wäre – I were 
du wärest – you were 
er, sie, es wäre – he, she, it were 
wir wären – we were 
ihr wäret – you were 
sie, Sie wären – they, you were 

Side note: While Duden says both “wärst” and “wärest” as well as “wärt” and “wäret” are technically acceptable, I personally prefer “wärest” and “wäret” for the “du” and “ihr” forms.

Examples of “sein”

Wärest du glücklicher?
Would you be happier?

Wenn er reich wäre, wäre er nicht hier.
If he were rich, he wouldn’t be here.

“haben” in Konjunktiv 2

“haben” in Präteritum indicative is “hatte”. Add an umlaut and some endings to make the Konjunktiv 2. 

ich hätte – I had 
du hättest – you had 
er, sie, es hätte – he, she, it had 
wir hätten – we had 
ihr hättet – you had 
sie, Sie hätten – they, you had 

Examples of “haben”

Wenn ich viel Geld hätte, hätte ich ein neues Auto.
If I had a lot of money, I would have a new car.

Hättest du einen Hund, wärest du glücklicher.
If you had a dog, you would be happier.

“finden” in Konjunktiv 2

“finden” in Präteritum indicative is “fand”. Add an umlaut and some endings to make the Konjunktiv 2. 

ich fände – I would find
du fändest – you would find
er, sie, es fändet – he, she, it would find
wir fänden – we would find
ihr fändet – you would find
sie, Sie fänden – they, you would find

Examples of “finden”

Ich fände das schön.
I would find that beautiful/great. 

Was fändest du toll?
What would you think is great? 

Wenn er seine Augen öffnen würde, fände er seine Schlüssel.
If he would open his eyes, he would find his keys. 

Wir fänden keine Pinguine am Nordpol.
We wouldn’t find any penguins at the north pole.  

Ihr fändet die Antworten im Buch.
You would find the answers in the book. 

Die Schüler fänden die Lektion leichter, wenn Herr Antrim dort wäre.
The students would find the lesson easier, if Herr Antrim were there. 

Miscellaneous Other Verbs

essen – to eat
Ich äße Kekse.
I would eat cookies.

spielen – to play
Wenn er Fußball spielte…
If he would play soccer…

tanzen – to dance
Wenn wir im Mondlicht tanzten…
If we would dance in the moonlight…

As you can see from the last two examples, a lot of the time the simple past and the Konjunktiv II is going to be the exact same thing. This is the main reason that a lot of people go with the “würde” and infinitive construction. Here are the same examples using “würde”.

Ich würde Kekse essen.
I would eat cookies.

Wenn er Fußball spielen würde…
If he would play soccer…

Wenn wir im Mondlicht tanzen würden…
If we would dance in the moonlight…

Herr Antrim
Herr Antrim is a German teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. In 2011 he started his successful YouTube Channel "Learn German with Herr Antrim". In 2015 he created this website to enhance the German language lessons he was providing on YouTube. He is now the author of his own e-book, "Beginner German with Herr Antrim". He has also been featured on numerous blogs and other sites. *This site uses a variety of affiliate links. If there is a link that leads to an outside site from which you could potentially make a purchase, it is very likely an affiliate link for which Herr Antrim will receive a small portion of your purchase. This does not cost you any extra, but it does help keep this website going. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like more information about the affiliate programs this site uses, click here.
German Learning Materials
buche jetzt Einzelststunden mit online Sprachlehrern! - besuche italki.com