A conditional sentence consists of a wenn-(if)-clause and a conclusion. The wenn-clause is the dependent clause of the conditional sentence. The conjugate, or finite verb has to be placed at the end of the sentence.
In the following you will find some examples of the positions of if-clauses and the conclusion. If the clause begins with a condition the subject is located behind finite verb in the conclusion.
|Wenn alle Menschen so dächten,||dann wäre die Welt sauberer.||If all people would think that way, then the world would be much cleaner|
|Wenn ich morgen Zeit habe,||dann können wir ins Kino gehen.||If I have time tomorrow, then we can go to the cinema|
|Wenn ich heute Zeit gehabt hätte,||dann hätte ich dir im Garten helfen können.||If I would have had time today, then I could have helped you in the garden|
or: If the conclusion comes first, the subject is located before the finite verb.
|Die Welt wäre sauberer,||wenn alle Menschen so dächten.||The world would be cleaner, if all people would think that way|
|Wir können ins Kino gehen,||wenn ich morgen Zeit habe.||We can go to the cinema, if I have time tomorrow|
|Ich hätte dir im Garten helfen können,||wenn ich heute Zeit gehabt hätte.||I could have helped you in the garden, if I would have had time today|
In both parts of the sentences we assume that the conditions can be fullfilled. We use the present tense in both parts.
With the unreal condition, we describe a condition that is not fullfilled in the present. Therefore, we use in both parts of the sentence the subjunctive II. (we can also use the würde + infinitive form). The würde form is more used.
Here, we describe a condition that was not fulfilled in the past. Therefore, we are using the subjunctive II (Konjunktiv II) in both parts of the sentence.
Now, that you have learned about the conditional sentences try to apply your knowledge in our interactive exercises.
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