German Subjunctive I
The usage and formation of the subjunctive I
The subjunctive I is a form that in general is only used in reports or newspapers. In them it describes a indirect speech. For example: "Die Frau berichtete, das Obst sei schlecht." (The woman reported, the fruits were bad.) Other than that the subjunctive I is only used in fixed German expressions. Examples for the use of the subjunctive I:
|Indirect speech||Fixed expressions|
Sie sagte, sie habe davon nichts gewusst.
(She said she didn't know that.)
Sei es wie is sei.
(Be it as it may.)
Er sagte mir, er komme heute nicht mehr.
(He told me he wouldn't come today.)
Lang lebe der König.
(Long live the king.)
Sie vergewisserten mir, sie seien pünktlich.
(They assured me they would be on time.)
Gott sei Dank.
How to form the German Subjunctive I
When forming the German subjunctive I the word "sein" (to be) is the most important to learn. That's because "sein " is the only German verb for which you can form the Subjunctive I for all persons. Here you can see it in a table
|Person||sein (to be)|
|er/ sie/ es||sei|
For all other verbs you can only form the 3rd person singular in subjunctive I. It is really easy to form this - you just take the indefinite form of the verb an remove the "-n" at the end! A few examples:
(to have to)
Now, that you have learned about the subjunctive I you can either practice it in the following exercise or learn about the subjunctive II in the next chapter!
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