In German, there are several modes: the indicative, the subjunctive and the imperative. There are two types of subjunctive, they are used in different cases.
There are three main tenses to the Subjunctive I: the Subjunctive I Present, the Subjunctive I Past (with sein or haben to the perfect) and the Subjunctive I Futur (with werden and the infinitive of the verb).
The main use of the subjunctive I is indirect speech. It is used to relate someone’s words. It can also be used in some formulations.
The Subjunctive I (Konjunktiv I) is formed by adding the following endings to the present tense: -e, -est, -e, -en, -et, -en. The only exception is the verb sein, which has a special construction. Here are two examples to illustrate :
|Subjunctive I Present sein|
|er, sie, es sei|
|sie, Sie sein|
|Subjunctive I Present machen|
|er, sie, es mache|
|sie, Sie machen|
In the past participle, the Subjunctive I is formed with the auxiliary haben followed by the verb in the infinitive.
|Subjunctive I Past machen|
|ich habe gemacht|
|du habest gemacht|
|er/sie/es habe gemacht|
|wir haben gemacht|
|ihr habet gemacht|
|sie/Sie haben gemacht|
In the future tense, the Subjunctive I is formed with the auxiliary werden (in Subjunctive I Present) followed by the verb to the infinitive
|Subjunctive I Futur machen|
|ich werde machen|
|du werdest machen|
|er/sie/es werde machen|
|wir werden machen|
|ihr werdet machen|
|sie/Sie werden machen|
Subjunctive I is used primarily for indirect speech, while Subjunctive II replaces Subjunctive I where there is a risk of confusion. Subjunctive II corresponds to the English conditional.
For weak verbs (regular verbs), the Subjunctive II Present has the same form as the preterite. If the verb is strong, it is formed with the stem of the verb in the preterite with the following endings: -e, -est, -e, -en, -et, -en and a verbal inflexion for a, o and u.
In the past tense, the Subjunctive II is formed with haben or sein (in the Subjunctive II Present) and the past participle II
In the future tense, the Subjunctive II is formed with the verb in the infinitive preceded by the auxiliary werden.