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I love the conditional perfect in German.

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by FrauSue, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    Doing modal verbs and sehen/hören/fühlen in the perfect and conditional perfect tomorrow. It's so lovely! And then the double infinitive rule in subordinate clauses comes into play ...
    Die Polizei hätte den Verdächtigen nicht gehen lassen sollen.
    Ich denke, dass die Polizei den Verdächtigen nicht hätte gehen lassen sollen. Triple infinitive!
    Oooooh - just wanted to share! Does anyone else have favourite grammar points that they enthuse about in front of a sea of blank faces? My pupils just humour me when I go off in raptures about irregular verbs. (Please tell me I'm not alone.)
  2. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    I love that too! Wish I taught German. Are you teaching that for GCSE or A level?
  3. Haha, I love that too :D. Especially because even lots of Germans stumble over those sentences and then you end up discussing for hours how many infinitives you need in the end :D.
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I once came up with this for "It was so quiet that we could have heard them drop a pin."
    Es war so still, dass wir sie eine Stecknadel hätten fallen lassen hören können.
    I even thought of changing hätten to würden … haben, but that was just being silly.

  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Do love these, though it's a long time since I've done some.
  6. Happened to me the other way round some years ago in the days of O level.
    A pupil had written ..Ich haette aus dem Zug nicht aussteigen sollen...
    she had attached a note to her work saying that she felt it preferable to use the pluperfect subjunctive as the alternative conditional perfect seemed to her rather clumsy!... I could only agree!
  7. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    I love this thread. As someone no longer teaching German - phased out for Mandarin - I miss those structures so much!
    Thanks OP!
  8. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    You guys are clearly in the right job, whereas I might not be because it's never occurred to me to get excited about an infinitive (or four). I do like cases though because it's like a puzzle, the way a sentence fits together. Cases are my favourite grammar point, and I like dative best.
  9. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    And the future perfect passive:
    Das Essen wird von Homer gekocht worden sein.
    You are not alone.
  10. I am not a Germanist but I can really understand your enthusiasm.
    Back in the days of yore in the year leading up to O Level French, I used to seek out opportunities to use the subjunctive. Not just any old subjunctive, but irregular ones. The thrill of' il faut que je m'en aille' !
    I was telling a French friend about this recently, she looked at me aghast. No-one would say that now she tells me.
  11. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Try putting the future perfect passive into a subordinate clause is good fun if you can remember the word order:
  12. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    At which point you may as well use the subjunctive:

    Ich hatte gedacht, dass das Essen von Homer gekocht worden sen werde.

    At least I think that's right... I mean I hope so.......
  13. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I am sorely tempted to throw in a Donaudampfschiffsfaehrerskapitaensfrau into one of these sentences!

    But what's all this about no-one using subjunctives in French any more? Do we not say Il faut que j'aille / je fasse / je sois? Il faut que je vais / je fais / je suis sounds all wrong!
  14. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Not too sure about this one: future perfect passive modal: it makes my brain squirm.
    I will have had to have been helped by the teacher:
    Ich werde vom Lehrer geholfen werden haben müssen.
    Anyone up for this?
  15. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Well, I suppose you can get out of it with devoir.
    Je dois aller/faire/être... so much for gallic sophistication. Not that we Brits have much to shout about, nah'mean?
  16. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    We very much still use the subjunctive, don't you worry! And I get overly excited about it in front of my AS pupils...
  17. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    Whether it be correct or not, I feel there remains a place in English for the subjunctive. (And our glottal stops are definitely as fine as any German's!

    Now going to go to bed reflecting on whether there's a subtle difference between il faut que je..., and je dois, und andere Fragen, die ich mir frueher habe stellen sollen .... I like that 'Es wird' passive in German etc 'Es wird auf der Strasse getanzt'
  18. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    Some of these are amazing!
    Ich denke, dass es schon hätte gemacht worden sein müssen!
    Question for Germanists: If I have a very ugly vase which I want somebody to drop accidentally-on-purpose for me, before I make it to the party where I might see the vase, then do I tell them:
    Sie wird schon fallen gelassen worden sein müssen, bevor ich ankomme?

  19. Yeah, for sure because of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKj-6yKSnLE
    This ad was a big success, but the sentence is still very, very wrong ;-).
    No, it doesn't work. Mir muss vom Lehrer geholfen werden.
  20. That's it. Die Vase ist fallen gelassen worden. Die Vase sollte möglichst fallen gelassen worden sein, bevor ich auf der Party erscheine. Und wenn sie dann noch nicht fallen gelassen worden ist, muss der dafür Zuständige leider gegangen werden ;-).

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