Conditional in German 5 – Past Conditional 2

Previously on  “C.i. German”:

After discovering the frightening and sobering truth about the normal Conditional in German, the learner knew … he had to travel back in time and face the past of the Conditional. 
To his surprise, he found it wasn’t as scary as he had expected. There was only one  version and everything was quite straight forward.
“That all you got, German? Pathetic!! You should have made it more difficult.”
“Oh yeah?! Well, why don’t you say that in German then?”
“No probl… oh…. oh my god….”
That was when the learner’s world started to fall apart…. dun dunn dunnnn.

Welcome back everybody to the fifth episode of our mini series on the Conditional, and if you found the intro confusing… well, perfect. Then you’re warmed up for today’s topic:

Past Conditional – Word (dis)order

In the last episode, we looked at the basic system for building the Past Conditional and we learned how to say stuff like  would have gone or would have read. 
If  you haven’t read the first part about Past Conditional or you don’t really remember, please check that out first.  Here’s the link:

 Conditional in German 4 – The Past Conditional

Today, we’ll talk about the cluster… erm… clusterlovemaking that happens when doing past conditional for modal verbs with normal verbs combined. Like… saying something like this:
“I could have done it.”
or this:
“… that I could have done it.”
Doesn’t look very complicated, right?
Well, get ready to see a couple of core beliefs about German grammar fly out the window. And the first one is…. the ge-form.

“ge-” gone

Oh, the good old ge-form. It sure took a while, but now we are used to it and it comes out automatically. So naturally, dick that it is, German will now ask you to stop using it. For the FREAKING SPOKEN PAST.
Yeah, sounds like a bad joke, but it isn’t.
Let’s take a look.

  • Ich will es.
    (I want it.)

To get the spoken past of this, we do what we usually do:  put in the right helper verb (here haben) and put the ge-form of the verb (here: wollen) at the end.

  • Ich habe es gewollt. 

So far, nothing new.
But now take this, very very similar sentence.

  • Ich will  es machen.
    (I want to do it.)

Using logic, the spoken past of that should be this:

  • Ich habe es machen gewollt.  

But no. This is wrong. The correct version is this:

  • Ich habe es machen wollen

No ge-form anymore. Let’s do another one.

  • Ich kann früher kommen.

Using the normal way of building the spoken past this should be

  • Ich habe früher kommen gekonnt.

But nope! The correct version is this:

  • Ich habe früher kommen können.

Tadah. You’ve just discovered a new rule.

To make the spoken past of a modal verb that has a regular verb attached,
you use the infinitive of the modal instead of the ge-form.

I know, I know, nerds, I know there’s something about modal verbs really only being modal verbs when they come with another verb, otherwise they’re regular verbs but hey… no one really understands that stuff and no one cares.  The rule is confusing enough as it is, no need for a distinction between modal-modals and normal-modals.
Let’s just look at it in action again. Behold….

  • Ich will es.
  • Ich will es machen.
  • Ich habe es                 gewollt.
  • Ich habe es machen gewollt wollen.

Great rule, great rule. Thanks, German.
Now a lot of you are probably scratching their heads now wondering why. Well, I’m doing the same thing. I don’t really know.
I have a theory that it might have at least a little bit to do with rhythm. If you’ve read my article on the Spoken Past, you might remember that we looked at the ge- as a rhythmical element. It adds an unstressed syllable in front of the stem of the verb and that extra beat is a big part of signaling  past to a native speaker.

  •  bin gelaufen
  • BAMbabBAMbam

Now, when we look at the combo of normal verb – modal verb in a row, we actually kind of get the same pattern.

  • …. machen wollen
  • …. BAM babBAMbam

Whereas with the ge-form there, we’d just add an extra syllable.

  • … machen gewollt.
  • …BAMbabbabBAM

And that would kind of ruin the flow. German is all about flow, remember? Strumpf, Wurst, Frostschutz… that’s some serious flow right there.
Okay seriously, I don’t know if there is ANY truth to my rhythm theory or if even makes any sense. But that’s literally all I have. So if anyone of you happens to know something … please tell us in the comments.

Anyway… so yeah, this is our new rule. And if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about it until now… well, that’s simply because you didn’t really need it up to now. Because modal verbs usually use the written past, not the spoken past.
And you probably already know where this is going :).

Past Conditional with modals

We DO use the spoken past as a stepping stone to build the Past Conditional.
And guess what… now with the new shitty rule we just learned, we can actually use the EXACT SAME system we learned last time.
So basically replacing the helper verb of the spoken past with its real conditional form and then feel like the savage alpha learner that we are.
Let’s give it a go. Here’s the sentence we want to say in German.

  • I would have wanted to do it.

Gee… this is tough stuff. But with our system, it’s easy. Let’s start with the most basic present tense sentence, just so it’s crystal clear. This wasn’t an explicit part of our system but it’s helpful whenever you get confused about the word order.

  • Ich  will es machen.
    I want to do it.

Now, we’ll take the spoken past of that using our new awesome rule…. so without the ge-form.

  • Ich habe es machen wollen. (spoken past of that)
    I wanted to do it.

And now, all we have to do is to replace the helper verb with its real conditional form.

  • Ich hätte es machen wollen.

And that’s already it! Pretty easy, right?
Let’s do another one.

  • I could have come earlier.
    Ich kann früher kommen. (basic present tense)
    Ich habe früher kommen können. (spoken past)
  • Ich hätte früher kommen können.

Tadah!
Oh and just in case you’re confused why there’s no wäre even though we have kommen… you have to note that the verb is können. NOT kommen. Kommen is basically like an object to können here and it remains untouched of all the verb shuffling we’re doing.
But yeah… you see, the system we learned last time actually works perfectly.
Let’s do one more….

  • The unicorn would have had to have a longer mane to close the wormhole.

If you’re not sure what’s more confusing, the grammar or the content, then let me tell you… the content. I mean… what the hell? Everyone knows unicorns could care less about closing wormholes. So unrealistic.
The grammar is pretty simple. The only real challenge is to realize that the verb is actually….  müssen.  To have to. Once we’re aware of that, we can just use our system.

  • Das Einhorn muss eine längere Mähne haben, um das Wurmloch zu schließen.
    Das Einhorn hat eine längere Mähne haben müssen, um das Wurmloch zu schließen.
  • Das Einhorn hätte eine längere Mähne haben müssen, um das Wurmloch zu schließen.

Boom. Done.
Now it’s your turn?
“What?! But I’m not ready yet…”
You’re never ready! Just give it a try ;). The main thing is that you get the verb forms right. The order is secondary. But if you have a würde in your sentence, it’s REALLY confusing to a native speaker.

 

1.
Thomas could have cleaned the kitchen. 
Thomas hätte die Küche putzen können.

 

2.
I shouldn’t have called my boss a princess.
Ich hätte meinen Chef nicht Prinzessin nennen sollen

 

3.
The beer would have had to be colder to be tasty.
Das Bier hätte kälter sein müssen, um lecker zu sein.

 

All right.
Now, so far we’ve only discussed “normal” sentences. But we all know that German also has these sentences with ALL the verbs at the end.
And to get those right in Past Conditional, we have to say good bye with another core belief about German… the verb at the end.

Verb at the end… NOT

So yeah, German has these sentences that has ALL the verbs at the end. So the verb that used to be in position 2 kind of queues up at the end like it is in a super market or something.
Here’s a couple of examples…

  •                  Ich will ein Bier trinken.
    … , wenn ich          ein Bier trinken will.

  •               Ich habe ein Bier getrunken.
    …, dass ich             ein Bier getrunken habe.

It sure took us a while, but now where used to them and the verb at the end thing comes automatically. So what’s German gonna do now? Exactly… pull a new rule out of its behind that makes us NOT put it at the end anymore. Or at least shuffle it up a bit.
Here’s what I am talking about.
Suppose we want to say this

  • I told him that I would have had to drink a beer.

We have a dass-sentence so it’s one of those that has ALL verbs at the end. And because it would be impossible to build that right away, we’ll go step by step and start with a “normal” sentence.

  • I would have had to drink a beer.

For the average language learner, this is super scary but we’re all conditional veterans now. This is a piece of cake.

  • Ich hätte ein Bier trinken müssen.

Now we need to make that into a dass-sentence. So normally we’d put dass in front of it and move the verb that was in position number 2 to the end.

  • … , dass ich ein Bier trinken müssen hätte.

But this is WRONG!!
The correct version is this:

  • …, dass ich ein Bier hätte trinken müssen.

Instead of going to the very end, the helper verb goes in front of all the other verbs that are at the end…. the beginning of the end, if you will.
Let’s do another example…

  • I told Maria that I could have eaten more.

The normal sentence (without the dass) would look like this:

  • Ich  hätte mehr essen können.

And here’s the dass-version….

  • …  , dass ich mehr hätte essen können hätte.

And that’s it. Tadah… that’s our new additional rule for word order. And it is completely pointless. Seriously… I have NO idea what’s behind this. All it does is complicate things. I mean… it’s not super complicated on paper. But building this in conversation is a challenge, even for native speakers.That’s right… native speakers do mess up here sometimes.

  • … , dass ich hätte mehr essen können
  • … , dass ich mehr essen hätte können.

Both version are something a native speaker might say and the first one sounds fine actually (those of you who have read my series about word order might know why). The second one sounds quite bad though, and yet sometimes native speakers do say this, simply because their brain wasn’t fast enough. So you as a learner have NO reason to beat yourself up, if this takes you a while or you’re making mistakes.
Cool.
Let’s do one more example to recap what we learned today.
Here’s what we want to say…

  • [I said] that I would have wanted to go running today.

Wow, even more verbs :). But we have all we need in our tool box. First, let’s build a normal present tense sentence. Without dass and conditional.

1.          Ich  will     heute joggen gehen.  (normal version, no dass, no past, no conditional)

Now, we build the spoken past of that and as we learned today, we DON’T use a ge-form.

2.         Ich  habe  heute joggen gehen gewollt wollen. (spoken past, as we’ve learned without ge-form)

 

Now, we replace the helper verb with its real conditional form to get the Past Conditional

3.            Ich hätte  heute joggen gehen wollen. (real conditional of helper is put in)

And now we put that into the “all verbs at the end”-form using the new crappy position rule.

4. … , dass ich  heute hätte joggen gehen wollen hätte.

And that’s it. Now you know all you need to build the Past Conditional. And I urge you… please take a moment now to feel like a boss. Because you really are one.

 

Now, of course this was only the theory. What you need now is practice.
And that’s why next time, we will do a HUGE work out just for the Past Conditional. And then we’ll probably do a kind of Conditional Q&A to clear up all open questions.
But yeah, for today that’s it. As always, if you have any question… what?… oh… oh you want to do an exercise now? Okay, fine… I’ll give you three sentences to chew on :). If you really go step by step by step as we’ve done it together, they shouldn’t be a problem. I mean… not like you can just say it off the page. But you CAN BUILD IT.
Let me know in the comments if my explanation made sense and if you have any questions about any of this. I’ll try to clear it up (or add it to the Q&A list). Hope you guys enjoyed it, have a great week and bis nächstes Mal.

 

4.
If Maria had wanted to, she could have come to the party.  
Wenn Maria gewollt hätte, hätte sie zur Party kommen können.

 

5.
If Maria had wanted to come to the party, she could have come.
Wenn Maria zur Party  hätte kommen wollen, hätte sie kommen können. 

 

6.
If I had really wanted to spend the evening at home alone, I would have had to turn off my cell phone.
Wenn ich den Abend wirklich allein zu Hause hätte verbringen wollen, hätte ich mein Handy ausmachen müssen
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FunnyToes
FunnyToes
7 days ago

Hi Emanuel, thanks for this! Extremely helpful. Just wondering, did you ever get to making a practice set for this topic? No worries if not! I just can’t seem to find it if there is one.

FunnyToes
FunnyToes
4 days ago
Reply to  Emanuel

You legend!! Thanks heaps.

neugierigusselig
neugierigusselig
23 days ago

ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass ich mich so sehr über nen Grammatik-Artikel freuen würde…dieser Artikel allein war echt die Einhorn-Mitgliedschaft wert!

….aber eine Frage – ‘If Maria had wanted to come to the party, she could have come.’

...geht das auch so – ‘Wenn Maria zur Party kommen wollte, hätte sie kommen können’?

…diese Form höre ich gefühlt sehr oft, und sag ich auch (in der Hoffnung dass es dasselbe bedeutet)…stimmt das, oder nicht?

Grüße aus Leipzig :)

ade0
ade0
8 months ago

I have a German grammar book which draws a distinction s as follows:

Er soll die Stelle bekommen haben
– he is believed to have got the job/they say he got the job

Vs

Er hätte die Stelle bekommen sollen
– he ought to have got the job (but he didn’t)

Does the use of the second construction always imply that the thing didn’t happen?

Another example given is:
Sie hätte die Inhaberin des Hotels sein können
– she could have been the owner of the hotel (but it didn’t happen)

Many thanks in advance
Ade

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Thank you for the interesting grammar.
I have a question: how would you say

I would have liked to have done that.

As opposed to
I would have liked to do that.

in German?

Max Garceau
1 year ago

I feel a lot more confident after learning these word order rules. Not just in German, but also life in general hahaha. I’m going to let this conditional lesson series sink in, practice, and then come back and re-read it in a month.

Kalidasa
Kalidasa
1 year ago

Can you explain the difference between these two sentences:

Ich habe sie verloren mußen
Ich muß sie verloren haben

Kalidasa
Kalidasa
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I have seen “ice muß she verloren haven” — OK, let’s correct to “verlieren haben” ; the question is what is the difference in putting the modal verb “müssen” first (instead of “habe”); in other words, what’s the difference between saying:

  1. ich habe sie verlieren müssen, and
  2. ich muß sie verlieren haben

do they both mean “I must have lost it” ?

Kalidasa
Kalidasa
1 year ago
Reply to  Kalidasa

sorry about typos in first line of question — damn auto-correct!

Kalidasa
Kalidasa
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Are you saying that “ich habe sie verlieren müssen” means “I must have = it was necessary for me to lose her/it” (obligation), but that “ich muß sie verlieren haben” means “I must have lost her/it” in the sense of “it appears that I’ve lost her/it” and that the first sentence cannot mean “it appears that. . . ” and the second cannot mean “it was necessary that …” ????

ade0
ade0
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Asking along similar lines, are the following pairs valid, and if so, is there any difference in meaning?

Ich habe es machen sollen
Vs
Ich soll es gemacht haben
And
Ich habe es machen können
Vs
Ich kann es gemacht haben

Many thanks in advance!
Ade

Capital_ Ash_
Capital_ Ash_
2 years ago

in the 4th exercise, the solution has “gewollt” there, which brings up the following question:

when does say “gewollt” and when does one say “wollen”? and would that rule apply to all the other modal verbs? thanks in advance. a great article, as always!

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 years ago

Hi, I just have another question about the verb not being at the end. Is it only for the past conditional when there is a modal verb and another verb, or does it also apply if it is in past conditional with just a modal verb.

Also just the same question when concerning the spoken past form of the modals, whether it wound apply if there was another verb, and would it apply if it was just the modal. Thanks.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Yep, can you please tell me which of these are correct and which are wrong. Thanks.
1. …, dass ich es hätte gewollt.
2. …, dass ich es gewollt hätte.
3. …, dass ich es habe gewollt.
4. …, dass ich es gewollt habe.
5. …, dass ich es machen wollen habe.
6. …, dass ich es habe machen wollen.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Thank you. So the 3 conditions that causes the verb not to be at the end are:
Modal verb
Spoken past form (or conditional past)
Has a verb other than modal verb as well

And something like this is wrong since it is not a modal verb:
…, dass ich bin gegangen rennen.
and instead should be
…, dass ich gegangen rennen bin.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 years ago

Hi Emmanuel, just wondering why “… , dass ich hätte mehr essen können.” sounds ok in German. I have read the series on word order but still don’t understand. Thanks.

Cameroni
Cameroni
2 years ago

My brain is fried but I now understand this. I appreciate how easy you made this concept to learn

Annasc
Annasc
3 years ago

When you made a “dass ich heute hätte joggen gehen wollen” yourself from the first time and then scrolled to the “like a boss picture” to see the answer… HELL YEAH!

By the way if you want to train now : https://deutsch.lingolia.com/ru/grammatika/struktura-predlozhenija/pridatochnye-predlozhenija/uslovnye-predlozhenija/uprazhnenija (I made one mistake with sein/haben)

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago

Die hätten-nicht-zum-ende-im-Nebensatz Regel ist sehr komisch. Ich habe meine Lehrerin das gefragt und sie hatte keine gute Antworte, deswegen habe ich das als Hausübung ihr gegeben (zur Abwechslung :D ). Ich habe das auch meine Kollegen gefragt und sie haben mir gesagt, dass müssen (im “Bier” Beispiel) das konjugierte Verb “war”, und es steht am Ende. Hätte ist da nur für die Konstruktion des Konjunktiv. Das ist besser als nichts, aber es ist nicht genug

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

So… ich habe eine Antwort.
“Ich dachte, dass ich ein Bier trinken hätte müssen” und “Ich dachte, dass ich ein Bier trinken müssen hätte” sind beide korrekt und akzeptiert aber der erste Satz ist mehr umgangssprachlich.
“Ich dachte, dass ich ein Bier hätte trinken müssen” ist auch akzeptiert aber es ist am wenigsten korrekt (unter dem grammatikalischen Gesichtspunkt)
Das passiert in Österreich :P

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ja, ich bin auch überrascht. Als ein Novizie würde ich “trinken müssen hätte” sagen. Entweder habe ich die Frage falsch gefragt oder ich habe die Antwort nicht ganz richtig verstanden, weil auch meine Kollegen mir gesagt haben, dass “hätte trinken müssen” richtig ist…
Nächste Lektion ist in der nächsten Woche und ich werde noch einmal fragen. Ich habe ihr auch den Link zu dieser Website geschickt
Schauma mal…

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Soo… ich habe eine definitive Antwort. Meine Lehrerin hat einem paar Germanisten (I have no clue about how to write the dative of this :) ) die Frage gestellt und die Antwort ist: Verb IMMER zum Ende, aber viele leute sagen kein “dass” und verwenden keinen Nebensatz. Nur “ich dachte ich ein Bier trinken müssen hätte”

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Jetzt habe ich eine endgültige Antwort. Sie fragte das ein paar Germanisten (Freunde von ihrer) und sie sagten ihr, dass das konjugierte Verb immer zum Ende geht. Immer. Von einem grammatischen Standpunkt ist nur “dass XYZ trinken müssen hätte” richtig und alle andere Alternativen sind falsch. Sie sagten auch dass “hätte zum Ende” oft falsch oder komisch klingt. Deswegen ist die Konstruktion “Wortstellung im Nebensatz wie im Hauptsatz” erlaubt, aber nur mit Konjunktiv II UND Nebensätze. Ich stellte auch einem Professor der deutsche Sprache (an einer Universität) die gleiche Frage und ich bekam die gleiche Antwort

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Speziell für Österreich? Keine Ahnung. Ich lerne noch die Sprache :). Keiner würde in Österreich “trinken müssen hätte” sagen, weil es sehr komisch ist (für sie, nicht für mich). Aber, eine Sache ist, was Leute sagen; eine andere Sache ist, was richtig (von einem grammatischen Standpunkt) ist. Ich stellte auch einer anderen Leherin (auch von einer Universität) die Frage: gleiche Antwort, aber sie wird eine Forschung machen

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ich bekam von dieser Lehrerin eine andere Antwort. In den Nebensätzen mit dem Konjunktiv II der Vergangenheit, muss man das konjugierte Verb (hätten, in diesem Fall) immer vor den Infinitiven der Verben (trinken müssen, in diesem Fall) setzen. Ich fand auch diese Quelle: https://www.grammatiktraining.de/konjunktiv2/grammatikanimation-konjunktiv2-der-vergangenheit.html

Es scheint, dass es eine Regel des Konjunktiv II + 2 Infinitive ist. Woher kommt diese Regel? Keine Ahnung. Noch recherchieren.

Ich setzte eine ganze Universität in die Tat um :D

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Nun ja… ich glaube daran, dass sie geglaubt haben, dass ich nur “Konjunktiv II der Vergangenheit im Nebensatz” ohne Modalverben gemeint habe

patrik.osgnach
patrik.osgnach
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ich muss auch sagen, dass in der letzte Woche wir nicht genug Zeit hatten, um das vertieft zu diskutieren und vielleicht habe ich etwas falsch verstanden. Österreichische Deutsch vs deutsche Deutsch, vielleicht?

Donna
Donna
3 years ago

Vielen Dank Emanuel – dein System ist wirklich sehr hilfreich! Ich habe eine Frage, die nicht direkt in Verbindung mit diesem Thema steht. Es geht um Sätze, in denen das konjugierte Verb nicht am Ende steht. Ich finde solche Sätze sehr irritierend, und es ist irgendwie nett zu hören, dass Muttersprachler auch davon durcheinandergebracht werden. meine Frage ist, ob es auch so ist, in Nebensätze mit einem Modalverb im Passiv? Zum Beispiel, welche von den folgenden Sätze ist richtig?

(1) Sie sagte, dass das Essen gekocht werden muss
(2) Sie sagte, dass das Essen muss gekocht werden.

Mein Sprachgefühl sagt (1) ist richtig, aber es sagt mir auch, dass “…, dass ich mehr hätte essen können” falsch klingt, und deshalb traue ich es nicht…

[Übrigens, in diesem Beispiel würden Muttersprachler auch manchmal (fälschlicherweise) sagen, “…,dass ich mehr essen können hätte”, d.h. konjugiertes Verb am Ende?]

Und nochmal, herzlichen Dank für alle deinen Erklärungen!

Donna
Donna
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Danke für die schnelle und klare Antwort! Diese Regeln scheinen mir so regellos, aber ich vermute, dass ich halt üben muss, bis sie mir als normal fühlen…

daniel
Admin
daniel
3 years ago

This is one of my favourite german grammar structures. The rhythm sounds great and it’s satisfying as hell to use. Especially in a dependant clause.

evabara
evabara
3 years ago

Vielen,viiiiiiiielen Dank für diese Artikeln über das Konditional. Ich hab unzälig Mal mit einer Konditionelle Setze angefangen, nur mich komplet zu verlieren in einem Wald von würde/hätte/sollen/müssen und müsste einfach sagen “naja, du weisst was ich meine…”. Das war die beste Erklärung. Alles macht ein Bisschen mehr Sinn in meinem Gehirn. Jetzt hab ich weniger Angst, konditionelle Setze zu bauen… ausser im Vergangenheit – die finde ich unglaublich kompliziert. Mindestends habe ich jetzt eine Theorie und Methode zu folgen!

Nochmal, DANKE :)

ClaireClara
ClaireClara
3 years ago

(1) If I had really wanted to spend the evening at home alone, I would have had to turn off my cell phone.

(2) If I had really wanted to spend the evening at home alone, I would have had to have turned my cell phone off.

Does anyone know if these sentences have the same meaning in English or if one is more grammatically correct?
For some reason, as a native speaker in this hypothecal scenario, I would be much more likely say sentence (2) and put the “object verb” in the past as well. Does this have a different translation in German?

Thanks!!

ClaireClara
ClaireClara
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

thanks!! Also this article was amazingly helpful. You do great work!

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
3 years ago
Reply to  ClaireClara

I’d say (2) is more precise. To my mind, it sounds like “My cell phone would have needed to be off by the time the evening began,” if that makes sense. I don’t think (1) is wrong; it just indicates that I didn’t turn the phone off yesterday, which means I obviously wasn’t that serious about staying home that evening.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that “had to” is like “must” – it can mean obligation/necessity but also express strong probability/certainty about a situation:

– My phone has to be around here somewhere…

So if you say, “He had to have turned off his cell phone,” you could be saying “I’m sure he [had] turned off his cell phone.” That would make me less likely to say “I would have had to have turned off my phone,” since it doesn’t sound as clearly like a necessary condition as “I would have had to turn off my phone” does.

Does that make some kind of sense?

Goce
Goce
3 years ago

Du Deutsch, du hättest es komplizierter machen sollen!!
Wer ist jetzt der Boss?? [böses Lachen]

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
3 years ago

I miss you all!

Been “beschäftigt” with Deutsch at Uni, simultaneously finishing the last level of High School Swedish And Last but Not Least: Freshmen Initiation – been skimming each installment and plan on concentrating on them properly when HS Swedish is done (October 12) Initiation is over (September 16) and I have regain my equilibrium (My guess, October 14). I hope you are all all still here when I return as a full-time “German is Easy” subscriber.

Schönes Wochenende

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
3 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Lustig, dass du diese Frage stellen solltest…

Ja, I joined a “nation” – Sweden’s version of Frats and Sororities – co-ed and named after geographical Teil of Sweden instead of griechische Buchstaben.

Because I know you strive to absorb a language down to your bone marrow, habe ich ein beitrag für dich:

Have you joined a sorority in colloquial AE is: “Did you go Greek?/Have you gone Greek?” In the context Uni – it means, “Did you join a frat/sorority?”

Bis später!

simonroberts0204
3 years ago

Does the thing with infinitive-as-past-participle apply in the past perfect? Do you ever need to say:

“Ich hatte machen wollen”. (I “had” wanted to do – as opposed to “i (have) wanted to do) ?

Do we ever actually use the past-perfect with the modal verbs? Or would it be more idiomatic to just use “wollte” whether you’re talking about present perfect or past perfect ?

NN
NN
3 years ago

There ia https://www.germanveryeasy.com/m/past-perfect

Emanuel is here to say how widely it is used.

NN
NN
3 years ago
Reply to  NN

Oh sorry , you asked about modals.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CScVSsHbvFc#

NN
NN
3 years ago

Don’t you have anyone to validate your rhythm theory. I must admit that it sounds right.