Tag Archives: conditional word order

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.