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Terminology from Canoo, Verbix, Cactus & verben.info

These notes will help you reconcile the terminology used on the Canoo, Verbix, Cactus and verben.info sites with what you see elsewhere on this site and in University of Michigan German classes. You will see some important differences especially in the terminology for the Subjunctive, and one additional tense that is ignored on this site (Futur II). For the basic indicative tenses, there are also some small differences, but you could probably figure them out easily without reference to this page.

"Basic" Indicative Tenses [i.e. NOT the Subjunctive, and not Futur II]

In addition to the basic terms listed in bold font, you may see the following additional terms, listed in red:

  • Present: Präsens
  • Conversational Past [the "2-word past tense": ich habe gesungen, ich bin aufgewacht, etc.]: Perfect, Perfekt
  • Narrative Past [the "1-word past tense": ich sang, ich wachte auf, etc.]: Simple Past, Preterite, Präteritum
  • Future [e.g. "Ich werde gehen," "I will go"]: Futur, Futur I
  • Past Perfect [e.g. Ich hatte gelacht [I HAD laughed], Ich war gegangen [I HAD gone]: Pluperfect, Plusquamperfekt

Futur II

This tense is used (in the Indicative mood) to express what someone will have done, e.g. "In drei Jahren werden wir alle Verbformen gelernt haben" [=In three years we will have learned all the verb forms]. This tense is not covered on this website, or in first- and second-year German classes at the University of Michigan, but if you're interested in it, you can practice it on the Canoo, Verbix, Cactus and verben.info sites.

  • The "normal" Future tense (ich werde singen, du wirst gehen, etc.) is called "Futur I" on these sites.

Subjunctive II

The various forms of what we refer to as "Subjunctive II" on this site appear on these four sites as follows:

"würde + infinitive"-form of Present Tense of Subjunctive II: ich würde gehen/wissen/lachen etc. [I would go/know/laugh, etc.]:

  • Canoo calls this "Future I of Subjunctive II"
  • Verbix calls this "Present Conditional" [and also lists a "Perfect Conditional" which we'll ignore here]
  • Cactus calls this "Konjunktiv II Futur"
  • verben.info calls this "Konditional I" [and also lists a past tense version which it calls "Konditional II" and which we'll ignore here]

"One-word-form" of Present Tense of Subjunctive II: ich ginge/wüsste/lachte/hätte/wäre, etc. [I would go/know/laugh/have/be, etc.]:

  • Canoo calls this "Preterite of Subjunctive II"
  • Verbix calls this "Past of Conjunctive II" ["Conjunctive" comes from the German "Konjunktiv"]
  • Cactus calls this "Konjunktiv II Präteritum"
  • verben.info calls this "Konjunktiv Präteritum"

Past Tense of Subjunctive II: ich hätte gelacht/ich wäre gegangen, etc. [I would have laughed/I would have gone, etc.]:

  • Canoo calls this "Past perfect of Subjunctive II"
  • Verbix calls this "Pluperfect of Conjunctive II"
  • Cactus calls this "Konjunktiv II Plusquamperfekt"
  • verben.info calls this "Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt"

Present Tense of Subjunctive I (used for indirect discourse, i.e. to report what someone says or thinks - NOT covered in German 101-231 at the University of Michigan. Present Subjunctive I is used if the speaker originally used the present tense): er/sie/es sei/könne/esse/gehe etc. [[X says/thinks that...] he/she/it is/can/eats/goes, etc.]:

  • Canoo calls this "Present of Subjunctive I"
  • Verbix calls this "Present of Conjunctive I"
  • Cactus calls this "Konjunktiv I Präsens"
  • verben.info calls this "Konjunktiv Präsens"

Past Tense of Subjunctive I (used for indirect discourse, i.e. to report what someone says or thinks - NOT covered in German 101-231 at the University of Michigan. Past Subjunctive I is used if the speaker originally used the past tense): er/sie/es habe gegessen/sei gegangen, etc. [[X says/thinks that...] he/she/it ate/went, etc.]:

  • Canoo calls this "Perfect of Subjunctive I"
  • Verbix calls this "Perfect of Conjunctive I"
  • Cactus calls this "Konjunktiv I Perfekt"
  • verben.info calls this "Konjunktiv Perfekt"



   
 

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