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The conditional tense in German is established through the subjunctive II.

But that is not the


only way. As important as it is to learn the subjunctive II for such purposes, there are
sometimes other ways to form a conditional statement, depending on your intent. The
following is a listing of a few examples.

Introducing a condition with the preposition bei :

Bei schnem Wetter, gehen wir schwimmen.


(When the weather is nice, well go swimming.)
Remember that the preposition bei is always followed by the dative. If you would use
the subjunctive, the sentence would read as follows:
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German

Use wenn plus the present tense if the condition is possible.

Wenn du mde bist, leg dich hin.

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Wenn es schnes Wetter sein sollte, dann gehen wir schwimmen.
Using Wenn

(If you are tired, lie down.)


Wenn du Hunger hast, nimm dir ein Stck Kuchen.
(If you are hungry, you can have a piece of cake.)

Use wenn plus the subjunctive II if the sentence indicates a hypothesis not
realized.

Wenn ich jung wre, wrde ich mir diese Schuhe kaufen.
If I were young, then I would buy these shoes.
Wenn wir reich wren, wrden wir auf eine Weltreise gehen.
(If we were rich, we would go on a world trip.)

Use wenn plus the subjunctive II if the sentence indicates a hypothesis that
was not realized in the past.

Wenn er studiert htte, wrde er gute Noten bekommen haben.


(If he had studied, he would have gotten good marks.)
Wenn er seine Medizin genommen htte, wrde er jetzt gesund sein.
(If he had taken his medicine, he would be healthy now.)

Using Falls/ im Falle (in case)


When something is possible.

Falls du zum Museum hingehst, vergiss nicht dein Mitgliedsausweis.


(In case you go to the museum, dont forget your membership card.)

Im Falle, dass wir spt sind, will ich mir eine Ausrede denken.
(In case that we are late, I want to think of an excuse.)

Using es sei denn, dass (unless)/ vorausgesetzt, dass (provided that)

Geh nicht im Keller, es sei denn, dass du vorher gefragst hast.

(Dont go in the basement, unless youve asked beforehand.


Guck nicht im Schrank, es sei denn du willst wissen was du fr deinen
Geburtstag bekommen wirst.

(Dont look in the closet, unless you want to find out what you will be getting for your
birthday.)
Ich komme mit, vorausgesetzt, dass deine Eltern einverstanden sind.
(I'm coming, only unless your parents agree.

With the adverbs sonst (else) or andernfalls (otherwise)


These adverbs make reference to the past that would have influenced the past, that
the situation occurred.

Ich bin froh, dass du mitgekommen bist, sonst htte ich mich sehr gelangweilt
haben.
(I am happy that you came along, or else I would have been so bored.)
Gute Sache, dass er die Suppe nicht gegessen hat, andernfalls wrde er auch
krank gewesen sein.
(Good thing, he didnt eat the soup, otherwise hed be sick too.)