so these  ifs will also be wenn in German. that was leaving from Hauptbahnhof at 10:30, I would have been late for my appointment, I’ll work that into the article but for now you should check out the comments for details. _____ Maja Geburtstag hatte, wurde sie acht Jahre alt. I hope this helped and as usual if you have any questions or suggestions just drop me a comment. In English you have the words if and when with if indicating a possibility and when indicating a time be it past present or future. Wenn ich nach Berlin fahren werde, will ich das Brandenburger Tor ansehen. Wenn es regnet, nehme ich einen Regenschirm mit. Immer, wenn er nach Hause kommt, ist es sehr spät. THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH... Where you live - German. If I hadn’t caught the train, that was leaving from Hauptbahnhof at 10:30, I would have been late for my appointment. Ich nehme einen Regenschirm mit, wenn es regnet. Steve, thank you so much for the philosophical insights…. We don’t spam! Wenn man da … First of, wenn – also als – is one of these words that don’t get along with the verb very well, so sentences with wenn are always side sentences with all the verbs hangin’ out at the end. Sorry ;:), German Main Sentences 2 – The Beginning and the End. And now to wrap this up… Steve, do you know any idioms with wenn by any chance? Example. Now ask yourself this… how certain can you be that you WILL be doing something until you’re actually doing it? So you cannot be absolutely sure about events in the future. Steve: Well you know… so of course I am teaching at different universities but my main  focus during the last year has been on a project I am realizing with some colleagues … I don’t want give too much away now as we have an article in Philosophers Digest comin’ out in a few weeks but this much I can say: you will be able to play both on Facebook and on any smart phone, you can play against OR with your friends and it will have something to do with gardening…, GIE: Oh…  See I had no idea that philosophers are actually involved in these kind of projects…, Steve: Oh most of us are, I mean… we have to eat, right? (When I go to Berlin, I want to see the Brandenburg Gate.) GIE: So English has the 2 poles when (time) – if (possibility) and the space between is a continuum. – consequence in the main clause. GIE: Yeah think of that as a very very short form of something like “So when this condition does apply, and it apparently does, then  let’s at least do something this way.”, GIE: Yeah true, mostly we use it to say “Ok, If we are going to do it then let’s do it to the max”. Steve: Yeah.. And then there are some fixed expressions with wenn that don’t really fit the explanations above. (laughs). Examples for “wenn”: Immer wenn ich nach Hause komme, mache ich mir einen Tee. So guys… I hope that things are a little more clear now. GIE: Well Steve, I have to say, that was really awesome. (I ate the cookie because I was hungry.) The word dann in the second half of the sentence can also be left out. Four Situations That Call for 'Wenn' Wenn er nervös ist, macht er Fehler. Are you going to join us for the rest of the show? Real Condition. In a statement, we generally start with the subject and the verb is second. GIE: Yeah, all pretty stiff, serious and focused folk…. This means pretty much the same as als ob so it is as if. Then there is wenn auch. Let’s look at them back to back. The audience here doesn’t really find those funny…. The English words if and when have 5 possible German translations: wann, wenn, falls, ob and als and I will write in article explaining the differences between all of those. GIE: So basically when I talk about past I use als and when it is not past it will be wenn, is that correct? First position can be occupied by one word, several words or a subordinate clause: Wenn ich frei habe, mache ich einen Ausflug. Whenever something has happened this is 100% certain. Wenn es kalt ist, ziehe ich eine Jacke an. Thus we have a smooth transition from if to when and the 2 are interchangeable at times. Wenn ich nur gewusst hätte! Steve: Thank you. The first one is the best as it brings together what mustn’t be mixed up :) … als wenn. So wenn is correct for future and fantasy land, als is correct for past and DO NOT MIX THEM UP. I forgot an important aspect about wenn and als. If it is 100% certain the German word is als and as 100% certainty is only possible in the past, als is THE ONLY proper translation for when in the past. This is somewhere in the vicinity of although. Now how does that relate to German and to wenn. The conjunctions als, wenn, wann. _____ ich dieses Lied gehört habe, habe ich immer laut mitgesungen. Steve: Oh ok, I’ll turn off my funny then… So let’s make a little detour and have a quick look at English first. So we have the poles possibility – time here. Wenn ich Freunde treffe, sehen wir Horrorfilme. I hope you liked it and see you next time. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Steve: German has different poles. The condition is expressed in the subordinate clause, while the consequence is expressed in the main clause: Wenn ich krank bin, … – condition in the subordinate clause, … (dann) bleibe ich im Bett. GIE: And then there is the one that perfectly captures the idea of uncertainty: Steve: (laughs)… hah I hear THAT for sure…, GIE: So… I think we’re done. GIE: Cool. The answer is up to the beholder to decide and it doesn’t matter after all in that case. So whenever you talk in future or conditional the proper German word is wenn. In this case wenn is used although it is in the past and 100% certain that I was tired. –  consequence in the main clause. Introduction. Read our privacy policy for more info. Gerade _____ ich einschlafen wollte, klopfte es an die Tür. Conditional Clauses in German Grammar. Unreal Present Condition. In contrast to “als” we can use “wenn” in all German times. Wir sind glücklich, weil es heute nicht regnet.

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