Terminology from Leo, Verbix, Cactus & other Verb Conjugation Resources
These notes will help you reconcile the terminology used by Verbix, Cactus and other conjugation resources 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 italics:
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 Verbix and Cactus and sites.
The various forms of what we refer to as “Subjunctive II” on this site appear on other sites as follows:
“würde + infinitive”-form of Present Tense of Subjunctive II: ich würde gehen/wissen/lachen etc. [I would go/know/laugh, etc.]:
“One-word-form” of Present Tense of Subjunctive II: ich ginge/wüsste/lachte/hätte/wäre, etc. [I would go/know/laugh/have/be, etc.]:
Past Tense of Subjunctive II: ich hätte gelacht/ich wäre gegangen, etc. [I would have laughed/I would have gone, etc.]:
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.]:
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.]: