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"Vielleicht sollte ich Deutsch lernen."

Translation:Maybe I should learn German.

February 28, 2013



Maybe I should learn German? Nah, what a silly idea.


Yea, lemme say that in German.


haha no doubt. But I don't believe that comment with your level and streak count.


Tatsächlich? Nein, sollte ich nicht Deutsch lernen!!!!!


Can "sollte ich... lernen" be translated as "I should have learned."

Translating as "I should learn" doesn't seem to capture the past tense of the modal "sollte."


I think it's konjunktive? Which is the same as imperfect past for sollen


Could you expand a little more here? Are you saying imperfect past is equivalent to our present "should"?


My point was that konjunktive in many cases, as in the case of sollen, is the same as imperfect past (and therefore würden + infinitive is the more common construction for other verbs, not sollen though). Sometimes soll = should, sometimes sollte = should. Depends on the context. I believe sollte is more like... i really should do it but I don't have to. Soll is more like 'muss' but someone else told you to do it. I'm still not 100% however.


I think you're generally right here. After having studied for the last month and a half in Berlin, we came across the proper usage of modal verbs. Müssen is to have to and dürfen is to be allowed to and können is to be able to. "Sollte" is a suggestion so it sounds weird coming from yourself. I can ask the teacher tomorrow.


I saw somewhere that that's just what German people say - Using sollte even for present tense


I thought: sollen = shall, and sollten = should. My German friend taught me "Sollen wir mal gehen?" Which in english could be said both "shall we go" or "should we go" but in German sollen was used perfectly naturally there


For that, you would say "Ich hätte Deutsch lernen sollen". Because while sollte and soll are different, they are used interchangeably IMO


"I should perhaps learn german" should be accepted? or am I misusing something in this sentence?


i think it should


So what would be "Vielleich solle ih Deutsch lernen"? What is the difference between using "solle and sollte" here?


as far as i can tell, 'ich soll' is 'i am expected to/i am supposed to', where ich sollte is 'i ought to' - sollen carries the idea of pressure from (though not necessarily obligation to) others, sollten the idea of, i guess, an independent, intellectual reason to do something. but i imagine there's probably often overlap, in the way that english modals are often interchangeable ('could', 'may' and 'might' for example)


Yeah, maybe I should.


Eine Frage

I should have learned German = Ich sollte deutsch habe gelernt ???


Ich sollte Deutsch gelernt haben


Okay thanks!!

Sort of like the Futur II Aktiv forms shown in this link? but with sollte instead of werde or würde?



yeah basically. normally i'd try and give a reasonable explanation but i've had a few and i'm not totally sure of myself anyhow -- hopefully this demonstration of tense-building might help explain it somehow?

I learn German = Ich lerne Deutsch

I have learnt german (/'I learnt German' in conversation) = Ich habe Deutsch gelernt

I should have learnt German = Ich sollte Deutsch gelernt haben

I will have learnt German = Ich werde Deutsch gelernt haben

I would have learnt German = Ich würde Deutsch gelernt haben


Great! Thank you.


Does this work with all the modal verbs? And specifically, with 'will'. Would it be correct to switch out the examples you gave for soll here with will?

As in, "Ich wollte Deutsch gelernt haben" = "I have wanted to learn German".

I know that's a strange example, and it would be rarely used, but I'm asking just for an example.


ooh good question. according to german.about.com, it would seem no: http://german.about.com/library/blmodalvex.htm

this is the example they give: Sie haben den Film immer sehen wollen. = They have always wanted to see the film.

i think 'Ich wollte Deutsch gelernt haben' = 'I wanted to have learnt German' but i'm not 100% sure


is this what they call super-liminal messages?


If you rephrased the sentence to " Vielleicht ich sollte lernen Deutsch" would it still make sense? It is hard learning the structure of sentences for me because i want to change it to an english structured sentence.


Why «Maybe I have to learn German» does not suit here?


Because "sollen" imply no real obligation, contrary to "müssen/must/have to. It's more of a moral, or inner motivation, so a pretty good equivalent to "shall" :)


okay, so then how do i say, "Maybe I should have learned German"??? are there any rules i can follow to understand when "sollten" is present tense & when it is past tense?

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