Need help with this sentence (reflexive pronoun, Konjunktiv II...)

Hi all, could someone please shed some light on this below?

In the following sentence, I used 'wären' because I'm referring to 'Die Fähigkeiten' which is plural:

Die Fähigkeiten die ich damals gelernt habe sind genau was in der Firma wertvoll wären.

However, I was told that it should be 'wäre' regardless of whether the subject is plural or singular:

Die Fähigkeiten die ich damals gelernt habe sind genau was in der Firma wertvoll wäre.

I don't understand why we use 'wäre' instead of 'wären'. Please help! Thank you!

May 7, 2017


was is the subject of was in der Firma wertvoll wäre. Because was is singular, wäre has to be singular, too.

May 7, 2017

The reflexion here is on "was" which is singular. However, this German Phrase does not sound good to me, because your capabilities would be good "für die Firma" (valuable for the Company) rather than "in der Firma" Example: Die Fähigkeiten, die ich damals gelernt habe, sind genau jene, welche für die Firma wertvoll wären. This sentence sounds more German to me. In this case the reflexion is on "jene, welche" which is plural. By the way, it emphasizes that you have exactly those capabilities which are valuable for the company.

I hope this helps a little.

May 7, 2017

Thank you! Would it also make sense (and sound German) to say '... sind genau jene, welche bei dieser Firma wertvoll wären" ? i.e. 'bei' instead of 'für' (just to learn what other possibilities exist for this sentence)?

May 7, 2017

Yes, would make sense.

"bei DIESER Firma" would emphasizes the kind of Company

"FÜR die Firma" sets a value for your capabilities

"in der Firma" might mean processes within the Company.

... just to confuse you a bit :-) ... or give you a sense for possibilities.

May 7, 2017
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