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Conjunctive 2 Question

How would I say "If she had too much homework, I would help her"

Wenn sie zuviele Hausaufgaben haette, (huelfe/haelfe) ihr

The website says that the conjunctive is formed by the preterit tense of a verb with an umlaut if it has one; which it does. In that case wouldn't it be "haelfe" because "halfe" has an accent in the conjunctive?

Is this simply an exception?

September 28, 2017



"Wenn sie zu viel Hausaufgaben hätte, würde ich ihr helfen"


Hey Bob,
Just had a quick look into this, and it looks as though there are two valid translations (if you want to use only subjunctive verb forms (or Konjunktiv II)):

  1. Wenn sie zu viele Hausaufgaben hätte, hälfe ich ihr;

  2. Wenn sie zu viele Hausaufgaben hätte, hülfe ich ihr.

Funnily enough, on Google ngrams it looks as though "hülfe" is actually preferable to "hälfe", but either way, it looks as though there are two Konjunktiv II forms for "helfen".

Hope this helps

P.S. Personally however, if I were saying this (and didn't want to sound too pompous) I would just say:

  • Wenn sie zu viele Hausaufgaben hätte, würde ich ihr helfen.

But I'm sure you're very familiar with the conditional vs. subjunctive argument already :)

P.P.S. Just re-read your question and wanted to add that yes, it is an exception; both that "hülfe" is a valid Konjunktiv II form of "helfen", and also that there are two valid Konjunktiv II forms of "helfen".

Though I would also like to add that the rule about adding an umlaut to the preterite form to get the Konjunktiv II is only a helpful rule of thumb, so I wouldn't be surprised to find too many exceptions; however, I must confess I don't pay attention to too many subjunctive verb forms beyond those for "haben" and "sein" :)

P.P.P.S. Und "werden" auch, natürlich :D

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