Der Konjunktiv

“Words are not just words. We do things with words.” And among the things we can do with words is express our attitude towards something. We can say things in a certain way to express it as a fact, or as something unreal, or to show that we want to be neutral about whether something is true or not. For these purposes and more, we have the subjunctive mood – in German, the Konjunktiv.

In this episode I talk to Verena Hofstätter, a linguist and German teacher from Vienna. Together we take a dive into the German subjunctive – what it looks like, when it’s used, and why it’s suffering an identity crisis.

Read the transcript here.

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About this episode's guest

Verena Hofstätter is a German teacher, sociolinguist and podcaster in Vienna.

She is the founder of Das Lehrwerk, where she teaches German as a foreign language, and supports students with their academic papers and their learning.

Her podcast is called Wissen schafft Sprache. Here Verena covers a wide range of topics to do with the German language, including language history, grammar, sociolinguistics, and language biographies.

Instagram: @daslehrwerk
Podcast: Wissen schafft Sprache

Episode of Wissen schafft Sprache featuring Luke: SprachGeschichte Luke

Photo © Verena Hofstätter

This episode was first released on 12th September 2023.

YOTE theme music by Vincent Tone (

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