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    Am trying to revise for German oral but have got myself a little bit confused with compound tenses - can't remember the example I got tangled with earlier but as a (rubbish) example, what construction do you use for 'if I had got up earlier, I would have been on time'. It's the 'would have been' construction that's confusing me most!
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    That's the conditional perfect.....

    "..., würde ich rechtzeitig gewesen sein"
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    Would it not be;
    "Ob ich Früher aufgestanden hatte,würde ich pünktlich sein."?

    This could be wrong I have consulted Hammer's German Grammar and Usage ( which I can recommend, especially if you're planning to study German at Uni) though. At first I was messing about with the passive but I don't think it's necessary.

    I'm Phil btw
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    I posted before I had read Fleece's reply. Looks like I just missed the "gewesen" out, which I had in at one point. Oh well, it's better to make these small mistakes now than in the exams!
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    Don't use 'ob' either
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    ob is not 'if' in a conditional sense, it means 'whether' - use "wenn"

    for conditional perfect you use the appropriate form of sein/haben +past participle:

    because you use "ich BIN krank gewesen" and NOT "ich HABE krank gewesen"
    (basically your auxiliary is sein in the perfect, for the conditional perfect this still applies)

    instead of using "ich würde das gemacht haben" (i.e. imperfect subjunctive of werden + past participle + sein/haben) it is preferable to use the imperfect subjunctive of sein/haben + past participle instead - so that the sentence is cleaner (not so much of a verb overload), thus

    ich hätte das gemacht, I would have done it
    ich wäre pünktlich gewesen, I would have been punctual

    instead of "wenn" you may choice inversion, as in english, and add dann/so, for emphasis

    hätte ich das nicht gemacht, dann wäre ich dorthin gefahren.

    if i hadn't done that, i would have gone there
    (had i not...)
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    So if I'm talking about the stem cell law in Germany and I want to say "if the law had been changed, the situation would have improved", would this be right:

    "Waere das Gesetz veraendert worden, haette die Situation verbessert"?
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    I would have said:

    Wenn das Gesetz verändert worden war, würde die Situation verbessert haben

    whether that's right or not, who knows...
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    It gets a bit tricky using conditional perfects with passives, Fleece you just need to change the war (indicative) to subjunctive mood (wäre) and the first part is good.

    The passive would be avoided anyway and "man" used instead. So wenn man...verändert hätte, wäre die Situation besser geworden.

    verbessern is transitive as in to improve s.o. or something, if you want to say "improves" with no object (middle voice really - french reflexives are similar) you have to use "sich bessern" or something more similar to English like besser werden, or if a patient is improving/getting better "es geht ihm besser" etc. (es geht besser +dat)
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    scheisse...there's so much to bear in mind with German

    like how would I know not to use the passive there?!
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    (Original post by Fleece)
    I would have said:

    Wenn das Gesetz verändert worden wäre, würde die sich Situation verbessert haben

    whether that's right or not, who knows...
    Just changing what Trolley has suggested.
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    see, i would have put the sich at the other side of Situation, just because it sounds better i need to revise.
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    (Original post by Fleece)
    see, i would have put the sich at the other side of Situation, just because it sounds better i need to revise.
    :eek: :eek: I've made a mistake (yes, again ). No need to revise Fleece. Sorry for that.
    It's either
    Wenn das Gesetz verändert worden wäre, würde sich die Situation verbessert haben.
    or
    Wenn das Gesetz verändert worden wäre, würde die Situation sich verbessert haben.
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    oh okies
 
 
 
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