Were I to be abducted by grammar aliens

Each Friday in Dialog in Deutsch we discuss words that we’ve encountered that we failed to understand. This week one of the words was entfahren. I’d not heard this before, but I did know the word entführen and so wondered if they were related. Turning to PONS for help, I found this example: ihm ist ein Schimpfwort entfahren – “he let a swear word slip” or “a swear word escaped his lips” (the Spanish translation is se le ha escapado un taco and so now I know that el taco is a word with many different meanings!). So far, so good. Then I go to the entry for entführen – “to abduct” or “to kidnap” – and it also gives entfahren. Why? here’s my supposition with the help of the word form tables from Canoo. The simple indicative past of entfahren is entfuhren, but the past subjunctive form is entführen. Here is the way that one English grammar website describes the past subjunctive “The past subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses and refers to unreal or improbable present or future situations.” A German grammar site offers this pearl: ”[D]ie reale Welt sieht wirklich sehr trist aus. Die Wunschwelt im Konjunktiv II dagegen ist rosig.“ If a swear word were to escape her lips…it might because she was studying grammar in the none-too-rosy real world.

Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ray's Musings

Mostly Music Mixed With Miscellaneous Mayhem

virtuelles Migrationsmuseum

DOMiDs Blog zum Virtuellen Migrationsmuseum

Hamburg für Anfänger

Leben und (ver)lieben in Hamburg

Deutsch lernen mit Deutschlernerblog

Deutsch lernen - Hörverstehen, Leseverstehen, Wortschatz, Grammatik, Übungen, Prüfungen, Schreiben, Quiz, Musik, Videos, Bilder



a free state of mind

Thoughts from the Journey...

The Diversity Dividend

Doing Diversity Differently


Smart language learning

Leading with Trust

Trust is the essential ingredient for leadership success.

Akademie für geile Texte

Lasst mich schreiben. Dann wird alles gut.

Idol Musings

Ray's ruminations, rants and reflections on his American Idol addiction

The Elementalist Epoch

Stories and Poems from the mind of Tristan Nagler

Reality Swipe

Welcome to the Reality Swipe experience... Brace yourself

%d bloggers like this: