Bräuchte vs.brauchte Konjunktiv II

Today I came across a sentence which seemed to be simple Konjunktiv II
“Ich bräuchte ein Zimmer mit Dusche und Bad”
I gave my student a link to the different verb forms of “brauchen”
…but what came up was “brauchte” and not “bräuchte” :joy:
I first thought maybe regional differences :thinking:äuchte
…but it seems it’s just wrong German according to the society of German language:
“Ich würde ein Zimmer mit Dusche und Bad brauchen”…seems to be the correct sentence.
Any thoughts on this @Toby @SKrausser?
@PatPatton you might find this post interesting.


That’s an interesting case @Germanlady!

The word „bräuchte“ is still officially assessed as “Umgangssprache”. But language is ever-changing and it might be possible that it will be excepted in the great halls of in the near future. It’s widely used all over Germany and these days you can hear it at offices in every corner of Deutschland:

  • „Ich bräuchte hier noch ihre Unterschrift, Frau Maier.“
  • „Herr Lauterbach, wir bräuchten mal ihren Rat.“
  • „Was du wirklich bräuchtest, sind 2 Wochen Urlaub!“

I had a teacher who told us to use “brauchte” (Konjunktiv II), even if “bräuchte” is widely used to avoid confusion with the past tense “brauchte”. I for my part will continue to use “bräuchte” (in my southern dialect we use a version of it which might be the root of the whole problem), but I can see why some linguists don’t want to go down that road. Where would we stop? Wouldn’t be “söllte” much clearer when it comes to subjunctive 2? How 'bout “wöllte”? 🤷🏻

When a student asks me about it, I just explain where it comes from and why it is a bit of a borderline case.

Like you said, the correct version for “Ich bräuchte ein Zimmer mit Bad” would be “Ich würde ein Zimmer mit Bad brauchen”. Or even “Ich brauchte ein Zimmer mit Bad”. But the latter sounds rather strange for my southern ears when it’s not intended as Präteritum.

“Du könntest mal wieder ein Bad gebrauchen” means something totally different though! :skunk: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Thanks for the quick response and great explanation @Toby :smiley:

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I absolutely agree with @Toby and I can’t almost add anything.
It’s true that “Ich bräuchte…” becomes more and more common, and I would accept it as “umgangssprachlich, aber in Ordnung”.

The only thing I could add is a very common mistake in the journal reviews. Many students translate “I need to do something” with “Ich brauche … zu machen”. That definitely doesn’t work. “Ich bräuchte…” only works in connection with a noun.


Thanks @SKrausser :hugs: . Have a nice Christmas and a Happy New Year :christmas_island: :christmas_tree: :partying_face:…same to you of course @Toby and to everybody else :wave: