The modal verb mögen


Notes on the Konjunktiv II form möchte


1. The form of the modal verb in the Konjunktiv II expresses a real and present time wish; this means that the function of möchte is equivalent to that of a verb in the present tense indicative.


2. However, when we want to express a wish that refers to the past, we use the modal verb wollen.


Examples time meaning
Ich möchte ans Meer fahren. present wish
Ich wollte ans Meer fahren. past


3. The modal verb wollen also expresses a wish in the present time, one, however, that, compared to möchte, is stronger and less polite.


Examples intensity of wish
Ich möchte dich sprechen. weak
Ich will dich sprechen. strong


4. möchte can also be used as a full verb to express a polite wish. 

In this case, it takes an accusative object or is combined with a dass-clause.


Examples meaning
Ich möchte ein Pfund Schinken. wish
Monika möchte, dass wir sie am Wochende besuchen.