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I'd like to know the differences between als and wenn when I want to talk about an specific time.

When should I use them?

In what situations would one of them be nonsense?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted
  • als
    is only used for single events in the past.

    Als ich noch jung war, ...
    Als ich letztes Mal in Berlin war,...
    Als ich mich in deinen Vater verliebte, ...
    Als es noch Dinosaurier gab, ... (this could be a really long time)

  • wenn
    is used for repeated events in the past

    Immer wenn ich ihn besuchte, ...
    Jedes Mal, wenn wir zusammen waren, ...

  • For present and future always use wenn

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Gestern, als wir uns trafen.
Morgen, wenn wir uns wiedersehen.

Only use als to specify events in the past, and wenn for future events.

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