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Why does

we have rented this villa.

translate to

wir haben dieses Ferienhaus gemietet?

why user past participle if it the tense is still present?

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"rented" is past tense, as well. It is a literal translation, where is the actual problem? – chaero Nov 7 '12 at 7:41
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The tense is not present, it's "Perfekt" -- what you'd call "present perfect" in English, but which expresses actions or states having occurred in the past in German.

The surface structures are actually the same in English and German:

have rented

haben gemietet

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