relating to the form of a verb that tells when the action takes place

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30
votes
4answers
22k views

When to use Perfekt and Präteritum?

What's the guideline as to when to use Perfekt and Präteritum? I was always taught that the simplest rule is Präteritum (mostly) for written forms, and Perfekt is most common in spoken language. But ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of Perfekt and Präteritum in the spoken language

I have read the question When to use Perfekt and Präteritum? but it doesn't answer my question. I am looking for a rule for beginner / intermediate level learners which tells when to use Perfekt or ...
5
votes
3answers
249 views

Is “Er ist gehend” or “Er ist am gehen” proper German?

Is "Er ist gehend" possible in german? As in "Right now he is going". I realize that adding another word, as in "Er ist gehend nass geworden", makes more sense, but still "Er ist gehend" doesn't ...
10
votes
4answers
719 views

Tense and Aspect

Most linguists recognize two tenses in English, present and past, although other verb forms are often mistakenly described as tenses. I walk is present tense and I walked is past tense. A form such as ...
7
votes
2answers
274 views

Das Futur und Präsens um die Vergangenheit zu beschreiben

In der letzten Gradingperiode dieses Schuljahres musste meine Deutschklasse einen Aufsatz über ein Thema unserer Wahl schreiben. Meiner ging um Anzeichen des Kalten Krieges in Nachkriegsdeutschland. ...
2
votes
3answers
211 views

“present continuous” form - have vs having

German doesn't differentiate between present tense and present continuous tense as English language does. For instance, Ich esse Brot means, "I eat/am eating bread". The same applies to the verb ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Consecutio temporum in German prepositions

Just wondering if nachdem is the only preposition which induces a change in the tenses: Nachdem wir gegessen hatten, bin ich nach Hause gefahren. As far as I know, here it wouldn't be correct to ...
6
votes
3answers
342 views

Warum Perfekt anstelle von Präteritum und seit wann?

Seit welcher Zeit und warum wird im ge­spro­chenen Deutsch lieber Per­fekt anstatt Präteritum benutzt, z.B. lieber Ich habe gesehen als Ich sah? Warum hat sich die kompliziertere Form eingebürgert?
5
votes
2answers
698 views

Why doesn't German have a present continuous tense?

German language doesn't have a present continuous/progressive tense like English, Dutch or Spanish. German has no present progressive tense ("am going"/"are buying"). The German Präsens "ich ...
1
vote
1answer
907 views

Modal verbs: preterite or perfect?

I was told that while speaking people generally use perfect instead of preterite. Is it also common for modal verbs? Which is used in which cases? Ich konnte ... or Ich habe gekonnt ...