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27
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
605 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
269 views

Is it possible to have confusion with different verbs that have some forms in common?

I may be wrong, but, I seem to recall that gehört is both the past participle of "hören" and that of "gehören" (for which it is also the third person present tense), and the two verbs are not ...
7
votes
4answers
452 views

What's this structure called?

I don't understand the structure used in this exercise: What's it called?
7
votes
2answers
222 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
209 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
714 views

Differences between “muss gut gewesen sein” vs. “musste gut sein”

What is the difference between "muss gut gewesen sein" and "musste gut sein"? For example, I was told Das Konzert muss wirklich gut gewesen sein. I have three questions: What is this tense of ...
5
votes
6answers
115 views

Perfect tense to describe future events

From Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Die Celler Polizeiinspektion wird noch eine Weile brauchen, bis sie den Hergang der Ereignisse am Montagabend rekonstruiert hat. Why is the perfect ...
4
votes
2answers
243 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?
4
votes
1answer
300 views

How do we use perfect tense in passive voice?

Was wird am meisten gebraucht in der Passivform der Vergangenheit? Präteritum oder Perfekt? Perfekt habe ich noch nie gehört im mündlichen Gebrauch. Oder habe ich nicht gut aufgepasst? Also, was ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Zeitformäquivalenz zwischen “ohne dass …” und “ohne … zu”

Eine Adaption aus diesem Artikel: Er wurde in einem Gefängnis eingesperrt, ohne dass er den Grund dafür erfahren hat. Wenn man diesen Satz mit "ohne .. zu" umformulieren möchte, sollte es dann ...
2
votes
3answers
74 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
126 views

How do you communicate in German a continuous action in the past?

Things like: I used to go to that library over there. I was playing my guitar when she entered the room. I've done a bit of research, and it looks like the German Perfekt is used for one-off ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

What is the proper current tense?

I have two sentences which in my eyes mean the same, but I don't know which one is the proper current tense is in German. Zahlung information aktualisieren, I think this means, Refreshing payment ...
2
votes
2answers
365 views

How to translate Perfekt into English

I came across these sentences with their translations: Du bist aus Berlin gekommen. - You have come from Berlin. Wo seid ihr so lange gewesen? - Where were you so long? From what I have ...
1
vote
2answers
238 views

Resources for learning verb tenses with short example sentenses

I wish to learn verbs with their tense forms for general conversation. I tried to use the verb tables, but I am not able to memorise them. I think it would help me if I learn these forms alongwith ...
1
vote
1answer
682 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

When should I use Perfekt and when Präteritum? [duplicate]

I asked my german teacher this question and what she said is that there is not such a big difference. I am participating in a A2 German course so I am afraid that she doesn´t want to go too much into ...
-1
votes
2answers
191 views

How is the verb “singen” used in different tenses?

I have read that "Gesang" translates to "singing" in English. But is that the present tense? The sentence that I am working on is: Sing to yourself So I would like to know the context in ...