New answers tagged


First, remember that there are two possibilities for conveying past tense and modal verbs: Either one puts the modal verb into the past tense or one puts the main verb into the past tense. Compare the two English examples. I have to work. I had to work. I have to have worked. In English, the first option works with both past tense (simple ...


Unlike in English, expressions like "I should have done it" in German are not formed with a participle of the non-modal verb, but with the infinitive. It is a special form called Ersatzinfinitiv which uses both infinitives of the modal and the non-modal verb: I should have done it. Ich hätte es machen sollen.


For the position of adverbs, there isn’t really a difference between past and present tenses in German. For analytic tenses like Perfekt, the auxiliary verb haben or sein takes the position of the full verb in synthetic tenses Präsens and Präteritum – i.e. second position in main clauses – and the participle comes last (except in subordinate clauses, where ...

Top 50 recent answers are included