How would you make this into the past tense?

Ex : Wir haben viel Zeit


In German, there are normally two ways to express something in the past tense: Präteritum and Perfekt.

Präteritum: (We had a lot of time)

Wir hatten viel Zeit.

Perfekt: (We have had a lot of time)

Wir haben viel Zeit gehabt.

Haben is used here as a helper verb, and is similar to 'have' in the Perfekt case. Rules to form the past can easily be looked up.

Which you should use depends highly on the context and the verb in question. In general, it is better to use Perfekt for speaking and Präteritum for writing. However, in this case, I would use Präteritum in both cases because the verb haben is normally expressed this way. The verb sein is also this way. There are many exceptions and rules to go along with this, and it's better to learn them as you go until you're more comfortable with the concept.

  • 1
    Ok Thanks! I was confused because having two habens' seemed weird – Eric L Mar 8 '16 at 15:40

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