What is the difference between the two sentences:

Das Buch wurde geschrieben.

Das Buch ist geschrieben.

Hinweis: Die Frage wurde hier auf Deutsch beantwortet.

  • 2
    What does your grammar book say? And why are you unsatisfied with its explanation?
    – Eller
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 11:01
  • 3
    Here answered in German: german.stackexchange.com/questions/27826/…
    – Iris
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 11:42
  • 4
    @close voters: The same question was accepted and answered in German.
    – Iris
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 13:25
  • @iris Then it's a duplicate. SE provides means to mark it as such.
    – PerlDuck
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 19:15
  • 3
    @PerlDuck, no, it is okay to have questions twice, in German and English.
    – Iris
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


As explained in answers to this question in German, the case with ist is called Zustandspassiv (stative passive) and I would translate it simply to “The book is written”, which just emphasizes the state, independent of when it was created in the past. The case with wurde is the Handlungspassiv (dynamic passive) and would be translated to “The book was written”, emphasizing the act of writing it.

There is a difference in time, the ist case doesn’t specify a time, the wurde case took place in the past.

There might not be many differences in practice. For example I could say both:

Das Buch wurde von Shakespeare geschrieben.

Das Buch ist von Shakespeare geschrieben.

And both would mean that Shakespeare is the author of the book.

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