What is difference between “ausgewählten” and “auswählenden”?


Am Donnerstag zeigt Prof. Müller mithilfe von ausgewählten / auswählenden Tests…

  • 4
    The difference is similar to selected / selecting.
    – Eller
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


These are both participles of the verb auswählen. German has two participles which have a slightly different function and luckily can be told apart very easily.

The past participle has the marker »ge« at the beginning or before the main part of a separable verb (there are exceptions, though). You will stumble across it very early when learning German as you need it for building the Perfekt tenses:

Prof. Müller wählt Tests aus. (Präsens, separable verb)

Prof. Müller hat Tests ausgewählt. (Perfekt)

It's also used for passive voice:

Die Tests werden von Prof. Müller ausgewählt. (Vorgangspassiv)

Die Tests sind von Prof. Müller ausgewählt. (Zustandspassiv)

Your example uses the participle in place of an adjective.

Prof. Müller zeigt mithilfe von ausgewählten Tests etwas.

An ausgewählter Test is a chosen test. The test has been chosen previously —that's the logic why German uses the past participle here, both past and passive— so it became chosen, the same way it could have become hard or simple (both real adjectives).

The present participle has the marker »d« at the end. It has two uses. The first one is telling the main action happens at the same time as the action of the participle:

Die Tests auswählend beendete Prof. Müller seine Vorlesung.

Choosing the tests, Prof. Müller ended his lecture.

The other use is in your example, the participle in place of an adjective.

Prof. Müller zeigt mithilfe von auswählenden Tests etwas.

This second use is a bit tricky: The present participle is active voice, so now it's the tests doing something! Auswählende Tests are tests which are choosing —between good and bad students probably—.

  • Ich finde auch, dass selbst ein Test aktiv sein kann. Bei »[aus]siebende Tests« sieht man das vielleicht besser.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 9:40
  • Ich weiß ja nicht, wie gut der Frager Englisch kann – da gibt es beide Varianten des Partizips als Adjektiv ebenso.
    – Janka
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 9:51

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