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I have the sentence

Nachdem sie auf Lanzarote angekommen waren, mieteten sie ein Auto und fuhren ans Meer.

and I was left slightly confused.

I would have thought that the pl. past conjugation of haben would have been correct rather than waren i.e.

Nachdem sie auf Lanzarote angekommen hatten, mieteten sie ein Auto und fuhren ans Meer.

Is there a reason for not using hatten over waren?

  • "Is there a reason for not using hate over haben?" Why should haben be relevant for this sentence at all? I don't understand your question? And what do you mean with hate please? – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 16 '19 at 22:01
  • Look at the several conjugations of sein, these are different from the stem haben. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 16 '19 at 22:08
  • @πάνταῥεῖ apologies mistake was due to autocorrect - now fixed. – David Smith Jan 16 '19 at 22:11
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    @DavidSmith Take a look and see whether this helps you. – David Vogt Jan 16 '19 at 22:17
  • A medium-sized group of German verbs use sein as their perfect tenses auxiliary instead of haben. A good dictionary always tells you that oddity for a verb. – Janka Jan 16 '19 at 22:37
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With most verbs one uses haben as auxiliary verb to form the perfect (or Plusquamperfekt), but with some, sein must be used.

Verbs of movement generally use sein for the perfect. This includes kommen and its derivatives, including ankommen. Because of this,

Sie waren angekommen

is correct, and Sie hatten angekommen is wrong.

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