5

Consider the following two variations on a sentence:

Diese Filme werden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.

Diese Filme wurden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.

Are they both proper German and, if so, do they mean the same thing or what is the difference?

  • Aside from the perfectly good answers already given, please note that the passive voice has no bearing whatever on the difference between these two sentences. One is in the present tense and the other is in the simple past (Präteritum), and the effect would be the same if the verb was active ("Diese Filme laufen noch nicht im Ausland" etc). – Sebastian Koppehel Sep 21 at 20:13
13

They are both proper German and have a similar, but not identical meaning.

Diese Filme werden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.
These movies are not yet beeing shown abroad.

If these movies are currently shown inland and one might expect that they are also already shown abroad.

Diese Filme wurden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.
These movies have not yet been shown abroad.

If these movies are a bit older (months or years) and one might expect that they already have been shown abroad in the past (and probably are not shown any longer).

  • "wurden noch nicht" says nothing about the present. It strongly implies, but does not ensure us, that the films are running. Admittedly, I didn't yet consider the Inland/Ausland distinction. It's strongly implied that a film would be shown some way, so the implication is stronger than I thought. "Die Hausaufgaben wurden noch nicht gemacht" says nothing about the present, but strongly implies that the state of events did not change. The meaning depends on expectations. There is a difference between perfektiv (said and done) or imperfective aspect (potentially stretching into the present) – vectory Sep 17 at 11:39
  • At that "Die Hausaufgaben werden gemacht" implies either a frequentative, or an (asessive?) future tense. – vectory Sep 17 at 11:41
  • 3
    In deiner ersten Übersetzung fehlt mir ein being: are not yet being shown. Ansonsten gut! – Philipp Sep 17 at 19:02
  • @Philipp hast Recht, hab's nachgetragen – Volker Landgraf Sep 17 at 23:26
3

I understand it as follows:

Diese Filme werden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.

The movies are not shown abroad but there is a certain tendency that this might happen in the next time.

Diese Filme wurden noch nicht im Ausland gezeigt.

Just feels like a fact to me.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy