Der zug fährt 9 uhr ab'

Why is fährt (presence/Präsens) used in this case?

In this case of separable verb 'abfahren' how do I tell which form of fahren to use?

with reference to this list http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-abfahren.html

  • 2
    You should pay attention to capitalisation of substantives in German. This is not just a "nice to have". It is obligatory. Dec 13, 2019 at 0:18
  • To close voters: the reason no replacement of conjugation table etc. does not fit, because apparently the main point that confuses the OP is the fact that something to happen in future is expressed using present and not futur1. Dec 13, 2019 at 0:54
  • I would be surprised if there were no existing question that concerned the use of present to represent future events.
    – Jan
    Dec 13, 2019 at 5:53
  • @VolkerLandgraf It would be interesting to hear what Yozansen's usual everyday language is. Most languages I know know the concept of using present tense for certain things thought to be happening in the future. Dec 13, 2019 at 10:09
  • @Jan Closing as duplikat would be something different, I just said that the given reason (sub-category of off-topic) does not fit. Dec 13, 2019 at 15:45

2 Answers 2



  1. observing that the statement is simply descriptive, so the finite verb is in indicative mood;
  2. observing that the subject of the sentence is der Zug, so the finite verb is a 3rd person singular ("er/sie/es");
  3. observing that it is an active statement (the subject, ie the train, does something), so the finite verb is an active voice;
  4. observing that the statement refers to a planned future action and that, in German, such statements are expressed either in Futur I or present tense and that, in cases where the context specifies a point in time for the event to very likely occur, present tense is strongly prefered;
  5. combining your insights from (1) through (4) and locating the appropriate form in the table: er/sie/es fährt ab.

As a side note, it's usually Der Zug fährt um 9/10/11 [Uhr] ab.

  • Thanks for the answer!!
    – Yozansen
    Dec 12, 2019 at 18:41

If you ignore the time, the sentence is "Der Zug fährt ab." The time written on the table is relevant. Therefore the time is presence. Further details become included.

"Der Zug fährt 9h ab."
"Der Zug fährt Dienstag um 9h ab."

If you would say:

"Der Zug wird 9h abfahren."

you would be absoltly convinced the physical train starts 9h moving.

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