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Wegen guter Leistungen bin ich zur Teamleiterin Buchhaltung befördert worden.

The above sentence means: Because of good performance, I was promoted to team leader accounting.

I know " war" is a conjugation part of " sein" and we can utilize it in place of English word "was".

However, I don't know about worden. I don't find it in conjugation website. There is "geworden" that is conjucation of "werden" .

Could someone please tell me " worden" is conjugation of which verb? How can we understand when to use " war" and " worden" to say " was" ?

Thank you for your help :)

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  • Did you check wiktionary first?
    – guidot
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 13:36
  • @guidot no I was not aware of this. Thank you for the link :) Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 14:39
  • "The above sentence means: Because of good performance, I was promoted to team leader accounting." No. The above sentence means: Because of good performance, I have been promoted to team leader accounting.
    – user52445
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 8:21
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    You cannot translate "to be" as "sein" if "to be" is used as an auxiliary verb for the passive. In that case, "to be" translates as "werden", and the perfect participle is "worden".
    – RHa
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 22:24

3 Answers 3

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Some German verbs have more than one Partizip II for various reasons. Werden is one of those verbs. When used as a full verb, the Partizip II is geworden. When used as an auxiliary for passive voice, the Partizip II is worden.

Sie ist zur Teamleiterin der Buchhaltung geworden.

In that example, werden is a full verb because there is no other verb depending on it. Hence the Partizip II is geworden. Perfekt tense, active voice.

Sie ist zur Teamleiterin der Buchhaltung befördert worden.

In that example werden is an auxiliary that marks the Partizip II befördert as passive voice. The tense is still Perfekt.

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Worden in this case is the Partizip II (past participle) of the verb "werden", and "werden" is used as an auxilliary verb. Let's look at a little succession of example sentences:

First, active voice in present tense:

Ich befördere Noisha.
I promote Noisha.

Next, passive voice in present tense. From here on out, we use different forms of "werden" as auxilliary verbs:

Noisha wird von mir befördert.
Noisha gets promoted by me.

Next, passive voice in past tense:

Noshia wurde von mir befördert.
Noisha did get promoted by me.

And finally, passive voice in present perfect tense:

Noisha ist von mir befördert worden.
Noisha has been promoted by me.

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  • @HennigKockerbeck yes, I am aware of it being used in Passive of werden. Thank you for detailed answer. However, my question is that why is it worden and not war. Does that mean, this below sentence is in passive form : Wegen guter Leistungen bin ich zur Teamleiterin Buchhaltung befördert worden. So, the translation which I have shown in the question below would change in other way? New translation: "Because of good performance, I had been promoted to team leader accounting." Actually, context has 5 next praeteritum sentences. Does that mean, sentence itself is wrong here then? Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 14:33
  • @NoishaStudieren You mean because the sentence is constructed with "(he/she/it) was" in English, "was" can be translated (in some contexts) as "(er/sie/es) war", so you expect "war" to be in the German sentence? I'm afraid languages don't work this way ;) In English, passive voice uses forms of "to be" as an auxilliary verb. In German, passive voice most of the time uses forms of "werden" ("to get", "to become") as an auxilliary verb. As they are both Germanic languages, many constructions are similar, but you can't just expect everything to be equivalent. Commented Feb 19, 2023 at 0:10
  • @NoishaStudieren There is a way to get "war" into the German sentence, but not by replacing "wurde". You can put the sentence into past perfect, for example "Ich war gerade zur Teamleiterin Buchhaltung befördert worden, da musste ich schon die erste schwere Entscheidung treffen." ("I had just been promoted to team lead accounting, and soon had to make my first difficult decision.") Commented Feb 19, 2023 at 0:13
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worden is the past participle of werden. (In German Grammar, the past participle is usually referred to as "Partizip II".)

For people who speak English, I found the following to be a good rule to differentiate when to use sein (active) and when to use werden (passive) as an auxiliary:

Whenever you could use get as an auxiliary verb in English, the sentence is passive and you would use a form of werden in German.

I get promoted <-> Ich werde befördert.
I got promoted <-> Ich wurde befördert.
I have gotten promoted <-> Ich bin befördert worden.
I had gotten promoted <-> Ich war befördert worden.

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