I see a youtube 'bout bad dad jokes. Im german thats why I do not get the point.

  • Did you know you cant run throu in campground?
  • You have to "ran". Cause its past tent's.

Well you can run throu in campground. Thats a fact. The point is about the tempora of the word run? You have to use the (simple)past-tense version of run - ran?

Why is past tent's used instead of past-tense? Have Past-Tense a speacial meaning I did not get? Is there a good translation of this bad-dad-joke into german?


1 Answer 1


First, this is the wrong stackexchange to ask the main question in (German, not English).

Secondly, the joke is based on the phrase "running past tents". "Past tents" means "an Zelten vorbei", but it sounds similar to "past tense", which is a word form of verbs. So, as the joke says, you can't "run" through a campground, but you have to "ran". It's a "meta"-joke on grammar, connected to the actual meaning of the sentences. There is no logic behind it.

Thirdly, this joke does not translate well to German. It's probably not possible to find another word that sounds like "Vergangenheit" or "Vergangenheitsform" or "Präteritum", in a way that "tents" is similar to "tense".

  • I never ever saw "Past tents" on a sign nearby campground. What does Past Tents mean? You may keep tents after the time you payed for the place? Are they appeal to breakt the law? Is it a appeal to stay longer than you payed for your place? for what reason? to have compensation for not be able to sell places to other ppl? Frankly speaking I assume to have a sign that sais "NO past tents".
    – Grim
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 21:20
  • 3
    @Grim I know that you're trolling now. Not funny. Commented May 22, 2023 at 21:23
  • I am not trolling! Seriously I did not get the point. All I can say is that "There is no logic behind it." gives me a small hint that noone can explain. There is no lowkey, there is no idea behind, it is only bullshit speaking, a no-brainer. I am not sure if I am right by this. Am I right? Please tell me.
    – Grim
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 21:26

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