link to video at the time where it is said

I'm watching an Easy German video and you often see the Berliner/Northern German preterite verbs come through. I'm sort of confused what the proper way to say this would be in typical Hochdeutsch:

Ich bereue, dass ich nach dem Abitur nicht länger reisen war.

Would the "proper" Hochdeutsch be:

Ich bereue, dass ich nach dem Abitur nicht länger reisen bin gewesen.

Ich bereue, dass ich nach dem Abitur nicht länger reisen gewesen bin.

Update: I have discovered why I never heard of this and found this post here on the "Absentive" tense

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    Both is correct and not one more proper. But it must be '... gewesen bin' if you use the perfekt form (finite form last in subordinate clauses) . Jan 26 at 2:51
  • I'll make the correction in the post. But would you say most utilize "war" because of simplicity, or are they almost equally used verbally and or in written form? Jan 26 at 3:03
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    I can hear myself using both versions... and I cannot say right now when I would use one or the other in an oral occasion. Written I'd prefer the version with 'war'. Jan 26 at 8:55
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    One could wonder about the expression "reisen sein" from a stylistic point of view, but there is nothing wrong with "war". I don't know, maybe a Bavarian wouldn't have said that, but even that wouldn't make it less Hochdeutsch.
    – Carsten S
    Jan 26 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


German is by far not as picky as English when it comes to proper grammatical anteriority (As long as the context makes it clear what happened in what order, and often even if it doesn't).

So, in your example, both Präteritum and Perfekt would be perfectly accepted as a proper German sentence. Anteriority is pretty clear in both examples from the context as well.

With regards to your example, Perfekt and Präteritum are both fine, probably with a preference to Perfekt in the southern half of Germany and Präteritum in the northern half.

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