Questions tagged [past]

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Differences in use of active tense between germanic languages

I was recently comparing Swedish, English, and German ways to express the following: The snow has melted. Eventually I looked into French and Spanish too. In Swedish you would say Snön har smält. ...
Buck Thorn's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
549 views

If a verb is irregular in one tense, will it also be irregular in all other tenses?

For example, if a verb is irregular in the present tense, will it then necessarily be irregular in the present perfect (end in "-en" rather than in "-t" and/or have its root ...
Agustin G.'s user avatar
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2 answers
60 views

Figuring out if haben/sind+partizip II is verb+ adjective or present perfect

Die Ende des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts geborenen Brüder Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm sind vielen Deutschen vorwiegend als Verfasser der Märchensammlung "Kinder und Hausmärchen" bekannt. On first ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
184 views

Interpreting past perfect in German [closed]

So I was talking to a friend who is A2 CEFR and they asked me to explain past perfect. I told them it refers to the things which happend way long back. Then, they asked me how they'd say the sentence &...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
62 views

past participle without haben

I just read the following article: https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/afrika/niger-bazoum-sorge-100.html If you ask me, everything is fine with it, except for this sentence in the last paragraph: "...
ViktorM's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
108 views

Usage of dass to construct the preterite of modal verbs

Write the following sentences in simple past: Ferdinand - das Projekt - nicht übernehmen wollen Frau Schneider - die Dienstreise - nach Portugal - absagen müssen A: Es ist schade, dass Ferdinand ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
236 views

'Nachdem Inge das Fleisch in der Pfanne verbrannt ist, [ ... ].' Why do we use 'ist' instead of 'hat' here?

On this website of DW Deutsch Lernen I came across a sentence that really confused me: Nachdem Inge das Fleisch in der Pfanne verbrannt ist, landet sie mit Nico zum Mittagessen im Marek. Why do we ...
Dennis's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
295 views

Präteritum oder Perfekt in Kinderbüchern?

Ich habe den Auftrag, eine Kindergeschichte ins Deutsche zu übersetzen. Der Originaltext ist voller Lautmalereien, die Sprache ist einfach, dem Verlag nach soll das Buch für 3- bis 7-jährige bestimmt ...
Lenon Perez Gonçalves's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Meaning of usage of "Präteritum" in a question

In the Question "Hatte Saddam Houssein Massenvernichtungswaffen?" the usage of "Hatte" has me confused, because no time frame is given. Is the meaning in this case at any point in ...
HermanTheGermanHesse's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
143 views

Past forms of the Subjunctive

In this site three forms of creating subjunctive are explained. I list them: hätte + participle hätte + modal verb infinitive + verb infinitiv wäre + participle These seem to me as an imitation of ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
655 views

The present perfect in songs

I was hearing one of my favourite songs "Ode an die Freude" and I noticed something quite curious about the lyrics. Consider the following line: Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
312 views

Present perfect vs Past perfect to say when one is born

In English we say "I was born in X year", I am trying to figure out what is the best translation into German for this. Many site on the internet say that the correct translation is: Ich bin ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
908 views

"Treffen" with "sein" rather than "haben"?

What does this mean? "Grace" war als Hurrikan auf die mexikanische Golfküste getroffen und hatte über Land dann rasch an Kraft verloren. Source : https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/hurrikan-...
ViktorM's user avatar
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2 answers
146 views

"Seit..." sentence in German [closed]

Which one is correct? Seit eine woche, bin ich aus Berlin zurückbekommen. Es ist eine Woche seit ich uns Berlin zurückgekommen bin
Noel Miller's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
995 views

"Auf dass" und "damit" Sätze in der Vergangenheit

Ich bin auf folgende Fragestellung gestoßen: Welche Zeitform benutzt man bei einem "auf dass"-Satz, wenn der Hauptsatz im Perfekt oder im Präteritum steht. Hierbei ist es wichtig, dass der ...
Muhammed Erek's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Konjunktiv I Vergangenheit: Perfekt vs. Präteritum

Do I understand it correctly that the Past form of the Konjunktiv 1 exists only in Perfekt and there is no such thing as Konjunktiv 1 Vergangenheit im Präteritum? In other words, there is only this ...
Mike's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
5k views

Kann man Präteritum und Perfekt in einem Satz mischen, der sich auf die Vergangenheit bezieht?

Ich wollte fragen, was es denn für Beispiele gibt, in denen ich Präteritum und Perfekt im gleichen Satz verwenden kann. Ist z. B. Ich habe mich selbst überrascht, als ich gestern siegte ...
Laffa Yett's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
165 views

Past time in german sentences

I have this sentence in german : Wir haben heute Morgen in unseren Kühlschrank geschaut und gesehen, dass er leer ist. In english it probably means something like : Today in the morning, we looked ...
John Ronald's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is the origin of the two past tenses in German?

In my German class, we learned that there are two past tenses, which we referred to as the "narrative" and "conversational," the former only being used for writing, and the other used exclusively for ...
fpf3's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
126 views

Passiv und Präteritum - "geboren"

Es steht im Deutsch-kursbuch "Gabriele Münter wird am 19. Februar 1877 in Berlin geboren". Warum "wird"? (Passiv) Ich glaube, dass im Präteritum ist. Ich vermute, wir müssen "wurde" oder "war" ...
sundar's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
3 answers
186 views

Spiegelbildliches Gegenstück zu Futur II?

Das Futur II beschreibt den Blick auf etwas zukünftiges aus Sicht eines noch späteren Zeitpunktes. Gibt es ein spiegelbildliches Analogon, mit dem man den Blick auf etwas vergangenes aus Sicht eines ...
Volker Landgraf's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
230 views

Simple past preferred after "als"?

This is a question about a specific use of the simple past after als. It's different from the more general question of when to use the simple past and the present perfect, which has been discussed ...
Dan Leifker's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
131 views

Plusquamperfekt mit einem Nomen im Passiv

Ich lerne das Plusquamperfekt. Verstehe aber nicht folgendes (Beispiel): Die am Telefon sagten mir, dass der Vertrag abgelehnt wurde. Auf Englisch würde ich sagen they told me...it had been ...
Interface Unknown's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
132 views

Simple past VS Perfect

When I tell someone about my childhood for example - What will be correct? Or can I use both tenses? Als ich 16 war, ging ich auf eine Privatschule. Or Als ich 16 war, bin ich auf eine Privatschule ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 680
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

Why are some imperfect verbs more frequently used than perfect?

I learned the rules for both as that the perfect is commonly used in conversational language and imperfect in books and writing. However, some common verbs, I see, are used in their imperfect in ...
Tom Edwards's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
115 views

How to write about a group of friends who were all female [closed]

The sentence I am trying to write is I wanted to go to London with my friends. All the friends are female. So far I have Ich habe mit ____ _________ (my friends) nach London gehen gewollt. ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
391 views

What's the infinitive of this verb (verschied)?

I’m having a very hard time looking up the infinitive of this verb from Aschenputtel: Darauf tat sie die Augen zu und verschied. Google Translate renders this as: Then she opened her eyes and ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Helping Verbs, or even the verb „sein“ + Infinitives In German? (i.e. werden)

I am curious, in English it is possible to convey past, present, and future through helping verbs and/or just infinitives. I did drink -- I drunk/drank (my dialect says "drunk;") this is Past. I ...
Matthew T. Scarbrough's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
187 views

Richtig?: »Zu jung, um der Partei beigetreten gekonnt zu haben«

Ich habe gerade auf ein Facebook-Posting geantwortet, in dem die Nähe der FPÖ zur Hitlers Nazi-Ideologie diskutiert wird. (Aktueller Anlass: Ein Tiroler FPÖ-Funktionär hat vorgestern auf Facebook zu ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
76 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct in the past tense? [closed]

I'm currently doing my German speaking assessment and I just want to make sure this sentence is right. Ich bin nach der Schule blieben mein Kunstbuch vollenden und meine Lehrerin hilft mir. I'm ...
KatieBell's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Would this past tense phrasing sound awkward in spoken conversation? [duplicate]

I am trying to get a sense of how the simple past tense is used in spoken German. If I were talking about a film, would it sound overly formal or stilted to say: Der Film handelte von … or would ...
electrophys11's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
696 views

verbal tense ("ermordet worden waren")

Can you please help me understand if my translation is correct: ... ich vermutete infolge einiger seiner Äußerungen, daß sie bei einem Überfalle ermordet worden waren I guess: I suspected due ...
ringos staro's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
605 views

Why should I use preterite in the past tense of “wollen”?

My boyfriend who is native German explained to me that “ich habe gewollt” just sounds wrong to him, he can’t explain why because he doesn’t know the rules he is just a native speaker. I am curious if ...
Syra Cheeseman's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
9k views

What is the difference between 'ist gewesen' and 'war' [duplicate]

My German tandem partner told me that a friend of him was for a half year in Brazil. He said: Er ist ein halbes Jahr in Brasilien gewesen What's the difference to Er war ein halbes Jahr in ...
clickMe's user avatar
  • 111
-3 votes
1 answer
202 views

How to say "Wir haben viel Zeit" in past tense [closed]

How would you make this into the past tense? Ex : Wir haben viel Zeit
Eric L's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the following question? [closed]

Was hast du da alles gemacht? I know that alles means ‘all’ and gemacht means ‘doing’ or ‘making’, and of course Was means ‘what’ and hast means past of haben. And how can one answer this question? ...
alkabary's user avatar
  • 413
2 votes
4 answers
8k views

Can I swap “waren” und “wurden” to describe something in the past?

It seems to me than when it comes about describing something in the past, it is possible to use either the waren or wurden verbs. For example the phrase: It was built in 1990 That’d be es ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 453
1 vote
2 answers
292 views

Vergangenheitsformen des Vorgangspassivs im Konjunktiv

Ich kann nicht verstehen, ob auch das Vorgangspassiv nur eine Konjunktiv-I- bzw. Konjunktiv-II-Form für das Perfekt, Präteritum und Plusquamperfekt hat (wie im Aktiv). Wenn ja (oder nein), wie sind ...
mle's user avatar
  • 1,777
-1 votes
2 answers
198 views

'er war aufgestanden'

Do I assume correctly that the translation of Peter war kurz nach ihrem Zusammentreffen aufgestanden would be, past-perfect: 'Peter had gotten up shortly after their coming together'
Wottensprels's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
512 views

Das Tempus und Verkürzungen im Aufsatz

Wenn man einen Aufsatz schreibt, soll man eher das Perfekt oder das Imperfekt verwenden? Oder ist es vielleicht egal? Darf man darüber hinaus darin Verkürzungen wie im statt in dem schreiben? Gilt ...
marmistrz's user avatar
  • 1,809
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

"erlernt" vs "gelernt"

I'm having a hard time telling the difference in meaning between erlernt and gelernt. When I look them up in a GER-ENG dictionary, both translate to "learned". However, it seems that erlernt ...
blubei's user avatar
  • 81
2 votes
2 answers
659 views

Simple past in spoken language

Despite I'm German, more precisely Bavarian, I have a question regarding the simple past. Here in Bavaria we use solely the present perfect ("Ich bin heute zur Schule gegangen"). Of course we've ...
Stefan Schmid's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
942 views

Use of praeteritum in everyday speech

I'd like to know if there is a rule of sorts regarding the use praeteritum in everyday spoken German, particularly in the use of 'sah' and 'schaute' in place of 'habe gesehen/geschaut', or if it is ...
neutronhammer's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Zu machen vs. gemacht

Google translate provided the following: Did you make the granola? --> Haben Sie das Müsli zu machen? Why is it not presented as Haben Sie das Müsli gemacht? What's the best way to ask this?
Joshua Michael Wanger's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
406 views

Perfekt eines Modalverbs in Infinitivsatz

Es ist möglich, wenn auch nicht schön, zu sagen: Ich behaupte, meine Hausaufgaben gemacht haben zu müssen. Das heißt, dass ich sage, dass ich dazu verpflichtet bin meine Hausaufgaben gemacht zu ...
Emanuel's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
864 views

Expressing processes in the past with "als"

I've been told by a native speaker that the following sentence is not correct: als ich 15 Jahre alt war, lernte ich Französisch (to mean that I studied french for some time when I was 15) and that ...
persson's user avatar
  • 3,662
4 votes
2 answers
179 views

Can "als" be used to refer to extended periods of time?

I understand the general concept of "als" = "when in the past" (pardon the oversimplification), however all the examples I can find always refer to very specific moments in time, and to events that ...
persson's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why do German speakers often use 'did' in the past when speaking English?

I don't understand what tense they are trying to convey in German when they say this e.g. I did see it instead of I have seen it - Ich habe es gesehen I saw it - Ich sah es Where are they ...
adolf garlic 's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Warum Perfekt anstelle von Präteritum und seit wann?

Seit welcher Zeit und warum wird im ge­spro­chenen Deutsch lieber Per­fekt anstatt Präteritum benutzt, z.B. lieber Ich habe gesehen als Ich sah? Warum hat sich die kompliziertere Form eingebürgert?
äüö's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
6k views

"I was working" in German

How can I say "I was working." in German? I was thinking: Ich war arbeiten. But I feel that is totally wrong.
Thalatta's user avatar
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