Chapter 3 │ German Tenses

The German language has the following tenses: Präsens (present), Perfekt (perfect), Präteritum (simple past), Plusquamperfekt (past perfect), Futur 1 (normal future) und Futur 2 (future perfect).

In this chapter I will explain the conjugation and use of the different tenses. The single lectures are not only about the formation and use of the tenses. I will teach you regular and irregular verbs as well as the meaning of the tenses. That´s important because the meaning is a bit different (so much easier!!!) from their English versions. For example, there are NO continuous forms at all! All explanation are written from the student’s view and explained with easy examples.

German Tenses - Overview

Tenses: 3.01. The Present (Präsens)

present tense
The present tense is the most used tense in the German language. It is used to speak about the present and the future.
Example: „Er geht zum Fußballtraining.“

Tenses: 3.02. The German Perfect Tense

In German, there are two different tenses in the past: the simple past tense and the perfect tense. The perfect tense is used more often. The perfect tense shows that an action occurred in the past.
Example: „Ich habe ein Auto gehabt.“

Tenses: 3.03. The Simple Past Tense (Präteritum)

Simple Past Tense
In German, there are two different tenses in the past: The simple past tense and the perfect tense. The simple past tense shows facts and actions in the past. With the exception of a few specific verbs, it is hardly used in the spoken language.
Example: „Ich hatte ein Auto.“

Tenses: 3.04. The Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

Past Perfect
The "Plusquamperfekt" is the equivalent to the English past perfect. This expresses that an action occurred before a specific time point in the past.
Example: „Ich hatte ein Auto gehabt.“

Tenses: 3.05. The Future 1 (werden - Future)

The future 1 is the tense that shows actions that will happen in the future. We form the future 1 with the auxiliary verb “werden” and the infinitive of the main verb.
Example: „Ich werde ein Auto haben.“

Tenses: 3.06. The Future 2 (Future Perfect)

Future tenses 2
We use the future 2 for assumptions about an action in the past or in the future. We assume that an action is completed or will be completed, but we can’t be completely sure.
Example: „Das Auto wird morgen repariert sein.“

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German Grammar MAde Easy