EasyDeutsch
Share!

German Perfect Tense

German Perfect Tense – PAST

In German, there are two differents tenses in the past: The simple past tense and the perfect tense.

Present
Past
Present tense
Perfect tense
Simple Past
"Ich habe ein Auto."
"Ich habe ein Auto gehabt."
"Ich hatte ein Auto."

Perfect tense is used for completed actions in the past (Normally the results or the effects of the action are emphasized)

Examples for Perfect Tense:

  • „Der Junge hat Fußball gespielt.“
  •  „Er hat Urlaub gemacht.“
  •  „Wir sind heute mit dem Zug gefahren.“

When do we use the Perfect Tense?

It is the German Version of the English „Perfect – tense“ BUT:

In spoken language, the perfect is used almost exclusively. We always use the perfect tense except with modal verbs (wollen, möchten, können, müssen, dürfen), „sein“ and „haben“

That is possible because there is no difference in meaning between the German perfect tense and simple past.

The Perfect Tense: Construction

›The perfect tense is made with „haben“ or „sein“ as a helping verb and the past participle:

PersonAuxiliary VerbPast ParticipleAuxiliary VerbPast Participle
ichbingelaufen.habegekocht.
du bisthast
er/sie/es isthat
wirsindhaben
ihrseidhabt
sie/Siesindhaben

Construction of the perfect tense with „sein“:

For change of location

  • fahren  ⇒ „Ich bin Bus gefahren.“
  • gehen  ⇒ „Du bist nach Hause gegangen.“

There must be movement from point A to point B.

For change of condition or status

  • sterben  ⇒  „Er ist vor 3 Jahren gestorben.“

= A change from being alive to being dead

  • einschlafen ⇒ „Du bist zeitig eingeschlafen.“

= A change from awake to asleep

For specific verbs

The verbs „sein“, „werden“, „bleiben“ always use the helping verb „sein“

  • „Ich bin in Deutschland gewesen.“
  • „Wir sind zu Hause geblieben.“

Construction of the perfect tense with „haben“

For all verbs that do not use “sein”

And for ALL reflexive verbs also if they involve a condition, status, or location change

  • „Sie hat Essen gekocht.“
  • „Er hat sich auf den Film gefreut.“
  • „Max hat sich in Anna verliebt.“

Word Order: German Perfect Tense

›The helping verb is conjugated. The past participle goes at the end of the sentence and remains unchanged.

Regular Main Clause:

 Position 2 End
ErhatEssengekocht.

Question:

Position 1  End
Habtihrden Manngesehen?

Further Information:


Do you like EasyDeutsch?

Use the comments under each lesson for feedback! I love feedback! Also if you think I could do better... I want to know it! And if you like it I am glad and hope that I can continue to help you with hints, advice and simple explanations in the future as well. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I will share daily exercises as well as helpful links with you. If you subscribe to my Youtube-Channel you can practise your listening and writing skills with dictations.

[easy-social-like facebook="true" facebook_url="https://www.facebook.com/EasyDeutsch" twitter_follow="true" twitter_follow_user="EasyDeutsch" google_follow="true" google_follow_url="https://plus.google.com/b/103119812796307817812" youtube="true" youtube_chanel="UCluY2ph0_l4rwlYEz_xHM6g" pinterest_pin="true" skin="flat" counters=0 align="left"]

Get all the updates and my famous articles secret straight to you mailbox! Subscribe to the EasyDeutsch Newsletter:

If you like it, I am sure your friends will like it as well! Share EasyDeutsch with them and learn together!

Wishing you success and happy learning,

Jan

>