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German Present Participle

The German Present Participle

  • ›The Present Participle is so named because it relates to things occuring at this moment (in the present)
  • ›Participles are used in place of clauses and as adjectives.

The Present Participle: Exampes

  • „Der telefonierende Mann fährt Auto.“
  • „Die laufende Frau hört Musik.“
  • „Der vor der Tür stehende Mann, ruft nach dir.“

The Present Participle: Construction

Infinitive + d

Infinitive+dPresent Participle
schlafen+dschlafend
rennen+drennend
fahren+dfahrend

The only exception: sein ⇒ seiend

The Present Participle: Use

The present participle is used as an adjective (in place of a clause) when two actions occur simultaneously

Version with a participle:

  • „Der telefonierende Mann fährt Auto.“

Version without a participle:

  • „Der Mann, der telefoniert, fährt Auto.“

More about that topic in the lesson Participles as Adjectives

Comparison with the Past Participle

›Present participle as an adjective: something is happening right now.

  • „Der herunterfallende Apfel ist grün.“
  • Der Apfel fällt.“ „Der Apfel ist grün.“

›Past participle as an adjective: something happened earlier.

  • „Der heruntergefallene Apfel ist grün.“
  • Der Apfel ist heruntergefallen.“ „Er ist grün.“

Further Information


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