There are 6 tenses in German: Simple Present, Perfect, Simple Past, Past Perfect, Future 1 and Future 2.
There are NO "continuous" or "progressive" tenses: the ones with "-ing" in English, like "I am running" or "He was talking."
Each tense has its own lesson, where I tell you when it's used and how to construct it. I've also included lots of examples to help you really understand German tenses.
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Overview: German Tenses
The Simple Present Tense
The simple present is the most used tense in German. It is used not only to describe the present, but also the future.
Example: „Er geht zum Fußballtraining.“
To the Lesson: Present Tense (Präsens)
The Perfect Tense
In German there are two tenses that are used to talk about completed actions in the past: perfect and simple past. We use the perfect tense in spoken language and informal writing.
Example: „Ich habe ein Auto gehabt.“
To the Lesson: Perfect Tense (Perfekt)
The Simple Past Tense
We use the simple past tense in formal writing, as well as with some verbs (like "sein" and "haben") when speaking. As its name says, it is used when talking about actions in the past.
Example: „Ich hatte ein Auto.“
To the Lesson: Past Tense (Präteritum)
The Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect tense is used to talk about actions in the past that occurred before a specific point in the past. Lucky for you, it's similar to the same tense in English.
Example: „Ich hatte ein Auto gehabt.“
To the Lesson: Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt)
The Future 1 Tense
We use the future 1 tense to talk about events that will happen in the future. It's constructed with the verb "werden" (conjugated) and the infinitive form of the main verb.
Example: „Ich werde ein Auto haben.“
To the Lesson: Future Tense 1 (Futur 1)
The Future 2 Tense
The future 2 is actually used to talk about both the past and the future. It's used to express that we think something happened or will happen, but we aren't sure.
Example: „Das Auto wird morgen repariert sein.“
To the Lesson: Future Tense 2 (Futur 2)
On the website www.verbformen.de you can plug in a verb and see all of its conjugated forms for the various tenses, along with examples, flash cards, and worksheets.
Other German Tenses:
- Simple Perfect Tense (Perfekt)
- Simple Present Tense (Präsens)
- Simple Past Tense (Präteritum)
- Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt)
- Future 1
- Future 2
What is the general German word order - Sentence Structure
You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar.
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