The simple past tense


Irregular verbs with different patterns – haben, sein and werden

Here are all forms of the frequently used verbs haben ‘to have’, sein ‘to be’ and werden ‘will’/‘shall’, ‘to become’: »

Mixed verbs and modal verbs

There are verbs called mixed verbs that have a stem vowel change but take the endings of regular verbs. The most common of these are: brennen → brannte burned bringen → brachte brought denken → dachte thought kennen → kannte knew nennen → nannte named rennen → rannte ran wissen → wusste knew Ich kannte seine Eltern. I knew his parents. Er rannte sehr schnell nach Hause. He ran home very fast. Sie ... »

The simple past tense

The simple past tense in German is usually used in the written language, especially in articles, reports, novels and CVs. Der Bundeskanzler eröffnete das neue Messezentrum. The Federal Chancellor opened the new trade fair centre. Mit 19 Jahren begann ich mein Jurastudium. When I was 19, I began to study law. In modern German grammar terms the simple past tense is called Präteritum ‘preterite’. How... »