15.1 Past Tenses - Introduction


Now that we have struggled with a lot of things that are more difficult in German than in most other languages, we come to something the Germans managed to make easier. The past tenses in Roman languages and even in English are more complex than the German past tenses. Therefore you can relax a bit in the following chapter.
The simple past tense
    simple past tense past continuous
  example
English
He ate breakfast. He was eating breakfast
  example
German
Er aß Frühstück. -------

Compound past tenses
    present perfect present perfect continuous
  example
English
He has eaten breakfast. He has been eating breakfast
  example
German
Er hat Frühstück gegessen. -------
    past perfect past perfect continuous
  example
English
He had eaten breakfast. He had been eating breakfast.
  example
German
Er hatte Frühstück gegessen. -------

As you can see in the tables above, there are only half of the tenses in German than in English.






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