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Video:Learn German: Conjugate the Perfect Past Tense

with Anna Moneo Viloria

Do you need to brush up on your German language skills? In this About.com video, learn how to conjugate the perfect tense.See Transcript

Transcript:Learn German: Conjugate the Perfect Past Tense

Hello, my name is Anna, and I am here for About.com, and I am going to explain to you the “Perfekt” tense in German.

How to Form the 'Perfekt' Tense in German

We can form the “Perfekt” tense in German by adding an auxiliary verb at the beginning, which normally is “haben”: “to have”.

But also, we can add the verb “sein”: “to be”, as an auxiliary verb.

And then, the past participle. For example, “spielen”: we add “ge-”, we take of the “-en”, and we form this way the past participle: “gespielt”.

Some past participles add the “ge-“, but they do not add “-t” at the end, but “-en”. For example, “gekommen”: “to come”.

In the majority of the cases we use the verb “haben” to be an auxiliary verb. So, “ich habe, du hast, er hat, sie hat, es hat, wir haben, Sie haben, ihr habt” and “sie haben, gespielt,”. For example, we can make this sentence: “Ich habe heute abend fussball gespielt.”: “I played this evening football.”; or “I have played this evening football.”; or “I was playing this evening football.”; or “I have been playing this evening football.” So all these tenses are conveyed in German for only one tense, which is the “Perfekt”.

When to Use the 'Perfekt' Tense

The “Perfekt” is very, very much used in German to convey past. We use “sein” to be as auxiliary to form the “Perfekt”, when we have verbs which imply movement from one point to another. For example, “kommen – gekommen”: “to come”. “Ich bin, du bist, er/sie ist, wir sind, Sie sind, ihr seid, sie sind, gekommen”. Also, we use “sein” to be as auxiliary to form the “Perfekt”, when there is a change of state. For example, “geworden”. “Ich bin geworden”: “I have become”. “Sein”: “to be”. “Gewesen”: “I have been”.

My name is Anna and I was here for About.com from BSL and I was showing to you the “Perfekt” tense in German. Thank you for watching! You can find more information on About.com.

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