12. Wie war dein Tag?

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Wie war dein Tag? (2)

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Grammatik: Präteritum (simple past)

In addition to the “Perfekt” there is another past tense in German the In addition to the “Perfekt”, Germans also use another past tense construction: the “Präteritum” which is similar to the English simple past. The “Perfekt” stresses the result of past actions in the present, while the “Präteritum” is used for recounting past actions without any connection to the present. However, the “Präteritum” is used a lot less than the English simple past, and in spoken language, its use is limited to a few common verbs. For these, you should always use the “Präteritum” but for all others, use the “Perfekt”. These verbs are mainly modal verbs but there are also a few others:

Haben – ich hatte

Sein – ich war

Müssen – ich musste

Können – ich konnte

Wollen – ich wollte

Dürfen (be allowed to) – ich durfte

Sollen – ich sollte

Werden (become) – ich wurde

Denken – ich dachte

Gehen – es ging (only for the neuter, in all other cases, the perfect forms are used)

Wissen – ich wusste

Finden – ich fand

As you can see, -te is added to the infinitive and in most cases vowel changes take place. Don’t worry about the rules of how to build these verb forms. Just keep studying with Anki and you’ll be familiar with them soon enough.

The verb conjugation in the “Präteritum” is very similar to the present:

Ich musste

Du musstest

Er/Sie/Es musste

Wir mussten

Ihr musstet

Sie mussten

Number of Anki cards: 41 (1. text: 18, 2. text: 20, grammar: 3)

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