Donnerstag, 10. März 2011

German : past tense : das Präteritum ( the preterite)

German : past tense : das Präteritum ( the preterite)

1. This tense, called the das Präteritum ( the preterite) in German , is used to describe not only completed actions :


Ich wartete eine Stunde und ging nach Hause.

but also continuing or unfinished actions :


Ich wartete schon, als sie kam.

2. The latter use (English : I was waiting ..etc ) is called imperfect, which originally meant " unfinished", but the tense in German has to server for BOTH the simple past ( or preterite) AND the imperfect in English.

3. It is used for narrative and description as well as habitual or continuous action in the PAST.


Das Kind spielte, während seine Elten redeten.

Das Kind spielte jeden Sonntag im Park.

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