Irregular German Verbs Simple Past

irregular verbs simple past, German Language CoachIn our last blog we have had a look at irregular verbs in the present tense. This blog we would like to dedicate to irregular verbs in the simple past. Verbs are sometimes categorised in regular, irregular and mixed verbs. Mixed verbs are in fact irregular verbs but do not change their stem in the present tense. Mixed and irregular verbs always change their stem in the simple past. Your verb list indicates this with the 3rd person singular in the simple past, sometimes called imperfect or preterite. With irregular verbs in the simple past, unlike in the present tense, the 1st person singular and the 3rd person singular are identical. The 2nd person singular ends in -st , as in the present tense, the plural endings are -en, -t, -en.

Now, a little about usage of the simple past vs the perfect tense. The simple past is more often used in written German, whereas the perfect dominates in spoken German.There are geographical differences though: the simple past is still quite often used in spoken German in the northern regions of Germany, the southern regions prefer the perfect in spoken German. If anything you are talking about that has happened in the past and is till of relevance, then you better make use of the perfect to point this out.

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