What is there is the perfect tense

Formation and use of the indicative tenses

The tenses are used absolutely and relatively. When used, the process relates to one of the three time levels, the present, the past or the future. The use of the tenses presupposes the presence of at least two processes: one process is related to the other in a certain temporal relationship. The relative use always happens in connection with their absolute use: the tenses designate an action as past, present or future (absolute meaning) and at the same time as simultaneous or non-simultaneous (relative meaning).
The temporal relationship between the processes can be of two types:
  • Both processes relate to the same time stage (the ratio of simultaneity). Simultaneity is mostly expressed by the same tense (Pres - Pres, Prat - Prat, Plusquam - Plusquam etc.), sometimes also by different tenses of the same time level (Prat - Perfect, Present - Future I etc.)
  • One of the processes takes place earlier than the other (the relationship of non-simultaneity). The non-simultaneity is indicated in German by special grammatical means, namely by different tenses: the prematurity in the past (plus quam - prat), the prematurity in the future (perfect or future II - future I or present tense)

primarily refers to a process in the present. But it can also be used to designate the other two time levels, the past and the future. The present tense serves:

  • to reproduce a current event (the main meaning)
  • to reproduce a generally applicable process (general statements, proverbs, etc.):
  • to reproduce a future event (especially in colloquial use), usually in connection with appropriate time information.
  • to reproduce a past event with a lively, vivid description, alternating with the past tense (the present tense of the animated stories):

The present tense is formed from the infinitive stem using the personal endings. All verbs (except and the verb praeteritopraesentia) have the same system of personal endings.
The weak verbs, whose stem ends with, get the personal endings and: Strong verbs on or with or in the stem also have the same personal endings: The verbs with a sibilant in the end have double forms in the 2nd person singular. These include the verbs:. The shortest form is more common.
The strong verbs with in the stem (except) get the umlaut in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg: The verbs also get the umlaut.
Most of the strong verbs with the stem vowel change that in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg to or: The verbs and also have a: in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg.
Strong verbs whose stem ends with and whose stem vowel changes in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg, get the personal ending in the 2nd person Sg, in the 2nd person plural, in the 3rd person Sg the personal ending is merged with the trunk.
Note: The verbs and change the long to a short one:.
Some strong verbs do not change their stem in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg: This also applies to the irregular verbs and. The verb has double forms in the 2nd and 3rd person Sg:

The present tense of the verbs praeteritopraesentia
The present tense of irregular verbs

serves to reproduce past action, a report (the main meaning). The processes can happen at the same time or follow one another.
In the past tense, the verbs have personal endings, except for the 1st and 3rd person Sg
The personal endings are added to the past tense stem. The preterite stem of the weak verbs is formed from the present stem and the suffix. The suffix is ​​given to the weak verbs whose stem ends with:.
The preterite stem of strong verbs is formed with the ablaut:
The modal verbs form the preterite stem with the suffix and change the stem vowel (except and):
The irregular verbs have the following preterite stem:
The present and the past tense are simple tenses, i.e. they are expressed using a verbal form. The other four tenses are made up of two or more verbal forms. The auxiliary verbs are used to form the compound tenses. The main verb is in an infinite verbal form: in the past participle or in the infinitive. The perfect also denotes a process in the past. It is used in short reports, communications (therefore often in conversation, in dialogue), when establishing facts, and often also to highlight a thought that is particularly important. The perfect tense often denotes a past action, the consequences of which are relevant to the present.
The perfect tense is formed with the auxiliary verb in the present tense and the participle II of the corresponding verb. The majority of verbs are conjugated with. These include:

  • all transitive verbs
  • all reflexive verbs
  • all impersonal verbs
  • modal verbs
  • many intransitive verbs: a) verbs that express a state, a feeling, a process in its course b) the verbs that are used with a dative object and do not express movement c) verbs that denote a fixed starting and ending point.


  • intransitive verbs denoting a movement or transition from one state to another
  • meet, happen, happen, stay, flourish, succeed, fail, succeed, be, become

The past perfect describes a process in the past and is usually used relatively. It expresses the prematurity in the past; The past perfect is usually used to designate a process that is only mentioned after other processes that occurred later have been mentioned. The events are thus described in a different order than they actually took place:
This rule does not apply to compound sentences with subordinate clauses that are introduced by if the subordinate clause precedes the main clause. In this case, the earlier process (in the past perfect) is also mentioned first:
The past perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb in the past tense and the past participle of the corresponding verb.
When forming the perfect and past perfect of modal verbs, the following rules must be observed:

  • If the modal verb in the sentence is followed by another verb in the infinitive, the strong form of the participle II is used:
  • If there is no other verb in the infinitive for the modal verb, the weak form of the past participle is used:

The future tense I denotes a future action. In relative usage, the future tense I denotes simultaneity. It is formed with the auxiliary verb in the present tense and the infinitive I of the corresponding verb:
The future tense II also denotes a future action and is used relatively. In connection with the future tense I or with the present tense it expresses the relative future:
The future tense II is increasingly being replaced by the perfect tense, which in connection with the future tense I or the present tense denotes the relative future: