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Verbs: Preterite is the seventy-fifth (assuming left to right) skill in the German language tree. In the six lessons of this skill, the student of German learns all about the simple past tense, often called das Präterium or der Imperfekt. This is essentially equivalent to the English words went, saw, and purchased. The preterite is most commonly used in formal writing and is considered pretentious in everyday speech.

Grammar notesEdit

How to form the PreteriteEdit

The preterite for each pronouns is remarkably familiar to the regular verb conjugation. Often, all that changes is the stem or a -t is inserted before the rest of the ending:

Present Preterite
ich finde ich fand
du findest du fandst
er, sie, es findet er, sie, es fand
wir finden wir fanden
ihr findet ihr fandet
sie, Sie finden sie, Sie fanden

LessonsEdit

Lesson 1Edit

  • war = was
  • hatte = had
  • kam = came
  • trank = drank
  • begann = began
  • ging = went
  • sprach = spoke

Lesson 2Edit

  • zuvor = before
  • vorher = before
  • = ate
  • sagte = said
  • wurde = became
  • lag = lay
  • zeigte = showed

Lesson 3Edit

  • bevor = before
  • schwamm = swam
  • dachte = thought
  • erhielte = got
  • führte = lead
  • machte = did, made
  • gab = gave

Lesson 4Edit

  • blieb = stayed
  • führ = drove
  • ließ = let
  • schrieb = wrote
  • fand = found
  • stand = stood

Lesson 5Edit

  • stellte = placed
  • las = read
  • nahm = took
  • sah = saw
  • brennen = to burn
  • konnte = could

Lesson 6Edit

  • wäre = would be
  • schloss = closed
  • musste = had to
  • verlor = lost
  • spazierte = walked
  • könnte = could

ReferencesEdit

Duolingo Lesson: www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Verbs%3A-Preterite

Canoo and Verbix also give charts of various preterite conjugations.

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