The reason is German speakers are very sloppy about time forms and rely on marker words instead. The following to expressions are valid but cumbersome. Nobody writes or even talks like that. Janka Janka 37k 2 2 gold badges 30 30 silver badges 69 69 bronze badges. You asked me when I'll finish my task. Ralf Kleberhoff Ralf Kleberhoff 3 3 bronze badges.
This does not answer the question. Au contraire.
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One simply puts the word zu before the infinitive, perhaps before the permanent prefix, but after the separable prefix. The infinitive with zu extended with um expresses purpose in order to The subject of the main clause and the verb in the infinitive must be identical. There are three persons , two numbers and four moods indicative , conditional , imperative and subjunctive to consider in conjugation. There are six tenses in German: the present and past are conjugated, and there are four compound tenses.
There are two categories of verbs in German: weak and strong. Some grammars use the term mixed verbs to refer to weak verbs with irregularities. For a historical perspective on German verbs, see Germanic weak verb and Germanic strong verb. Below, the weak verb kaufen 'to buy' and the strong verb singen "to sing" are conjugated.
Some strong verbs change their stem vowel in the second and third person singular of the indicative mood of the present tense. Compare the archaic English conjugation:. Modal verbs are inflected irregularly. In the present tense, they use the preterite endings of the strong verbs. In the past tense, they use the preterite endings of the weak verbs. In addition, most modal verbs have a change of vowel in the singular.
Many verbs can have an indirect object in addition to a direct object for example geben "give" , but some verbs have only an indirect object. These verbs are called "dative verbs" because indirect objects are in the dative case. Most dative verbs do not change the object. There are however exceptions including even wehtun "hurt" , and there are verbs that are dative verbs in only some senses e. Dative verbs include the following most common ones:.
Some verbs require the use of a reflexive pronoun. These verbs are known as reflexive verbs. In English, these are often slightly modified versions of non-reflexive verbs, such as "to sit oneself down".
There is an imperative for second person singular and second person plural, as well as for third person singular and third person plural, as well as for first person plural and second person formal. The endings for second person singular informal are: - e , -el or -le , and -er e. This subtopic is strongly related to the construction of German sentences. This section details the construction of verbal nouns and verbal adjectives from the main infinitive.
The processes are the same both for simple and complex infinitives.
For complex infinitives, adverbial phrases and object phrases are ignored, they do not affect this process; except something else is mentioned. Weak verbs form their past participles with ge- plus the third person singular form of the verb.
Verbs with non-initial stress practically always the result of an unstressed inseparable prefix, or foreign words ending in stressed -ieren or -eien do not have ge- added to the verb. The past participles of modal and auxiliary verbs have the same form as their infinitives. But if these verbs are used alone, without an infinitive, they have a regular participle.
To create the basic form of a present participle, you attach the suffix -d to the infinitive of the verb. A gerundive-like construction is fairly complicated to use. The basic form is created by putting the word zu before the infinitive.
This is also the adverb. The adjective is more complicated. Compare the German declension of adjectives. Agent nouns e. If the person is a woman, the endings have an extra -in on them. Note that in the explicitly feminine form a second syllable er is omitted, if the infinitive ends on ern or eren.
On the other hand, this form is often used in fun or mocking expressions, because the imputed behaviour that is content of the mocking can be merged into a single word. Examples are: Toiletten-Tief-Taucher "toilet deep diver", which is an alliteration in German , or Mutterficker "motherfucker". A whole range of these expressions aim at supposedly weak or conformist behaviour, such as Ampel-bei-Rot-Stehenbleiber "traffic-lights-on-red-stopper" , Warmduscher "warm-showerer" , Unterhosen-Wechsler "underpants changer" , or Schattenparker "in the shadow parker".
Especially among children there are several fixed terms of this type, like Spielverderber "game spoiler". Note: The suffix -er is also used to form instrument nouns, e. Salzstreuer and Bohrer also denote instruments. The normal gerund noun is generally the same word as the infinitive. The gerund does not have a plural normally — but if so, the form would be unchanged , and its gender is neuter. There is another kind of gerund [ citation needed ] that sometimes implies disapproval of the action.
The grammatically dependent implication i. It must be supported either by context or speech. On the other hand, any positive implication from the context or speech will free the gerund from any disapproval. The ending of this form is -erei -lerei or - er ei. Its plural is built with -en , and its gender is feminine.
The above form means a loose, vague abstractum of the verb's meaning. In this form the plural is used just as with any other noun. Similar to the form presented above, one may place the prefix ge- after the separable prefix , if the verb doesn't have a permanent prefix, and then attach the ending -e -el , -er. Most times, this noun indicates slightly more disapproval than the other one depending in the same way on context, speech etc. Its gender is neuter.
A plural form does not exist. So this use of all is merely encountered in colloquial conversations. For example: Das stundenlange Herumgefahre im Bus geht mir total auf die Nerven.
These forms are hard to build for complex infinitives; therefore they are unusual. When they occur, all object phrases and adverbial phrases are put before the gerund noun:. Although there are six tenses in German, only two are simple; the others are compound and therefore build on the simple constructions.
The tenses are quite similar to English constructions. Conjugation includes three persons , two numbers singular and plural , three moods indicative, imperative and subjunctive , and two simple tenses present and preterite. The latter is used like a conditional mood in German English: I would. English native speakers should note that German tenses do not carry aspect information.
Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. When any of tense, aspect, and modality are specified, they are typically indicated with invariant pre-verbal markers in the sequence anterior relative tense prior to the time focused on , irrealis mode conditional or future , imperfective aspect. Quite a mouthful! Maybe you want to make plans with your German friends. Many verbs have a separable prefix that changes the meaning of the root verb, but that does not always remain attached to the root verb.
There are no progressive tenses in standard German. One must use an adverb to make a visible difference aside from the context. For example: Ich bin am Essen. However, these forms are rarely used in written and not used in formal spoken German. In contrast to the former one, this progressive tense is a formal correct part of standard German, but, however, very uncommon in spoken as well as in written, in colloquial as well as in formal German — thus very uncommon.
If used, it often may appear unwieldy or unnatural, except for specific usual cases. This form also differs from the other German tenses in that it has a very unambiguous progressive aspect. As is shown in the following, German is not very rigid in its usage of tenses. More precise tenses are available to express certain temporal nuances, but the two most common tenses present tense and perfect tense can often be used instead if the context is unambiguous.