German imperfect :( Watch

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Ellie4
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Arrrgggh I don't understand! I have to write a story of my parents' lives in the imperfect. How wold you say things like 'they got married', 'erheilten verbanden'??? Please help!
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sixthirtythree
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Arrrgggh I don't understand! I have to write a story of my parents' lives in the imperfect. How wold you say things like 'they got married', 'erheilten verbanden'??? Please help!
Isn't it just sie heirateten? I think you're just confusing yourself

Here's a good website explaining the imperfect tense.

Present: Sie heiraten : they marry
Perfect: Sie haben geheiraten : they got married
Imperfect: Sie heirateten : they got married.

Imperfect:

heiraten --> add te --> heirateten --> as it is sie (pl.), keep -en ending.
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lgs98jonee
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Arrrgggh I don't understand! I have to write a story of my parents' lives in the imperfect. How wold you say things like 'they got married', 'erheilten verbanden'??? Please help!
have u seriously not done the praeterit at gcse or as level?
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Ellie4
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(Original post by deianra)
Isn't it just sie heirateten? I think you're just confusing yourself
Maybe I'm just overcomplicating it. My teachers given us this stupid list of examples, and they're not what I remember the imperfect to be!
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mongoose
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Maybe I'm just overcomplicating it. My teachers given us this stupid list of examples, and they're not what I remember the imperfect to be!
The imperfect is the simple past, corresponding to the English simple past. In contrast to the perfect past, the simple past is formed without an auxilliary verb, instead of haben + past participle (eg. ich bin gegangen = i have gone; ich habe gewählt = i have chosen), you simply use the verb whose action is in the past, without the help of any other verb(s) - eg. ich ging = i went; ich wählte = i chose. In German the simple past (the imperfect) is less common in conversation, and more common in written language and formal contexts, instead, for everday purposes the perfect past is normally used. This is in contrast to English, where we use the simple past (the imperfect) more frequently than the perfect past - it's all a matter of style and register. In German the simple past for regular verbs all take the same endings:

eg heiraten (stem: heirate- + imperfect ending)

ich heiratete
du heiratetest
er/sie/es heiratete
wir heirateten
ihr heiratetet
Sie/sie heirateten

For irregular verbs you'll have to memorise the imperfect forms, but there are common patterns:

eg helfen

ich half
du halfst
er/sie/es half
wir halfen
ihr halft
Sie/sie halfen

eg. geben

ich gab
du gabst
er/sie/es gab
wir gaben
ihr gabt
Sie/sie gaben

Hope this helps!
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Ellie4
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Thanks for your help guys. I got this grammar exercise for homework to do, and I just want to check my answers. How would you say the following:
She was born
He had
They helped
She brought

All in the imperfect. Thanks
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lgs98jonee
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Thanks for your help guys. I got this grammar exercise for homework to do, and I just want to check my answers. How would you say the following:
She was born
He had
They helped
She brought

All in the imperfect. Thanks
for first one i think you would put ich wurde geboren
er hatte
sie halfen
sie brauchte
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Ellie4
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(Original post by lgs98jonee)
for first one i think you would put ich wurde geboren
er hatte
sie halfen
sie kauftete
That's what I got. One last thing, I promise, I'm a bit confused about the whole wurde thing, is it just used on verbs which take sein? And can you ever say 'war' in the imperfect?
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mongoose
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The first is a passive construction. Sie wurde geboren/war geboren (werden past passive/sein past passive).

Er hatte
Sie halfen
Sie brachte
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mongoose
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(Original post by Ellie4)
That's what I got. One last thing, I promise, I'm a bit confused about the whole wurde thing, is it just used on verbs which take sein? And can you ever say 'war' in the imperfect?
You can form the passive with either sein or werden. There's a fine distinction between the two though i shouldn't think it'd matter much at this level, the most common in any case is the passive with werden. The passive can be formed with verbs that take a direct object only, although you can form the passive with dative verbs, with an impersonal construction, eg mir wurde gesagt (sagen being a dative verb)
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Ellie4
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(Original post by mongoose)
You can form the passive with either sein or werden. There's a fine distinction between the two though i shouldn't think it'd matter much at this level, the most common in any case is the passive with werden. The passive can be formed with verbs that take a direct object only, although you can form the passive with dative verbs, with an impersonal construction, eg mir wurde gesagt (sagen being a dative verb)
Ok, I understand it now. Thankyou so much. I'll rep everyone on this thread, though it may take a few days!
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mongoose
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Ok, I understand it now. Thankyou so much. I'll rep everyone on this thread, though it may take a few days!
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