What are examples of sentences in the past tense

Past tense explanation and examples

We are dealing with the past tense (1st past) of the German language here. These are the topics:

  • A Explanationwhat one needs the past tense for.
  • regulate and Examples for using the simple past.
  • Tasks / exercises to practice the topic yourself.
  • A Question and answer area to the past tense.

Tip: We'll look at the past tense in a moment. It is helpful if you already know what a verb is and how to conjugate a verb. If you have no idea about this and you do not understand the following sections, please take a look at our article Verb. Do our exercises on the past tense as well.

Past tense explanation

Let's look at a definition of the simple past.


The past tense is a tense in the German language. This tense is used to express things in the past. The past tense is primarily used for reports and narratives in the written language. In oral conversations, the perfect tense is used instead of the past tense.

Let's look at some typical uses for the simple past. A look at the verb (underlined) shows that it is the simple past.

Completed Actions

  • you laughed him off.
  • He sat on the bench.
  • We packed lots of food in the basket.

Conditions and descriptions in the past

  • The car was red.
  • The music system was according to.

In the next section we look at the rules for forming the simple past.


Past tense rules and examples

How do you form sentences in the past tense? To do this, you have to adapt the verb in the sentence accordingly. In the simplest case, we have a regular verb and only need to adjust the endings. In the case of regular verbs, these are the endings -th, -test, -th, -th, -tet, -th.

Example paint past tense

  • mete
  • you timestest
  • he timeste
  • we timesth
  • you timestet
  • them timesth

Example learn simple past tense

  • I learnte
  • you learntest
  • he learnte
  • we learnth
  • you learntet
  • they learnth

Other verbs are irregular. In these cases, education is much more difficult. Especially the verbs to have and be are important here. For this reason, let's look at the simple past conjugation within sentences.

Example have past tense

  • I would have yesterday birthday.
  • You had yesterday birthday.
  • He would have yesterday birthday.
  • We had yesterday birthday.
  • your had yesterday birthday.
  • you had yesterday birthday.

Example being the past tense

  • I was yesterday in the swimming pool.
  • You were yesterday in the swimming pool.
  • you was yesterday in the swimming pool.
  • We were yesterday in the swimming pool.
  • your wait yesterday in the swimming pool.
  • you were yesterday in the swimming pool.

Tasks / exercises past tense


Questions with answers on the past tense

In this section, we'll look at typical simple past tense questions with answers.

Q: In what cases do you use the simple past tense?

A: The past tense is used to describe things in the past. This concerns completed actions and states or descriptions in the past.

Q: When is this topic covered in school?

A: The past tense is mostly on the curriculum from the 3rd grade onwards.

Q: What topics should I look at next?

A: We are working on these topics and will link them here later:

  • Personal pronouns
  • Word field
  • Root and family of words
  • Perfect
  • preterite
  • sentence parts
  • subject
  • predicate
  • Verbatim speech
  • Present