"The girl did not eat fish today."
Translation:Das Mädchen hat heute keinen Fisch gegessen.
They avoid using this word, because it sounds like animals (dead) body, Aas. Nobody uses the word. Though I learned the word at school, the teacher said not to use it. It should be always "essen" or "gegessen haben."
I agree that 'hat gegessen' is more common but saying that nobody would use 'aß' isn't true in general.
Not quite. German has two past tenses-- one is written (in a novel, for example) and one is spoken. "haben gegessen" is spoken, "aßen" is written.
Just to clarify: both past tense forms can be used in written and in spoken language. It's just that people rarely use the preterite in spoken language. In written German, both forms are used. So I think it's a bit misleading calling one 'spoken' and the other one 'written'.
Thanks, wataya! Is there a reason preterite isn't spoken as often? Does it sound too formal or is the other form more slang?
I don't know why. It's just the way people use the language. The perfect form is not slang. Using the preterite in spoken German often sounds a bit formal. Whether it sounds formal because people don't normally use it or whether people don't normally use it because it sounds formal, I can't tell :) I guess it's a positive feedback loop. BTW: it's the same in French with the imparfait.