https://www.duolingo.com/WoIstDerArzt

Word usage from a text

In a song it says: Keiner weiß, was hier geschah

Which makes total sense, it's in the past

However,

Later on in the song it says:

Niemand weiß, was hier geschehen

Could someone tell me why it is geschehen and not geschah

May 2, 2017

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/poa-alpina1
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it's a poetic (possibly historic - I'm not sure about that) turn of phrase. It's found in poems but it sounds extremely old-timey. This form of the past tense is never used in spoken german.

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WoIstDerArzt

Alright, so spoken would use geschah. Thanks !

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/poa-alpina1
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It should always be "geschah" or "ist geschehen" in both spoken or written german. You are only allowed to use "geschehen" without the auxiliary verb if you are a 19th century poet - or apparently Rammstein.

PS. why on earth are Rammstein so popular all over the word? I will never understand this.

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WoIstDerArzt

Alright, thanks. And to be honest, no idea. It's well known pretty much everywhere.

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WoIstDerArzt

I've just figured that it's because it's in the past participle. I guess he just dropped the hatte. I think it would've been

Niemand weiß, was hier geschehen hatte.

Or something like that

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/poa-alpina1
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Almost: the verb "geschehen" needs the auxiliary verb "sein" (to be).

The normal, non-poetic version of this sentence would be "niemand weiss, was hier geschehen ist".

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MortiBiRD

Since its lyrics they are not always following the grammar. So my bets guess is, this is an abbreviation of "was hier geschehen ist". The ist might be removed to suit better into the flow of the song.

May 2, 2017
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