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Perfect Tense vs Past Tense

Perfect tense is simply an helping verb (haben, sein) and past participle. I have taken a picture. Ich habe ein Foto gemacht. My question is, is there a way to write this same sentence in Past tense, with out having to use the helping verb and past participle? (I took a picture, instead of I have taken a picture), or is it obligatory to use the Perfect tense and when. Thanks

January 4, 2018

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The version in past tense is "Ich machte ein Foto". In spoken German the present perfect is used much more than simple past, but it is not obligatory to use the present perfect. The simple past used mainly in written German when telling a story.

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