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  5. "Du sprachst mit meiner Schwe…

"Du sprachst mit meiner Schwester."

Translation:You spoke with my sister.

May 21, 2014



why is "you were talking with my sister" wrong?


That is the past perfect tense: Du hast mit meiner Schwester gesprochen.

  • 176

No, it is past tense continuous (and should be accepted). Past perfect is Plusquamperfekt and the German sentence you presented is Perfekt (present perfect), btw.


Yes: how do you traslate in German "you were speaking (or talking) ?

  • 176

the same. There is no continuous form in German.


Are the past tense and the present perfect used equally in German, just as they are in English? "Du sprachst mit meiner Schwester." conf. "Du hast mit meiner Schwester gesprochen." I'm asking because in Italian the past tense has virtually disappeared, at least in the north, from the vernacular. The present perfect is always used. Of course native speakers know the preterite from literature, but they don't use it.

  • 176

In English the two tenses cannot be used equally, but have clearly distinct meanings.

In German, however, there is virtually no difference in meaning at all between Präteritum and Perfekt (both close to the English past tense). Which one is used is more a question of style. In written texts you will usually find Präterium, whereas spoken German usually has the Perfekt everywhere, apart from modal verbs which tend to use the Präteritum forms.

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