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  5. "Ich konnte es nicht finden."

"Ich konnte es nicht finden."

Translation:I could not find it.

October 21, 2014



Once again, Duo Lingo has switched to a tense that has not been introduced.


Yeah, I don't understand the aversion to the occasional conjugation table or explanation. It's taking the natural learning approach too far.


Well it's a lesson on modal verbs that in German and English span the range of tenses and moods without being structurally different. It makes sense to tackle these separately to a whole different tense.


A tip for those of you who are interested.

In this case, 'konnte' is in the past form, Präteritum (one of two forms of past tense)

The way you conjugate it is following:

ich konnte du konntest er/sie(singular)/es/man konnte

wir konnten ihr konntet sie(plural)/Sie(formal) konnten

Notice how its not too different from the present tense conjugation. The 3rd Person Singular is the only one that is different when it comes to endings (its takes on the 1st Person Singular ending of -e).

The conjugation follows the same pattern with the other Modal Verbs (müssen, sollen, dürfen)

Ah and the Umlaut is dropped in all of the Präteritum cases of the Modal Verbs.


is "Ich konnte nicht es finden."right? thx


    The emphasis is different in that sentence. It emphasises that "I could not find it [but I could find something else]".

    But anyway, this sentence is translating the German into English. In the opposite direction, it might be accepted as a possible translation, but it's not the best one unless the English sentence is also worded to convey that emphasis.


    In English that kind of emphasis is conveyed by stressing one of the words in the sentence, adding extra words for context is not necessary, so the translation should be accepted.


    I also wonder whether that would be correct


    Why not "finde" to go with "Ich" which is singular?

    Ich konnte es nicht finde.


    Just like find in English, finden is infinitive. The finite verb is konnte (could).


    You only conjugate the verb in the second position to fit with the subject. 'Ich konnte' is the conjugated form of konnten (infinitive). Any other verbs are not conjugated. Hence finden remains infinitive.


    "I cannot find it" is not accepted?


    No, the important part of this question is that "konnte" is in the Simple Past tense, so it's not "can," it's "could." See http://www.verbformen.net/conjugation/ko:nnen.htm for some conjugation tables of this verb.


    That is a wonderful resource you shared @smozoma. Danke!

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