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Humanities LibreTexts Conversational past of mixed verbs

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    Verbs:Das Perfekt - Gemischte Verben

    The participle forms of verbs can be used to build the conversational past, the past perfect and the subjunctive mood. They can also be used as adjectives. The conversational past is used just like the English simple past.

    die böse Königin Was ist los? What's wrong?
    die Hexe Ich habe nicht gedacht, dass meine Katze in der Küche war ... thought my cat was not in the kitchen ...
    die böse Königin Hmmm ... Wieso hast du das nicht gewusst? Du bist doch eine Hexe! How come you didn't know that? You are a witch, after all!
    die Hexe Eben! Ich habe mich nur eine Sekunde vom Kessel gewandt ... Die Küche hat so schnell gebrannt!!! Ich habe gar nicht gewusst, dass unsere Küche so feuergefährlich war ... Exactly! I only turned away from the cauldron for a second ... The kitchen burned so fast!!! I didn't know that our kitchen was so inflammable ...
    die böse Königin Um Gottes Willen! Das war doch die fünfte Katze dieses Jahr!!! For Pete's sake! That was the fifth cat this year!!!


    A handful of German verbs are mixed because they show similarities with both regular verbs and irregular verbs when forming the participle. They take the ge- prefix and the -t suffix (like regular verbs) but go through a stem-vowel – and possibly a consonant – change (like irregular verbs):

    1) take the infinitive     bringen (bring)
    2) remove the -en suffix bring
    3) change the stem vowel (and/or consonant)     brach
    3) add -t suffix bracht
    4) add ge- prefix gebracht
    brennen (burn) => hat gebrannt
    bringen (bring) => hat gebracht
    denken (think) => hat gedacht
    kennen (know) => hat gekannt
    nennen (name, call) => hat genannt
    rennen (run) => ist gerannt
    senden (send, air – e.g. TV) => hat gesandt (this can also be regular: hat gesendet)
    wenden (turn) => hat gewandt (this can also be regular: hat gewendet)
    wissen (know) => hat gewusst

    Mixed verbs with separable/inseparable prefixes

    In the presence of separable prefixes, these mixed verbs keep the exact same participle forms:

    abbrennen (burn down) ist abgebrannt
    mitbringen (bring along) hat mitgebracht
    nachdenken (think about) hat nachgedacht
    wegrennen (run away) ist weggerannt

    If the prefix is inseparable, the participle of the mixed verbs drops the ge- prefix:

    bekennen (confess, admit mistake) hat bekannt
    entsenden (dispatch, send out) hat entsandt
    erdenken (make up a story, imagine) hat erdacht
    verwenden (use up time, use) hat verwandt (verwendet)


    This page titled Conversational past of mixed verbs is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Zsuzsanna Abrams and co-workers (Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning) .

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