Past Perfect is the eighty-first (assuming left to right) skill in the German language tree. This skill contains only one lesson. In this skill, the student of German learns the past perfect tense, a relatively unused tense that is remarkably similar to the present perfect and the preterite.

Grammar NotesEdit

The past perfect refers to an event that has happened a significant time ago or has become irrelevant in the present. It is formed from the conjugation of hatten (the preterite of haben) or waren (the preterite of sein), depending on the participle. The choice of haben or sein in the present perfect will decide the choice of hatten and waren in the past perfect. In all other respects, it is the same as the present prefect in structure and style.


These are used to help explain the tense, but would have been learned in the present perfect skill:

  • erfahren = found out
  • behalten = held
  • genannt = named
  • geprüft = tested
  • gegessen = eaten
  • verlassen = left


Duolingo Lesson:

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