German Steps

Perfect tense of regular verbs

The most frequently used tense when talking about things that happened in the past is the perfect tense.

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The perfect tense is made up of two parts:  haben or sein and the past participle (Partizip II) of the main verb.

The past participle of regular verbs is formed by adding ge- to the front of the verb and replacing the ending –en with –t.

spielen → gespielt

machen → gemacht

wohnen → gewohnt

haben/sein past participle
Ich habe gestern Tennis gespielt.
Du hast gestern Tennis gespielt.
Er, sie, es hat gestern Tennis gespielt.
Wir haben gestern Tennis gespielt.
Ihr habt gestern Tennis gespielt.
Sie, sie haben gestern Tennis gespielt.

Exceptions

1. Verbs that end in –ieren do not have ge- in their participles:  telefonieren → telefoniert

2. If the verb stem ends in -t or -d an additional e is inserted: arbeiten → gearbeitet

3. Similarly, if the verb stem ends in a consonant (except “l” or “n”) plus n or m, an additional e is inserted: öffnen → geöffnet

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

External Link: Partizip II: regelmäßig.