Regular verbs in the simple past tense

The Präteritum (simple past tense) is used to express completed actions in the past. It is mainly used in written German and for narrating stories.

Vor langer Zeit lebte eine Gruppe spezieller Menschen im Hotel Brandenbutt.

A long time ago, a group of special people lived at the Hotel Brandenbutt.

Als sie in Berlin lebte, arbeitete sie im Hotel.

When she lived in Berlin, she worked in the hotel.

Verbs in the simple past tense are formed like this: stem of the verb + t + ending.

leben en
ich lebte
du lebtest
er/sie/es lebte
wir lebten
ihr lebtet
sie/Sie lebten
wohnen en
ich wohnte
du wohntest
er/sie/es wohnte
wir wohnten
ihr wohntet
sie/Sie wohnten

Note: if the stem of the verb ends in a ‑t or ‑d , you have to add an extra ‑e:

arbeit-en sie arbeitete arbeiten, Präteritum

to work → she worked

bad-en ich badete baden, Präteritum

to bathe → I bathed



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