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Different uses of the Simple Present – German Course with Eva, lesson 15

different uses of the simple present in german: in this lesson you will learn how to use the simple present in german, How to use the simple present in german. lesson in english.

Germany is not only the home to many famous scientists like Einstein, philosophers as Kant and composers like Beethoven, but also to the Garden gnome and the Cuckoo clock. Cuckoo clocks are made in the Black Forest and you can find the biggest one, which measures 5 meters, in the little town of Schonach. Then, one of the most important German personalities is Konrad Zuse, who invented the first computer.

Uses of the Simple present

The simple present, which is called das Präesens or die Gegenwartis the only present tense in German, since there is neither -ing form nor gerund.
In German, the simple present is used:

– to say what you’re doing at the present moment. Ex: Ich gehe gerade spazieren (I’m having a walk). N.B. The adverb gerade is optional, but it is used to stress that you’re doing an action while talking. On the contrary, you can’t use it to refer to something you do regularly.

– to say you do something regularly. Ex: Du spielst jeden Sonntag Tennis (You play tennis every Sunday).

– to talk about a future action. Ex: Er fährt morgen in den Urlaub (Tomorrow he’ll go on holiday)

– to tell facts, proverbs or sayings. Ex: die Wurzel von 4 ist 2 (The root of 4 is 2) / Der Klügere gibt nach (the cleverer give in).

– as the scenic present, so when talking about the past you use the simple present to produce excitement. Ex: die Sonne schien. Plötzlich donnert es (the sun was shining. Suddenly, it started to thunder).

– to refer to an action which started in the past and which is not yet accomplished. Ex: ich warte schon seit zwei Stunden (I’ve been waiting for two hours).

– to quote what a person said or to talk about an historical event. Ex: Konfuzious sagt: “Nur die Weisesten und die Dümmsten können sich nicht ändern (Confucius said: only the wisest and the stupidest cannot change) / Das Jahr 1989: die Berliner Mauer fällt (Year 1989: the Berlin wall falls).


E: Hallo Lena! Hier spricht Eva (Hello Lena, it’s Eva)
L: Hallo Eva! Was machst du gerade? (Hello Eva! What are you doing?)
E: Ich lerne seit heute Morgen. Und du? (I’ve been studying since this morning. And you?)
L: Ich schaue Fernsehen und danach gehe ich tanzen. (I’m watching TV and then I’ll go dancing)
E: Ich koche heute abend für meine Freunde. Möchtest du auch kommen? (Tonight I’m cooking for my friends. Would you like to join us?)
L: Ja, ich komme gerne. (Yes, I’d love to)
E: OK, bis später! (OK, see you later!)


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