By H. Myron Bromley

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These expressions cannot always be translated word-for-word into English. You have to know two things: how the German expression is used and what it means Verb Usage Review / 29 in English. Compare the following impersonal expressions in German with their English meaning: Es gelang mir nicht, meine Hausarbeit rechtzeitig zu beendigen. Es fiel ihm ein, dass es schon zu spät war. I didn’t succeed in finishing my homework on time. It occurred to him that it was already too late. Double Infinitives Double-infinitive structures occur in the present-perfect, past-perfect, future, and future-perfect tenses.

No Modal Auxiliary Used Modal Auxiliary wollen Wir reisen nach Spanien. ) Wir reisten nach Spanien. Wir sind nach Spanien gereist. Wir waren nach Spanien gereist. Wir werden nach Spanien reisen. Wir werden nach Spanien gereist sein. Wir wollen nach Spanien reisen. ) Wir wollten nach Spanien reisen. ) Wir haben nach Spanien reisen wollen. ) Wir hatten nach Spanien reisen wollen. ) Wir werden nach Spanien reisen wollen. ) Wir werden nach Spanien haben reisen wollen. ) Notice that when a modal auxiliary or helfen, hören, lassen, sehen, gehen, or lernen are used in such sentences, the auxiliary verb is always haben in the perfect tenses.

For example: to come, to become, to overcome to press, to repress, to impress to cover, to recover, to discover German prefixes belong to three types: inseparable prefixes, separable prefixes, and a few prefixes that serve as both inseparable and separable. INSEPARABLE PREFIXES The inseparable prefixes are be–, er–, emp–, ent–, ver–, and zer–. They are called inseparable quite simply because they are not removed from their position at the 38 / Webster’s New World 575+ German Verbs beginning of a verb during conjugation.

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