Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Those Are The Twins! (German Words of the Day)

For today's words, we have to look at the past tense as well as the present, so they're shown in the format present/simple/perfect

erschrecken/erschreckte/hat erschreckt - frighten, shock, or scare.

Er erschreckt. (He is scary.)

erschrecken/erschrak/sein erschrocken - be shocked, be frightened.

Er erschreckt. (He is startled.)

Obviously, the examples are simplified to show how this could be confusing, and in general usage, there would be many other context clues in the sentence to show which erschrecken one wished to use. But it's interesting to me that there are words that are identical in one case and quite different words in other cases. Especially in the Perfect tense, where one auxilliary is the be-verb and the other is the have-verb.

Fortunately, the conjugations of these verbs are regular.

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