top of page
Search

Using 'ago' for German Speakers

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

A common problem that many German speakers have with English is with using 'ago' with the Past Simple.

__________


Remember, the German word vor translates to ago, not for or before.


Ago is most usually used with the Past Simple tense, and comes immediately after the time in the sentence, i.e. twenty minutes ago, half a year ago, a year ago, ages ago.


For example;

Ich habe vor drei Jahren hier angefangen. = I started here three years ago.

Das Unternehmen wurde vor 10 Jahren aufgekauft. = The company was bought out 10 years ago.


__________

Exercises


1) Correct the following sentences: Remove the underlined time expressions, which are incorrect, and add the word ‘ago’ in the correct place:

  1. The company moved to Berlin before 10 years.

  2. I started in my current role for 2 weeks..

  3. We bought our warehouse before 25 years.

  4. I only started to read the document since 10 minutes.

  5. The regulation was introduced before 8 years.

  6. The practice was legalized for 6 months.


2) Say what you actually wanted to say in English: Translate the following sentences into English, paying attention in particular to the placement of the word ago.

  1. Er hat das Unternehmen vor langer Zeit verlassen.

  2. Ich habe vor genau zehn Jahren mein Studium abgeschlossen.

  3. Ich habe vor ungefähr 6 Monaten angefangen, in dieser Abteilung zu arbeiten.

  4. Es tut mir leid, aber er hat das Büro vor etwa 5 Minuten verlassen.

  5. Keine Sorge, das Meeting hat erst vor ein paar Sekunden begonnen.

  6. Dieses Produkt wurde vor etwa einem halben Jahr eingestellt.

__________

Answers

1)

  1. The company moved to Berlin 10 years ago.

  2. I started in my current role 2 weeks ago.

  3. We bought our warehouse 25 years ago.

  4. I only started to read the document 10 minutes ago.

  5. The regulation was introduced 8 years ago.

  6. The practice was legalized 6 months ago.

2)

  1. He left the company a long time ago.

  2. I finished university exactly ten years ago.

  3. I started working in this department around 6 months ago.

  4. I’m sorry, but he left the office about 5 minutes ago.

  5. Don’t worry, the meeting only started a couple of seconds ago.

  6. That product was discontinued around half a year ago.


25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page