my car broke down

la_espantosa

Senior Member
Arabic
Hello,
I just would like to know which tense to use if I want to say "my car broke down"
mein Auto hat eine Panne
oder
mein Auto hatte eine Panne?
Thank you
 
  • damienx

    Member
    German
    right answer: *Mein Auto hatte eine Panne*

    "eine Panne haben" describes the actual process of the car breaking down, so when telling somebody afterwards, you use past tense.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Either:
    Mein Auto hat eine Panne gehabt.
    or, as you wrote:
    Mein Auto hatte eine Panne.

    In modern German these two tenses (perfect and past) are by and large interchangeable.
     
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