Isn't he/she talking about Perfekt (have been) and Plusquamperfekt (had been)? I thought it was easy as that.Has anybody else noticed that on German TV people are frequently saying "war gewesen" and not "ist gewesen". My wife thinks that this has come from former East Germany. Is this so?
andHas anybody else noticed that on German TV people are frequently saying "war gewesen" and not "ist gewesen". My wife thinks that this has come from former East Germany. Is this so?
This tempus is called Plusquamperfekt and is neither wrong nor has anything to do with east/west.grosmax said:(...) She is not aware of anything wrong about that (...)
The problem is not
Sein Vater war damals schon gestorben.
Sein Vater war damals schon gestorben gewesen.
Not quite, all of you are mixing up something [for explanation: I am from Austria - Austrian and Bavarian dialect are closely related]:I'm from a southern Bundesland and we use "war gewesen" in our dialect as the "correct" grammatical form. This leads to people making mistakes when speaking "Hochdeutsch".
Thank you all for your comments. I realize that there are occasions when "war gewesen" is correct but most of the usage that I have heard on TV is like that described by grosmax.
In English the equivalents are "have been" and "had been" which we call the pluperfect. We use the pluperfect for talking about the past in a sentence already in the past tense, For example, I am retired but I have been for many years a doctor, before that I had been a student.
I have been interested in the several comments and thank you all.
I live in an East German city and here it's quite common to say war ... gewesen. Many people lament about this use but they keep on using it nevertheless. I also started using it not long after I moved here. Unconsciously.
That's so similar to Swabian!Similar it appears in Thüringen:
Ich lerne Dir Deutsch statt "Ich lehre Dich Deutsch."
The form with the double past marker
"Wir waren nach Steinach gefahren gewesen." is wrong in standard but a proper construction in dialects.
I think, especially in ma home dialect "Itzgründisch" it is also caused by the fact that many verbs lost ther endings and so there is no simple past tense for many verbs. The default past is something like "is gange" (ist gegangen) rather then the form with "ging" there.
When going to standard German, they changed the sound and the form of words there but kept parts of the regional grammar - at least in colloquial language.
A friend of mine, born and raised in (the Western part of) Berlin, constantly uses this form: "Wir waren gestern in der Kneipe gewesen" instead of "Wir waren gestern in der Kneipe" or "Wir sind gestern in der Kneipe gewesen", and even "letztes Jahr waren wir Ski fahren gewesen". She is not aware of anything wrong about that, and it is definitely not common usage in Berlin. I suppose she got that from her parents (both from West Germany).
... but of course they can, and they do, whether you like it or not.
uhm... no, they can't. It is then incorrect grammar that is commonly used by a regional group of people - but still wrong. Bavarian is incorrect grammar, as is Berliner dialect, Hamburg dialect, etc.
If you refer to Austrian or Swiss German, these are not dialects.