German Grammar Explained /

Passive in the preterite

Do you remember the past tense of werden?
"Hat"... no, "ist geworden"!
Genau! And the other past tense, Präteritum?
The shorter one you mean? I guess something like "werdte"?
That would be nice, but it's irregular... WURDE.
Recently, we learned about the passive voice. ⇒ Der Bericht wird geschrieben.
If the passive were a play, werden would be the hero, as it is the only character we need at all times. Also, just as the main characters undergo a change to surprise you, werden also changes when our tenses change!
Passive in the past tense
Der Bericht wurde geschrieben.
The report was written.
Die Rechnungen wurden bezahlt.
The bills were paid.
Werden = will? Many students of German have the misconception that werden simply means "will". It kind of does (sometimes!), but you are going to be seriously confused if you don't understand the different meanings and usages of this verb. Let's compare it to the English verb "to do". 1. I do the homework. → full verb meaning "performing an action"
2. Do you want to marry me? → helping verb used to ask a question
3. I do! → helping verb referring to the previous question
4. I don't know. → helping verb used to negate a statement
Long story short, the meaning of "to do" is "to perform an action". Plus, it's used in a number of other constructions for purely grammatical reasons. What is the meaning of "do" in "Do you want to marry me?" -- None!
Time to look at werden!
Similarly, this verb has a meaning when used as a full verb (alone) and no meaning, purely a grammatical purpose, when used in certain structures.
1. Tom wird rot.
(Tom is turning red.) → full verb meaning "to become", "to turn", "to get" 2. Wird Lea singen?
(Will Lea sing?)
→ helping verb used for the future
3. Die Fahrgäste werden informiert.
(The passengers are being informed.)
→ helping verb used for the passive (present tense)
4. Die Fahrgäste wurden informiert.
(The passengers were informed.)
→ helping verb used for the passive (past tense)