"wurde" vs. "würde"

Those two little words are extremely similar and can cause confusion.

Actually, both words come from the same verb - “werden” = to become / to get.

But their meaning is completely different.

  • “wurde” is Präteritum (past tense) of “werden”. You can use it either as past tense of “werden” or also to mark passive tense. When you use it to mark passive tense, you always need another verb to combine it with “wurde”.

Here are some examples:

  • Mein Bruder wurde Arzt. (My brother became a doctor --> past tense, active)
  • Mein Nachbar wurde verrückt. (My neighbour got crazy --> past tense, active)
  • Ich wurde gestern operiert. (I was operated yesterday --> passive tense)
  • Der Vulkan wurde beobachtet. (The volcano has been observed --> passive tense)

On the other hand, “würde” is the conjunctive of “werden”. It just means “would”.
Also here we have some examples:

  • Ich würde gerne ein kaltes Bier trinken. (I’d like to drink a cold beer)
  • Wir würden nächstes Jahr gerne nach Asien reisen. (We would like to travel to Asia next year)
  • Er würde gerne Fußballspieler werden. (He would like to become a football player)

Now, it should be a bit clearer :muscle:t4:

Can you form sentences with “würde” and / or “wurde”? :hugs:


People confuse them all the time. However, the hardest part are the different pronunciations and often students mean the right word but are unable to pronounce the ü correctly.


That’s definitely true @Noel. That’s why I put much emphasis on the correct pronunciation (in this case).

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This is a great explanation @SKrausser! These two words are like chewing gum in my mouth!
I think I need to print out your explanation and stick it all over my apartment! Maybe create a new wallpaper design out of it? :yum: Hopefully it will help me remember!
Now I should practice making sentences using these words.

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