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BetrifftEr IST Auto gefarhen or Er HAT Auto gefahren ??19 Antworten    
Both have google hits.

I am unsure of this because there are rules that pull in both directions. You say "Er IST Gefahren" but you say "Er HAT seinen BMW gefahren".

VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 20:45
Both is possible, but it's not interchangable. As you say, if I'm talking about the action of driving, bin ich gefahren. When I'm talking about what car I used to drive, habe ich einen xxx gefahren. Same with planes, boats etc.
#1VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 20:49
@ 1

I don't understand your answer. I want to say in German: "I was driving (a car), when ..."

Is this with haben or sein?
#2VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 20:52
... after an accident with 4 people in a car:

Wer hat das Auto gefahren? = Wer ist gefahren? . . .

... somebody has cars of 2 different makes:

Er hat den BMW gefahren/genommen. = Er ist mit dem BMW gefahren.
#3VerfasserDaddy . . . (533448) 23 Apr 12, 20:52
Hier gibt es ein ausführliches Essay zu dem Thema :

Eine Unterscheidungsmöglichkeit :
ist (mt dem) Auto/Fahrrad/Bus/Zug gefahren - aktiv wie passiv
hat (das) Auto gefahren - ist auf jeden Fall selbst gefahren, hat das Auto gesteuert ...
#4Verfasserno me bré (700807) 23 Apr 12, 20:53
"I was driving (a car), when ..."

Ich bin mit dem Auto gefahren, als...

although more idiomatic I find 'Ich war mit dem Auto unterwegs, als...' (but then there's not 'fahren' in the sentence')

Like I said: if it's about the driving as such, use 'is'.

You only use 'haben' when you're talking about the kind of car you drive/used to drive (meaning 'besitzen', nicht 'fahren' as an activity): Ich habe jahrelang nur Golfs gefahren, aber dann bin ich auf Audi umgestiegen. Er hat seinen BWM so lange gefahren, bis er auseinanderfiel (der BMW).
#5VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 20:57
@ 1 - 4

I guess I worded the question ambiguously, since no one answered the question.

OK, here's the question again.

There is a verb in German-- "Auto fahren", sometimes written as "Autofahren".

Does this verb take "sein" or "haben" ?

If I were translating the English sentence "I was driving, when all of a sudden ..."

and you want to use the verb "Autofahren/Auto fahren", do you say:

"Ich BIN Auto gefahren, als ..." or "Ich HABE Auto gefahren, als ..." ????
#6VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 20:58
Ich BIN Auto gefahren.
#7VerfasserWoody 1 (455616) 23 Apr 12, 21:00
You didn't ask about 'autofahren'. In the OP, you gave "Er HAT seinen BMW gefahren" as an example. No auto in that sentence. Differenct case. Different modal. I tried to explain the difference again in #5. If it's still not clear, you'll need to explain better what the problem is.

#8VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 21:04
@ 8

Yes, my question was not as clearly written as it should have been.

The title of the post was: Er IST Auto gefarhen or Er HAT Auto gefahren ??

So I wanted to know which of those sentence was correct, and which incorrect.

What you call "examples" weren't examples of the thing I was asking about. They were examples of different situations that call for either sein or haben with verbs of motion. If "Autofahren" is to be assimilated to the rule governing "einen Auto fahren", then haben would be the auxiliary. If it is to be assimilated to the rule governing "nach Berlin fahren mit dem Auto", then sein would be the auxiliary.

"Autofahren" seems, to an English speaker who doesnt know the rule, a hybrid case. It feels transitive like "Er hat seinen BMW gefahren" because the word "Auto" appears, but then there is also the fact that "ich bin gefahren" is also used when you are driving the car (and not just the passenger), so maybe the verb "Autofahren" is just like "fahren". Note also that "radfahren" is also with "sein" even though the object "Rad" might lead a non-native to think that "haben" should be used because it seems transitive here.
#9VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 21:16
Er ist schon wieder schnell gefahren!
#10Verfasserad.joe (236303) 23 Apr 12, 21:24
@ 10

I am of course aware that "fahren" takes "sein". You learn that in the first week of German 101.

The question was whether "Auto fahren" or "Autofahren" does. I now lean towards the theory, based on Woody 1's answer, that you use it with "sein".

However, the link that no me bré sent me suggests Duden thinks it could be "haben" and it might be a regional difference, with northerners occasionally using "haben", while no Austrian or Southern German would.

According to the link, Duden says can even just say "Er hat gefahren" if you mean that the person is actively driving the car rather than a passenger. This sounds weird--I wonder if any actual person would ever say this.
#11VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 21:30

I'd say, hat is only possible, where there follows etwas: (with an article)

Er hat einen Stuss zusammengefahren, er hat dein Auto gefahren.

But: Er ist Auto gefahren.
#12Verfasserad.joe (236303) 23 Apr 12, 21:33
This website:


says you use "haben". I think its probably in error. I'll use "sein" from now on.
#13VerfasserBrettUSA (718859) 23 Apr 12, 21:39
autofahren/ Auto fahren

works exactly the same as 'fahren'. I suspect the regional varieties mentioned in the Duden would also occur with 'fahren'. 'hat gefahren' might be (but I'm guessing) Swiss German - they often use 'haben' when I wouldn't.

So fahren/autofahren takes 'sein'.

Exception: When I use fahren in the sense of 'possess' ("What does he drive? - A BMW) it takes 'haben'. But only then.

#14VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 21:43
Es gilt zu unterscheiden:

1. Auto fahren, Rad fahren, Schi fahren, Schi laufen mit Großschreibung des Substantivs. In der Grammatik wird das Inhaltsakkusativ genannt. Das Substantiv hat eine eigenständige Rolle im Satz, ist aber kein Akkusativ-Objekt.
Ich bin Auto gefahren, Rad gefahren, Schi gefahren, Schi gelaufen.

2.Als Akkusativ-Objekt: Ich habe ein Auto, einen BMW (in die Garage) etc. gefahren. Er hat für den Importeur italienischer Sportwagen einen Ferrari von New York nach San Francisco gefahren.

Es gibt aber andere Formulierungen, die je nach Kontext idiomatischer sind, s. oben.
#15Verfassermanni3 (305129) 23 Apr 12, 21:44
The website in #13 is completely wrong:

er autofährt - er autofuhr - er hat autofahren

'autofahren' ist ein trennbares Verb, for starters. It also should be 'autogefahren' im Perfekt.
#16VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 21:45

edit: Nach heutiger Schreibung nur "Auto fahren" als Verb. Großschreibung von Auto und Getrenntschreibung.
Die Substantivierung ist "das Autofahren"
#17Verfassermanni3 (305129) 23 Apr 12, 21:49
auch edit:

manni's examples with 'haben' also work for me, so I'll have to change my 'but only then' statement. The Akkusativobjekt explanation is much better.
#18VerfasserGibson (418762) 23 Apr 12, 21:49
I would say:
Er ist Auto / BMW gefahren.
Perhaps Auto / BMW fahren is kind of a unit like a verb( like fahren alone ).

With an article or sth. similar ( dieses / mein as words that are used in front of nouns ): Er ist noch nie mit so einem tollen Auto / BMW gefahren. OR Er hat noch nie einen so tollen BMW / ein so tolles Auto gefahren.

So I think it may be the article ( or other word see above ) that makes the difference. The article makes clear that in this case it's verb + object.

About the end of 11( According to the link, Duden says can even just say "Er hat gefahren" if you mean that the person is actively driving the car rather than a passenger. This sounds weird--I wonder if any actual person would ever say this."):
Well, I'm sure I wouldn't ever do so.

About the forms quoted in 16:
In my opinion it has to be:
er fährt Auto - er fuhr Auto - er ist Auto gefahren

Native speaker, but from Southern Germany :)
#19Verfasserluciesuzanne (836303) 23 Apr 12, 23:30
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