For language learners learning about grammar is inevitable. With that comes learning about the different tenses and the certain rules that one need for the proper use of the tenses because learners of a foreign language do not know which tense to use when by heart. That can be quite challenging, and in fact be very frustrating. As a soon-to-be teacher it is very important to be familiar with those rules. While dealing with the use of the different tenses I stumbled across the striking rise and fall of two of the past tenses in the German as well as the English language. This term paper carries out a literature-based study on the change of usage of the preterite and the past perfect in the English as well as in the German language. The differences between the two languages are being examined. Following the introduction is the theoretical part that provides background information on the relationship between the German and the English language and introduces the subject matter. The next section shows the development in the English and in the German language. After that, I set my findings into comparison, and draw a conclusion.