This master thesis deals with the use of the present perfect and the preterite in both English and German. The aim of the investigation is to find out to what extent the use of the present perfect and the preterite vary in English and German and how the original forms are translated into the other language, i.e. whether specific translation patterns can be found.To begin with, a theoretical part summarizes earlier researches by various authors before the main part of the thesis is presented. The research part is a corpus-based analysis, using the Oslo Multilingual Corpus. First of all, the English original preterite forms are looked upon. Three semantic categories could be found in my investigation in which the preterite is used in English: single events, sequences and events occurring regularly. Additionally, the preterite is often used in combination with definite time adverbials. The same categories could also be found when considering the German preterite.Looking at the English translations of the German preterite forms, it is striking that most instances, in total over 90%, were translated into the preterite in English as well. Considering the German translations of the English preterite forms, the preterite is also the preferred tense used in the translations, however, the present perfect appears also frequently in the translations, especially in sentences containing direct speech.In most of the cases, the present perfect is used in English when referring to events or states that have an impact on the present point of time. In the German originals, the present perfect is used in the same way. However, in addition there are a high number of cases where the present perfect refers to an event located in the past. Furthermore, the present perfect is used in German in combination with definite time adverbials, such as gestern, which would not be possible in English, but the preterite would have to be used instead.An interesting finding could be made when regarding the English translations of the German present perfect forms. The majority of the hits were translated into a different verb form than the original one, namely the preterite. However, in the German translation of the English originals the preterite was the favored verb form.