The differences between the imperfect and the present
perfect are in German not as clear as they are in the
English grammar. Therefore one could almost dare to
say that there are no differences between the two past
tenses in German. Well, the praxis (as we will show
later on) is that almost always the present perfect
is used when it is talked about something in the past,
especially in spoken language. On the other hand in
literature and story-telling the imperfect is still
used quite widely.
The theory says that the imperfect is used when there
is a distance between the one speaking and the event
in the past, either in matter of time or emotionally.
The event is not seen close anymore.