German Verbs

This page contains a table including the following: German Verbs and tenses. Try to memorize the way they're used because they're very important in communication, and might be very helpful to convey your most important expressions. Make sure to check our Learn German page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.

German Verbs


A verb in German as well as in English is a word that represents an action or a state of being. (go, strike, travel, and exist are examples of verbs). A verb is the essential part of the predicate of a sentence. The grammatical forms of verbs include number, person, and tense. Some examples are:

    

English Verbs German Verbs
 
my friend travels with his wifeMein Freund reist mit seiner Frau
my friends travel with their friendsMeine Freunde reisen mit ihren Freunden
I traveled with my friendsIch reiste mit meinen Freunden
She will travel with her friendsSie wird mit ihren Freunden reisen
I have to feed my catIch muss die Katze füttern
Do you speak Spanish?Sprichst du Spanisch?

As you can see, the table above shows the German verbs in the present tense, the past tense, and the future tense, and also as a question (interrogative form).

Present Tense in German


The present tense in German is the form of the verb that may be used to express: action at the present, a state of being; an occurrence in the (very) near future; or an action that occurred in the past and continues up to the present. Most German infinitives end in -en, some in -n only: gehen, wandern, lächeln.
The stem is the infinitive minus this ending -en or -n, therefore:

  • gehen ==> geh__ [infinitive ==> stem]
  • wandern ==> wander_ [infinitive ==> stem]
Here is format sample:
  • ich ...-e
  • du ...-st
  • er/sie/es (man) ...-t
  • wir ...-(e)n
  • ihr ...-t
  • sie/Sie ...-(e)n

    

English German Present Tense
 
I speakIch spreche
You speakDu sprichst
He speaksEr spricht
She speaksSie spricht
It speaksEs spricht
We speakWir sprechen
They speakSie sprechen

Past Tense in German


The past tense in German is a verb tense expressing action, activity, state or being in the past of the current moment (in an absolute tense system), or prior to some other event, whether that is past, present, or future (in a relative tense system). Simple past tense is used all the time in newspapers, books, and so on, but it is less common in speech. One exception is the simple past tense of sein (zyn) (to be). This is often used in preference to perfect tense in both speech and writing. Here is an example:

English German Past Tense
 
I traveledEr reiste
You traveledDu reiste
He traveledEr reiste
She traveledSie reiste
It traveledEs reiste
We traveledWir reisten
They traveledSie reisten

Perfect Tense in German


Perfect tense is the main past tense used in spoken German. It is very versatile: You can use it to talk about most actions and situations in the past. Most verbs form the perfect tense with the verb haben (have).
Certain verbs require sein (to be) instead of haben (to have) to form the perfect tense. These verbs often describe some form of movement or a state.

English German Perfect Tense
 
I wentIch bin gegangen
You wentDu bist gegangen
He wentEr ist gegangen
She wentSie ist gegangen
It wentEs ist gegangen
We wentWir sind gegangen
They wentSie sind gegangen

Future Tense in German


In German, the future tense is a verb form that marks the event described by the verb as not having happened yet, but expected to happen in the future (in an absolute tense term), or to happen subsequent to some other event, whether that is past, present, or future (in a relative tense term). The future tense is simple to form in German. Just use the present tense forms of werden and put the other infinitive to the end of the sentence. Here is an example:

English German Future Tense
 
I will goIch werde gehen
You will goDu wirst gehen
He will goEr wird gehen
She will goSie wird gehen
It will goEs wird gehen
We will goWir werden gehen
They will goSie werden gehen

Below is a vocabulary training for verbs in German (Deutsch), try to memorize the verbs below, because they’re very important and used daily.

    

Vocaublary German Verbs
 
ArriveAnkommen
AskFragen
BeSein
BecomeWerden
BeginBeginnen
BreakStoppen/brechen
BringBringen
BuildBauen
BurnBrennen
BuyKaufen
CallRufen
ChooseAuswählen
CleanSäubern
CloseSchließen
ComeKommen
CutSchneiden
DanceTanzen
DoMachen
DreamTräumen
DrinkTrinken
EatEssen
FallFallen
FindFinden
ForgetVergessen
GetBekommen
GoGehen
HearHören
HelpHelfen
KissKüssen
KnowWissen
LaughLachen
LearnLernen
LikeMögen
LiveLeben
LookSchauen
LoveLieben
MakeMachen
MeanMeinen
MeetTreffen
NeedBrauchen
Openöffnen
PlaySpielen
PushDrücken
ReadLesen
RememberErinnern
ReturnZurück bringen/ zurück kommen
RunRennen
SaySagen
SeeSehen
SellVerkaufen
SendVerschicken
SitSitzen
SleepSchlafen
SpeakSprechen
TakeNehmen
TalkSprechen
TeachLehren
TellErzählen
ThinkDenken
UnderstandVerstehen
WaitWarten
WantWollen
WorkArbeiten

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some German Verbs such as present tense, past tense, perfect tense and future tense..., try to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. Make sure to check our Learn German page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.

Lesson Created by Katja Grathwohl