Conjugation of the german verbs (present tense)


Conjugation of german verbs. General notions. Konjugation der Verben.

 

Building time Bildung der Zeitformen

If we want to express an action in time (present, past, future) we need to habe the ability to conjugate verbs. When we are conjugating a verb, it changes it's shape according to person, number and time. For each time there are some rules that have to be learned in order to conjugate a verb.

What is the conjugation of verbs? The conjugation is a procedure through which we modify the shape of the verb according to each pronoun.

Example:

Let's conjugate the verb ”to go”

Singular number

Plural number

Person I

I go

we go

Person II

you go

you go

Person III

he, she, it goes

they go

As we already know according to their conjungation there are two types of verbs:

- Regular verbs (Regelmäßige Verben) – also called weak verbs

- Irregular verbs (Unregelmäßige Verben) – also called strong verbs

 

The conjugation of regular verbs is simple because it shares the same rule for al this kind of verbs.

 

1. The present (Gegenwart)

It is formed by adding the following endings to the root of the infinitive verb

 

singular number

plural number

1st person

- e

- en

2nd person

- (e)st

- (e)t

3rd person

-    (e)t

- en

 

Observație! The infinitive verb is the regular verb as found in the dictionary.

The root of the infinitive verb is obtained by eliminating the ending -en

 Example:

the verb ”to walk” = ”gehen”

"gehen" is the infinitive form of the verb, the root is obtained by cutting the ending "-en", this way we get "geh". Now we have to add to "geh" an ending from the above table.

 

1st person, singular we will have the following situation:

to walk = gehen

gehen + e, results in ”gehe

I walk – Ich gehe

to say = sagen

sagen + e, results in ”sage

I say – Ich sage

The conjugation of regular verbs in present tense

 

Let's conjugate the verb "to do" = "machen"

machen + an ending from the above table

We get:



Singular number

Plural number

Person I

ich mache

wir machen

Person II

du machst

ihr macht

Person III

er, sie, es macht

sie, Sie machen

 

There is a category of verbs in the frame of regular verbs wich conjugation is made a bit differently

This verbs, after the elimination of the ending "-en", if they are ending in “t”, “d”,” m” or “n” we introduce the vowel "e" between the root and the endings. This applies only for 2nd and 3rd person - singular, and 2nd person - plural

Let's see an example:

The verb ”to work” = ”arbeiten”

arbeiten + e + an ending from the above table for each person (pronoun), singular and plural

Singular number

Plural number

Person I

ich arbeite

wir arbeiten

Person II

du arbeitest ihr arbeitet

Person III

er, sie, es arbeitet sie, Sie arbeiten

 

 

Examples of this kind of verbs: antworten = to answer; arbeiten = to work; atmen = to breathe; begegnen = to meet; beobachten = to observe; bilden = toformulate; bitten = to invite; finden = to find; heiraten = to marry; mieten = to rent; öffnen = to open; rechnen = to calculate; reden = to speak; retten = to save; trocknen = to get dry; warten = to wait; zeichnen = to draw etc.

 

The conjugation of irrregular verbs in present tense

 

- during the conjugation we use the same endings as in the case of regular verbs

-    during the conjugation it takes place a vowel change in the root of the verb at 2nd and 3rd person singular

Example:

sehen = to see

sehen + an ending form the above table according to person and number

it takes place a vowel change: e → ie



singular number

plural number

Person I

ich sehe

wir sehen

Person II 

du siehst ihr seht

Person III

er, sie, es sieht sie, Sie sehen

Remember! The vowel change takes place only for 2nd and 3rd person singular. In plural it all remains the same as in the case of regular verbs

Table with the most common irregular (strong) german verbs that change their vowels for 2nd and 3rd person during the conjugation (present).

2nd person singular

du (you)

3rd person singular:

er, sie, es (he, she, it)

e → i

brechen = to break

brichst

bricht

essen = to eat

isst

isst

geben = to give

gibst

gibt

helfen = to help

hilfst

hilft

nehmen = to take

nimmst

nimmt

sprechen = to talk

sprichst

spricht

treffen = to meet

triffst

trifft

vergessen = to forget

vergisst

vergisst

werfen = to throw

wirfst

wirft

e ie

befehlen = to command

befiehlst

befiehlt

empfehlen = to recommand

empfiehlst

empfiehlt

geschehen = to happen

-

geschieht

lesen = to read

liest

liest

a ä

blasen = to blow

bläst

bläst

fahren = to drive/to travel

fährst

fährt

fangen = to catch

fängst

fängt

halten = to hold

hältst

hält

laden = to load

lädst

lädt

lassen = to leave

lässt

lässt

schlafen = to sleeep

schläfst

schläft

schlagen = to hit

schlägst

schlägt

tragen = to pull

trägst

trägt

waschen = to wash

wäschst

wäscht

au → äu

laufen = to run

läufst

läuft

saufen = to get drunk

säufst

säuft