• German grammar
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  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • Present tense (Präsens) in German

    Definition and usage of the present tense 

    The present tense is used in many situations. By using it the speaker declares or describes a situation in the present. The table shows you situations in which the present tense is used. 

    Usage Example Translation
    If a fact is described Die Kinder feiern Geburtstag. The kids celebrate a birthday.
    If an action takes place, never takes place or is repeated constantly  Er lernt jeden Montag Trompete. He practices the trumpet every monday.
    If you want to describe for how long an action has been repeated Er lernt seit 4 Jahren Trompete. He practices trumpet since 4 years.
    If future actions have been already planned Er gibt in zwei Wochen ein Konzert. He has a concert in two weeks.
    If two things happen at the same time Er sagt, dass er müde ist. He says that he is tired.
    If something historical should be emphasized Der Mann lag am Strand. Plötzlich hört er ein Geräusch. The man lay on the beach. Suddenly he hears a noise.

     

    Marker words that indicate the present tense in German

    If you see some certain words in a sentence, you can be sure that the present tense is the right tense to use. Find some examples of marker words in the table below.

    Marker word Translation
    oft often
    immer always
    jeden Tag/jedes Jahr every day/year
    jetzt now
    normalerweise usually
    manchmal sometimes
    seit since
    in zwei Wochen/in drei Jahren in two weeks/three years

     

    Here are some example sentences:

    • Normalerweise gehe ich jeden Montag schwimmen. (Usually, I go swimming every monday.)
    • Manchmal hat er Albträume. (Sometimes, he has nightmares.)
    • Er wohnt hier seit vier Monaten. (He loves here since four months now.)

    Conjugation of the present tense with examples

    Conjugation of regular verbs

    A verb has to be declined according to the subject it refers to. The declension of regular verbs ending on -en are marked in the table below. Look at the example of the verb kommen. The word stem is komm- . 

    Subject verb 
    ich  komme
    du kommst
    er/ sie/ es kommt
    wir  kommen
    ihr kommt
    sie/ Sie kommen

     

    For example:

    • Sie kommen aus dem Kino. (They come out of the cinema.)
    • Wir kommen vom Strand. (We come from the beach.)
    • Er kommt aus der Türkei. (He is from turkey.)

    Conjugation of irregular verbs

    Some German verbs are conjugated irregularly. See the most common used verbs in the table below:

    Subject sein (to be) werden (to become) haben (to have) wissen (to know)
    ich bin werde habe weiß
    du bist wirst hast weißt
    er / sie / es ist wird hat weiß
    wir sind werden haben wissen
    ihr seid werdet habt wisst
    sie / Sie sind werden haben wissen

     

    Other examples of irregular cojugated verbs are:

    • Conjugation of verbs with stems that ends in a sibilant (s, ss, ß, z)

    • Word stem ends in - m, -t, d, n

    • Conjugation of verbs with the infinitive ending with -n 

    • Stem-changing words

    • Modal verbs

    See the explanation and some examples to every exception in the small chapters below.

    enlightenedFor the declension of this irregular verbs, there is no logical rule. You just have to learn them by heart.

    Conjugation of verbs with stems that ends in a sibilant (s, ss, ß, z) 

    If the word stem of a verb ends on s, ss, ß or z, the second person singular (du / you) only adds an -t and not -st, like in the example before. The table shows you the construction with the example of the verb heißen. The word stem is heiß-. The other forms are built regularly.

    Subject verb
    ich  heiße 
    du  heißt
    er/ sie/ es heißt
    wir heißen
    ihr heißt
    sie/ Sie heißen

     

    For example:

    • Ich heiße Bernd! (My name is Bernd!)
    • Heißt du Tobi? (Is your name Tobi?)
    • Wir heißen Schmidt mit Nachnamen. (Our last name is Schmidt.)

    enlightenedThis rule exist, because otherwise, the words would be very difficult to pronounce. 'Heißt' is much more easier to pronounce than 'heißst'.

    Word stem ends in - m, -t, d, n

    Verbs with word stems ending on these letters are for example: atmen, rechnen, arbeiten. See in the table how you insert the "e" in the correct way. 

    Subject verb
    ich  arbeite
    du  arbeitest
    er/ sie/ es arbeitet
    wir arbeiten
    ihr  arbeitet
    sie/ Sie arbeiten

     

    For example: 

    • Du arbeitest im Schwimmbad. (You work at the pool.)
    • Ich arbeite als Koch. (I work as a cook.)
    • Wir arbeiten freiwillig. (We work voluntarily.)

    enlightenedThe -e endings are inserted as a 'bumper'. Otherwise the words would sound uncomely, like for instance 'du arbeitst', or 'er arbeitt'.

    Conjugation of verbs with the infinitive ending with -n 

    Some verbs only end with -n rather than on -en in their infinitive. For example: klingeln, bügeln, lächeln. They are conjugated in a different way.

    Subject verbs
    ich  sammle
    du sammelst
    er/ sie/ es sammelt
    wir sammeln
    ihr sammelt
    sie/ Sie sammeln

     

    For example:

    • Ich sammle Postkarten. (I collect post cards.)
    • Du sammelst Briefmarken. (You collect stamps.)
    • Sie sammeln Magazine. (She collects magazines.)

     

    Stem-changing words

    Some strong verbs exist of a, au or e. In total, there are four types of stem changes: a to ä, au to äu, e to i, e to ie. See some examples in the table below.

    Infinitive fahren laufen sprechen sehen
    Infititive stem fahr- lauf- sprech- seh-
    Stem change a -> ä au -> äu e -> i e -> ie
    ich fahre laufe spreche sehe
    du fährst läufst sprichst siehst
    er / sie / es fährt läuft spricht sieht
    wir fahren laufen sprechen sehen
    ihr fahrt lauft sprecht seht
    sie / Sie fahren laufen sprechen sehen

     

    enlightenedAs you can see, those vowel changes only happen in the 2nd and 3rd person singular. Besides the vowel change, the endings of the words are regularly.

     

    Modal verbs

    Modal verbs are used to express the personal attitude about a happening. There are six modal verbs that also have vowel changes in their present declension.

    Infinitive dürfen können müssen sollen wollen mögen
    Infinitive stem dürf- könn- müss- soll- woll- mög-
    Stem change ü -> a ö -> a ü -> u   o -> i ö -> a
    ich darf kann muss soll will mag
    du darfst kannst musst sollst willst magst
    er / sie / es darf kann muss soll will mag
    wir dürfen können müssen sollen wollen mögen
    ihr dürft könnt müsst sollt wollt mögt
    sie / Sie dürfen können müssen sollen wollen mögen

     

    enlightenedWith the modal verbs, only the persons in singular (ich, du, er, sie, es, Sie) change their word stem.

    yesNow, that you have learned about the present tense, try to deepen your knowledge with our exercises. 

    Exercises

    Exercise of regular conjugation

    Exercise of stems that ends in a sibilant (s, ss, ß, z)

    Exercise of word stem ends in - m, -t, d, n

    Exercise of the verbs with the infinitive ending with -n