Präsens

The Präsens (simple present) is the easiest one of all 6 verb tenses in German. We use it to talk about actions that happen in the present or are relevant to or around the present point in time. Furthermore, it can also sometimes be used to talk about the future in German.

Accordingly, we can translate it into one of four English tenses: the simple past, the present progressive, as well as the will future and or going to future.

Formation

The Präsens is formed by taking the root of the verb (e.g. ‘koch‘ in ‘kochen‘ or ‘sag‘ in ‘sagen‘) and adding the following verb endings:

Personalpronomen | Personal pronounEndung | Ending
ich-e
du-st
er, sie, es-t
wir-en
ihr-t
sie-en

Here are some example verbs:

trinken
(to drink)
bauen
(to build)
machen
(to do)
ich trinkeich baueich mache
du trinkstdu baustdu machst
er, sie, es trinkter, sie, es bauter, sie, es macht
wir trinkenwir bauenwir machen
ihr trinktihr bautihr macht
sie trinkensie bauensie machen

But German wouldn’t be German if there wouldn’t be some irregular verbs. To find out more about them check out our article about irregular verbs in German.

Other tenses in German:

Overview | Präteritum | Perfekt | Plusquamperfekt | Futur 1 | Futur 2

Stay tuned for more articles about this and other grammar topics for learning German!

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