Verbs (Verben) bring life into a sentence. They are the only words that can indicate action – that’s why they are also called do-words (Tu-Wörter). Where they are, there is always something happening. But not just that, they can also indicate a state of being, or possession. 

Infinitive | Infinitiv

The basic form of a verb is called infinitive (Infinitiv). In English it is formed by using the word ‘to‘ and then adding the root (Stamm) of the verb.

For example: to be, to have, to do, to give, …

In German, we form the infinitive (Infinitiv) of a verbs by using it’s root (Stamm) and adding the
suffix -en.

For example: machen, geben, haben, bekommen, …

In order to use them in a sentence, verbs need to be conjugated. This means that we give them a specific ending that tells something about the grammatical person and the tense in which it is used.

The tenses in German are:

Overview PräsensPräteritum Perfekt Plusquamperfekt Futur 1 | Futur 2

Regular and Irregular verbs

If we want to conjugate verbs, in each tense there are specific rules that we need to apply in order to get the correct form of the verb.

Most verbs follow these rules, which is why they are called regular verbs. The verbs that don’t follow the rules, however, are called irregular verbs. In the following two articles you will learn more about them.