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Verb overview

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  • 1. Weak (regular) and strong (irregular) Germanverbs: a summary
    Did you know…
    German has 170 irregular verbs.
    English has 283! Count yourself lucky being a native English speaker 
  • 2. Recap of regular German verb rules:
    stem + regular verb ending
    verbs ending in –den (finden) or –ten (antworten) just drop the ‘n’ in the du, er/sie/es & ihr forms so that they are easier to pronounce:
    • erfindet, ihrantwortet, du findest
  • Irregular verbs:
    1. some add an umlautin the du & er/sie/esforms, like:
    fahren, fallen, fangen, laufen, schlafen, tragen, waschen.
    Examples:
    fahrendu fährst
    laufensieläuft
    schlafenschläfst
  • 3. Some verbs change their vowel in the du & er/sie/es forms, like:
    helfen(to help) hilfst, hilft
    lesen(to read) liest, liest
    geben(to give) gibst, gibt
    sprechen(to speak) sprichst, spricht
    sehen(to see) siehst, sieht
    nehmen(to take) nimmst, nimmt
    treffen(to meet) triffst, trifft
  • 4. 3.Some verbs seem to have no rules about them!
    haben (to have)
    sein (to be)
    wissen (to know)  ich weiß, du weißt, er/sie/es weiß
  • 5. Note! For all verbs:
    the verb forms of
    wir (we)
    sie (they)
    Sie (you formal)
    are ALWAYS the same as the infinitive (the verb form you find in a dictionary) – except for sein.
  • 6. The ihr (you plural) verb form is ALWAYS the infinitive minus the
    -en plus –t
    denken (to think)= ihr denkt
    treffen (to meet) = ihr trefft
    laufen (to run) = ihr lauft
    lesen (to read) = ihr lest
  • 7. How can you tell if a verb is regular?Check a dictionary or verb list – if it isn’t in there, it’s regular!All irregular verbs are listed in your dictionary.

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