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A1.1 Chapter 1: German Regular Verbs in the Present Tense


Hey Beginner students! Do you wonder what we cover in class 1 of our German Beginner course? Have a peak!!














Verbs are very important when learning German. You should definitely know the recurring endings to regular verbs in the present tense. While I’m talking about regular verbs in the present tense I think it would be a good time to remind you that the verb always goes in the second position in a main clause. This applies to both statements and questions with a question word! This also still applies if an adverb is used such as “leider”.


Okay, now that we know the sentence structure and placement of verbs in a sentence let’s take a look at some regular verbs in the present tense.

Many German verbs are regular in the present tense such as: “arbeiten”, “bekommen”, “finden”, “gehen”, “kommen”, “lernen”, “machen”, “sagen”, “trinken” and “verstehen”. The endings to these verbs are as follows: -e, -(e)st, -(e)t, -en, -et, -en.






You might be wondering why “arbeiten” has the -est and -et endings for “du”, “er/sie/es”, and “ihr” forms. If the infinitive stem ends in –d or –t, to facilitate pronunciation an e is inserted between the infinitive stem and personal ending in the “du”, “er/sie/es”, and “ihr” forms.


There are a few other rules like this that we should address. Don’t get too caught up in them but it’s useful to have an idea of other rules. If the infinitive stem ends in –s, –ß, –x, or –z, the s of the “du” ending is omitted.




If the infinitive ends in just –n rather than –en, then the personal ending of the “wir” and “Sie/sie” forms is simply –n. In speech, sometimes the e in the “ich” form is omitted. Here are two examples handeln and ändern:




Stem-Changing Verbs

Some verbs that have a, au, or e in their infinitive stems undergo stem-vowel changes in the “du” and “er/sie/es” forms. There are four types of stem changes: aä, auäu, ei, and e ie.



Unlike regular verbs, stem-changing verbs whose stems end in -d or -t do not add an additional e before the personal -st or -t ending:

raten → du rätst

And some stem-changing verbs whose stems end in -d or -t do not add the -et personal ending in the “er/sie/es” form at all:

halten → es hält

Like regular verbs, stem-changing verbs whose stems end in –s or –ß drop the s in the “du” form –st personal ending:

wachsen → du wächst



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