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German speaking lesson 8

Only knowing how to say “hello”, “please” and “thank you” isn’t enough.

Verbs are some of the most useful things to master when it comes to taking your German to the next level.

You may remember from your school days that verbs are “doing words” such as “jump”, “throw”, “run”, and other very active-sounding ones.

However, when learning any language, you'll come across some mega-important verbs on a regular basis. One of these was already introduced to you in a previous lesson: The verb, “to be”.

Here it goes again if you need a reminder. 



I am

ich bin

You are (informal)

du bist

You are (formal)

Sie sind

He is

er ist

She is

sie ist

It is

es ist

All of you are (informal)

ihr seid

All of you are (formal)

sie sind

We are 

wir sind

They are

sie sind


How verbs are like Transformers

Notice how the verb “to be” in the table above changes based on what or who the verb refers to?

In English, we have a similar idea of verb modifications. Sometimes the verb changes a little by just adding an –s to the end of it.

For example:

  • I learn
  • You learn
  • He/She/It learns
  • We learn
  • They learn

Other times, the English verbs we use for each person alter dramatically.

For example:

  • I am
  • You are
  • He/She/It is
  • We are
  • They are

Verbs in German change as well. Luckily, they follow a predictable pattern, so once you've mastered it, you'll be able to employ numerous German verbs.

To comprehend how they change, you must first comprehend the structure of a German verb. A verb stem and a verb ending make up every verb. Some instances are as follows:

Full Verb

Verb Stem + Verb Ending



geh + en

to go


sag + en

to say


lauf + en

to run

German verbs drop their original verb ending and take a new ending when they change. Can you see the patterns in the endings?

Verb endings for singen (to sing) and sagen (to say)

You've seen the pattern now, let’s see if you can find out the endings for the verbs, “gehen” (to go). Then come with us to check your answer.

Verb endings for “gehen” (to go)

I go

ich gehe

You go (informal)

du gehst

You go (formal)

Sie gehen

He goes

er geht

She goes

sie geht

It goes

es geht

All of you go

ihr geht

We go

wir gehen

They go

sie gehen

You now understand the basic structure of German verbs (Go get a schnitzel for yourself). This rule applies to the majority of German verbs, but there are still a few exceptions. The verb “haben” (to have) is an important one. 

Essential verb: haben (to have)

For all kinds of basic German phrases, the verb “to have” is necessary (It's probably more than you'd expect!). Because it's an irregular verb, you'll note that it's not quite the same as the pattern you just learned. The German verb “to have” undergoes the following transformations.

Verb endings for “haben” (to have)

I have

ich habe

You have (informal)

du hast

You have (formal)

Sie haben

He has

er hat

She has

sie hat

It has

es hat

All of you have

ihr habt

We have

wir haben

They have

sie haben

Did you see how the b has vanished in a few of those?

The verb “haben” is a useful one to know since you may use it to express how you're feeling.

In German, you say that you have hunger, thirst, or fear instead of saying that you are hungry, thirsty, or afraid.



I am hungry. (I have hunger.)

Ich habe Hunger.

He is thirsty. (He has thirst.)

Er hat Durst.

We are afraid. (We have fear.)

Wir haben Angst.


Imaginary island rescue!

Imagine that you're stuck on an island. After a few days of suffering imaginary hunger, imaginary thirst, imaginary fear, and some strange animals, you figure out there is something we forgot to mention. 

It turns out that you possess a few items inside your backpack (Here comes the verb “to have” again).



Ich habe einen Rucksack.

I have a backpack.

Ich habe Wasser.

I have water.

Ich habe ein paar Streichhölzer.

I have a few matches.

Ich habe zwei Kissen.

I have two pillows.

Guck mal! Ich habe ein Handy!

Look! I have a cellphone!


At least you’ve got a cellphone to get you off this island. What good fortune! (This implies we have one more phrase with our new verb)



Du hast Glück.

You are lucky. (You “have” luck.)


This is the end of our today's German speaking lesson. We hope that you can know the correct way to use German verbs And remember to join us in the next German lessons.

Tags: learn speaking German, German verbs, how to learn speaking German, learn German lessons, introduction to German verbs, learn the German language, German speaking lessons, how to use German verbs

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