Lesson 4 - Verbs in the Present Tense

Now that you know the German subject pronouns, you're ready to learn about verbs.

In German, the verb must agree with the subject pronoun preceding it (grammatically speaking, that is, in person and number), that is called 'verb conjugation'. Thus, German has more endings for verbs than in English.

Verb Conjugation

To conjugate a verb, you simply take its stem and then add the required ending. The stem is the form of the infinitive without -en or -n. Table of endings & example verbs shown below:

Pronoun Verb Ending kommen hören
ich -e komme höre
du -st kommst hörst
er / sie / es -t kommt hört
wir -en kommen hören
ihr -t kommt hört
sie -en kommen hören
Sie -en kommen hören

In German, there is only one present tense, which corresponds both to the simple and to the continuous present:

  • Ich trinke Wasser - I drink water or I am drinking water
  • Sie kommt hier - She comes here or She is coming here

To end this lesson, here are a few examples:

Pronoun Example Meaning
ich ich lerne Deutsch I am learning German
du du spielst gut You are playing good
er / sie / es Sie kocht Spagetti She is cooking spaghetti
wir wir bleiben zwei Tage We are staying two days
ihr ihr singt ein Lied You are singing a song
sie sie trinken Bier They are drinking beer
Sie Sie wohnen in Berlin You are living in Berlin