Must-Know German Verbs

Time to get active, my dearests! Let’s learn some verbs. This is 25 of the most used verbs in German. I will post more later because I think you will be more motivated to study a few than the entire German dictionary?

In German, similar to English there are columns with different forms of the verbs. Yet in German there are four and not three. I will explain how to use the columns and what each of them are next week. For now I am simply going to give you work…

Learn these by heart like a childhood nursery rhyme. If you hear sein, you firstly have to know that it means to be. Secondly you need to recite the line sein, ist, war, ist gewesen in your mind. This will help you sooooo much later on. I can not stress this enough!

(Please note in the instances where I put XX it means that verb does not have a third person singular stem change in the present tense.)

German Verbs to Know by Heart

Infinitive FormPresent Tense Stem Change Third Person Singular – If AnySimple Past Tense – Third Person SingularHelping Verb + Past ParticipleEnglish Equivalent
seinistwarist gewesento be
habenXXhattehat gehabtto have
werdenwirdwurdeist gewordento become
könnenkannkonntehat gekonntcan, to be able to
müssenmussmusstehat gemusstmust, to have to
sagenXXsagtehat gesagtto say
machenXXmachtehat gemachtto do, to make
gebengibtgabhat gegebento give
kommenXXkamist gekommento come
sollensollsolltehat gesoltshould, ought to
wollenwillwolltehat gewolltto want
gehenXXgingist gegangento go
wissenweißwusstehat gewusstto know
sehensiehtsahhat gesehento see
lassenlässtließhat gelassento let, to allow
stehenXXstandhat gestandento stand
findenXXfandhat gefundento find
bleibenXXbliebist gebliebento stay, to remain
liegenXXlaghat gelegento lie (position)
heißenXXhießhat geheißento be called
denkenXXdachtehat gedachtto think
nehmennimmtnahmhat genommento take
tunXXtathat getanto do
dürfendarfdurftehat gedurftmay, to be allowed
glaubenXXglaubtehat geglaubtto believe


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