Present Tense

In German the present tense is used when talking about something that is taking place now, takes place often, or will take place in the near future. There are no progressive forms in German as there are in English.


The present tense is also used to talk about actions or states that are still continuing but began in the past.

Er wohnt drei Jahre in Berlin. - He has lived in Berlin for three years.

To ask about such actions or states, wie lange (how long) is used.

Wie lange wohnen Sie in Berlin? - How long have you been living in Berlin?

Notice that when the verb is used with seit (for), the noun is in the dative case.

zwei Jahre - two years (pl. nominative case)

seit zwei Jaren - for two years (pl. dative case)


To conjugate a regular weak verb in the present tense, you need to take the verb stem (the part of the infinitive remaining when you drop the final -en) and then add endings to the verb stem.

Conjugation of kommen - to come

ich komme I come

du kommst you come (you sing. informal)

er/sie/es kommt he/she/it comes

wir kommen we come

ihr kommt you come (you pl. informal)

sie kommen they come

The plural form kommen is the same for both singular and plural Sie (formal you).

Preposition mit

The preposition mit (with) requires a dative object. The dative form of wir is uns.

Kommen Sie mit uns? - Are you coming with us?

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Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension