Regular Weak Verbs

There are two main types of verbs in German: regular weak verbs and irregular strong verbs. A weak verb does not change its stem vowel in any of its past forms, whereas a strong verb does. Most German verbs are weak.

Weak verbs follow patterns. To conjugate a 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.

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

Notice that the plural form kommen is the same for both singular and plural Sie.

There are some verbs where the stem ends in -t or in -d. It would be difficult to pronounce -st ending for du, the -t ending for er/sie/es and ihr, if -st or -t was directly added to the stem. This is why an -e is added before the endings.

arbeiten - to work

du arbeitest

er/sie/es arbeitet

Verbs such as atmen and regnen, where the stem ends in a consonant -m or -n, also need the additional -e.

If the verb stem ends in s, ss or ß, add only a -t as the verb ending for du.

heißen - to be called

du heißt

For a few verbs where the stem ends in x, z or tz, the same pattern applies.

tanzen - to dance

du tanzt

Beispielsätze


In the past simple regular weak verbs add to the verb stem a -t- and a set of regular endings.

The past participle of regular weak verbs is formed by dropping the -en from the infinitive, then adding the prefix ge- and the suffix -t. The resulting past participle of machen is gemacht.

Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension

Grammar Topics