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Basic patterns in German language

Verb forms in the present tense


In English, verbs take no endings except for the third person singular in the present tense, but German has more endings for verbs in the present tense than English.
 

Verb formation in the present tense:
Most verbs in German follow this regular pattern (verb ends in "e" or "en") where the ending is simply added to the stem of the verb: You take the stem of a verb and then add the required ending. The stem is the form of the infinitive without -en or -n.
 

Person
stem + Ending
ich ("I")
-e
du ("you", informal use)
-st
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
er/sie/es ("he/she/it)
-t
wir ("we")
-en
ihr ("you", informal use)
-t
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
sie ("they")
-en

 

Verb formation (irregular verbs) in the present tense:
But there are some German verbs where the stem ends in -d or -t or ends in a consonant + n or m and verbs with stem endings in -s, -ss, -ß, -x, -z, -tz (they have a different pattern). There are also irregular verbs with vowel changes.

  • Stem endings in -d or -t ("arbeiten" -> stem "arbeit"): It would be difficult to pronounce some endings (the -st endings). This is why an additional "e" is put before these endings.
Person
stem + Ending
ich ("I")
-e
du ("you", informal use)
-est 
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
er/sie/es ("he/she/it)
-et
wir ("we")
-en
ihr ("you", informal use)
-et
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
sie ("they")
-en
  • Stem endings in a consonant + "n" or "m" ("atmen" -> stem "atm"): The extra "e" is also added with the endings for du, er/sie/es and ihr.
Person
stem + Ending
ich ("I")
-e
du ("you", informal use)
-est 
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
er/sie/es ("he/she/it)
-et
wir ("we")
-en
ihr ("you", informal use)
-et
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
sie ("they")
-en
  • Stem endings in -s, -ss, -ß, -x, -z, -tz ("reisen" -> stem "reis"): It would be difficult to pronounce some endings (the -st endings) and only the verb ending for du is affected.
Person
stem + Ending
ich ("I")
-e
du ("you", informal use)
-
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
er/sie/es ("he/she/it)
-t
wir ("we")
-en
ihr ("you", informal use)
-t
Sie ("you", formal use)
-en
sie ("they")
-en

Examples:
German: regnen
English: to rain
Stem: regn
Verb formation: Stem endings in a consonant + "n" or "m

German: kosten
English: to cost
Stem: kost
Verb formation: Stem endings in -d or -t



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