Conjugation: present tense (1)

In conjugation, the endings of the verbs often change. The ending depends on which person is doing the action. The ending comes after the verb stem.

An example of verb conjugation: Ich komme aus Spanien.


Example: kommen

Woher kommst du, Nico? – Ich komme aus Spanien.

Woher kommen Sie, Herr González? – Ich komme aus Spanien.

Most verbs are conjugated in the present tense as follows:

Singular 1st person ich komme
Singular 2nd person du kommst
Singular and plural formal address Sie kommen


Example: heißen

When the verb stem ends in -s, -ß, -z or -x , the second-person singular form only adds a -t :

Singular 1st person ich heiße
Singular 2nd person du heißt
Singular and plural  formal address Sie heißen


Example: sein

Ich bin Nico. Und wer bist du? – Ich bin Emma.

Ich bin Lisa Brunner. Und wer sind Sie? – Ich bin Sigi Körner.

The verb sein and other important German verbs are irregular. So always learn the verb forms as well!

Singular 1st person ich bin
Singular 2nd person du bist
Singular and plural formal address Sie sind


Grammatical terms in German:

das Verb: Verbs are words that describe activities, occurrences or a situation, e.g. walk, eat, play. German verbs usually end with -en in the infinitive, e.g. kommen, heißen, lernen.

die Konjugation: When a verb is used in a different tense, or with a different person, it changes. It often gets a specific ending. This change in the verb form is known as conjugation.

das Präsens: The present is a verb tense. It is used when speaking about events, activities or situations that happen in the present or are continuing to happen.