Conjugation: present tense

The Präsens is the verb form used for the present tense. Most verbs are conjugated in the present tense as follows:

Example: kommen


Singular 1st person ich komme
  2nd person du kommst
  3rd person er/sie/es kommt
Plural 1st person wir kommen
  2nd person ihr kommt
  3rd person sie kommen
Formal (singular und plural)   Sie kommen


The only difference between the third-person plural and the formal address is that the formal Sie is written with a capital letter.

If the stem of a verb ends with -d or -t, the conjugation in second and third person singular and the second person plural takes an additional -e-.


For example: arbeiten (to work)

Singular 1st person ich arbeite
  2nd person du arbeitest
  3rd person er/sie/es arbeitet
Plural 1st person wir arbeiten
  2nd person ihr arbeitet
  3rd person sie arbeiten
Formal (singular und plural)   Sie arbeiten



Some verbs have an irregular conjugation.

Example: sein

Singular 1st person ich bin
  2nd person du bist
  3rd person er/sie/es ist
Plural 1st person wir sind
  2nd person ihr seid
  3rd person sie sind
Formal (singular and plural)   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.