Forms of Verbs

Hilfsverben – auxiliary verbs (“helping verbs”) – put together with a Vollverb to construct different tenses (haben, sein, werden)

Modalverben – modal verbs – in connection with a Vollverb in the infinitive they express how something can be done. können –expresses possibility; dürfen –expresses permission; müssen –expresses necessity; mögen –expresses some kind of wish; sollen –expresses obligation; wollen –expresses a wish or intention

Vollverbenmain verbs –  can stand alone in a sentence; 3 groups: Tätigkeitsverben (arbeiten, machen), Vorgansverben (einschlafen, regnen, wachsen), Zustandsverben (lieben, frieren)

Verbs in a sentence

Relfexive Verben: occur with a relative pronoun that reflects the person that is doing the action, or in other words, they are used when the subject and object of the sentence are the same. For example “to wash oneself” – sich waschen. The relative pronouns are: mich, dich, sich, uns, euch, sich.

Transitive Verben: they come with an Akkusativobjekt, an object in the accusative case (etwas löschen, etwas holen…)

Intransitive Verben: can have no object or an object in the dative or genitive case (jemandem helfen) or an object with preposition (auf der Brücke stehen)

In German there are so called “schwache Verben” (weak verbs) and “starke Verben” (strong verbs)

Regular, weak verbs: you have the infinitive, remove the ending so that you’re left with the stem of the verb and then add the necessary pre- or suffixes.

However, there are irregular weak verbs, for example nennen (to name, call), denken (to think).

Irregular, strong verbs: recogniseable by “Ablaut” – a change of the main vowel between Präsens, Präteritum and Partizip Perfekt. For example singen-sang-gesungen. Although there are some patterns, strong verbs are usually regarded as irregular.