Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Conjugating the Weak Verb
Auxiliary Verbs
Strong and Irregular Verbs
Inseperable and Seperable Verbs
Modal Auxiliaries
The Subjunctive and Imperative
Adverbs
Particles
Using the Verb

Verbs as Nouns | Present and Past Participles | Transitive and Intransitive | Active and Passive Voice | Emphasizing Resulting State | Impersonal Verbs

In this lesson you will see the many different ways that a verb can be used. Such as using a verb as a noun, adjective, and transitive and intransitive verbs, just to name a few.
Any infinitive verb can be used as a neuter noun. This is the same as in English when you add an -ing:
das Schwimmen - Swimming
Ich habe Angst vorm Fliegen. - I am frightened of flying.
Sehen ist Glauben. - Seeing is believing.
Always capitalize verbs when they are being used as a noun.
Along with the past participle there is also a present participle which is equivalent English's -ing, although in German you add a -end to the stem of the verb:
lebend, wartend
Both of these participles can be used as adjectives and decline like regular adjectives when they precede a noun:
ein gefülltes Glas - a filled glass
ihre wartenden Freunde - her waiting friends
Die Arbeit war schon gemacht. - The work was already done.
Das finde ich erregend. - I find that exciting.
A transitive verb is one that needs an object, and a verb that doesn't need an object is an intransitive verb, although some verbs can be both:
fahren - to drive
rudern - to row
Fahren and rudern both may be intransitive:
Ich fahre heute nach Hause. - I am driving home today.
Er rudert sehr gut. - He rows very well.
But they both may also be transitive:
Ich fahre einen BMW. - I drive a BMW.
Wir rudern ein sehr kleines Boot. - We are rowing a very small boat.
When the subject is performing the action then the sentence is in the active voice. Although when the subject is on the receiving end of the action or "suffering" it then it is the passive voice:
Active: Ich ärgere meine Frau. - I annoy my wife.
Passive: Meine Frau wird von mir geärgert. - My wife is annoyed by me.
The passive can only be used with transitive verbs as the direct object becomes the subject. As you can see this form is used by adding werden as an auxiliary verb with the past participle at the end of the sentence.
One may also use the passive voice above to the emphasise the action rather than the resulting state. To form the resulting state you would use the verb sein with the past participle as an adjective:
Die Arbeit ist gemacht. - The work is done.
Die Tür ist geöffnet. - The door is opened.
But with the passive you can emphasise the action:
Die Arbeit wird gemacht. - The work is being done.
Die Tür wird geöffnet. - The door is being opened.
Verbs whose subject is not specified are impersonal verbs, regnen is one example as are many other weather verbs. These are used with es although nobody knows what es refers to:
Es schneit. - It is snowing.
Es donnert. - It is thundering.
Es friert draußen. - It is freezing outside.
Very often though, in German, es does not mean it, but there:
Es gibt - there is, there are
Es klopft. - There is a knock.
Es klingelt. - There is a ring.
Other examples include:
Es ist mir gelungen. - I succeeded (literally; It succeeded to me.)
Es tut mir leid. - I am sorry. (literally; It does to me sorrow.)
Es freut mich, daß... - I am glad that... (literally; It rejoices me that...)
Main
Lesson Thirteen - Auxiliary Verbs -->