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Conjugating the Weak Verb
Using the Verb
Auxiliary Verbs
Inseperable and Seperable Verbs
Modal Auxiliaries
The Subjunctive and Imperative
Adverbs
Particles
Strong and Irregular Verbs

Strong Verbs | Strong Tenses | Stong Verb with Auxiliary Sein | Irregular Verbs | Irregular Tenses | More Irregular Verbs | Kennen and Wissen | Modifying Vowel | Using Verbs Reflexively

In this lesson we will look at strong verbs, which are similar to English's strong verbs, and also irregular verbs, which are few in numbers but are encountered frequently and have characteristics of weak and strong verbs.
Strong Verbs: this kind of verb does not add a -te to make the simple past, instead it changes the stem vowel. The past participle may also change the stem vowel different from the simple past, it may be the same, or it may even stay as it is in the infinite, either way the past participle ends in -en
Usually when you show the vowel change of a verb you show it in this order: infinitive, third person singular present, third person singular simple past, and the auxiliary verb used with the perfect past:
sehen - (sieht, sah, hat gesehen) - to see
Note the vowel changes for the verb sehen.
sehen - to see
Present: Future:
ich sehe I see ich werde sehen I shall see
du siehst you see du wirst sehen you will see
er/sie/es sieht he/she/it sees er/sie/es wird sehen he/she/it will see
wir sehen we see wir werden sehen we shall see
ihr seht you see ihr werdet sehen you will see
sie sehen they see sie werden sehen they will see
Sie sehen you see Sie werden sehen you will see

Simple: Perfect:
ich sah I saw ich habe gesehen I have seen
du sahst you saw du hast gesehen you have seen
er/sie/es sah he/she/it saw er/sie/es hat gesehen he/she/it has seen
wir sahen we saw wir haben gesehen we have seen
ihr saht you saw ihr habt gesehen you have seen
sie sahen they saw sie haben gesehen they have seen
Sie sahen you saw Sie haben gesehen you have seen

Pluperfect: Conditional:
ich hatte gesehen I had seen ich würde sehen I should see
du hattest gesehen you had seen du würdest sehen you would see
er/sie/es hatte gesehen he/she/it had seen er/sie/es würde sehen he/she/it would see
wir hatten gesehen we had seen wir würden sehen we would see
ihr hattet gesehen you had seen ihr würdet sehen you would see
sie hatten gesehen they had seen sie würden sehen they would see
Sie hatten gesehen you had seen Sie würden sehen you would see
Here is an example of a strong verb which uses sein as an auxiliary verb. Note how using sein will only affect the perfect past and the pluperfect, and also note how the past participle's stem vowel has changed:
gehen - (geht, ging, ist gegangen) - to go
Perfect: Pluperfect:
ich bin gegangen I have gone ich war gegangen I had gone
du bist gegangen you have gone du warst gegangen you had gone
er/sie/es ist gegangen he/she/it has gone er/sie/es war gegangen he/she/it had gone
wir sind gegangen we have gone wir waren gegangen we had gone
ihr seid gegangen you have gone ihr wart gegangen you had gone
sie sind gegangen they have gone sie waren gegangen they had gone
Sie sind gegangen you have gone Sie waren gegangen you had gone
Irregular Verbs: this kind of verb has characteristics of both strong and weak verbs. It changes its ending like a weak verb and changes the stem vowel like a strong verb. It is not worth showing the conditonal and future, because as far as weak, strong, and irregular verbs go the future and the conditional will always remain the same as they always use werden plus the infinitive:
denken - (denkt, dachte, hat gedacht) - to think
Present: Perfect:
ich denke I think ich habe gedacht I have thought
du denkst you think du hast gedacht you have thought
er/sie/es denkt he/she/it thinks er/sie/es hat gedacht he/she/it has thought
wir denken we think wir haben gedacht we have thought
ihr denkt you think ihr habt gedacht you have thought
sie denken they think sie haben gedacht they have thought
Sie denken you think Sie haben gedacht you have thought

Simple: Pluperfect:
ich dachte I thought ich hatte gedacht I had thought
du dachtest you thought du hattest gedacht you had thought
er/sie/es dachte he/she/it thought er/sie/es hatte gedacht he/she/it had thought
wir dachten we thought wir hatten gedacht we had thought
ihr dachtet you thought ihr hattet gedacht you had thought
sie dachten they thought sie hatten gedacht they had thought
Sie dachten you thought Sie hatten gedacht you had thought
Other irregular verbs include:
brennen - (brennt, brannt, hat gebrannt) - to burn
bringen - (bringt, brachte, hat gebracht) - to bring
nennen - (nennt, nannte, hat genannt) - to name
kennen - (kennt, kannte, hat gekannt) - to know (a person or place)
wissen - (weiß, wußte, hat gewußt) - to know (a fact)
Look at kennen and wissen. Kennen is to know a person or place whereas wissen is to know a fact. Examples:
Kennst du meinen Bruder? - Do you know my brother?
Weißt du, wo mein Bruder ist? - Do you know where my brother is?
Some strong verbs modify the vowel, add an umlaut or change the vowel, in the present tense and those whose stems end in -t add nothing in the third person singular as it does with weak verbs which add an -et:
halten - to stop: ich halte, du hältst, er hält...
schelten - to scold: ich shelte, du schiltst, er schilt...
When the verb is used reflexively it will be conjugated with haben as the auxiliary whether it is strong or weak:
Wir haben uns müde gelaufen. - We've walked till we're tired out.
Die Wunde hat sich geheilt. - The wound healed itself.
One exception to this rule is when the reflexive is used as a reciprocal (eachother):
Wir sind uns gestern auf der Straße begegnet. - We met in the street yesterday.
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