|ich sage||I say|
I am saying
I do say
In addition, the German present tense is often used, frequently with specific adverbials of time, to express future time.
|Morgen zeige ich es dir.||I will show it to you tomorrow.|
|Wir finden bald eine Wohnung.||We’ll find an apartment soon.|
|Er kommt nicht.||He’s not coming. /|
He’s not going to come.
The present tense is one of two verb tenses in German that consist of finite forms. This means that the verb itself is inflected to provide all of the grammatical information necessary to understand its role in the sentence.
The German present tense is usually formed by dropping the –en or –n from the infinitive and adding personal endings (-e, -(e)st, (e)t, –en, -(e)t, –en) to the remaining infinitive stem. Each of the four examples below represent regular verb conjugation in the present tense. The present tense forms of gehen are regular. The other three verbs demonstrate slight variations you should be aware of. These are elucidated below
The variations represented in the chart above:
sitzen: If the infinitive stem ends in –s, –ß, –x, or –z, the s of the du-ending is omitted:
finden: If the infinitive stem ends in –d or –t, or if it ends in -m or –n preceded by a consonant other than l or r, to facilitate pronunciation an e is inserted between the infinitive stem and personal ending in the du, er/sie/es, and ihr forms.
handeln: If the infinitive ends in just –n rather than –en, then the personal ending of the wir and Sie/sie forms is simply –n. In speech, sometimes the e in the ich-form is omitted.
Some strong verbs having a, au, or e in their infinitive stems undergo stem-vowel changes in the du and er/sie/es-forms. There are four types of stem changes: a to ä, au to äu, e to i, and e to ie.
Note these variations:
Unlike regular verbs, stem-changing verbs whose stems end in -d or -t do not add an additional e before the personal -st or -t ending:
And some stem-changing verbs whose stems end in -d or -t do not add the -et personal ending in the er/sie/es-form at all.
Like regular verbs, stem-changing verbs whose stems end in –s or –ß drop the s in the du-form –st personal ending:
Other irregular verbs
A small number of very common verbs have irregularities that deviate from the German present tense patterns above. Because their forms are unpredictable and because they are used so frequently, they should be memorized.
Modal verbs are a special category of verbs in German. There are six modal verbs and they all follow a similar pattern of irregularity: ich-, du-, and er/sie/es-forms have a stem change (except for sollen), and in the ich– and er/sie/es-forms, the regular personal endings are omitted.
Modal verbs are used to express an attitude about an action. They are typically used in combination with another verb, in which case the modal verb is conjugated and the other verb appears at the end of the sentence in the infinitive form.
|Er soll jetzt nach Hause kommen.||He ought to come home now.|
|Wir müssen eine neue Wohnung suchen.||We have to find a new apartment.|
|Kannst du mir helfen?||Can you help me?|
Separable prefix verbs
When the main verb in the sentence is a separable prefix verb, the verb is conjugated and the prefix is placed at the end of the sentence or clause.
|Ich gehe morgen mit Freunden aus.||I am going out with friends tomorrow.|
|Schreiben Sie die Adresse auf!||Write down the address.|
|Das Konzert findet um 20.00 Uhr statt.||The concert takes place at 8 pm.|