German Strong Verbs

As in most Indo-European languages, there are irregular verbs in German. They are irregular because they do not conjugate following an established and easy-to-remember pattern. For the German language these irregular verbs are called strong verbs.

In German, there are three categories of verbs which are defined according to their conjugation pattern: weak verbs, mixed verbs and strong verbs.

The special feature of strong verbs in German is the alternation of the vowel of the verb stem. The vowel of the stem of strong verbs changes according to the time of conjugation: in the present tense, the perfect tense and the preterite tense.

Learning strong verbs in German

A good knowledge of strong German verbs is absolutely essential to progress for several reasons:

  • The auxiliaries (sein, haben and werden) are strong verbs in German and are used very frequently
  • A large number of verbs are strong verbs in German
  • Lack of knowledge can create confusion and ambiguity when speaking
  • This helps to enrich your German vocabulary

To help you remember strong verbs in German, we have created a list of the main strong verbs with a smart search field. This search field allows you to find a verb or its translation very easily by writing only a few letters:

Go to the list of strong verbs in German

In addition, it is important to practice regularly during the learning phase. This is why we have set up an exercise which randomly generates 10 new strong verbs to learn. You must then fill in the gaps. We advise learners to do this exercise once a day for a month when learning strong verbs. This allows you to memorize the famous strong verbs very quickly and over the long term.

Access the exercise to learn strong verbs in German

Methods to remember the German strong verbs

Learning strong verbs in German can be difficult. The first method is to learn the verbs by heart and stupidly. This method can work but is not very effective in the long run. In order to really learn irregular verbs, we advise you to follow the following tips:

  • Use mnemonics to effectively retain verbs.
  • Group verbs according to their conjugation pattern. For each group, you must retain the vowels in the present tense, the perfect tense, and the past tense (for example: a – ie – a / a – u – a / e – a – e, etc).
  • Learn strong verbs in context by reading texts or articles in German for example.
  • Use a notebook to note down unknown verbs. This notebook can also be used to note down vocabulary.
  • Add to your bookmarks to check the conjugation of a verb as soon as any doubt arises 😉 !

Conjugate a verb in German

The most frequently used verbs in German: sein haben geben finden gehen wissen kommen können liegen sehen