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Present Tense in German (das Präsens)

Das Präsens (present tense in German) is used to talk about what is true at the moment, what happens regularly and what is happening now.

Present Tense in German

In our previous lesson, we talked about German verbs in detail. They are made up of a stem and an ending (-en, -n). The stem is based on the infinitive and can change in form. All German verbs fit into one of three patterns or conjugations (Konjugation): weak (regular), strong (irregular), mixed (a mixture of the two = irregular)

PRONOUNwohnen
ichwohne
duwohnst
er/sie/eswohnt
wirwohnen
ihrwohnt
siewohnen
Weak Verbs in the Present Tense
PRONOUNsehen
ichsehe
dusiehst
er/sie/essieht
wirsehen
ihrseht
siesehen
Strong Verbs in the Present Tense
PRONOUNkommen
ichkomme
dukommst
er/sie/eskommt
wirkommen
ihrkommt
siekommen
Mixing Verbs in the Present Tense

  • There are two forms of the present tense in English. One is used for things that happen all time and the other is used to talk about things happening now. You use the same form for both oh these in German.
Meine Freunde spielen gerade Fußball.
My friends are playing football right now.
Es regnet.
It’s raining.
Anna singt gerade ein Lied.
Anna is singing a song right now.
Ich esse Fisch.
I’m eating fish.
das Präsens
  • The present tense can also use to talk about something that is going to happen in the near future in English. The same can be done in the German language.
Ich mache morgen ein Picknick.
I’m going to have a picnic tomorrow.
Ich gehe heute Abend nicht nach Hause.
I’m not going home tonight.
Ich nehme den Bus um neun Uhr.
I am getting to the nine o’clock bus.
Morgen spielt er Fußball.
Tomorrow he’s playing soccer.
das Präsens
  • There are also some differences. Especially, when using “seit” or “seitdem” to describe an action that began in the past and is continuing in the present, the present tense in German i.e. Präsens is used:
lch wohne seit vier Jahren hier.
I’ve been living here for four years.
Ich arbeite seit zehn Jahren.
I’ve been working for ten years.
Ich warte seit zwei Stunden auf dich.
I’ve been waiting for you for two hours.
Seit er krank ist, hat Thomas uns nicht besucht.
Thomas hasn’t visited us since he has been ill.
das Präsens

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