German Verbs and Their Importance

One of the most important parts of speech in any language is the verb, which denotes an action, occurrence, or status within a sentence. German verbs fall into one of two classes: strong verbs, which are characterized by slight shifts length, coloring, or other attributes of the vowels, and weak verbs, in which dental consonants play a large part in the verb’s inflection. In this respect, the German verbs are similar to their cousins in many other Germanic languages, such as Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish. Traditionally, both types of verbs are considered regular, although because there are so few strong verbs”fewer than two hundred”they are sometimes classed as irregular. Over time, many of the strong verbs have slowly transitioned into weak ones. German verbs have tense, voice, and mood, and agree in person and number with their subjects.


The most basic form of all German verbs is the infinitive, which can often serve as a noun or be used with an auxiliary verb. Usually, they have no mood, voice, person or number, but in the case that an infinitive substitutes for a noun, it is considered to take the neutral gender. In German, infinitives typically end with the suffix “-en,” although there are irregular forms where the e is dropped, such as when the roots end with, “-el” or “-er.” In many cases, common prefixes, such as “be-,” “er-,” “ge-,” and “zer-” can be added to a verb to change its meaning. In some cases, these prefixes can be repositioned in other parts of the sentence while retaining the same meaning. Other forms of the infinitive include the Passive Infinitive, Compound Infinitive, Perfect Infinitive, and Future Infinitive, each of which serves a different grammatical function. These types of infinities can be placed with auxiliary verbs in order to form clauses. German verbs are the complex foundation of a large and beautiful language.


As in English and many other languages, German verbs must be conjugated in order to produce meaningful sentences. Verbs must be conjugated to agree in number and person with their subjects. In German, there are four possible moods that one can use when conjugating a verb: indicative, which is used when the action is actually occurring, conditional, which is reserved for hypothetical situations or uncertain events, the imperative, which is for commands, and the subjunctive, which is used for indirect speech and to conjugate verbs in dependant clauses. German verbs also have six tenses: two conjugated tenses”the perfect and present”as well as four compound tenses. It is possible for German verbs to take the present, past, perfect, pluperfect, future, and future perfect tenses.

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