IGCSE German: Conjugation Tips
At first glance, conjugating verbs in German seems difficult. However, it is more straightforward than it seems.
Photoby Camilla Bundgaard on Unsplash
German is not an easy language, mainly due to its complicated grammar. At first glance, conjugating verbs in German seems difficult. However, it is more straightforward than it seems.
German has regular (also called weak) verbs and irregular (strong) verbs. Regular verbs follow the same pattern, whereas irregular verbs are conjugated differently. Luckily for everyone, most verbs are regular, meaning that you only need to memorise their pattern to know how to conjugate most of them!
Note: for brevity, we will only focus on the present tense.
Regular verbs follow the same pattern, which can be seen on the table below.
As you can see, conjugating is quite simple. You take the infinitive, cut off the verb to its stem and then add the ending appropriate to its subject. The red letter is what you should add to conjugate the verb.
However, there are some exceptions. The table below shows which ending you have to add depending on the the infinitive’s ending (at the top of the table).
You can still see the pattern, even if there are some minor differences. Learning this will help you conjugate verbs easily.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way around irregular verbs. You have to study and memorise them. Once you study German for a while, you will realise that the conjugations “make sense” and sound right, so conjugations may become intuitive. Until you reach that point, you will have to study hard.
— Learn German Coach (@LearnGermanCoac) July 24, 2018
So how do you make these endings stick to your head? There is no magical way of learning conjugations; you just have to dedicate some time and effort. Regardless, there are many things you could (and should) be doing.
For example, say out loud the conjugations as you study them. Yes, it may be strange for your parents to hear you randomly shout “ich lerne” , but speaking out loud helps you memorise what you study – plus you practise your pronunciation too.
Another way to help you memorise is to write the conjugated verbs over and over again. If you do this, make sure you write the conjugated ending in a different colour so it stands out when you read it over. It is a tedious task, but it will help you memorise your conjugations quickly.