German Present Perfect - Irregular Verbs


German present perfect irregular verbs are formed by using strong (irregular) verbs. This past tense form is often referred to as the "conversational past" since it is most often used in spoken German when speaking about events in the past.

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Das Perfekt mit “sein

sein +  (usually) ge+(main part of the verb)+en

Most verbs that express movement from one point to another point, indicate a change of state of being (e.g. wake up, fall asleep, lose consciousness), and “sein” (gewesen) use “sein” as an auxiliary or helping verb in the present perfect.

Infinitiv  gehenlaufenfahrenkommen
Präsens  ich gehedu läufster fährtwir kommen
Perfekt  ich bin gegangendu bist gelaufener ist gefahrenwir sind gekommen

Example: Er ist gestern nach Hamburg gefahren. Ich bin letzte Woche in Berlin gewesen.

He drove to Hamburg yesterday. I was in Berlin last week.

(literally: He has driven to Hamburg yesterday. I have been in Berlin last week.)

Das Perfekt mit “haben” (-en ending)

pres perfstarksein 1 1 jpg

haben  +   ge+main part of the verb+en

Präsensich leseer schreibtihr sehtsie essen
Perfektich habe gelesener hat geschriebenihr habt gesehensie haben gegessen

Example: Ich habe gestern ein Buch gelesen. Sie haben letzte Woche Eis gegessen.

I read a book yesterday. You ate ice cream last week.

(literally: I have read a book yesterday. You have eaten ice cream last week.)

pres perfstarkhaben 1 1 jpg

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.