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German Strong Verbs (A-F)

Irregular German Verbs

How to Conjugate German Irregular (Strong) Verbs

German Verb Guide > Verb-Lexikon (Index) > Strong Verbs

In the following charts we have listed the principal parts of German verbs that have irregular forms that must be memorized. (Weak (regular) verbs follow a predictable pattern, and do not vary the way that strong verbs do.) Also see Mixed Verbs for verbs that combine elements of weak and strong verbs.

Only some compound verbs are listed (i.e., anfangen). To conjugate other compound verbs based on other verbs, e.g., abgeben, based on geben, simply use the stem verb (in this case "geben") with the prefix (in this case "ab") to get the past (gab ab) or past participle (abgegeben).

NOTE: Participles that require sein as a helping verb are indicated by ist in front of the past participle. The English meaning shown for each verb may be only one of several possible meanings.

This verb chart uses the new German spelling (die neue Rechtschreibung).

Click on any linked verb to learn more about its conjugation and use.

STRONG VERBS > A-F | G-M | N-Schw | Se-Z | Examples

MORE > Verb-Lexikon - All verbs (index)
MORE > Ablaut Classes of strong verbs (alphabetical list)

Starke Verben - Strong Verbs - A-F
INFINITIV PRÄTERITUM
(Preterite)
PERFEKT
(Past Participle)
 A A A
anfangen  begin fing an  began angefangen  begun
ankommen  arrive kam an  arrived ist angekommen  arrived
anrufen  call up rief an  called up angerufen  called up
 B B B
backen  bake backte  baked gebacken  baked
befehlen  command befahl  commanded befohlen  commanded
beginnen  begin begann  began begonnen  begun
beißen  bite biss  bit gebissen  bitten
bekommen  get, receive bekam  got bekommen  gotten
bergen  salvage barg  salvaged geborgen  salvaged
bersten  burst barst  burst geborsten  burst
betrügen  deceive betrog  deceived betrogen  deceived
biegen  bend bog  bent gebogen  bent
bieten  offer bot  offered geboten  offered
binden  tie band  tied gebunden  tied
bitten  request bat  requested gebeten  requested
blasen  blow blies  blew geblasen  blown
  See the ablaut groups for learning the various patterns (a-ie-a, a-u-a, e-a-o, etc.) of German strong verbs.
bleiben  stay blieb  stayed ist geblieben  stayed
bleichen  bleach blich  bleached geblichen  bleached
braten  roast briet  roasted gebraten  roasted
brechen  break brach  broke gebrochen  broken
brennen*  burn brannte  burned gebrannt  burned
bringen*  bring brachte  brought gebracht  brought
  *Both brennen and bringen are "mixed" verbs, combining elements of strong and weak verbs. For more see our Mixed Verbs page.
 D D D
denken*  think dachte  thought gedacht  thought
  *The verb denken is a "mixed" verb, combining elements of strong and weak verbs. For more see our Mixed Verbs page.
dreschen  thresh drosch  threshed gedroschen  threshed
dringen  force drang  forced gedrungen  forced
dürfen  may durfte  was allowed gedurft*  been allowed
  *Used with an infinitive, as for all modals, the past participle is the infinitive dürfen: "Wir haben nicht gehen dürfen."
 E E E
empfangen  receive empfing  received empfangen  received
empfehlen  recommend empfahl  recommended empfohlen  recommended
erfinden  invent erfand  invented erfunden  invented
erlöschen  extinguish erlosch  extinguished erloschen  extinguished
erschallen  echo, sound erscholl  sounded erschollen  sounded
erschrecken*  scare erschrak  scared erschrocken  scared
  *This verb has both strong (passive) and weak (active) forms: "Ich habe ihn erschreckt." (I scared him.) and "Ich erschrak bei der Explosion." (I was startled/scared by the explosion.)
essen  eat  ate gegessen  eaten
 F F F
fahren  travel fuhr  traveled ist gefahren  traveled
fallen  fall fiel  fell ist gefallen  fallen
fangen  catch fing  caught gefangen  caught
fechten  fence focht  fenced gefochten  fenced
finden  find fand  found gefunden  found
fliegen  fly flog  flew ist geflogen  flown
fliehen  flee floh  fled ist geflohen  fled
fließen  flow floss  flowed ist geflossen  flowed
fressen  gorge fraß  gorged gefressen  gorged
frieren  freeze fror  froze gefroren*  frozen
  *The verb frieren takes the helping verb haben or sein, depending on its meaning. In most cases ("to be cold") it is "hat gefroren," but in the meaning of "to freeze, turn into ice," it is "Der Boden / Das Wasser ist steif gefroren." (The ground / water has frozen solid.)
frohlocken  rejoice frohlockte  rejoiced frohlockt  rejoiced

NEXT > G-M

MORE > A-F | G-M | N-Schw | Se-Z | Examples

MORE > Verb-Lexikon - All verbs (index)

Ablaut Classes - Alphabetical List
German Strong-Verb Vowel Patterns
a - ie - a (Class 7) ei - i - i (Class 1a)
a - u - a (Class 6) ei - ie - ie (Class 1b)
e - a - e (Class 5) i - a - o/u (Class 3a)
e - a - o (Class 3b/4) ie - o - o (Class 2)
e - o - o (Class 3b/4) [x] - ie - [x] (Class 7)
Mixed Verbs
combine weak and strong elements
Ablaut Classes 1-7


German Verbs - Contents
Our contents page for everything related to German verbs.

Verb Examples
Example sentences in various tenses.

Ablaut Categories
The seven classes of vowel patterns for strong verbs in German.

Regular Verbs - Present Tense
German regular verbs in the present tense - with example sentences.

Regular Verbs - Past Tenses
German regular verbs in the simple past and present perfect tense - with example sentences.

The 20 Most-Used German Verbs
Ranked by frequency of use. With conjugations and examples.

German Top 1000
The most frequently used German words in reading, ranked by frequency.

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