1. Education

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

German Strong Verbs (G-M)

Irregular German Verbs

How to Conjugate German Irregular (Strong) Verbs

In the following charts we have listed all the basic 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 - G-M
(Past Participle)
gären  ferment gor  fermented gegoren  fermented
gebären  bear (child) gebar  bore geboren  born
geben  give gab  gave gegeben  given
gedeihen  flourish gedieh  flourished ist gediehen  flourished
gefallen  be pleasing, like gefiel  liked gefallen  liked
gehen  go ging  went ist gegangen  gone
gelingen  succeed gelang  succeeded ist gelungen  succeeded
gelten  be valid galt  was valid gegolten  been valid
genesen  recover genas  recovered genesen  recovered
genießen  enjoy genoß  enjoyed genossen  enjoyed
geschehen  happen geschah  happened ist geschehen  happened
gewinnen  win gewann  won gewonnen  won
gießen  pour goß  poured gegossen  poured
gleichen  resemble glich  resembled geglichen  resembled
gleiten  glide, slide glitt  glided ist geglitten  glided
glimmen  glow, smoulder glomm*  glowed ist geglommen*  glowed
  *Also glimmte and hat geglimmt (weak)
graben  dig grub  dug gegraben  dug
greifen  grasp griff  grasped gegriffen  grasped
haben  have hatte  had gehabt  had
  For the complete conjugation of the verb haben in the present tense, see Lesson 4 of German for Beginners.
halten  hold hielt  held gehalten  held
hängen  hang hing  hung/hanged* gehangen  hung/hanged*
  *The verb hängen is weak in transitive situations ("Er hängte das Bild an die Wand.") and strong in intransitive situations ("Das Bild hing an der Wand.").
hauen  hew, hit haute*  hit gehauen  hit
  *The strong past form hieb is used when the meaning is "struck (him) with a weapon."
heben  lift hob  lifted gehoben  lifted
heißen  be called hieß  named geheißen  named
helfen  help half  helped geholfen  helped
  See the ablaut groups for learning the various patterns (a-u-a, e-a-o, etc.) of German strong verbs.
kennen*  know kannte  knew gekannt  known
  *The verb kennen is a "mixed" verb, combining elements of strong and weak verbs. For more see our Mixed Verbs page.
klingen  ring klang  rang geklungen  rung
kneifen  pinch kniff  pinched gekniffen  pinched
kommen  come kam  came ist gekommen  come
können  can konnte  could gekonnt*  could
  *With an infinitive, the past participle is können: "Ich habe nicht gehen können."
kriechen  crawl kroch  crawled ist gekrochen  crawled
laden  load lud  loaded geladen  loaded
lassen  let, allow ließ  let gelassen  let
laufen  run lief  ran ist gelaufen  run
leiden  suffer litt  suffered gelitten  suffered
leihen  lend lieh  lent geliehen  lent
lesen  read las  read gelesen  read
liegen*  lie lag  lay gelegen  lain
  *Do not confuse liegen (lie, recline, strong) and (sich) legen (lay, put, weak)!
lügen  lie log  lied gelogen  lied
mahlen  grind mahlte  ground gemahlen  ground
meiden  avoid mied  avoided gemieden  avoided
messen  measure maß  measured gemessen  measured
misslingen  fail misslang  failed misslungen  failed
mögen  like mochte  liked gemocht*  liked
  *With an infinitive, the past participle is mögen: "Sie hat nicht gehen mögen."
müssen  must musste  had to gemusst*  had to
  *Used with an infinitive, as with all modals, the past participle is the infinitive müssen: "Wir haben nicht gehen müssen."

NEXT > N-Schw

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.

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.

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

German for Beginners
Our free online German course!

More German Grammar
A guide to all the grammar pages at this site, listed by category.

German Newsletters
Subscribe to a free newsletter!

German Chat


©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.