Learn the Essential German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be) (2023)

These are two of the most important German verbs

Learn the Essential German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be) (1)


Hyde Flippo

German Expert

Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture.

Learn about ourEditorial Process

(Video) REVISED: A1 - Lesson 12 | haben und sein | Verb conjugation | Learn German

Updated on January 31, 2019

The two most important German verbs arehaben(to have) andsein(to be). As in most languages, the verb "to be" is one of the oldest verbs in German, and therefore one of the most irregular. The verb "to have" is only slightly less irregular, but no less vital to surviving speaking German.

The Rules of 'Haben' in German

We'll start withhaben. Look at the following table for the conjugation ofhabenin the present tense, along with sample sentences. Notice the strong resemblance to English for many forms of this verb, with most forms only one letter off from the English ( habe/have, hat/has). In the case of the familiar you (du), the German verb is identical to Old English: "thou hast" is "du hast."

Habenis also used in some German expressions that are translated with "to be" in English. For example:

Ich habe Hunger.(I'm hungry.)




Sample Sentences


ich habe

I have

Ich habe einen roten Wagen. (I have a red car.)

du hast

you (fam.) have

Du hast mein Buch. (You have my book.)

er hat

he has

Er hat ein blaues Auge. (He has a black eye.)

sie hat

she has

Sie hat blaue Augen. (She has blue eyes.)

es hat

it has

Es hat keine Fehler. (It has no flaws.)


wir haben

we have

Wir haben keine Zeit. (We have no time.)

ihr habt

you (guys) have

Habt ihr euer Geld? (Do y'all have your money?)

sie haben

they have

Sie haben kein Geld. (They have no money.)

Sie haben

you have

Haben Sie das Geld? (You, sir, have no money.) Note: Sie, formal "you," is both singular and plural.

To Be or Not to Be(Sein Oder Nicht Sein)

Look at the following table for the conjugation ofsein(to be) in the present tense. Notice how similar the German and English forms are in the third person (ist/is).



Sample Sentences

ich bin

I am

Ich bin es. (It's me.)

du bist

you (fam.) are

Du bist mein Schatz. (You are my darling.)

er ist

he is

Er ist ein netter Kerl. (He is a nice guy.)

sie ist

she is

Ist sie da? (Is she here?)

es ist

it is

Es ist mein Buch. (It is my book.)


wir sind

we are

Wir sind das Volk. (We are the people/nation.) Note: This was the slogan of 1989 East German protests in Leipzig.

ihr seid

you (guys) are

Seid ihr unsere Freunde? (Are you guys our friends?)

sie sind

they are

Sie sind unsere Freunde. (They are our friends.)

Sie sind

you are

Sind Sie Herr Meier? (Are you, sir, Mr. Meier?) Note: Sie, formal "you," is both singular and plural.



Your Citation

Flippo, Hyde. "Learn the German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be)." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/learning-german-verbs-haben-and-sein-4066934.Flippo, Hyde. (2020, August 27). Learn the German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/learning-german-verbs-haben-and-sein-4066934Flippo, Hyde. "Learn the German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/learning-german-verbs-haben-and-sein-4066934 (accessed March 19, 2023).

Featured Video

(Video) Learn German # 4 - SEIN (to be) & HABEN (to have) + how to form short phrases

When you visit the site, Dotdash Meredith and its partners may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Cookies collect information about your preferences and your devices and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests. You can find out more about our use, change your default settings, and withdraw your consent at any time with effect for the future by visiting Cookies Settings, which can also be found in the footer of the site.

(Video) Learn German | 25 Verbs in Perfect with helping verbs "haben" and "sein" | A2 | B1


1. Auxiliary Verbs - Haben (to have) and Sein (to be)
(German Wissen)
2. 🇩🇪 Most Important German Verbs | sein + haben | German for Beginners | Marcus´ Language Academy
(Marcus' Language Academy)
3. German Lesson : ‘SEIN – TO BE’ & “HABEN – TO HAVE’ Conjugation ! Auxiliary Verbs ! for A1 Beginners
(Speak English French German)
4. GERMAN LESSON 17: USEFUL German verbs: TO HAVE ("haben")
(Learn German with Anja)
5. German Verbs haben & sein (www.germanforspalding.org)
6. Learn German Past Tense Sein to Be and Haben to have from Wenigerode
(Wolters World)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated: 27/05/2023

Views: 5836

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.