- Present Tense: Usage
- Present Tense: Conjugation
The present tense (Präsens) is the most commonly used tense in German. We use it to talk about the present and the future.
Ich kenne ihn.
I know him.
Present Tense: Usage
Rule 1: We use present tense in German when talking about:
- Facts and conditions that are true right now or actions that are happening right now:
Er sitzt auf dem Sofa.
He is sitting on the sofa.
- Actions that happen regularly or never in the present (but not necessarily right now):
Jeden Sonntag spielt er Fußball.
Every Sunday he plays soccer.
Ich arbeite nie freitags.
I never work on Fridays.
- Something that is always true:
Die Sonne glänzt.
Sun is shiny.
- Actions that have started in the past and are still happening now. Note: this is different from English, where we would use the present perfect tense.
Seit 10 Jahren spielt er Fußball.
He has been playing soccer for 10 years.
- Planned actions in the future. Note: in English, we would use the present continuous tense here.
Morgen gehe ich ins Kino.
Tomorrow I'm going to the movies.
Rule 2: To indicate time in the present tense, we use temporal indicators like "heute", "morgen", "in zwei Stunden" in the sentence we want to create, as seen above.
Present Tense: Conjugation
Rule 3: The conjugation puts a verb in the right form for time and person. To conjugate regular verbs or weak verbs in the present tense, we take the verb stem (by removing the -en ending) and add the following endings: -e, -st, -t, -en, -t, -en
Let's look at an example with the verb "spielen" (to play):
Rule 4: The conjugated verb will always be in second position in affirmative sentences in the present tense.
Er spielt draußen.
He's playing outside.