Formation of the German Präsens – ‘haben, werden, sein’

(Conjugation of particular verbs in the German present tense)

Table of contents – Präsens of ‘sein, haben, werden’

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Particularities of the conjugation
  2. Verb forms of ‘werden’ and ‘sein’
  3. Verb forms of ‘haben’
  4. Further explanations and exercises

What must be considered when forming ‘werden, haben, sein’ in the present tense?

The German verbs sein and werden are both irregular or strong, producing special forms in their conjugation. In contrast, the verb haben is partly regular (see the table below for variations) and follows the conjugation pattern of other weak German verbs. This explanation treats these three verbs separately because they occupy a somewhat particular position—they can be auxiliary and full verbs. Regardless, however, they do not change their forms.

Some example sentences of ‘werden, haben’ and ‘sein’ in the present tense (Präsens):

  • „Wir haben nun ein neues Auto. Es ist viel größer als unser altes.“ (We now have a new car. It’s much bigger than our old one.)
    • haben’ and ‘sein(ist) function as full verbs here.
  • „Endlich sind die Wände gestrichen!“ (Finally the walls are painted!)
    • sein(sind) forms the static passive voice here.
  • „Ich hoffe, ich werde bald reich.“ (I hope to be rich soon.)
    • Here, ‘werden’ also appears as a full (lexical) verb.

Conjugation forms of the verbs ‘werden’ and ‘sein’ in the Präsens

The verbs ‘sein’ and ‘werden’ often pose problems for learners of German as a foreign language. The reasons are their irregular forms on the one hand and their possible usage as auxiliary and main (lexical) verbs on the other hand. Therefore, the table shows the general conjugation in the present tense. All the forms required for the compound tenses with ‘sein’ are specified in the use of the static passive voice and with ‘werden’ in the formation of the Futur 1.


  Pronoun sein (conjugated in the Präsens) werden (conjugated in the Präsens)
1st person singular ich bin werde
2nd person singular du bist wirst
3rd person singular er/sie/es ist wird
1st person plural wir sind werden
2nd person plural ihr seid werdet
3rd person plural sie/Sie* sind werden

* This is the polite form.

Please find a chart with the complete conjugation, including the Konjunktiv (subjunctive) forms, in the verb table of ‘sein’ and ‘werden’.

Conjugation forms of ‘haben’ in the Präsens

In contrast, the verb ‘haben’ is basically regular. Students of German can usually learn the forms quickly, as they end in the regular personal suffixes. The only exception or particularity is the 2nd and 3rd person singular, where the ‘-b-’ of the verb stem (but not of the ending) is eliminated. The forms as an auxiliary correspond to those of a full verb.

The table shows the general conjugation of ‘haben’ in the present indicative. The exemplary conjugation as an auxiliary verb in the compound tenses is given in the formation of the Perfekt and Plusquamperfekt (pluperfect)::link_art}}. Compare:

  Pronoun Personal suffix in the Präsens haben (conjugated in the Präsens)
1st person singular ich -e habe
2nd person singular du -st (-b- is omitted) hast (not: habst)
3rd person singular er/sie/es -t (-b- is omitted) hat (not: habt)
1st person plural wir -en haben
2nd person plural ihr -t habt
3rd person plural sie/Sie* -en haben

* This is the polite form.

All other conjugated forms, including the Konjunktiv (subjunctive), are listed in the verb table of ‘haben’.

Further explanations referring to the ‘Präsens of special verbs’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘Präsens (present tense) of the verbs ‘haben, werden, sein’ in the German language’ and may be helpful as well: