Grammatical categories of the verb

(Classification of German verbs into different categories)

Table of contents – grammatical categories of verbs

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Classification of verbs into categories
  2. Synoptical table
  3. Further explanations and exercises

How can verbs be divided into grammatical categories?

German grammar divides verbs into five grammatical categories. Two additional ones are available but not directly visible on German verbs.

The following table overview shows the details:

Division of the verb into different categories

As an illustration, compare the table including the distribution of the different verb categories:

Category Example
  • 1st person
  • 2nd person
  • 3rd person
  • Grammatical number
  • Information: The number is actually a category of the noun. However, the verb must also be conjugated according to it. Whether it is singular or plural depends on the corresponding subject (often a noun).
  • Singular
  • Plural
  • Futur (future)
    • Futur 1 (future)
    • Futur 2 (future perfect)
  • Präsens (present)
  • Perfekt (present perfect)
  • Präteritum (past)
  • Plusquamperfekt (past perfect)
  • Indicative
  • Konjunktiv (vaguely the subjunctive mood)
    • Konjunktiv 1
    • Konjunktiv 2
  • Imperative
  • Grammatical aspect
  • Information: Basically, aspect is not expressed in German grammar. However, a progressive form has developed in colloquial language.
  • In English grammar: simple and continuous
  • In German grammar: progressive form with ‘beim’ or ‘am’
  • Aktionsart or manner of action (lexical aspect)

Further explanations related to the ‘Grammatical categories of verbs’

The following explanations refer to the topic ‘Classification of German verbs into grammatical categories’ and could be interesting as well: