German Present Tense - Präsens


The German present tense talks about things that are happening right now, in the present.


Ich schreibe einen Artikel. - I am writing an article.
Du liest ihn gerade. - You are reading it right now.
Mein Freund bringt mir Orangenlimonade. - My friend is bringing me orange lemonade.
Wir unterhalten uns ein bisschen. - We are talking a little.
Ihr wollt wissen, worüber. - You want to know what (we're talking) about.
Draußen zwitschern die Vögel. - Outside, the birds are chirping.

The German present tense is also used if something happens regularly, always, all the time, or never.


Ich arbeite als Autorin. - I work as a writer.
Du lernst nie aus. - You never stop learning.
Meine Freundin kauft immer im Biomarkt ein. - My friend always shops at the natural food store.
Wir finden das lobenswert. - We find that laudable.
Ihr lest regelmäßig Grammatikartikel. - You regularly read grammar articles.
Die Tauben trampeln dauernd durch die Blumenkästen. - The pigeons keep trampling through the flower boxes.

If something is a fact, or has already been decided or determined, the German present tense is also used - even if it is going to happen in the future.


Ich gehe ins Theater und dann noch in die Kneipe. - I am going to the theater, and then to the pub.
Du bist ein Leser dieser Seite. - You are a reader of this page.
Die Zirkusvorstellung fängt morgen früh um zehn Uhr an. - The circus show starts tomorrow morning at ten.
Wir essen heute abend Bratwurst. - Tonight we're eating bratwurst.
Ihr kennt euch mit dem Präsens bereits hervorragend aus. - You already know the present tense very well.
Katzen sind mit Löwen und Tigern verwandt. - Cats are related with lions and tigers.

All example sentences above move from first person singular (Ich/ I) to third person plural (sie/ they). This makes it easy for you to see how verbs behave in the German present tense. Pay close attention to the endings!

Let me show you what I'm talking about:

Verb: gehen (to go)

Ich gehe (I go)
Du gehst (you go)
Er, sie, es geht (he/she/it goes)
Wir gehen (we go)
Ihr geht (you go)
Sie gehen (they go)

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Learn how to differentiate between German verb types in order to conjugate all of them correctly! Read:
Strong, Weak, and Mixed Verbs in German or search any verb in the list of German Verbs