How to calculate irregular shapes

The regular and irregular conjugation of the verbs (stem forms of the verbs)

The conjugation is the change of verb forms in terms of person, number (number), time (tense), gender verbi (active or passive) and mode (indicative or subjunctive).

When it comes to conjugation, one can distinguish three main types of verbs: regular verbs, irregular verbs and Mixed conjugation verbs.

The conjugation type can be recognized by the changeability of the stem vowel and the endings of the so-called stem forms of the verb.

These stem forms of the verb are the infinitive, the (informal) 2nd person present singular, the past tense stem and the past participle.

If you use the root forms of the verb and the formation of the perfect tense with to have or be knows, one can form all other forms regularly. Therefore these forms have to be learned.

Regular, irregular and mixed verbs

Regular verbs

Regular verbs never change the stem vowel in conjugation and have regular endings in the past tense and past participle.

Example: stem forms - regular verb
Infinitive - 2nd person present singular - past tense stem - participle II
fragen - (you) fragst - fraGte - frozenaGt (I have)
(Stem vowel: a)

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs can change the stem vowel and sometimes have different endings in the past tense and past participle than the regular verbs.

Example: irregular verb
Infinitive - 2nd person present singular - past tense stem - participle II
fahear - (you) fÄhrst - fuhr - gefaMren (I am)
(Stem vowel: a - ä - u - a)

Mixed verbs

Mixed verbs also change the stem vowel, but have regular endings.

Example: mixed verb
Infinitive - 2nd person present singular - past tense stem - participle II
think - (you) think - dachte - steamedacht (I have)
(Stem vowel: e - a)

Irregular verbs in transition

For some little-used irregular and mixed verbs, a regular form is usually used today in the past tense and the past participle, so that an old irregular form, which can be found especially in older texts, exists alongside a current regular form. These verbs could be called irregular verbs in transition.

Example: irregular verb in transition - Food
irregular (old): I eat - I spit - I have fed
regularly (current): I eat - i dined - I have fed

Example: mixed verb in transition -send
mixed (old): I am sending - I sent - I have sent
regularly (current): I send - I sent - I have Posted

Verbs with two meanings

Attention: The verbs in transition have to be differentiated from the verbs in which there is a regular or irregular variant with different meanings.

Example: Verb with two meanings - grind
irregular ("smooth out"): I grind - I sanded - I have sanded
regularly ("dragging behind you"): I drag - I dragged - I have looped

For an overview of verbs in transition and verbs with two past participle forms see: Verbs with two past participle forms

For lists of irregular and mixed verbs and verbs in transition, see: List: Irregular Verbs

Grammar exercises to the verb forms

Back to the chapter: Verb forms
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