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Learning German Online - Interactive German Lessons for Beginners and Intermediate Learners
Lesson 6: Eating and drinking

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Irregular verbs (II)

Now that we know some of the irregular verbs from the second class (mostly auxiliaries), let's have a closer look at the remaining two classes of irregular verbs.
The two remaining classes of irregular verbs are:
3) irregular verbs with stem change e->i or e->ie
4) irregular verbs with stem change a->ä

Some of these verbs you already know from previous lessons even though we never told you that they were actually irregular verbs. Those are "essen" (to eat), "fahren" (to drive) and "waschen" (to wash). Since we never used them in their singular forms (remember that plural is always regular), we never had any problems with them so far.

"essen" belongs to the e->i/ie class, whereas "waschen" and "fahren" belong to the a->ä class.

Now what does that mean?

The verbs of the e->i/ie class change their stem from e to i or from e to ie in the "du" and the "er/sie/es" forms. Only in those two forms!
The first person singular (ich) and all the plural forms stay completely regular.

Also, the verbs of the a->ä class change their stem from a to ä in the "du" and the "er/sie/es" forms only.

Let's have a look now at the conjugation tables of these three example verbs:

 essen e->i (to eat)
PersonSingularPlural
1stich esse
(I eat)
wir essen
(we eat)
2nddu isst
(you eat)
ihr esst
(you eat)
3rder/sie/es isst
(he/she/it eats)
sie essen
(they eat)


 fahren (to drive)
PersonSingularPlural
1stich fahre
(I drive)
wir fahren
(we drive)
2nddu fährst
(you drive)
ihr fahrt
(you drive)
3rder/sie/es fährt
(he/she/it drives)
sie fahren
(they drive)


 waschen (to wash)
PersonSingularPlural
1stich wasche
(I wash)
wir waschen
(we wash)
2nddu wäschst
(you wash)
ihr wascht
(you wash)
3rder/sie/es wäscht
(he/she/it washes)
sie waschen
(they wash)

On the next page, we will practice these new classes of irregular verbs and will also introduce more verbs (irregular or regular). You will see that most of the really useful verbs in German are irregular and belong to either the e->i or the a->ä class. So after learning how to conjugate those, you will notice a strong increase in those things that you will be able to say and couldn't say before.


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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D] [E]

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