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Stem-Changing Verbs and Irregular Verbs


I. Stem-Changing Verbs

There are numerous verbs in German that do not follow the regular conjugation pattern. Some of these verbs have a vowel shift in their present tense forms. This vowel shift affects the second and third person singular forms (ich, du, er/sie/es, wir, ihr, sie/Sie). The main three shifts are as follows:

e to i (geben)

ich gebe wir geben
du gibst ihr gebt
er/sie/es gibt sie/Sie geben

Common verbs with this change include: essen, helfen, sterben, nehmen, vergessen, and sprechen.

e to ie (sehen)

ich sehe wir sehen
du siehst ihr seht
er/sie/es sieht sie/Sie sehen

Other verbs with this change include: lesen, geschehen, and stehlen.

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