Languages › German How to Conjugate "Geben" (to Give) in German Conjugating a Common Verb in the Past and Present Tenses Share Flipboard Email Print Jamie Grill / Getty Images German Grammar History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary By Hyde Flippo German Expert Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. our editorial process Hyde Flippo Updated February 27, 2020 The German verb geben means "to give" and it's a word that you will use quite often. In order to say "I am giving" or "she gave," the verb needs to be conjugated to match the tense of your sentence. With a quick German lesson, you'll understand how to conjugate geben into the present and past tenses. An Introduction to the Verb Geben While many German verbs follow common rules that help you make the appropriate changes to the infinitive form, gebben is a bit more of a challenge. It does not follow any patterns because it is both a stem-changing verb and an irregular (strong) verb. This means that you will need to carefully study all of its verb forms. Principal Parts: geben (gibt) - gab - gegeben Past Participle: gegeben Imperative (Commands): (du) Gib! (ihr) Gebt! Geben Sie! Geben in the Present Tense (Präsens) The present tense (präsens) of geben will be used anytime you want to say that the action of "giving" is happening right now. It's the most common use of the verb, so it's best to familiarize yourself with these forms before moving on. You will notice the change from "e" to "i" in the du and er/sie/es present tense forms. This is the stem change that can make this word a little trickier to memorize. As you're learning the forms of geben, use it to create sentences such as these to make memorizing them a little easier. Bitte gib mir das! - Please give me that.Wir geben ihm das Geld. - We're giving him the money. Geben is used in the idiom es gibt (there is/there are). Deutsch English ich gebe I give/am giving du gibst you give/are giving er gibtsie gibtes gibt he gives/is givingshe gives/is givingit gives/is giving es gibt there is/there are wir geben we give/are giving ihr gebt you (guys) give/are giving sie geben they give/are giving Sie geben you give/are giving Geben in the Simple Past Tense (Imperfekt) In the past tense (vergangenheit), geben has a few different forms. Among those, the most common is the simple past tense (imperfekt). This is the easiest way to say "I gave" or "you gave." Geben is used in the idiom es gab (there was/there were). Deutsch English ich gab I gave du gabst you gave er gabsie gabes gab he gaveshe gaveit gave es gab there was/there were wir gaben we gave ihr gabt you (guys) gave sie gaben they gave Sie gaben you gave Geben in the Compound Past Tense (Perfekt) Also called the present perfect past tense (perfekt), the compound past tense is not used as often as the simple past, though it is useful to know. You will use this form of geben when the action of giving did happen in the past, but you're not specific about when that was. In some contexts, it can also be used to imply that the "giving" did and continues to occur. For instance, "I have given to the charity for years." Deutsch English ich habe gegeben I gave/have given du hast gegeben you gave/have given er hat gegebensie hat gegebenes hat gegeben he gave/have givenshe gave/have givenit gave/have given es hat gegeben there was/there were wir haben gegeben we gave/have given ihr habt gegeben you (guys) gave/have given sie haben gegeben they gave/have given Sie haben gegeben you gave/have given Geben in the Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt) When using the past perfect tense (plusquamperfekt), you are indicating that the action occurred after something else did. An example of this may be, "I had given to the charity after the tornado came through town." Deutsch English ich hatte gegeben I had given du hattest gegeben you had given er hatte gegebensie hatte gegebenes hatte gegeben he had givenshe had givenit had given es hatte gegeben there had been wir hatten gegeben we had given ihr hattet gegeben you (guys) had given sie hatten gegeben they had given Sie hatten gegeben you had given How to Conjugate the Verb "Helfen" (to Help) How to Conjugate the German Verb "Laufen" (to Run, Walk) How to Conjugate "Stehen" (to Stand) in German How to Conjugate "Beginnen" (to Begin) in German How to Conjugate "Kommen" (to Come) How to Conjugate the German Verb "Heissen" (to Call) How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take) How to Conjugate The German Word Finden German Verb Conjugation of Sprechen (To Speak) German Regular Verbs: Past Tenses How to Conjugate the German Verb 'Sein' Schreiben (To Write) German Verb Conjugations German Verb Conjugations of Essen (To Eat) Conjugating the German Verb Sehen, Meaning 'to See' Bleiben (To Stay) German Verb Conjugations Learning German "Give and Take" - "Geben, Nehmen"