Languages › German Anfangen (To Begin) German Verb Conjugations Tenses and Sample Sentences for Anfangen Share Flipboard Email Print Thomas Tolstrup / Getty Images German Vocabulary History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar 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 January 30, 2019 Anfangen is a strong (irregular) verb that means to begin or start. As a strong verb, it doesn't follow a strict rule and you will need to memorize how it is conjugated in its different tenses. In addition, the verb anfangen is a separable prefix verb. That means that its prefix (an-) separates when the verb is conjugated, even in its past participle form (angefangen). There are cases where the prefix does not separate. These include the infinitive form such as with modals in the future tense, in dependent clauses, and in the past participle (with ge-). While a separable prefix may seem confusing, keep in mind that it is like English verbs such as "fill in," "clear out," etc. The difference is that in English the second word can come either right after the verb or at the end of the sentence. In German, it usually comes only at the end of the sentence. Sample Sentences With the Separable-Prefix Verbanfangen, to begin, start Present Tense Wann fangen Sie an? - When do you begin? Ich fange heute an. - I start today. Present Perfect Tense Wann haben sie angefangen? - When did they begin? Past Perfect Tense Wann hatten Sie angefangen? - When had you begun? Past Tense Wann fingen wir an? - When did we begin? Future Tense Wir werden wieder anfangen. - We will begin again. With Modals Können wir heute anfangen? - Can we begin today? AnfangenPresent Tense - Präsens Deutsch English Singular Present Tense ich fange an I begin/startI am beginning du fängst an you begin/startyou are beginning er fängt an sie fängt an es fängt an he begins/startshe is beginningshe begins/startsshe is beginningit begins/startsit is beginning Plural Present Tense wir fangen an we begin/startare beginning ihr fangt an you (guys) begin/startyou are beginning sie fangen an they begin/startthey are beginning Sie fangen an you begin/startyou are beginning Examples Using the Present Tense of Anfangen Wann fangen Sie an?When do you start? Die Vorstellung fängt um sechs Uhr an.The performance begins at six o'clock. AnfangenSimple Past Tense - Imperfekt Deutsch English Singular Simple Past Tense ich fing an I began/started du fingst an you began/started er fing ansie fing anes fing an he began/startedshe began/startedit began/started Plural Simple Past Tense wir fingen an we began/started ihr fingt an you (guys) began/started sie fingen an they began/started Sie fingen an you began/started AnfangenCompound Past Tense (Present Perfect) - Perfekt Deutsch English Singular Compound Past Tense ich habe angefangen I have begun/startedI began/started du hast angefangen you have begun/startedyou began/started er hat angefangensie hat angefangenes hat angefangen he has begun/startedhe began/startedshe has begun/startedshe began/startedit has begun/startedit began/started Plural Compound Past Tense wir haben angefangen we have begun/startedwe began/started ihr habt angefangen you (guys) have begun/startedyou began/started sie haben angefangen they have begun/startedthey began/started Sie haben angefangen you have begun/startedyou began/started AnfangenPast Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt Deutsch English Singular Past Perfect Tense ich hatte angefangen I had begun/started du hattest angefangen you had begun/started er hatte angefangensie hatte angefangenes hatte angefangen he had begun/startedshe had begun/startedit had begun/started Plural Past Perfect Tense wir hatten angefangen we had begun/started ihr hattet angefangen you (guys) had begun/started sie hatten angefangen they had begun/started Sie hatten angefangen you had begun/started What Are Separable Prefixes in German? Learn How to Conjugate the German Verb "Heissen" (to Call) 50 Common German Verbs All Beginners Should Know How to Conjugate "Kommen" (to Come) in German Learn the Rules for the Present Perfect Tense in German See How to Conjugate the German Verb Sprechen - to Speak Learn to Conjugate "Haben" (to Have) in All Tenses and Moods How Do You Conjugate the German Verb Sehen, or "to See"? The Simple Past in German How Do You Conjugate the German Verb "Helfen" (to Help)? How to Conjugate the German Verb Bleiben The Basics of German Present Tense Verbs The Correct Use of Gehen in German How to Use the Passive Voice in German How to Conjugate the German Verb "Stehen" (to Stand) How to Conjugate the German Verb Tun, Meaning "To Do"