Languages › German How to Conjugate "Beginnen" (to Begin) in German A Useful Verb Conjugated in All Tenses Share Flipboard Email Print Nicholas Prior/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 February 26, 2020 The German verb beginnen means "to begin," "to start," or "to commence." It's a rather easy verb for English-speakers because it includes the word "begin." The verb's conjugated forms also closely resemble the English forms of begin, began, and begun. The verb beginnen belongs to the class of strong (irregular) German verbs. Since they don't follow a strict rule, you will need to memorize each form. While this one is easier because it resembles its English counterpart, the different conjugations can trip you up. Principal Parts: beginnen - begann - begonnen Imperative (Commands): (du) Beginne! | (ihr) Beginnt! | Beginnen Sie! Beginnen vs. Anfangen It's also important to note that anfangen means "to start" means "to start" as well. The two verbs are often used the same way, though some people prefer to use one or another in certain contexts. If you're hoping that anfangen is easier to conjugate than beginnen, think again. That verb has a separable prefix which poses its own challenges. Beginnen in the Present Tense (Präsens) The present tense(präsens) is the easiest place to begin studying any verb conjugation. You will use these forms of beginnen most often, so take some time to study these and add them to your vocabulary. It will help your studies if you practice each verb form in sentences. It's a little trick that can aid your memorization and can be as simple as short sentences like these. Der Film beginnt am Mittwoch. - The film begins on Wednesday.Wann beginnen wir? - When do we start? Deutsch English ich beginne I beginI am beginning du beginnst you beginyou are beginning er beginnt sie beginnt es beginnt he beginshe is beginningshe beginsshe is beginningit beginsit is beginning wir beginnen we beginwe are beginning ihr beginnt you (guys) beginyou are beginning sie beginnen they beginthey are beginning Sie beginnen you beginyou are beginning Beginnen in the Simple Past Tense (Imperfekt) Once you are comfortable with the present tense, move on to the simple past tense (imperfekt). This is the most common way to say "began" in German, so you should get plenty of practice as your language studies progress. Deutsch English ich begann I began du begannst you began er begannsie begannes begann he beganshe beganit began wir begannen we began ihr begannt you (guys) began sie begannen they began Sie begannen you began Beginnen in the Compound Past Tense (Perfekt) Another way to say "began" is to use the compound past tense, otherwise known as the present perfect (perfekt). You will use this one when something "began" in the past but you have not explicitly said when that was. There are also times when it can be used to say that something had begun and that the action continues. Deutsch English ich habe begonnen I have begunI began du hast begonnen you have begunyou began er hat begonnen sie hat begonnen es hat begonnen he has begunhe beganshe has beganshe beganit has beganit began wir haben begonnen we have begunwe began ihr habt begonnen you (guys) have begunyou began sie haben begonnen they have begunthey began Sie haben begonnen you have begunyou began Beginnen in the Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt) A less frequently used form, the past perfect tense (plusquamperfekt) has its uses as well. This one is reserved for those times when the action of beginning happened before something else in the past. For instance, "I had begun the song before people danced." Deutsch English ich hatte begonnen I had begun du hattest begonnen you had begun er hatte begonnensie hatte begonnenes hatte begonnen he had begunshe had begunit had begun wir hatten begonnen we had begun ihr hattet begonnen you (guys) had begun sie hatten begonnen they had begun Sie hatten begonnen you had begun Beginnen in the Future Tenses It's rare that the future tense is used in German. You'll find it more common to use the present tense with an adverb rather than the futur I and futur II forms. For instance, Er beginnt morgen an. can be used to say "He's going to begin tomorrow." However, it is good to know these forms of beginnen because you might encounter them at some point. Future Tense (Futur 1) Deutsch English ich werde beginnen I will begin du wirst beginnenSie werden beginnen you (fam.) will beginyou will begin er wird beginnensie wird beginnenwir werden beginnenihr werdet beginnensie werden beginnen he will beginshe will beginwe will beginyou (guys) will beginthey will begin Future Perfect Tense (Futur II) ich werde begonnen habendu wirst begonnen habener wird begonnen habenwir werden begonnen haben I will have begunyou (fam.) will have begunhe will have begunwe will have begun ihr werdet begonnen haben you (guys) will have begun sie werden begonnen haben they will have begun Sie hatten begonnen you will have begun How to Conjugate "Stehen" (to Stand) in German How to Conjugate the German Verb "Laufen" (to Run, Walk) How to Conjugate "Kommen" (to Come) How to Conjugate "Geben" (to Give) in German How to Conjugate the German Verb 'Sein' German Verb Conjugation of Sprechen (To Speak) How to Conjugate the Verb "Helfen" (to Help) Bleiben (To Stay) German Verb Conjugations How to Conjugate the German Verb "Heissen" (to Call) How to Conjugate Gehen in German German Verb Conjugations: Tun (To Do) How to Conjugate the German Verb "Haben" How to Conjugate The German Word Finden Schreiben (To Write) German Verb Conjugations Anfangen (To Begin) German Verb Conjugations Conjugating the German Verb Sehen, Meaning 'to See'