Conjugating the German Verb Sehen, Meaning 'to See'

Sehen Conjugated in All Tenses

Close-up of woman's eye
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The German verb sehen means "to see." It is one of the most-common words you may see in German text, ranking around 270 in one automated study.

Sehen is an irregular or strong verb. This means it doesn't follow a strict rule for conjugation. In order to conjugate it correctly, you will need to study its different tenses and resort to memorizing them.

Stem-Changing Verbs

The verb sehen is both a stem-changing verb and an irregular (strong) verb.

Notice the change from e to ie in the du and er/sie/es present tense forms. The past participle is gesehen. All of these irregularities can trip you up in reading and writing uses of sehen.

Sehen - Present Tense - Präsens

Singular Present Tense
ich seheI see/am seeing
du siehstyou see/are seeing
er sieht
sie sieht
es sieht
he sees/is seeing
she sees/is seeing
it sees/is seeing
Plural Present Tense
wir sehenwe see/are seeing
ihr sehtyou (guys) see/
are seeing
sie sehenthey see/are seeing
Sie sehenyou see/are seeing

Examples Using Present Tense for Sehen

Wann sehen wir euch?
When will we be seeing you (guys)?

Er sieht uns.
He sees us.



Sehen - Simple Past Tense -  Imperfekt

Singular Simple Past Tense
ich sahI saw
du sahstyou saw
er sah
sie sah
es sah
he saw
she saw
it saw
Plural Simple Past Tense
wir sahenwe saw
ihr sahtyou (guys) saw
sie sahenthey saw
Sie sahenyou saw



Sehen - Compound Past Tense (Present Perfect) - Perfekt

Singular Compound Past Tense
ich habe gesehenI saw/have seen
du hast gesehenyou saw/have seen
er hat gesehen
sie hat gesehen
es hat gesehen
he saw/has seen
she saw/has seen
it saw/has seen
Plural Compound Past Tense
wir haben gesehenwe saw/have seen
ihr habt gesehenyou (guys) saw
have seen
sie haben gesehenthey saw/have seen
Sie haben gesehen

you saw/have seen



Sehen - Past Perfect Tense -  Plusquamperfekt

Singular Past Perfect Tense
ich hatte gesehenI had seen
du hattest gesehenyou had seen
er hatte gesehen
sie hatte gesehen
es hatte gesehen
he had seen
she had seen
it had seen
Plural Past Perfect Tense
wir hatten gesehenwe had seen
ihr hattet gesehenyou (guys) had seen
sie hatten gesehenthey had seen
Sie hatten gesehenyou had seen


Future Tenses for Sehen

German often substitutes the present tense for the future. The example with sehen is "Wir sehen uns morgen," translating as "We'll see you tomorrow."

The basic future tense would conjugate werden (will) and add sehen. Examples; ich werde sehen - I will see, du wirst sehen - you will see, wir werden spielen - we will play.

The future perfect tense is somewhat rare in German. It uses a conjugated form of werden and then places haben or sein at the end of the sentence. For example, ich werde gesehen haben - I will have seen.

Commands Using Sehen

  • sehe! see!
  • sehen Sie! see!

Other Uses of Sehen

  • Sie sieht nicht gut. She doesn't see well.
  • Wo hast du ihn gesehen? Where did you see him?