German Verb Conjugations - Trinken - to Drink

Present and Past Tenses

people toasting with German beer
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The verb trinken is a strong (irregular) verb meaning "to drink." It is a very handy verb to know for traveling to German-speaking countries, or even just singing German drinking songs.

As an irregular verb, you can't predict how it is conjugated by a strict rule. You will need to study and memorize its forms. Note that its German principal parts follow the same i/a/u pattern of English (drink/drank/drunk). This is the ablaut Class 3a i - a - u pattern. It is shared with other strong verbs including binden (tie), dringen (press), finden (find) and singen (sing).

  • Principal Parts: trinken • trank • getrunken
  • Imperative (Commands): (du) Trink! | (ihr) Trinkt! | Trinken Sie!

Trinken -  Present Tense - Präsens

Deutsch English
Singular Present Tense
ich trinke I drink
I am drinking
du trinkst you drink
you are drinking
er trinkt

sie trinkt

es trinkt
he drinks
he is drinking
she drinks
she is drinking
it drinks
it is drinking
Plural Present Tense
wir trinken we drink
we are drinking
ihr trinkt you (guys) drink
you (guys) are drinking
sie trinken they drink
they are drinking
Sie trinken you drink
you are drinking


Er trinkt kein Bier. He doesn't drink beer.
Ich trinke lieber Wein. I prefer to drink wine.

Trinken - Simple Past Tense - Imperfekt

Deutsch English
Singular Simple Past Tense
ich trank

I drank

du trankst

you drank

er trank
sie trank
es trank

he drank
she drank
it drank
Plural Simple Past Tense
wir tranken

we drank

ihr trankt

you (guys) drank

sie tranken

they drank

Sie tranken

you drank

Trinken - Compound Past Tense (Present Perfect) - Perfekt

Deutsch English
Singular Compound Past Tense
ich habe getrunken I have drunk
I drank
du hast getrunken you have drunk
you drank
er hat getrunken

sie hat getrunken

es hat getrunken
he has drunk
he drank
she has drunk
she drank
it has drunk
it drank
Plural Compound Past Tense
wir haben getrunken we have drunk
we drank
ihr habt getrunken you (guys) have drunk
you drank
sie haben getrunken they have drunk
they drank
Sie haben getrunken you have drunk
you drank

Trinken - Past Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt

Deutsch English
Singular Past Perfect Tense
ich hatte getrunken

I had drunk

du hattest getrunken

you had drunk

er hatte getrunken
sie hatte getrunken
es hatte getrunken

he had drunk
she had drunk
it had drunk
Plural Past Perfect Tense
wir hatten getrunken

we had drunk

ihr hattet getrunken

you (guys) had drunk

sie hatten getrunken

they had drunk

Sie hatten getrunken

you had drunk

Example Using Trinken

  • Accusative: Was will er trinken? What does he want to drink?

Uses of the Root for Nouns

Knowing the different tenses of trinken, you can recognize how it is used in nouns for beverages.

  • Getränke: beverages or drinks
  • das Getränk beverage, drink
  • der Getränkemarkt: beverage shop. Here you buy beverages such as beer, cola, or mineral water by the case. Supermarkets now usually have a similar department.
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Your Citation
Flippo, Hyde. "German Verb Conjugations - Trinken - to Drink." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Flippo, Hyde. (2023, April 5). German Verb Conjugations - Trinken - to Drink. Retrieved from Flippo, Hyde. "German Verb Conjugations - Trinken - to Drink." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 2, 2023).