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

DeutschEnglish
Singular Present Tense
ich trinkeI drink
I am drinking
du trinkstyou 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 trinkenwe drink
we are drinking
ihr trinktyou (guys) drink
you (guys) are drinking
sie trinkenthey drink
they are drinking
Sie trinkenyou drink
you are drinking
Examples:
Er trinkt kein Bier. He doesn't drink beer.
Ich trinke lieber Wein. I prefer to drink wine.

 

Trinken - Simple Past Tense - Imperfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Simple Past Tense
ich trankI drank
du trankstyou drank
er trank
sie trank
es trank
he drank
she drank
it drank
Plural Simple Past Tense
wir trankenwe drank
ihr tranktyou (guys) drank
sie trankenthey drank
Sie trankenyou drank

 

Trinken - Compound Past Tense (Present Perfect) - Perfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Compound Past Tense
ich habe getrunkenI have drunk
I drank
du hast getrunkenyou 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 getrunkenwe have drunk
we drank
ihr habt getrunkenyou (guys) have drunk
you drank
sie haben getrunkenthey have drunk
they drank
Sie haben getrunkenyou have drunk
you drank

 

Trinken - Past Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt

DeutschEnglish
Singular Past Perfect Tense
ich hatte getrunkenI had drunk
du hattest getrunkenyou 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 getrunkenwe had drunk
ihr hattet getrunkenyou (guys) had drunk
sie hatten getrunkenthey had drunk
Sie hatten getrunkenyou 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.

If you want to look at other irregular verbs in the simple past and present perfect, see our German Strong Verbs pages.