Languages › German How to Conjugate the German Verb "Laufen" (to Run, Walk) A Lesson in Conjugating a Common Verb Into All Tenses Share Flipboard Email Print Apeloga AB / Getty Images German Grammar History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary 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 Meaning "to run" or "to walk," the German verb laufen is an important one for German students to study. As with all verbs, we must learn how to conjugate it into the present, past, and future tenses in order to form complete sentences. While laufen is one of the more challenging verb conjugations, studying this lesson will help you learn its many forms. Practicing this German vocabulary in context will also make memorizing the words a little easier. An Introduction to Laufen Verb conjugations are necessary because we need to transform the infinitive version of the verb to fit with the tense and subject pronoun of our sentence. This allows us to say things like ich lief for "I walked" or er läuft for "he is running." A word like laufen is a bit more difficult than some other common German verbs because it does not follow a common pattern when it comes to the endings we need to apply. Laufen is both a stem-changing and strong (irregular) verb, so the basic rules don't apply. That means you will need to commit all of these forms of the verb to memory. Principal Parts: laufen (läuft) - lief - ist gelaufen Imperative (Commands): (du) Lauf(e)! | (ihr) Lauft! | Laufen Sie! Laufen in the Present Tense (Präsens) The present tense (präsens) of laufen is the most common and you will use it often to say that the action of "running" is happening right now. Since it's a stem-changing verb, you will notice that some forms use "ä" rather than an "a." While the pronunciation may not change, the spelling certainly does, so remain aware of this. By studying the chart, you can begin to complete sentences using a form of laufen: Wie weit laufen Sie? - How far are you running/walking?Er läuft langsam. - He's walking slowly. Deutsch English ich laufe I run/am runningI walk/am walking du läufst you run/are runningyou walk/are walking er läuft sie läuft es läuft he runs/is runninghe walks/is walkingshe runs/is runningshe walks/is walkingit runs/is runningit walks/is walking wir laufen we run/are runningwe walk/are walking ihr lauft you (guys) run/are runningyou walk/are walking sie laufen they run/are runningthey walk/are walking Sie laufen you run/are runningyou walk/are walking Laufen in the Simple Past Tense (Imperfekt) The past tense (vergangenheit) of laufen comes in many forms and they're used in various contexts. The simplest of these is the simple past tense (imperfekt) and is used in most instances when you want to say "walked" or "ran." Deutsch English ich lief I walked du liefst you walked er liefsie liefes lief he walkedshe walkedit walked wir liefen we walked ihr lieft you (guys) walked sie liefen they walked Sie liefen you walked Laufen in the Compound Past Tense (Perfekt) The compound past tense, or present perfect (perfekt), is used a little less often. This verb form indicates that the action did happen, but you're not being clear exactly when someone "walked." At times, it can also imply that someone "walked" and is still "walking." Deutsch English ich bin gelaufen I have walkedI walked du bist gelaufen you have walkedyou walked er ist gelaufen sie ist gelaufen es ist gelaufen he has walkedhe walkedshe has walkedshe walkedit has walkedit walked wir sind gelaufen we have walkedwe walked ihr seid gelaufen you (guys) have walkedyou walked sie sind gelaufen they have walkedthey walked Sie sind gelaufen you have walkedyou walked Laufen in the Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt) In the past perfect tense (plusquamperfekt), the action has occurred before another action. You might use it in a sentence such as, "I walked home after practicing with the team." Deutsch English ich war gelaufen I had walked du warst gelaufen you had walked er war gelaufensie war gelaufenes war gelaufen he had walkedshe had walkedit had walked wir waren gelaufen we had walked ihr wart gelaufen you (guys) had walked sie waren gelaufen they had walked Sie waren gelaufen you had walked Laufen in the Future Tense (Futur) In German, the future tense is used much less often than it is in English. It's more common to use the present tense with an adverb instead. This is similar to the present progressive in English. For example, "Er läuft morgen an." means "He's going to run tomorrow. " However, it is a good idea to review the future tenses of laufen. This will only increase your German vocabulary and, at the very least, you'll be able to recognize these forms if you encounter them. Deutsch English ich werde laufen I will run/walk du wirst laufen you will run/walk er wird laufensie wird laufenes wird laufen he will run/walkshe will run/walkit will run/walk wir werden laufen we will run/walk ihr werdet laufen you (guys) will run/walk sie werden laufen they will run/walk Sie werden laufen you will run/walk Laufen in the Future Perfect (Futur II) Deutsch English ich werde gelaufen sein I will have run/walked du wirst gelaufen sein you will have run/walked er wird gelaufen seinsie wird gelaufen seines wird gelaufen sein he will have run/walkedshe will have run/walkedit will have run/walked wir werden gelaufen sein we will have run/walked ihr werdet gelaufen sein you (guys) will have run/walked sie werden gelaufen sein they will have run/walked Sie werden gelaufen sein you will have run/walked How to Conjugate the Verb "Helfen" (to Help) How to Conjugate "Stehen" (to Stand) in German How to Conjugate "Beginnen" (to Begin) in German How to Conjugate the German Verb "Heissen" (to Call) How to Conjugate "Kommen" (to Come) How to Conjugate "Geben" (to Give) in German How to Conjugate The German Word Finden German Verb Conjugation of Sprechen (To Speak) How to Conjugate the German Verb 'Sein' How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take) Bleiben (To Stay) German Verb Conjugations German Verb Conjugations of Essen (To Eat) Schreiben (To Write) German Verb Conjugations German Verb Conjugations - Lassen (To Let, Leave, and Allow) How to Conjugate Gehen in German Conjugating the German Verb Sehen, Meaning 'to See'