Languages › German Learn the German Verbs 'Haben' (to Have) and 'Sein' (to Be) These are two of the most important German verbs Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61 / Getty Images German Vocabulary History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar by Hyde Flippo 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. Updated February 01, 2019 The two most important German verbs are haben (to have) and sein (to be). As in most languages, the verb "to be" is one of the oldest verbs in German, and therefore one of the most irregular. The verb "to have" is only slightly less irregular, but no less vital to surviving speaking German. The Rules of 'Haben' in German We'll start with haben. Look at the following table for the conjugation of haben in the present tense, along with sample sentences. Notice the strong resemblance to English for many forms of this verb, with most forms only one letter off from the English ( habe/have, hat/has). In the case of the familiar you (du), the German verb is identical to Old English: "thou hast" is "du hast." Haben is also used in some German expressions that are translated with "to be" in English. For example: Ich habe Hunger. (I'm hungry.) Haben - To Have Deutsch English Sample Sentences Singular ich habe I have Ich habe einen roten Wagen. (I have a red car.) du hast you (fam.) have Du hast mein Buch. (You have my book.) er hat he has Er hat ein blaues Auge. (He has a black eye.) sie hat she has Sie hat blaue Augen. (She has blue eyes.) es hat it has Es hat keine Fehler. (It has no flaws.) Plural wir haben we have Wir haben keine Zeit. (We have no time.) ihr habt you (guys) have Habt ihr euer Geld? (Do y'all have your money?) sie haben they have Sie haben kein Geld. (They have no money.) Sie haben you have Haben Sie das Geld? (You, sir, have no money.) Note: Sie, formal "you," is both singular and plural. To Be or Not to Be (Sein Oder Nicht Sein) Look at the following table for the conjugation of sein (to be) in the present tense. Notice how similar the German and English forms are in the third person (ist/is). Sein - To Be Deutsch English Sample Sentences Singular ich bin I am Ich bin es. (It's me.) du bist you (fam.) are Du bist mein Schatz. (You are my darling.) er ist he is Er ist ein netter Kerl. (He is a nice guy.) sie ist she is Ist sie da? (Is she here?) es ist it is Es ist mein Buch. (It is my book.) Plural wir sind we are Wir sind das Volk. (We are the people/nation.) Note: This was the slogan of 1989 East German protests in Leipzig. ihr seid you (guys) are Seid ihr unsere Freunde? (Are you guys our friends?) sie sind they are Sie sind unsere Freunde. (They are our friends.) Sie sind you are Sind Sie Herr Meier? (Are you, sir, Mr. Meier?) Note: Sie, formal "you," is both singular and plural. Continue Reading How 'to Be' (Or Not to Be) in German: Learn About the Verb 'Sein' When Do You Use "Sein" and "Haben" in German? See How to Conjugate the German Verb Sprechen - to Speak Learn How to Conjugate the German Verb "Heissen" (to Call) How to Use the Future Tense (das Futur) in German Learn to Conjugate "Haben" (to Have) in All Tenses and Moods How Do You Conjugate the German Verb Sehen, or "to See"? The Simple Past in German What Are Some Mistakes New German Speakers Make? Learn the Rules for the Present Perfect Tense in German German Verbs: How to Recognize the German Subjunctive I, II Learn German Past Tense Verb Conjugations The Basics of German Present Tense Verbs Can You Identify Transitive and Intransitive Verbs in German? How to Conjugate the German Verb "Stehen" (to Stand) How to Conjugate the German Verb Tun, Meaning "To Do"