Languages › German Conjugating the German Verb Wissen, Meaning "to Know" Share Flipboard Email Print Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images German Grammar History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary By Hyde Flippo 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. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on February 24, 2020 Wissen is an irregular German verb that means to know a fact. German, like many other languages, has two different verbs that can correspond to the single English verb "to know." Like Spanish, Italian and French, for example, German makes a distinction between knowing or being familiar with a person or thing ( kennen) and knowing a fact (wissen). Wissen is often used with interrogatives: wann, wie, wo, warum, usw. For example, "Ich weiß, wo er ist." I know where he is. (information) Conjugation In the following chart, you will find the conjugation of the irregular German verb wissen. Although it is not a modal verb, the conjugation of wissen follows the same pattern as the modal verbs. Like the modals, and unlike normal German verbs, wissen has the same form for ich (first person sing.) and er, sie, es (third person singular). The verb wissen is a stem-changing verb. That is to say, the infinitive's stem vowel i changes to ei in all the singular present tense forms (weiß), and to u in the past participle (gewusst). In many ways, as we said above, it behaves like a modal verb. Except for ihr wisst (formerly wißt), spelling reform has not affected wissen, so you should note that its singular forms are still spelled with an ess-zett (ß, except in Swiss German), while the plural forms use a double-s (ss). This verb chart uses the new German spelling (die neue Rechtschreibung). Irregular Verbs: Wissen: to know (a fact) Präsens(Present) Präteritum(Preterite/Past) Perfekt(Present Perfect) ich weißI know ich wussteI knew ich habe gewusstI knew, have known du weißtyou know du wusstestyou knew du hast gewusstyou knew, have known er/sie weißhe/she knows er/sie wusstehe/she knew er/sie hat gewussthe/she knew, has known wir/Sie/sie wissenwe/you/they have to wir/Sie/sie wusstenwe/you/they knew wir/Sie/sie haben gewusstwe/you/they knew, have known ihr wisstyou (pl.) know ihr wusstetyou (pl.) knew ihr habt gewusstyou (pl.) knew, have known Plusquamperfekt(Past Perfect) Futur(Future) ich hatte gewusstI had known ich werde wissenI will know du hattest gewusstyou had know du wirst wissenyou knew er/sie hatte gewussthe/she had known er/sie wird wissenhe/she will know wir/Sie/sie hatten gewusstwe/you/they had known wir/Sie/sie werden wissenwe/you/they will know ihr hattet gewusstyou (pl.) had known ihr werdet wissenyou (pl.) will know Konditional(Conditional) Konjunktiv(Subjunctive) ich/er würde wissenI/he would know ich/er wüssteI/he would know wir/sie würden wissenwe/they would know wir/sie wüsstenwe/they would know Sample Sentences and Idioms Er weiß Bescheid.He knows all about it. (He's been kept informed.) Weißt du, wann der Bus kommt?Do you know when the bus is coming? Ich habe nicht Bescheid gewusst.I didn't know a thing about it. Wer weiß?Who knows? Wissen Sie, wie spät es ist?Do you know (have) the time? Ich weiß (es) nicht.I don't know. Weißt du, wann der Zug abfährt?Do you know when the train is departing? Sie weiß immer alles besser.She always knows better. Nicht, dass ich wüsste.Not as far as I know. Man kann nie wissen.You (just) never know. Er will nichts von ihr wissen.He wants nothing to do with her. Was ich nicht weiß, macht mich nicht heiß.What I don't know won't hurt me. Featured Video Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Flippo, Hyde. "Conjugating the German Verb Wissen, Meaning "to Know"." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/verbs-wissen-to-know-a-fact-4070841. Flippo, Hyde. (2020, August 27). Conjugating the German Verb Wissen, Meaning "to Know". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/verbs-wissen-to-know-a-fact-4070841 Flippo, Hyde. "Conjugating the German Verb Wissen, Meaning "to Know"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/verbs-wissen-to-know-a-fact-4070841 (accessed December 6, 2021). copy citation German Verbs - wissen (to know) conjugated in all its tenses How to Say 'Know' in German Using Kennen, Wissen and Können What You Need to Know About German Modal Verbs German Verbs - Kennen - to Know German Regular Verbs: Past Tenses How to Conjugate the German Verb "Laufen" (to Run, Walk) How to Conjugate "Geben" (to Give) in German Complete Alphabetical Index of German Verbs German Verb Conjugations: Tun (To Do) German Verb Conjugation of Sprechen (To Speak) German Strong Verbs - Conjugating Irregular German Verbs How to Use "Dürfen" in German How to Conjugate the German Verb 'Sein' German Lullabies Conjugations of the Most-Used German Verbs Conjugating the German Verb Sehen, Meaning 'to See'