- In a normal statement/sentence the verb is always in the SECOND POSITION.
- Because German is a highly marked language, the subject can be moved from the first to third position, with an adverb or other element being placed first (inverted word order), but the verb stays in SECOND POSITION.
Example: Ich heiße Peter. Ich komme aus Deutschland. Heute ist mein erster Tag in den USA.
Ending of regular verbs (Präsens/present)
The table below outlines the verb conjugation paradigms for present-tense, regular verbs in German.
There are some differences in how verbs are conjugated based on the spelling of their stems.
- All regular verbs that end in a ‘z,’ ‘s,’ ‘ss,’ or ‘ß’ add only ‘t’ to the “du” conjugation (“tanzen” becomes “du tanzt” (drop the ‘s’) and NOT “du tanzst”)
- Verbs whose stems end in ‘d’ or ‘t’ require an ‘e’ inserted before ‘t’ or ‘st’ endings (e.g. du findest, er arbeitet, ihr bietet)
- Verbs that end in ‘eln’ or ‘ern’ (e.g. segeln, wandern), can delete the ‘e’ before the ‘l’ or ‘r,’ but is acceptable either way (i.e. ich segele OR ich segle)
Also worth noting is that the entire class of verbs ending in ‘-ieren’ (e.g. diskutieren, telefonieren) are regular verbs, and have no stem vowel changes or other irregularities in the present tense.