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Schwache Verben im Perfekt und Imperfekt
Based on a note/worksheet from Frau Greene

I. Regular Weak Verbs in Simple Past (Imperfect) Tense

The simple past tense of weak verbs is formed by adding the following endings to the infinitive stem of the verb:

ich-tewir-ten
du-testihr-tet
er/sie/es-tesie-ten
Sie-ten

Example: bauen
ich baute, du bautest, er/sie/es baute, wir bauten, ihr bautet, sie bauten, Sie bauten

II. Regular Weak Verbs in Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense of weak verbs consists of the present tense forms of the auxiliary haben or sein* plus a past participle. The past participle of weak verbs is formed by placing the prefix ge- in front of the infinitive stem and adding -t to the end.

Examples: bauen and reisen
bauen - ich habe gebaut, du hast gebaut, ...
reisen - ich bin gereist, du bist gereist, ...

ändern - to change
bauen - to build
bellen - to bark
boxen - to box
brauchen - to need
danken - to thank
drehen - to turn
fragen - to ask
füttern - to feed
glauben - to believe
grüßen - to greet
hassen - to hate
holen - to get, to fetch
hören - to hear
kauen - to chew
kaufen - to buy
klingeln - to ring
küssen - to kiss
lächeln - to smile
leben - to live
legen - to place, to lay
lernen - to learn
lieben - to love
machen - to do, to make
malen - to paint
plaudern - to chat
rauchen - to smoke
reisen* - to travel
sagen - to say
sammeln - to collect
schauen - to look
schenken - to give (a present)
schicken - to send
segeln - to sail
spielen - to play
stellen - to put, to pose (a question)
stören - to disturb
suchen - to look for
tanzen - to dance
träumen - to dream
wandern* - to hike
weinen - to cry
wohnen - to live (reside)
zählen - to count
zeigen - to show

3. Exceptions affecting regular weak verbs

    a. Verbs with Stems ending in D, T or consonant cluster

    These verbs require an additional "e" before the personal endings in the simple past tense. They also require an additional "e" before the -t ending on the past participle.

Example: ich arbeitete, du arbeitetest, er arbeitete, wir arbeiteten, ihr arbeitet, sie arbeiteten, Sie arbeiteten
ich habe gearbeitet, du hast gearbeitet, ...

antworten - to answer
arbeiten - to work
baden - to bathe
öffnen - to open
ordnen - to put in order
rechnen - to calculate
reden - to talk
warten - to wait
zeichnen - to draw

    b. Verbs Beginning with the Inseparable Prefixes Be-, Ent-, Er-, Ge-, Ver-, or Zer-

    These verbs do not add the prefix ge- for the past participle.

Example: ich habe endeckt, du hast endeckt, ...

behandeln - to handle
besichtigen - to view
bestellen - to order
besuchen - to visit
bewundern - to admire
bezahlen - to pay
entdecken - to discover
erklären - to explain
erzählen - to tell
gehören - to belong to
verkaufen - to sell

    c. Verbs ending with -ieren

    These verbs also do not add the prefix ge- for the past participle

Example: ich habe probiert, du hast probiert...

buchstabieren - to spell
probieren - to try
reparieren - to repair
studieren - to study
telefonieren - to talk on the phone

4. Irregular Weak Verbs

Some weak verbs have a vowel change in the past stem and the past participle. These verbs are still considered to be weak verbs, though, because they take the simple past tense endings for weak verbs and the past participles still end in -t.

InfinitiveMeaningSimple Past FormPast Participle
brennento burner brannteer hat gebrannt
bringento bringer brachteer hat gebracht
denkento thinker dachteer hat gedacht
habento haveer hatteer hat gehabt
kennento know (a person)er kannteer hat gekannt
nennento nameer nannteer hat genannt
rennen*to runer rannteer ist gerannt
sendento sender sandteer hat gesandt
wissento know (a fact)er wussteer hat gewusst

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