How to conjugate "fahren"

Let's learn how to conjugate the German verb 'fahren' in present, past & future tenses.


The German verb "fahren" is a commonly used verb in German, meaning "to drive, ride, or travel." For beginners in German, grasping the concept of conjugating verbs like "fahren" is integral to forming accurate and meaningful sentences.

Let's dive into the conjugation of "fahren" across different tenses.

How to conjugate "fahren"

Simple Present (Präsens)

1stich fahrewir fahren
2nddu fährstihr fahrt
3rder/sie/es fährtsie/Sie fahren

Simple Past (Präteritum)

1stich fuhrwir fuhren
2nddu fuhrstihr fuhrt
3rder/sie/es fuhrsie/Sie fuhren

Present Perfect (Perfekt)

1stich bin gefahrenwir sind gefahren
2nddu bist gefahrenihr seid gefahren
3rder/sie/es ist gefahrensie/Sie sind gefahren

Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

1stich war gefahrenwir waren gefahren
2nddu warst gefahrenihr wart gefahren
3rder/sie/es war gefahrensie/Sie waren gefahren

Simple Future (Futur I)

1stich werde fahrenwir werden fahren
2nddu wirst fahrenihr werdet fahren
3rder/sie/es wird fahrensie/Sie werden fahren

Future Perfect (Futur II)

1stich werde gefahren seinwir werden gefahren sein
2nddu wirst gefahren seinihr werdet gefahren sein
3rder/sie/es wird gefahren seinsie/Sie werden gefahren sein

The verb "fahren"

"Fahren" is a versatile and essential verb in the German language, encapsulating various forms of travel. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of "fahren," its usage in different contexts, common idiomatic expressions involving it, and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Basic Usage of "Fahren"

The verb "fahren" is commonly translated as "to drive," "to ride," or "to travel." It is used to describe movement via a vehicle, be it a car, bike, train, or other modes of transport.

Ich fahre jeden Tag mit dem Zug zur Arbeit.

I travel by train to work every day.

While "fahren" generally follows regular conjugation patterns, there are a few quirks to note:

  • The second person singular form in the present tense is irregular: "du fährst."
  • The past participle of "fahren" is "gefahren," which can be confusing due to the similarity with the infinitive form.

Idioms with "Fahren"

"Fahren" is featured in numerous idiomatic expressions, adding a layer of richness to everyday German:

1. Auf Hochtouren fahren:

Das Team fährt auf Hochtouren, um das Projekt rechtzeitig fertigzustellen.

The team is working at full capacity to complete the project on time.

2. Aus der Haut fahren:

Ich fahre aus der Haut, wenn ich Lügen höre.

I lose my temper when I hear lies.

Common Pitfalls with "Fahren"

  • Confusing "fahren" with "gehen": Remember, "fahren" implies travel by vehicle, whereas "gehen" is used for walking.
  • Misconjugation in the Present Tense: Particularly the irregular "du fährst" form.

For further learning, we recommend exploring our German lessons, deepening your understanding with our German reading materials, or listening to our intermediate German podcast. Mastering "fahren" will significantly enhance your ability to express movement and travel in German, making it an indispensable verb in your language toolkit.


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