How to conjugate "haben"

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

blogconjugationverbs
19.01.2024

The German verb "haben" (to have) is a fundamental verb in German language and a key part of many essential expressions. Understanding its conjugation is crucial for learners at all levels. This article will explore the various forms and uses of "haben," providing clear examples and helpful tables.

Simple Present (Präsens)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich habewir haben
2nddu hastihr habt
3rder/sie/es hatsie/Sie haben

Simple Past (Präteritum)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich hattewir hatten
2nddu hattestihr hattet
3rder/sie/es hattesie/Sie hatten

Present Perfect (Perfekt)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich habe gehabtwir haben gehabt
2nddu hast gehabtihr habt gehabt
3rder/sie/es hat gehabtsie/Sie haben gehabt

Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich hatte gehabtwir hatten gehabt
2nddu hattest gehabtihr hattet gehabt
3rder/sie/es hatte gehabtsie/Sie hatten gehabt

Simple Future (Futur I)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich werde habenwir werden haben
2nddu wirst habenihr werdet haben
3rder/sie/es wird habensie/Sie werden haben

Future Perfect (Futur II)

PersonSingularPlural
1stich werde gehabt habenwir werden gehabt haben
2nddu wirst gehabt habenihr werdet gehabt haben
3rder/sie/es wird gehabt habensie/Sie werden gehabt haben

Understanding "Haben" in Present Tense

Basic Conjugation of "Haben"

In the present tense, "haben" is conjugated differently depending on the subject. Let’s look at these conjugations:

PersonConjugation
ich (I)habe
du (you - singular informal)hast
er/sie/es (he/she/it)hat
wir (we)haben
ihr (you - plural informal)habt
sie/Sie (they/you - formal)haben

Example Sentences in Present Tense

Ich habe ein Buch.

I have a book.
Sie hat eine Katze.

She has a cat.

"Haben" in Past Tenses

Conjugation in Simple Past (Präteritum)

The Präteritum is often used in written German. Here's how "haben" is conjugated in this tense:

PersonConjugation
ichhatte
duhattest
er/sie/eshatte
wirhatten
ihrhattet
sie/Siehatten

Conjugation in Perfect Tense (Perfekt)

The Perfekt tense is commonly used in spoken German. It combines "haben" as an auxiliary verb with the past participle "gehabt".

Ich habe Pizza gegessen.

I have eaten pizza.

"Haben" in Future Tense

Conjugating "Haben" for Future Events

When discussing future events, "haben" is combined with "werden" (to become).

PersonConjugation
ichwerde haben
duwirst haben
er/sie/eswird haben
wirwerden haben
ihrwerdet haben
sie/Siewerden haben

Example Sentences in Future Tense

Ich werde morgen Zeit haben.

I will have time tomorrow.
Sie werden eine Besprechung haben.

They will have a meeting.

Subjunctive Mood with "Haben"

Konjunktiv II Form of "Haben"

The subjunctive, or Konjunktiv II, is used for hypothetical situations and polite requests. Here's how "haben" is conjugated:

PersonConjugation
ichhätte
duhättest
er/sie/eshätte
wirhätten
ihrhättet
sie/Siehätten

Example Sentences in Konjunktiv II

Wenn ich mehr Zeit hätte, würde ich reisen.

If I had more time, I would travel.
Hättest du einen Moment?

Would you have a moment?

Using "Haben" in Compound Verbs

"Haben" in Modal Verbs

"Haben" can also be part of compound verbs, changing its meaning and usage.

Ich habe vor, nächstes Jahr zu reisen.

I plan to travel next year.

"Haben" in Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs with "haben" often describe personal states or conditions.

Er hat sich sehr gefreut.

He was very pleased.

Common Idiomatic Expressions with "Haben"

Expressions Showing Possession

"Haben" is often used in expressions indicating possession or belonging.

Hast du einen Stift?

Do you have a pen?

Expressions of Feeling

It’s also used in expressions describing feelings or states of being.

Ich habe Hunger.

I am hungry.

For further learning and practice, check out our German lessons, explore our German reading resources, or listen to our intermediate German podcast for more insights into the usage of "haben" and other key verbs.


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