“To have, or not to have”

“To have, or not to have”

In German, one of the most critical verbs is “to have”.  In this article, you will learn how to conjugate this essential verb and how to use it in your daily speaking. 


The verb “haben” (to have) almost has the same role as in English. It gives you the following possibilities:


“Haben” as the main verb:

  1. haben + noun = Ich habe ein Auto.


“Haben” as an auxiliary verb:

  1. Ich habe Hausaufgaben gemacht. (expressing past tense)


In this article, we will focus on “haben” as the main verb. As you might remember from English, also the verb “to have” is irregular as we do say “she has” instead of “she have”.

The same applies to German, and therefore we need to conjugate the verb “haben” as follows and not regarding the general rules of German verb conjugating:


ich habe I have
du hast you have
er hat he has
sie hat she has
es hat it has
wir haben we have
ihr habt you have
sie haben they have
Sie haben formal speech


Now, as you know how to use the verb “to be”, you can start to introduce and talk about yourself using it. Also, pay attention that “haben” is always followed by “Akkusativ” which means that you need to change “der” to “den” and “ein” (for “der”) to “einen”. For instance:


Ich habe Kinder. I have children.
Ich habe einen Sohn / eine Tochter. I have a son / a daughter.
Ich habe einen Mann / eine Frau. I have a husband / a wife.
Ich habe eine Familie. I have a family.
Ich habe Arbeit. I have a job.
Ich habe viele Hobbys. I have many hobbies.
Ich habe eine neue Wohnung. I have a new flat.
Ich habe ein rotes Auto. I have a red car.
Ich habe keine Ahnung. I don’t have a clue.


Now you should be able to use the verb “haben” in your everyday life. Since this is an essential verb, which you will need to use all the time, make yourself a favor and study it properly so you will not stumble over other problems later on in your German studies.


Bis bald!





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