What is the difference between “wollen” and “werden”?

What is the difference between “wollen” and “werden”?

Due to their similarity to English, the two verbs “wollen” and “werden” are easily confused by German students. After reading this article and practicing with its free worksheet, you will be a pro!

These two verbs have a completely different meaning: “wollen” means to want, and “werden” means to become or is used to express the future tense. Additionally, there is a problem with differentiating the verbs “bekommen” and werden which I already covered in another article. As you can see the two verbs cannot be used as a replacement and the only reason why people like to confuse them is English which means that they are false friends.

Wollen

“Wollen” is one of the German modal verbs which means that one usually has to add another noun or verb at the end of the sentence to have a proper sentence. As it is a modal verb, it also has irregularities in its verb conjugation:

ich will
du willst
er will
sie will
es will
wir wollen
ihr wollt
sie wollen

As mentioned above, you have the two following possibilities to form a sentence:

  1. Der Junge will eine Pizza kaufen.
  2. Die Kinder wollen Eis!

“Werden”

“Werden” has three jobs: It can express the English verb “to become”, it can also be used to express future tense, or it can be used to express the passive tense:

  1. Die Frau wird Mutter.
  2. Ich werde nächste Woche nach England reisen.
  3. Das Auto wird geputzt.

The conjugation of “werden” is as follows:

ich werde
du wirst
er wird
sie wird
es wird
wir werden
ihr werdet
sie werden

Now, after reading this article, you can practice your new knowledge with the free worksheet “The difference of “werden” and “bekommen” in German”!

Bis bald!

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