“To have, or not to have” – “haben” in German

“To have, or not to have” – “haben” in German

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

 

The verb “haben” in German

In German, the verb “haben” (to have) almost has the same role as in English. It offers you the following possibilities:

You can use “haben” as the main verb to express that somebody possesses or has something. Besides, in this sense “haben” will always be followed by an Accusative object – you can simply learn that by heart and make your life a little easier ;).

  1. haben + noun = Ich habe ein Auto (I have a car.)
  2. Wir haben eine Familie. (We have a family.)

 

Auxiliary verb:

Another possibility to use “haben” in German is its use as an auxiliary verb. This means that we use it in order to build another Grammar structure. As we also do in English, we can use it to form a sentence in Perfect tense:

  1. Ich habe Hausaufgaben gemacht. (I have done homework.)

 

Conjugation of “haben”

However, 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

 

Small Talk

Now, as you know how to use this verb, 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!

Steffie

 


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