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The auxiliary verb "haben" in German

"Haben" means "to have" and it is the most important auxiliary verb. Its conjugation is irregular:



Robert Frost
Quote from Robert Frost (American poet 1874-1963):
Toleranz ist das unbehagliche Gefühl, der andere könnte am Ende doch recht haben
Tolerance is the uncomfortable feeling that the another person might be right

Meaning of "haben"

"haben" means:

1.-to have

Er hat Hunger
He’s hungry (has hunger)

2.- Auxiliary verb without meaning

Haben + Akkusativ

When constructing a sentence with "haben", the object that one has must be declined in the accusative:

Ich habe einen Namen
I have a name

Auxiliary Verb

The verb "haben" is one of the 3 auxiliary verbs in German together with the verbs sein and werden. The verb "haben" functions as an auxiliary verb for most verbs in the following tenses:

  • Futur II

    Er wird es bald geschafft haben
    He’ll have finished soon

  • Perfekt

    Er hat gestern Fußball gespielt
    He played soccer yesterday

  • Plusquamperfekt

    Ich hatte den ganzen Tag gearbeitet. Danach habe ich eingekauft.
    I had worked the whole day. Afterwards, I went shopping

Visit this link if you want to know when to use haben as an auxiliary verb.

The Conjugation of the verb "haben"

"Haben" is irregular which is why its conjugation must be learned.

Verb3rd PersonPräteritumPartizip IIMeaning
haben(hat)hattegehabtto have

Present simple (Präsens Indikativ)

ConjugationMeaning
ich habeI have
du hastyou have
er hathe has
wir habenwe have
ihr habtyou have
sie habenthey have

Examples:

Ich habe einen Hund
I have a dog

Hast du Angst?
Are you afraid (do you have fear)?

Er hat Geld
He has money

Wir haben Glück
We have luck

Haben Sie Zeit?
Do you have time?

The Subjunctive I (Konjunktiv I)

Conjugation
ich habe
du habest
er habe
wir haben
ihr habet
sie haben

Er sagte, er habe ein Auto
He said he had a car

More information about Konjunktiv I

Präteritum

ConjugationMeaning
ich hatteI had
du hattestyou had
er hattehe had
wir hattenwe had
ihr hattetyou had
sie hattenthey had

Du hattest den Schlüssel
You had the key

Wir hatten einen Traum
We had a dream

More information about Präteritum

Konjunktiv II

Conjugation
ich hätte
du hättest
er hätte
wir hätten
ihr hättet
sie hätten

Ich hätte gerne noch ein Bier
I would like to have another beer

More information about Konjunktiv II

Perfect (Perfekt)

ConjugationMeaning
ich habe gehabtI have had
du hast gehabtyou have had
er hat gehabthe has had
wir haben gehabtwe have had
ihr habt gehabtyou have had
sie haben gehabtthey have had

Er hat eine Krankheit gehabt
He’s been sick

More information about Perfekt

Imperative (Imperativ)

ImperativMeaning
2nd Person Singularhabhave
2nd Person Pluralhabthave

Hab viel Glück!!
Good luck!!

More information about Imperative

Participle (Partizip)

gehabt

Auxiliary verb (Hilfsverb)

haben

Construction "Haben" + "zu"

The construction "haben" + "zu" has the meaning "to have to" and behaves like a modal verb.

Ich habe viel zu tun
I have a lot to do

Verbs with the stem "haben"

There are several verbs with the stem "haben". Here are the main ones:

VerbMeaning
anhabento have on
to wear
(separable verb)
dabeihabento have something with you
(separable verb)
vorhabento plan
(separable verb)



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