“haben” Conjugation in the Present Tense

    In this beginner German lesson I explain the present tense conjugation and use of the verb “haben”.

    Download a copy of my “haben” and “sein” conjugation quiz with the answer key for FREE here.

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    Beginner German with Herr Antrim

    Present Tense Conjugation of “haben”

    Let’s start with the conjugation of “haben” in the present tense.

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

    “haben” with a Feminine, Neuter & Plural Direct Object

    The verb “haben” always requires an object. The articles are the same as normal with feminine, neuter and plural nouns as objects.

    Ich habe eine Tante.
    I have an aunt.

    Hast du eine Tochter?
    Do you have a daughter?

    Meine Mutter hat eine Schwester.
    My mother has a sister.

    Wir haben Eltern.
    We have parents.

    Habt ihr ein Kind?
    Do you have a child?

    Meine Großeltern haben Zwillinge.
    My grandparents have twins.

    Masculine Direct Objects with “haben”

    If the object is a masculine noun, you need “den” for “the” and “einen” for “a” or “an”.

    Ich habe einen Vater.
    I have a father.

    Hast du einen Sohn?
    Do you have a son?

    Mein Bruder hat einen Bruder… ich bin sein Bruder.
    My brother has a brother… I am his brother.

    Mein Vater hat Geschwister. Sie sind meine Tanten und Onkel.
    My father has siblings. They are my aunts and uncles.

    Wir haben einen Großvater und eine Großmutter.
    We have a grandfather and a grandmother.

    Habt ihr einen Neffen?
    Do you have a nephew?
    Side Note: The word “Neffe” (nephew) also requires an “N” at the end when it is the object of the sentence.

    Meine Nichten haben einen Bruder.
    My nieces have a brother.

    Expressing Pain with “haben”

    When some parts of your body hurt, you don’t need an article, because these pains (Schmerzen) are plural.

    Ich habe Kopfschmerzen.
    I have a headache.

    Du hast Bauchschmerzen.
    You have a stomach ache.

    Er hat Halsschmerzen.
    He has a sore throat.

    Wir haben Zahnschmerzen.
    We have a toothache.

    Changing “to have” into “to like”

    Add “gern” to the sentence to change “to have” into “to like”. If you like a sport, you don’t need an article.

    Ich habe Fußball gern.
    I like soccer.

    Hast du Basketball gern?
    Do you like basketball?

    Sie hat Baseball gern.
    She likes baseball.

    Wir haben Tennis gern.
    We like tennis.

    Habt ihr Golf gern?
    Do you like golf?

    Die Kinder haben Handball gern.
    The children like handball.

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    “gern” with Other Verbs

    You can add “gern” with other verbs to change it from the original verb to liking to do that action. Some people add an “E” to the end of “gern”. This does not change the meaning.

    Ich spiele gern Schach.
    I like to play chess.

    Tanzt du gerne?
    Do you like to dance?

    Meine Schwester schaukelt gern.
    My sister likes to swing.

    Wir essen gerne.
    We like to eat.

    Arbeitet ihr gern?
    Do you like to work?

    Meine Großeltern erzählen gerne Geschichten.
    My grandparents like to tell stories.

    Present Tense of “haben” Conjugation Mnemonic

    If you are looking for a great way to remember the present tense conjugation of “haben”, you can sing the conjugation to the tune of “Ode an die Freude” (Ode to Joy). You can see that in the video below.

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

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    Herr Antrim

    Herr Antrim is a German teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. In 2011 he started his successful YouTube Channel "Learn German with Herr Antrim". In 2015 he created this website to enhance the German language lessons he was providing on YouTube. He is now the author of his own e-book, "Beginner German with Herr Antrim". He has also been featured on numerous blogs and other sites. *This site uses Amazon Affiliate links. If there is a link that leads to Amazon, it is very likely an affiliate link for which Herr Antrim will receive a small portion of your purchase. This does not cost you any extra, but it does help keep this website going.