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klettern mit sein oder haben

Hi everyone,

I have dilemma about what HIlfsverb comes with the verb klettern Which one is correct?

Ich habe auf einen Berg geklettert.

Ich bin auf einen Berg geklettert.

In my opinion i believe it's the second one, since the verbs which are "richtungsorientiert" go with "sein".

But, on this website the verb is conjugiert with "haben" https://www.vocabulix.com/conjugation2/klettern.html

Thanks in advance

March 31, 2018



I would always say "Ich bin geklettert".

But according to canoo.net, my preferred grammar site, both are correct. http://www.canoo.net/inflection/klettern:V:haben:sein

Duden, on the other hand, agrees with me (Perfektbildung mit "sein") https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/klettern

Let's see what other contributors say ... There may be regional differences.


An example on duden uses hat:

er ist/hat an den Seilen geklettert


My gut feeling goes with yours, but in dialect (not high German) you may use "ich habe geklettert" as well. I have heared this once or twice in Baden county, south Germany, where I live.

  • 1261

What is the subtle difference between using gestiegen and geklettert in this example: I am guessing that using gestiegen would imply that you made it to the top?


that's "bestiegen/besteigen". Geklettert sounds like going up off the beaten track, scrambling over rocks and boulders or climbing up a tree while "gestiegen" sounds like using stairs or a track.

There's an old word I've rarely heard in the last decades for staircase (Stiegenhaus), which is called 'Treppenhaus' where I live. I think it is still in use in Bavaria and Austria. I suppose you can see the similarity


Yes, the Austrians say "Stiegenhaus", and "Stiege(n)" for "Treppe(n)" as well. One of those austriacisms they defend tooth and claw against Bundesdeutsch.

And there's "Bergsteigen" = climbing mountains, or hiking on mountains. It's only very rarely used as a verb ("ich bergsteige" - sounds strange to me), you'd commonly say, "ich gehe bergsteigen", or "Bergsteigen ist mein Hobby". "Klettern", as opposed to that, would include using / pulling yourself up by your hands a lot (the way I see it). If you climb Mount Everest or just some friendly mountain in the Alps, it's bergsteigen (if it's really easy, it's bergwandern); if you climb a vertical rock like El Capitan or a tree, it's klettern. There are "Klettersteige" (singular: Klettersteig; "via ferrata") as well, those are routes along (or up) rocks / rocky places where you can't simply hike but have to use ropes for security, iron rungs, ladders etc.

"steigen" implies "making steps to go upwards" (onto a mountain or a roof, up stairs); apart from that, it also means "to rise", e.g. a kite, smoke from a fire, the barometer / air pressure, the risk, the unemployment rate.

  • 1261

Okay, I get it.


I think klettern implies you also use your hands, whereas steigen can be managed by just using your feet. I have seen hiking tour descriptions with the warning that some "klettern" is required.

In der Umgangssprache sind diese Verben austauschbar.

  • 1261

Even the word klettern sounds like scrambling, using hands and feet. Danke euch beiden.


To the first sentence, you can also say: Ich habe einen Berg erklettert.


second is correct: ich bin geklettert


As a native speaker I never ever heard (in my long life ;) ) anybody saying "ich habe geklettert" and I won't say it myself.

Nevertheless I can imagine that perhaps in case of dialect someone could it express like that. I also notice that some expressions are different in various regions and language is remarkable changing.

E.g. nowadays you may here people say: es macht Sinn (= it makes sense), formerly you never could hear this, everybody said: es hat einen Sinn (with the same meaning in English).


Deutsch wird immer mehr anglisiert.



einen Berg ersteigt man, aber nur wenn man den Gipfel erreicht. Sonst bleibt es ein Versuch.

  • 1261

Danke sehr.


Ich bin fuer bin. :-)

  • 1261

gmbla - There has to be a way that you can make umlauts; what OS and/or device do you use? I'll look it up for you.


Thank you for the thought. I use Linux and have given up on the Umlaute a long time ago. But if you are a computer genius you may be able to figure it out.


If you want to change your whole layout, it will depend on what desktop environment you use. If you use Cinnamon do:

Preferences --> keyboard --> Layouts
then click the + symbol to add German

then you can switch between us and de on the panel.

; = ö
' = ä
[ = ü
- = ß

be aware that the placement of all the special characters will change.

It's fine to not use umlaute though...


Thank you, but I use Ubuntu and I was unable to find anything useful there, which does not mean that it is not available, just that I could either not find it or understand it..

  • 1261

gmbla - The first thing you have to do is activate your CONTROL key on the left and turn it into a COMPOSE key. See if you can find out how to do this by looking online. Then you can make umlauts

For OS: Ubuntu 16.04 x86_64

System settings- Keyboard- Shortcuts tab- Typing column- Compose Key

If the value in front of compose key is Disabled, click the value and press the key to bind from the keyboard. Now your system to ready to print all German characters as below:

compose key + " + A = Ä

compose key + " + O = Ö

compose key + " + U = Ü

compose key + " + ss = ß

  • 1261

gmbkla - Do you have Ubuntu 16.04 x86_64 or something else? Also what is your desktop environment?

We'll figure out the easiest way to do it: Viele Wege führen nach Rom.


Yep. 16.04 86 on a Laptop. Ein einziger Weg nach Rom waere gut genug.

  • 1261

gmbkla - Is your keyboard standard American English? I do not know where you are from.


Ja. Du hast richtig geraten.


OMG, Slam RN, that are many hoops to jump through. I copied and saved the result of all your hard work and will try it out when I have a little more time. Right now too many things are going on.

THANK YOU SO MUCH. (Sorry for shouting, but I had to.)

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