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Helping Verbs in German

Hello everyone,

What exactly is a 'helping verb' in German? I've heard that "helfen" and "sein" are helping verbs. Are only those two examples 'helping verbs'? Or are there other 'helping verbs' besides just those two?

(You may comment in German if you want!)

Thank you! AP4418

May 24, 2018



Do you mean Hilfsverben?

I'm not sure that "helfen" is one, but "sein" definitely is along with "haben" and "werden". Apparently "tun" is one EDIT: colloquially in certain dialects such as Bavarian.

In English we call them auxiliary verbs. They are used to "help" verbs in the tenses Perfekt, Plusquamperfekt (past continuous), and Futur.

Er ist verzaubert gewesen. = He was enchanted. (Perfekt)

Ich hatte gespielt. = I had played. (Plusquamperfekt)

Morgen wird Marion gegen 16:30 Uhr eintreffen. = Marion will arrive at 4:30PM tomorrow. (Futur I)


Thank you my most delicious DonutEggRole! That was useful!


"sein", "haben" und "werden" sind Hilfsverben. Sie helfen bei der Bildung des Perfekts (ich habe gelesen/ich bin gelaufen), des Plusquamperfekts (ich hatte gelesen/ich war gegangen), des Futurs (ich werde lesen) und des Passivs (das Buch wird gelesen). - "Tun", by the way, is not considered a Hilfsverb. In fact, you should stay away from "tun" constructions (e.g. ich tue lesen). Little kids use it, adults should have outgrown it ;-)


Thanks Meike! That is good.

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