Whether you want to tell people about your family constellation or how many pets you own, you most likely won’t be able to accomplish that without using the German verb “haben” (to have). But apart from these situations, the word “haben” is used for so much more: it additionally serves as a “helper verb” for conjugations of other verbs in certain tenses, such as “Ich habe gesehen” (“I have seen”).
This blog post will give you a complete insight into the conjugation of the German verb “haben”— let’s have a look!
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Present Tense (Präsenz)
|ich habe||I have|
|du hast||you have|
|er/sie/es hat||he/she/it has|
|wir haben||we have|
|ihr habt||you have
(as in: you guys have)
|sie haben||they have|
Es hat so stark geregnet, dass die Straße überflutete. — It rained so hard that the road got flooded.
Ich habe drei Katzen und einen Hund. — I have three cats and a dog.
Wir haben uns auf dem Rückweg verfahren. — We got lost on our drive back.
Sie hat drei ältere Brüder. — She has three older brothers.
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Simple Past Tense (Imperfekt)
|ich hatte||I had|
|du hattest||you had|
|er/sie/es hatte||he/she/it had|
|wir hatten||we had|
|ihr hattet||you had
(as in: you guys had)
|sie hatten||they had|
Wir hatten riesiges Glück, dass wir unseren Flug nicht verpasst haben. — We had been really lucky not to have missed our flight.
Ich hatte sie am Freitag gesehen. — I had seen her on Friday.
Hattest du den Film nicht schon gesehen? — Hadn’t you already seen the movie?
Sie hatten sich für fünf Uhr am Nachmittag verabredet. — They had agreed to meet up at five o’clock in the afternoon.
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Present Perfect Tense (Perfekt)
The present perfect (Perfekt) or compound perfect tense combines two “versions” of the verb “haben”. First, the verb “haben” is conjugated in the present tense (ich habe, du hast, er/sie/es hat, etc.), followed by “gehabt” – the “basic” third-person form of the verb “haben” with the added prefix “ge”.
This “doubling” of the verb “haben” can be a bit tricky at first, but from the table below you can see it is actually not that difficult.
|ich habe gehabt||I had/have had|
|du hast gehabt||you had/have had|
|er/sie/es hat gehabt||he, she, it had/has had|
|wir haben gehabt||we had/have had|
|ihr habt gehabt||you had/have had
(as in: you guys had/have had)
|sie haben gehabt||they had/have had|
Sie haben großes Glück gehabt. — They had been very lucky.
Ich habe gerade eben einen Unfall gehabt. — I have just had an accident.
Er hat als Kind einen Hund gehabt. — As a child, he has had a dog.
Sie hat bis Freitag Urlaub gehabt. — She has had time off work until Friday.
Just like with other verbs, the present perfect tense of the verb “haben” is not used very often in spoken language, since a lot of people replace it with the past perfect tense (Plusquamperfekt) instead.
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Past Perfect Tense (Plusquamperfekt)
Just like with the present perfect tense, the past perfect tense conjugation is constructed out of two components of the verb “haben”. In this case, it is the simple past tense of the verb “haben” (such as hatte) followed by the third-person form of “haben” with an added prefix: gehabt.
|ich hatte gehabt||I had had|
|du hattest gehabt||you had had|
|er/sie/es hatte gehabt||he/she/it had had|
|wir hatten gehabt||we had had|
|ihr hattet gehabt||you had had
(as in: you guys had had)
|sie hatten gehabt||they had had|
Ihr hattet Glück gehabt, dass euch nichts passiert ist! — You guys had had such luck that nothing happened to you!
Wir hatten uns für Mittwoch verabredet gehabt, aber er ist nicht aufgetaucht. — We had agreed to meet on Wednesday, but he didn’t show up.
Sie hatten eine Reise nach Frankreich geplant gehabt. — They had planned a vacation in France.
Ich hatte noch eine Karte für das Konzert übrig gehabt. — I had had a leftover ticket for the concert.
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Future Tense (Futur)
In the future tense conjugation of the verb “haben”, just as with any other verb in the future tense, the helper verb “werden” (to become) is used together with the infinitive form of the verb “haben”.
|ich werde haben||I will have|
|du wirst haben||you will have|
|er/sie/es wird haben||he/she/it will have|
|wir werden haben||we will have|
|ihr werdet haben||you will have
(as in: you guys will have)
|sie werden haben||they will have|
Mein Gehalt kommt am Freitag, dann werde ich wieder mehr Geld haben. — I’m getting paid on Friday, then I will have more money again.
Sie wird am Montag Urlaub haben. — She will have time off on Monday.
Wir werden in einer halben Stunde Zeit haben, das zu besprechen. — We will have time to talk about that in half an hour.
Ihr werdet noch ein Weilchen Zeit haben, bis ihr zum Flughafen fahren müsst. — You guys will have a little time before you have to drive to the airport.
The Conjugation of the Verb “Haben” – Future Perfect (Futur II)
Just like with other verbs in the future perfect (or Futur II), this tense is used to describe events that will take place in the future, but will have already been finalized at the point when you are talking about them.
For the verb “haben” this means that the helper verb “werden” (to become) is used here as well, along with two forms of the actual verb “haben”: one comes with the prefix ge—, the other one is the actual verb “haben”.
This “doubling” of the verb “haben” in different forms might sound confusing at first, but with this table below conjugating the verb “haben” in the future perfect tense, it will all be a breeze!
|ich werde gehabt haben||I will have had|
|du wirst gehabt haben||you will have had|
|er/sie/es wird gehabt haben||he/she/it will have had|
|wir werden gehabt haben||we will have had|
|ihr werdet gehabt haben||you will have had
(as in: you guys will have had)
|sie werden gehabt haben||they will have had|
Sie werden mit dieser Idee sicherlich kein Glück gehabt haben. — They certainly won’t have had any luck with this idea.
Du wirst bestimmt eine Menge Spaß gehabt haben. — You surely will have had a lot of fun.
Ich werde bis dahin schon Urlaub gehabt haben. — I will have already had (or taken) my vacation by that point.
Here, it is important to note that the Futur II (or future perfect tense) is rarely used since its composition is rather intricate (the conjugated verb also tends to become extremely long).
I hope I was able to give you a good overview of the conjugation of the verb “haben”! While conjugating German verbs can be a bit tedious on occasion, I’m sure you will have this one down in no time.
Until next time and viel Erfolg!
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