German past tense (das Perfekt – the perfect tense)

German verbs that need sein

List of verbs that take sein in Perfekt

The perfect tense ( das Perfekt) is one of the past tenses in German. In spoken conversation, you need to use the perfect tense (Perfekt).

The German Perfekt tense is formed by:

  • the auxiliary verb (Hilfsverb – helping verb) haben or sein
  • the past participle form (Partizip II) of the verb

The verbs haben and sein are an important part of the perfect tense. I know it is sometimes difficult for you to remember when to use sein or haben. Here is a list of German verbs that indicate a movment (Bewegung) or change of state (Zustandsveränderung). Have a look at the list of German verbs that take sein.

1. movement verbs

Sein is used when the action of the verb involves a movement or change of location.

German past tense verbs (das Präteritum)
German past tense verbs (das Perfekt) -

2. Zustandsveränderung (change of state)

Sein is used as a helping verb when the main verb describe a change of state (Zustandveränderung)

German past tense verbs (das Perfekt)

3. other verbs (exceptions)

In addition, there are some exceptions that don’t match the criteria above. Despite not signifying movement or a change of state, the verbs need sein as their auxiliary verb (Hilfsverb).

German past tense verbs (das Perfekt)


Do you want to practice?

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German perfekt words that require sein


If you answered “yes” to one of these questions, you are invited to take an online trial lesson with me (hello, I’m Carina if you don’t know me yet) to help you improve your speaking skills and eliminate grammar mistakes step by step.

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