Monday, April 17, 2017

1900 German Verbs Sorted by Frequency of Use

The full .docx file can be downloaded here:
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For free, of course.

Credits to Wiktionary.

I also turned the first 1000 words of this list into an Anki Deck, which is nice for those who want to memorize them:


(I would normally just paste the whole thing here, but web browsers can't handle big documents. So I put a download link above.) This is a preview:

n. Word
— Example sentences, taken from movie subtitles (due to poor sync, the translations can be off – but everything is grammatically correct)

31a. haben

From Old High German habēn (Akin to Old Saxon hebbian, Old Norse hafa (Swedish hava/ha), Old Frisian habba, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌱𐌰𐌽 ‎(haban), Old English habban), from Proto-Germanic *habjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- ‎(“to grasp”). Cognate with Dutch hebben, English have, Danish have.


haben ‎(irregular, third-person singular simple present hat, past tense hatte, past participle gehabt, past subjunctive hätte, auxiliary haben)
1.          (transitive) to have; to possess, to own
2.          (transitive) to have; to hold, to contain
3.          (auxiliary, with a past participle) to have forms the perfect and past perfect tense
4.          (reflexive, colloquial) to make a fuss
— Wir haben uns verkauft.
— Sie haben bloß Pech.
— Sie sollten 2 haben.
— Was haben die getan?
— -Wir haben denselben !

— Haben Sie keinen Hunger?
— Sie haben Küchenschaben!
— Sie haben uns überredet.
— Wir haben 2 Möglichkeiten:
— Wo haben Sie das gehört?

— [ Yeah. That's what I am. ]
— [ You're just unlucky. ]
— [ You ought to be two. ]
— [ How'd they get you? ]
— [ -We have the same one! ]

— [ Maybe you'll reconsider. ]
— [ I think you got roaches. ]
— [ You talked us into it. ]
— [ We have two possibilities: ]
— [ Where did you hear that? ]

— Dürfen wir ihn haben?
— Haben sie? Wo denn?
— Mehr haben Sie nicht?
— Sie haben wohl Recht.
— Sie sollen sie haben.

— [ May we have it? Please. ]
— [ They did, did they? ]
— [ Is that all you have? ]
— [ Perhaps you're right. ]
— [ They shall have them. ]

76. werden

From Middle High German wërden, from Old High German werdan, from Proto-Germanic *werþaną. Cognate with Dutch worden, Swedish varda, obsolete English verb worth ‎(“to become”) and also with Latin vertere ‎(“to turn”).


werden ‎(irregular, third-person singular simple present wird, past tense wurde, past participle geworden or worden, auxiliary sein)
1.          (auxiliary, with an infinitive, past participle geworden) will; to be going (to do something); forms the future tense
               Ich werde nach Hause gehen.
               I will go home.
2.          (auxiliary, with a past participle, past participle worden) to be done; forms the passive voice
               Das Buch wird gerade gelesen. (present tense)
               The book is being read.
               Er war geschlagen worden. (past perfect tense)
               He had been beaten.
3.          (intransitive, past participle: “geworden”) to become; to get; to grow; to turn
               Es wird heißer.
               It's getting hotter.
— Werden wir abgelöst?
— Er muss verdient werden.
— Gesund sollst du werden.
— Müssen abgegeben werden.
— Sie werden ihn brauchen.

— Soll er Bigamist werden?
— Und wir werden heiraten.
— Was wird aus dir werden?
— Sie werden langsamer.
— Wir werden es finden.

— [ We getting relieved? ]
— [ You're going to earn it. ]
— [ You must get well again. ]
— [ You must give them to me ]
— [ You're going to need it. ]

— [ Should he be a bigamist? ]
— [ And we shall be married. ]
— [ What will become of you? ]
— [ They're slowing down. ]
— [ We're going after it. ]

— Sie werden mich anfassen.
— Und was werden aus Makia?
— Nein, sie werden warten.
— Sie werden es kaum spüren.
— Vielleicht werden wir alt.

— [ They'll want to touch me. ]
— [ What happen to Makia now? ]
— [ No, they'll wait for me. ]
— [ You'll never even feel it. ]
— [ -Maybe we're getting'

95a. sehen

From Old High German sehan, from Proto-Germanic *sehwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- ‎(“to see”). Compare Low German sehn, Dutch zien, English see, Danish se, Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌹𐍈𐌰𐌽 ‎(saiƕan).


sehen ‎(class 5 strong, third-person singular simple present sieht, past tense sah, past participle gesehen, past subjunctive sähe, auxiliary haben)
1.          (intransitive) to see; to look; to have sight
               auf etwas sehen — “to look at something”
               nach etwas sehen — “to look for something”
2.          (intransitive, with “nach ...”) to take care (of something or someone); to make (something) happen; to see (to something); to look (after someone)
3.          (transitive) to see (something); to view; to watch; to observe; to look at  [quotations ▼]
            2016, Selma Lagerlöf, Mathilde Mann (translator), Karl-Maria Guth (editor), Jerusalem. Erster und zweiter Teil, Sammlung Hofenberg im Verlag der Contumax GmbH, Berlin, page 225:
               Sahest du nicht den Patriarchen der Armenier ebenso wie den der Griechen und der Assyrer ihre Throne hier errichten? Und sahest du nicht Kopten aus dem alten Ägypten und Abessinier aus dem Herzen Afrikas kommen? Du sahest Jerusalem wieder aufgebaut, eine Stadt von Kirchen und Klöstern, von Gasthäusern und frommen Stiftungen.
4.          (transitive) to notice; to perceive; to realize
5.          (reflexive with a plural subject or transitive) to meet; to go to see

Usage notes

Sehen can be used in a so-called ""accusative with infinitive"" construction (as in English): Ich sah ihn arbeiten. – “I saw him work.” If such a sentence is in the perfect or pluperfect tense, the infinitive usually replaces the past participle: Ich hatte ihn arbeiten sehen. – “I had seen him work.” The use of the past participle instead does occur in some speakers, but is ungrammatical to many others.
— Sicher, sehen Sie.
— Aber sehen Sie's mal so.
— Lass uns auch was sehen!
— Sehen wir uns dann noch?
— Wir sehen später weiter.

— Ich möchte sie sehen.
— Ich wollte Sie sehen.
— Wir sehen uns später.
— -Sie sehen reizend aus!
— Sehen, hören, lernen.

— [ Sure. Take a look. ]
— [ But look at it this way. ]
— [ Let us have a look, too! ]
— [ Will I see you any more? ]
— [ We'll investigate later. ]

— [ I'd like to see her. ]
— [ I wanted to see you. ]
— [ We'll see you later. ]
— [ You're okay as you are. ]
— [ Watch, listen, learn. ]

— Sehen wir sie uns mal an!
— Sehen oder aussteigen?
— Sehen Sie ein Porträt?
— Darf ich das mal sehen?
— Da würde euch keiner sehen.

— [ Let's have a look at her. ]
— [ Will you call or fold? ]
— [ Do you see a portrait? ]
— [ Excuse me, do you mind? ]
— [ Nobody would see you there. ]

96a. sagen

From Old High German sagēn, from Proto-Germanic *sagjaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ-. Compare Low German seggen, Dutch zeggen, English say, Danish sige, Swedish säga.


sagen ‎(third-person singular simple present sagt, past tense sagte, past participle gesagt, auxiliary haben)
1.          (transitive or intransitive) to say; to tell  [quotations ▼]
            1931, Arthur Schnitzler, Flucht in die Finsternis, S. Fischer Verlag, page 105:
               Sie schwiegen lange. Als er endlich etwas sagen wollte, wehrte sie leise ab. „Heute nichts mehr, ich bitte dich darum“
               They were silent for a long time. When he finally wanted to say something, she softly refused. „Nothing more today, I beg you for that“

Usage notes

In those inflected forms in which the stem sag- is not followed by a vowel, it is often pronounced: /zax/. This is due to dialectal influence and common throughout northern and central Germany. See the entries sag, sagst, sagt, sagte, sagtest, sagten, sagtet, and gesagt.
— Sagen Sie das nicht.
— Warum sagen Sie das?
— Er hat dir was zu sagen.
— Ich möchte es ihm sagen.
— Warum sagen Sie's nicht?

— Darf ich etwas sagen?
— Die sagen schnell ja.
— Sie sagen es, Boss.
— Was würde Tony sagen?
— Ich sollte also Ja sagen.

— [ Don't call me that. ]
— [ Why must you say that? ]
— [ He wants to talk to you. ]
— [ John, let me tell him. ]
— [ This is hardly the time. ]

— [ May I say something? ]
— [ They are easily led. ]
— [ You said it, boss. ]
— [ What would Tony say? ]
— [ Suppose l better say yes. ]

— Ich will ihm alles sagen.
— Können Sie auch Ja sagen?
— Sagen Sie, Leech...
— Sagen Sie, Pa...
— Das würde ich nicht sagen.

— [ I'll tell him everything. ]
— [ Can you also say 'Yes'? ]
— [ Now tell me, Leech. ]
— [ Say, Pa? -Yeah? ]
— [ I wouldn't say that, Buck. ]

98a. gehen

From Old High German gān, gēn, from Proto-Germanic *gāną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeh₁- ‎(“to leave”). Cognate with Dutch gaan, Low German gan, gahn, English go, Swedish and Danish . The form gēn instead of gān is of Bavarian origin, but many dialects of Central and Low German have -e- (from earlier -ei-) in the 2nd and 3rd person singular present, in keeping with the Proto-Germanic irregular conjugation. The -h- was introduced into the spelling by analogy with sehen, in which it had become mute but was retained in spelling.


gehen ‎(class 7 strong, third-person singular simple present geht, past tense ging, past participle gegangen, past subjunctive ginge, auxiliary sein)
1.          (intransitive) to go, to walk
2.          (transitive) to walk (some distance); to go (some distance) by foot
3.          (intransitive) to leave
               Ich gehe jetzt.‎ ― I’m leaving now.
4.          (intransitive) to leave, to take off (airplane, train)
               Wann geht dein Zug? − When is your train leaving?
5.          (impersonal, intransitive) to be going; to be alright; indicates how the dative object fares
               Wie geht es dir?‎ ― How are you doing?
               Es geht mir gut.‎ ― I’m doing well. (Literally, “It goes well for me.”)
               Es geht.‎ ― It’s alright.
6.          (colloquial, intransitive) to be possible
               Das würde vielleicht gehen.‎ ― That might be possible.
7.          (colloquial, intransitive) to work, to function (of a machine, method or the like)  [quotations ▼]
               Der Kaffeeautomat geht nicht.‎ ― The coffee dispenser doesn't work.
            2014, Der Spiegel, issue 21/2014, page 62:
               Aber erst in Beirut lernte sie, wie professionelles Kochen geht, die Logistik, das Timing, die Organisation, um mehrere Hundert Mahlzeiten zuzubereiten.
               But not until Beirut she learned how professional cooking works, the logistics, the timing, the organization for preparing several hundred meals.
8.          (colloquial, intransitive) to be in progress; to last
               Die Sitzung geht bis ein Uhr.‎ ― The session is scheduled until one o’clock.
9.          (regional or dated, impersonal, intransitive, with “auf” followed by a time) to approach; to be going (on some one)
               Es geht auf 8 Uhr.‎ ― It’s going on 8 o’clock.

Usage notes

Unlike English to go, German gehen does not mean ""to travel somewhere"" in general. A distinction must be made between gehen (walk), fahren (go by bike, car, train, or ship), and fliegen (go by plane). If used with a place one cannot or would not commonly walk to, gehen often implies that one intends to stay there permanently, e.g.: Ich gehe nach New York. – I'm going to live in New York.
— Gehen wir zu Stevie.
— Wir gehen nirgendwo hin.
— Gehen Sie nach vorne.
— Vielleicht gehen wir.
— Gehen Sie bitte beiseite.

— Lhr solltet zu Fuß gehen!
— Wie lange soll das gehen?
— Wir gehen besser an Land.
— Dann gehen wir tanzen.
— Du darfst jetzt gehen.

— [ Let's go see Stevie. ]
— [ We ain't goin' no place. ]
— [ Take the front wheel. ]
— [ So maybe we could go. ]
— [ If you'll all stand back. ]

— [ I ought to make you walk. ]
— [ How long will this go on? ]
— [ I think we'd better land. ]
— [ Then let's go dancing. ]
— [ You may go now, Rhoda. ]

— Doktor, gehen Sie nicht.
— Jetzt gehen wir zur Herde.
— Los, Jungs. Gehen wir.
— Warum gehen Sie rückwärts?
— Wenn Sie nach Hause gehen.

— [ Doctor, please don't go. ]
— [ Now let's go to the herds. ]
— [ Let's get out of here. ]
— [ Why do you walk backwards? ]
— [ Especially if you go home. ]

102. machen

From Middle High German, from Old High German mahhōn, from Proto-Germanic *makōną; akin to Low German maken, Dutch maken, English make, West Frisian meitsje. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *mag- ‎(“to knead, mix, make”).


machen ‎(third-person singular simple present macht, past tense machte, past participle gemacht, auxiliary haben)
1.          (transitive) to make; to produce; to create an object, arrangement, situation etc.
               Ich hab dir einen Kuchen gemacht! — I have made you a pie!
               Du hast einen Fehler gemacht. - You made a mistake.
2.          (transitive) to take (a photo)
3.          (transitive) to prepare (e.g. food, drinks)
               Machst du heute das Essen?Will you prepare dinner today?
               sich eine Pizza machen — to heat up or make a pizza for oneself
4.          (transitive, informal) to do (to perform an action)
               Mach es!Do it!
               Das hat er ganz allein gemacht! — He has done that all by himself!
5.          (transitive, colloquial) to matter (only impersonally)
               Das macht nichts! — That doesn't matter!
6.          (transitive, informal, colloquial) to come to; to total; to cost (prizes)
               Wie viel macht das? — How much does that come to?
7.          (transitive, informal, colloquial) to earn; to receive or create profit
               Der Herr Müller ist echt reich; der macht mehr als 5000 im Monat. — Mr Müller is quite rich; he makes more than 5000 bucks per month.

Usage notes

Unlike English, the verb machen (make) is used as a synonym for tun (do) in most cases. However, tun cannot be used for the proper senses of machen.
— Lass es mich machen.
— Was machen die denn?
— Was soll ich machen?
— Keine Dummheiten machen.
— Sie machen einen Fehler.

— Und das machen wir auch.
— Und keine Sorgen machen!
— Wir machen ein Picknick!
— Machen Sie ein Feuerwerk?
— Was machen Sie beruflich?

— [ Let me handle this. ]
— [ What are they doing? ]
— [ Mm, I can't help that. ]
— [ Don't be silly. Stop it. ]
— [ You're making a mistake. ]

— [ We're gonna take a trip. ]
— [ And please, don't worry. ]
— [ We're going on a picnic! ]
— [ Are you having fireworks? ]
— [ What have you been doing? ]

— Was machen sie mit ihnen?
— Was soll ich denn machen?
— Das machen wir später.
— Es könnte Spaß machen.
— Das machen die doch sonst.

— [ What do they do with 'em? ]
— [ What am I supposed to do? ]
— [ We'll move them later. ]
— [ I think it might be fun. ]
— [ Yeah, that's what they do.