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I want to know what is the relation between the two terms "Stem-Changing Verbs" and "Strong Verbs".

Form what I understand there is a group of verbs that I called "Stem-Changing Verbs" which change their stem in the du and er/sie/es froms in the present tense. b.Z:

  • schlafen -> er schläft
  • lesen -> er liest

The only patterns for this verbs are:

  • a -> ä
  • e -> i
  • e -> ie

On the other hands, there are "strong verbs" which are divided into these nice ablaut classes that describe the changes which the main vowel of the verb undergoes in the preterite and past participle forms (but not about the change in the present tense)

My questions are:

  1. Is what I have written so far correct?
  2. Is every "Stem-Changing Verbs" also a "Strong Verb"?
  3. If so, can I know from an ablaut class what change will the vowel go through in the present tense?
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1  
question 1: yes, it's correct. Question 2: I imagine so, but I have no source hence the lack of a real answer Question 3: this, I find confusing. What is there to know? The vowel in present tense can only do one thing - go up a notch. Just as you've written, a becomes ä and e becomes i/ie. There is no other possibility.... with the modal verbs excluded of course but they should be looked at as its own small bunch –  Emanuel Mar 28 '13 at 9:48
    
Interesting point: Compare “hechten” with “fechten”. It feels strange to many Germans that the 2nd and 3rd person singular in the present tense are actually “fichtst” and “ficht”. Here, again, a stem changing verb coincides with a strong verb (“focht”, “gefochten”) in direct comparison to a non-stem-changing non-strong verb which sounds pretty much the same. –  k.stm Mar 28 '13 at 22:45
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've just started working on a Ruby script to analyze the subtypes (and however-many-sub-subtypes) of strong verb patterns, exhaustively.

It's pretty kludgey still, but I figured it might be worth sharing. I'll post the output here, then the script code itself.

The format of the output is, I think, pretty obvious. For verbs that get a stem vowel change for "du/er" in the present indicative, the I, IE, or UM in the rightmost column.

Anyway, here is the output file:

|
|         ei                  i               i
|     leiden               litt        gelitten
|  schneiden            schnitt     geschnitten
|    pfeifen              pfiff       gepfiffen
|  schleifen            schliff     geschliffen
|    kneifen              kniff       gekniffen
|    greifen              griff       gegriffen
|   bleichen              blich       geblichen
|   gleichen              glich       geglichen
| schleichen            schlich     geschlichen
|  streichen             strich      gestrichen
|    weichen               wich        gewichen
|    gleiten              glitt       geglitten
|     reiten               ritt        geritten
|  schreiten            schritt     geschritten
|   streiten             stritt      gestritten
|     beißen               biss        gebissen
|   scheißen             schiss      geschissen
|  befleißen            befliss       beflissen
|  schleißen            schliss     geschlissen
|   spleißen             spliss      gesplissen
|  schmeißen            schmiss     geschmissen
|     reißen               riss        gerissen
|
|         ei                 ie              ie
|    bleiben              blieb       geblieben
|     reiben               rieb        gerieben
|  schreiben            schrieb     geschrieben
|    treiben              trieb       getrieben
|   scheiden             schied      geschieden
|     meiden               mied        gemieden
|    steigen              stieg       gestiegen
|  schweigen            schwieg     geschwiegen
|   gedeihen             gedieh        gediehen
|     leihen               lieh        geliehen
|     zeihen               zieh        geziehen
|     speien               spie         gespien
|   schreien             schrie       geschrien
|   scheinen             schien      geschienen
|    preisen              pries       gepriesen
|     weisen               wies        gewiesen
|
|          i                  a               u
|     binden               band        gebunden
|     finden               fand        gefunden
|  empfinden            empfand       empfunden
|     winden               wand        gewunden
|  schwinden            schwand     geschwunden
|     dingen               dang        gedungen
|   gelingen             gelang        gelungen
|  schlingen            schlang     geschlungen
|    klingen              klang       geklungen
| misslingen           misslang      misslungen
|     ringen               rang        gerungen
|    dringen              drang       gedrungen
|   springen             sprang      gesprungen
|    wringen              wrang       gewrungen
|     singen               sang        gesungen
|  schwingen            schwang     geschwungen
|    trinken              trank       getrunken
|     sinken               sank        gesunken
|    stinken              stank       gestunken
|
|         ie                  o               o
|     sieden               sott        gesotten
|    riechen               roch        gerochen
|   kriechen              kroch       gekrochen
|     gießen               goss        gegossen
|   schießen             schoss      geschossen
|    fließen              floss       geflossen
|  schließen            schloss     geschlossen
|   genießen             genoss        genossen
| verdrießen           verdross      verdrossen
|   sprießen             spross      gesprossen
|
|         ie                 o-              o-
|   schieben              schob       geschoben
|    stieben               stob        gestoben
|     biegen                bog         gebogen
|    fliegen               flog        geflogen
|     wiegen                wog         gewogen
|    fliehen               floh        geflohen
|     ziehen                zog         gezogen
|  verlieren             verlor        verloren
|    frieren               fror        gefroren
|     bieten                bot         geboten
|
|          e                  a               o
|  verderben            verdarb       verdorben               I
|    sterben              starb       gestorben               I
|     werben               warb        geworben               I
|     helfen               half        geholfen               I
|     werfen               warf        geworfen               I
|     bergen               barg        geborgen               I
|     gelten               galt        gegolten               I
|   schelten             schalt      gescholten               I
|    bersten              barst       geborsten               I
|
|          e                 a-               o
|    treffen               traf       getroffen               I
|    brechen              brach       gebrochen               I
|   sprechen             sprach      gesprochen               I
|    stechen              stach       gestochen               I
|  schrecken             schrak     geschrocken               I
|erschrecken           erschrak     erschrocken               I
|
|          e                  o               o
|   dreschen             drosch      gedroschen               I
|     melken               molk        gemolken               I
|    quellen              quoll       gequollen               I
|  schwellen            schwoll     geschwollen               I
|    fechten              focht       gefochten               I
|   flechten             flocht      geflochten               I
|  schmelzen            schmolz     geschmolzen               I
|
|         e-                 o-              o-
|      heben                hob         gehoben
|      weben                wob         gewoben
|    pflegen              pflog       gepflogen
|    bewegen              bewog         bewogen
|    scheren              schor       geschoren
|
|          i                  a               o
|  schwimmen            schwamm     geschwommen
|   beginnen             begann        begonnen
|    spinnen              spann       gesponnen
|     rinnen               rann        geronnen
|     sinnen               sann        gesonnen
|   gewinnen             gewann        gewonnen
|
|         e-                 a-              e-
|      geben                gab         gegeben               I
|  geschehen            geschah       geschehen              IE
|      sehen                sah         gesehen              IE
|      lesen                las         gelesen              IE
|    genesen              genas         genesen
|     treten               trat        getreten               I
|
|          e                 a-               e
|      essen                 aß        gegessen               I
|  vergessen             vergaß       vergessen               I
|     messen                maß        gemessen               I
|    fressen               fraß       gefressen               I
|
|         a-                 u-              a-
|     graben               grub        gegraben              UM
|      laden                lud         geladen              UM
|   schlagen             schlug      geschlagen              UM
|     tragen               trug        getragen              UM
|     fahren               fuhr        gefahren              UM
|
|          a                 u-               a
|   schaffen              schuf      geschaffen
|    waschen              wusch       gewaschen              UM
|     backen                buk        gebacken              UM
|    wachsen              wuchs       gewachsen              UM
|
|         a-                 ie              a-
|   schlafen            schlief      geschlafen              UM
|     blasen              blies        geblasen              UM
|      raten               riet         geraten              UM
|     braten              briet        gebraten              UM
|
|         o-                 ie              o-
|     stoßen              stieß        gestoßen              UM
|
|          a                 ie               a
|     fallen               fiel        gefallen              UM
|     lassen               ließ        gelassen              UM
|     halten              hielt        gehalten              UM
|
|         e-                 a-              o-
|   befehlen             befahl        befohlen              IE
|  empfehlen            empfahl       empfohlen              IE
|    stehlen              stahl       gestohlen              IE
|
|         e-                 a-               o
|     nehmen               nahm        genommen               I
|
|         ü-                 o-              o-
|      lügen                log         gelogen
|     trügen               trog        getrogen
|      küren                kor         gekoren
|
|         ä-                 o-              o-
|      wägen                wog         gewogen
|      gären                gor         gegoren
|
|         ä-                 a-              o-
|    gebären              gebar         geboren              IE
|
|          ö                  o               o
|  erlöschen            erlosch       erloschen               I
|
|          i                  o               o
|    glimmen              glomm       geglommen
|    klimmen              klomm       geklommen
|
|         au                 ie              au
|     laufen               lief        gelaufen              UM
|      hauen               hieb         gehauen
|
|         au                  o               o
|     saufen               soff        gesoffen              UM
|
|          a                  i               a
|     fangen               fing        gefangen              UM
|  empfangen            empfing       empfangen              UM
|
|         a-                 a-              a-
|     mahlen             mahlte        gemahlen
|    spalten           spaltete       gespalten
|     salzen             salzte        gesalzen
|

Some notes:

  1. There are only two strong verbs that really break the infinitive → preterite stem pattern of OVCen → OWC (where V is the infinitive stem's vowel, W the preterite's, C the consonant right after it the vowel, and O everything before that). They are: ziehen–zog and hauen–hieb.

    All the other ones that break the pattern are just spelling tweaks to deal with changes in vowel length, and are completely regular and easily predictable. (E.g., when the long ei in beißen changes to the short i in biss, the consonant's got to change to show that, etc.)

  2. e->i, e->ie, and um pattern verbs seem to be entirely within the set of strong verbs.

  3. I know there are some irregular strong preterite subjunctives (the normal pattern is just to umlaut if the preterite vowel is [auo], then add the same ending as the regular present subjunctive). E.g., ich trinke, ich trank, ich tränke, but ich schwöre, ich schwor, ich schwüre.

    But I haven't added those in yet.

Anyway, here's the script itself:

# encoding: utf-8


=begin 
Some notes:

There are only two strong verbs that really break the OVC -> OWC pattern:
"ziehen", "zog"
"hauen", "hieb"

[ei, eie, um] seem to be entirely within the set of strong verbs.

I know there are irregular strong CII's. Prolly may as well grab those later.

Obvs need to reformat the hash, and integrate the info from the ei, eie, and um arrays...

=end

ei = [
    "bergen",
  "bersten", #verbix
    "brechen",
    "dreschen",
    "essen",
    "erschrecken",
    "fechten",
    "flechten",
    "fressen",
    "geben",
    "gelten",
    "helfen",
    "melken",
    "messen",
    "nehmen",
    "quellen",
    "schelten", #verbix
  "schmelzen",
  "schrecken", #verbix thinks it's *totally regular*. Others say it should indeed be in this array http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-schrecken.html
    "schwellen",
    "sprechen",
    "stechen",
    "sterben",
    "treffen",
    "treten",
    "verderben",
    "vergessen",
    "werben",
    # "werden", # A tiny bit odd. Prolly easier, instructionally, to just treat it as its own thing, not part of this pattern.
  "werfen",
    "erlöschen"

]

eie = [
    "befehlen",
    "empfehlen",
    "geschehen",
    "lesen",
    "sehen",
    "stehlen",
    "gebären"
]

um = [
    "backen",
  "blasen",
    "braten",
    "empfangen",
    "fahren",
    "fallen",
    "fangen",
    "graben",
    "halten",
    "laden",
    "lassen",
    "laufen",
    "raten",
    "saufen",  
    "schlafen",
    "schlagen",
    "stoßen",
    "tragen",
    "wachsen",
    "waschen"
]

ablauts = {
    ["ei", "i", "i"] => [

        ["befleißen", "befliss", "beflissen"],
        ["beißen", "biss", "gebissen"],
        ["bleichen", "blich", "geblichen"],
        ["gleichen", "glich", "geglichen"],
        ["gleiten", "glitt", "geglitten"],
        ["greifen", "griff", "gegriffen"],
        ["kneifen", "kniff", "gekniffen"],
        ["leiden", "litt", "gelitten"],
        ["pfeifen", "pfiff", "gepfiffen"],
        ["reiten", "ritt", "geritten"],
        ["reißen", "riss", "gerissen"],
        ["scheißen", "schiss", "geschissen"],
        ["schleichen", "schlich", "geschlichen"],
        ["schleifen", "schliff", "geschliffen"],
        ["schleißen", "schliss", "geschlissen"],
        ["schmeißen", "schmiss", "geschmissen"], 
        ["schneiden", "schnitt", "geschnitten"],
        ["schreiten", "schritt", "geschritten"],
        ["spleißen", "spliss", "gesplissen"],
        ["streichen", "strich", "gestrichen"],
        ["streiten", "stritt", "gestritten"],
        ["weichen", "wich", "gewichen"]

    ],

    ["ei", "ie", "ie"] => [

        ["bleiben", "blieb", "geblieben"],
        ["gedeihen", "gedieh", "gediehen"],
        ["leihen", "lieh", "geliehen"],
        ["meiden", "mied", "gemieden"],
        ["preisen", "pries", "gepriesen"],
        ["reiben", "rieb", "gerieben"],
        ["scheiden", "schied", "geschieden"],
        ["scheinen", "schien", "geschienen"],
        ["schreiben", "schrieb", "geschrieben"],
        ["schreien", "schrie", "geschrien"],
        ["schweigen", "schwieg", "geschwiegen"], 
        ["speien", "spie", "gespien"],
        ["steigen", "stieg", "gestiegen"],
        ["treiben", "trieb", "getrieben"],
        ["weisen", "wies", "gewiesen"],
        ["zeihen", "zieh", "geziehen"]

    ],

    ["i", "a", "u"] => [

        ["binden", "band", "gebunden"],
        ["dingen", "dang", "gedungen"],
        ["dringen", "drang", "gedrungen"],
        ["empfinden", "empfand", "empfunden"],
        ["finden", "fand", "gefunden"],
        ["gelingen", "gelang", "gelungen"],
        ["klingen", "klang", "geklungen"],
        ["misslingen", "misslang", "misslungen"],
        ["ringen", "rang", "gerungen"],
        ["schlingen", "schlang", "geschlungen"],
        ["schwinden", "schwand", "geschwunden"],
        ["schwingen", "schwang", "geschwungen"], 
        ["singen", "sang", "gesungen"],
        ["sinken", "sank", "gesunken"],
        ["springen", "sprang", "gesprungen"],
        ["stinken", "stank", "gestunken"],
        ["trinken", "trank", "getrunken"],
        ["winden", "wand", "gewunden"],
        ["wringen", "wrang", "gewrungen"]

    ],

    ["ie", "o", "o"] => [

        ["fließen", "floss", "geflossen"],
        ["genießen", "genoss", "genossen"],
        ["gießen", "goss", "gegossen"],
        ["kriechen", "kroch", "gekrochen"],
        ["riechen", "roch", "gerochen"],
        ["schießen", "schoss", "geschossen"],
        ["schließen", "schloss", "geschlossen"], 
        ["sieden", "sott", "gesotten"],
        ["sprießen", "spross", "gesprossen"],
        ["verdrießen", "verdross", "verdrossen"]

    ],

    ["ie", "o-", "o-"] => [

        ["biegen", "bog", "gebogen"],
        ["bieten", "bot", "geboten"],
        ["fliegen", "flog", "geflogen"],
        ["fliehen", "floh", "geflohen"],
        ["frieren", "fror", "gefroren"],
        ["schieben", "schob", "geschoben"], 
        ["stieben", "stob", "gestoben"],
        ["verlieren", "verlor", "verloren"],
        ["wiegen", "wog", "gewogen"],
        ["ziehen", "zog", "gezogen"]

    ],

    ["e", "a", "o"] => [

        ["bergen", "barg", "geborgen"],
        ["bersten", "barst", "geborsten"],
        ["gelten", "galt", "gegolten"],
        ["helfen", "half", "geholfen"],
        ["schelten", "schalt", "gescholten"], 
        ["sterben", "starb", "gestorben"],
        ["verderben", "verdarb", "verdorben"],
        ["werben", "warb", "geworben"],
        ["werfen", "warf", "geworfen"]

    ],

    ["e", "a-", "o"] => [

        ["brechen", "brach", "gebrochen"],
        ["schrecken", "schrak", "geschrocken"],
    ["erschrecken", "erschrak", "erschrocken"], # right?
        ["sprechen", "sprach", "gesprochen"],
        ["stechen", "stach", "gestochen"],
        ["treffen", "traf", "getroffen"]

    ],

    ["e", "o", "o"] => [

        ["dreschen", "drosch", "gedroschen"],
        ["fechten", "focht", "gefochten"],
        ["flechten", "flocht", "geflochten"],
        ["melken", "molk", "gemolken"],
        ["quellen", "quoll", "gequollen"],
        ["schmelzen", "schmolz", "geschmolzen"], 
        ["schwellen", "schwoll", "geschwollen"]

    ],

    ["e-", "o-", "o-"] => [

        ["bewegen", "bewog", "bewogen"],
        ["heben", "hob", "gehoben"],
        ["pflegen", "pflog", "gepflogen"],
        ["scheren", "schor", "geschoren"],
        ["weben", "wob", "gewoben"]

    ],

    ["i", "a", "o"] => [

        ["beginnen", "begann", "begonnen"],
        ["gewinnen", "gewann", "gewonnen"],
        ["rinnen", "rann", "geronnen"],
        ["schwimmen", "schwamm", "geschwommen"],
        ["sinnen", "sann", "gesonnen"],
        ["spinnen", "spann", "gesponnen"]

    ],

    ["e-", "a-", "e-"] => [

        ["geben", "gab", "gegeben"],
        ["genesen", "genas", "genesen"],
        ["geschehen", "geschah", "geschehen"],
        ["lesen", "las", "gelesen"],
        ["sehen", "sah", "gesehen"],
        ["treten", "trat", "getreten"]

    ],

    ["e", "a-", "e"] => [

        ["essen", "aß", "gegessen"],
        ["fressen", "fraß", "gefressen"],
        ["messen", "maß", "gemessen"],
        ["vergessen", "vergaß", "vergessen"]

    ],

    ["a-", "u-", "a-"] => [

        ["fahren", "fuhr", "gefahren"],
        ["graben", "grub", "gegraben"],
        ["laden", "lud", "geladen"],
        ["schlagen", "schlug", "geschlagen"],
        ["tragen", "trug", "getragen"]

    ],

    ["a", "u-", "a"] => [

        ["backen", "buk", "gebacken"],
        ["schaffen", "schuf", "geschaffen"],
        ["wachsen", "wuchs", "gewachsen"],
        ["waschen", "wusch", "gewaschen"]

    ],

    ["a-", "ie", "a-"] => [

        ["blasen", "blies", "geblasen"],
        ["braten", "briet", "gebraten"],
        ["raten", "riet", "geraten"],
        ["schlafen", "schlief", "geschlafen"]

    ],

  ["o-", "ie", "o-"] => [ # right?

    ["stoßen", "stieß", "gestoßen"]

  ],

    ["a", "ie", "a"] => [

        ["fallen", "fiel", "gefallen"],
        ["halten", "hielt", "gehalten"],
        ["lassen", "ließ", "gelassen"]

    ],

    ["e-", "a-", "o-"] => [

        ["befehlen", "befahl", "befohlen"],
        ["empfehlen", "empfahl", "empfohlen"],
        ["stehlen", "stahl", "gestohlen"]

    ],

    ["e-", "a-", "o"] => [ # right?

    ["nehmen", "nahm", "genommen"]

    ],  

    ["ü-", "o-", "o-"] => [

        ["küren", "kor", "gekoren"],
        ["lügen", "log", "gelogen"],
        ["trügen", "trog", "getrogen"]

    ],

    ["ä-", "o-", "o-"] => [

        ["gären", "gor", "gegoren"],
        ["wägen", "wog", "gewogen"]

    ],

  ["ä-", "a-", "o-"] => [ # right?

    ["gebären", "gebar", "geboren"]

  ],

  ["ö", "o", "o"] => [ # right?

    ["erlöschen", "erlosch", "erloschen"]

  ],

    ["i", "o", "o"] => [

        ["glimmen", "glomm", "geglommen"],
        ["klimmen", "klomm", "geklommen"]

    ],

    ["au", "ie", "au"] => [

        ["laufen", "lief", "gelaufen"],
        ["hauen", "hieb", "gehauen"]

    ],

  ["au", "o", "o"] => [ # right?

    ["saufen", "soff", "gesoffen"]

    ],

    ["a", "i", "a"] => [

        ["fangen", "fing", "gefangen"],
        ["empfangen", "empfing", "empfangen"]

    ],

    ["a-", "a-", "a-"] => [

    ["mahlen", "mahlte", "gemahlen"],
    ["spalten", "spaltete", "gespalten"],
    ["salzen", "salzte", "gesalzen"]

  ]  

}

# # length of longest word
# # used by the function `format( array )` below
$longest=11

# # to find it again

# longest = 0
# ablauts.each do |k,v|
  # v.each do |triplet|
  # triplet.each do |word|
      # longest = word.length if word.length > longest
    # end
  # end
# end
# $longest = longest
# puts $longest



def format array
  # for joining an array of strings into a single string, with right alignment of columns
  # (with spaces left and tabs right)
  array.map{|s| ' '*($longest - s.length)+s }.join "\t"*2
end




# order each list of verbs in a key pattern by rhyme

ablauts.each do |k, v|
  v.sort! {|a,b| a[0].reverse <=> b[0].reverse}
end




# add a forth item to each appropriate triplet

ablauts.each do |k, v|
  v.each do |triplet|
    if ei.include? triplet[0]
      triplet << "I"
    elsif eie.include? triplet[0]
      triplet << "IE"
    elsif um.include? triplet[0]
      triplet << "UM"
    end
  end
end




# # # selects non-( OVCen -> OWC ) patterns for preterite stem. Like, OWK.
# # # doesn't deal with spelling stuff...
# # # Too lazy to fix this up, cuz I found the answer anyway.

# ablauts.each do |k, v|
  # p k
  # v.select! do |triplet|
    # # # test bit \/
    # inf_stem = triplet[0].sub( /(.*)en/,'\1' )
    # inf_stem_with_pret_vowel = triplet[0].gsub( /(\w*?)[aiueoäüö]+([^aiueoäüö]*)en/,"\\1#{k[1].gsub '-', ''}\\2" )
    # pret_stem = triplet[1]
    # if inf_stem_with_pret_vowel != pret_stem
      # [inf_stem_with_pret_vowel, pret_stem].each{|s| puts ' '*(11 - s.length) + s}
    # end
    # inf_stem_with_pret_vowel != pret_stem
  # end
# end




# # outputs the list of strong verbs, formatted. And with whatever other changes made to it above...

#File.open "strong_verbs_output.txt", "w" do |f|
File.open "strong_verbs_output.txt", "w" do |f|
  ablauts.each do |k,v|
    f.puts
    f.puts format k
    v.each {|triplet| f.puts format triplet }
  end
end




# # checking for verbs with an err/du present indicative change in the stem that are NOT in the list of strongs.
# # Found five or six, but checked and they WERE strong.
# # Added em with `# right?` comments...

# ablauts_infinitives = []
# ablauts.each{|pattern, verbs| verbs.each{|triplet| ablauts_infinitives << triplet.first} }
# File.open "non_strong_eieieums.txt", "w" do |f|
  # [ei, eie, um].each do |verblist|
    # verblist.select!{|verb| !ablauts_infinitives.include? verb }
    # f.puts
    # f.puts verblist
  # end
# end

Like I said, pretty embarrassingly kludgey.

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(NONE OF THE VERBS NOT. ಠ__ಠ ) –  Owen_R Apr 16 '13 at 11:11
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I think I am ready to answer my own questions, after doing some research using Wiktionary, about.com and the book 501 German Verbs.

  1. What I have written in question is correct.

  2. Every "Stem-Changing Verb" is also a "Strong Verb"

  3. The change a -> ä occurs in ablaut class 6 and 7. The changes e -> i and e -> ie occur in ablaut classes 3b/4 and 5 and the change e -> i is much more common.

Following are the definitions of the ablaut class, aggregated here from Wiktionary. Each link from the class name leads to the class category in Wiktionary which have examples of verbs form the class.

Ablaut Class 1

Class 1 consists of verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by -y- in Proto-Indo-European.

class 1 table

Examples of class 1 verbs in German are:

  • Pattern 1: bleiben, gedeihen, leihen, meiden, reiben, scheiden, scheinen, schreiben, schreien, schweigen, speien, steigen, treiben, verzeihen, weisen.

  • Pattern 2: beißen, bleichen, gleichen, gleiten, greifen, leiden, pfeifen, reißen, reiten, scheißen, schleichen, schleifen, schleißen, schmeißen, schneiden, schreiten, spleißen, streichen, streiten, weichen.

Ablaut Class 2

Class 2 consists of verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by -w- in Proto-Indo-European.

class 2 table

Examples of class 2 verbs in German are:

  • Regular: biegen, bieten, fliegen, fliehen, fließen, frieren, genießen, gießen, klieben, kriechen, riechen, schieben, schießen, schließen, sprießen, stieben, verlieren, ziehen.

  • Anomalous 1: saufen, saugen.

  • Anomalous 2: lügen, trügen.

Ablaut Class 3

Class 3 consists of verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by a sonorant (m, n, l, r) and another consonant in Proto-Indo-European. There are two subclasses. In modern German, the verbs of class 3b have become identical with those of class 4.

class 3 table

Examples of class 3 verbs in German are:

  • 3a, regular: binden, dringen, finden, gelingen, klingen, ringen, schlingen, schwinden, schwingen, singen, sinken, springen, stinken, trinken, zwingen.

  • 3a, anomalous 1: beginnen, gewinnen, rinnen, schwimmen.

  • 3a, anomalous 2: glimmen, klimmen.

  • 3b, regular: befehlen, bergen; bersten, gelten, helfen, schelten, sterben, verderben, werben, werden, werfen.

  • 3b, anomalous 1: dreschen, fechten, flechten, quellen, schmelzen, schwellen.

  • erlöschen.

Ablaut Class 4

Class 4 consists of verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by a sonorant (m, n, l, r) but no other consonant in Proto-Indo-European. In modern German, these verbs have become identical with those of class 3b.

class 4 table

Examples of class 4 verbs in German are:

  • Regular: brechen, gebären, nehmen, schrecken, sprechen, stechen, stehlen, treffen.
  • kommen.

Ablaut Class 5

Class 5 consists of verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by consonant other than a sonorant in Proto-Indo-European.

class 5 table

Examples of class 5 verbs in German are:

  • Regular: essen, geben, genesen, geschehen, lesen, messen, sehen, treten, vergessen.

  • j-presents: bitten, liegen, sitzen.

Ablaut Class 6

The Proto-Indo-European origin of class 6 is not securely known.

class 6 table

Examples of class 6 verbs in German are:

  • Regular: fahren, graben, laden, schaffen, schlagen, tragen, waschen.
  • heben.
  • schwören.

Ablaut Class 7

Class 7 consists of verbs that retained reduplication in Proto-Germanic. In German, as in almost all other Germanic languages, a seventh ablaut pattern was formed instead.

class 7 table

Examples of class 7 verbs in German are:

  • Pattern 1: blasen, braten, fallen, halten, heißen, lassen, laufen, raten, rufen, schlafen, stoßen.

  • Pattern 2: fangen, hängen.

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