In which cases would we use sein or haben as the auxiliary for bekommen in the perfect?

Which is more commonly used?

I saw that the second answer to a question on Yahoo! Answers may be correct, but I certainly cannot trust Yahoo! Answers.

1 Answer 1


Bekommen as a transitive verb (meaning to get) forms the perfect tense with haben, like almost all transitive verbs:

Ich habe ganz schön Angst bekommen. Lisa hat eine Eins in Mathe bekommen.

On the other hand, bekommen as an intransitive verb (meaning to agree with, of things not people) has sein as the auxiliary:

Der viele Wein ist ihm nicht bekommen. Der Urlaub ist mir gut bekommen.

See also this question: When to use "sein" and "haben" for verbs that allow both auxiliary verbs?

  • Great and detailed answer, like the link. Just one question: Why would 'sein' be the auxiliary if it is not movement from A to B nor a change of state? And also, which form of bekommen is more commonly used?
    – Turbo
    May 28, 2015 at 17:28
  • It could be argued that the intransitive bekommen indeed expresses a change of state. Think of the drinker who is well in the beginning, then gradually becomes dizzy and sick; or the overworked person who goes on holiday and recovers. It is admittedly not the typical case, though, because it is not the grammatical subject that changes. Perhaps it is one of the few exceptions. – I believe that the transitive bekommen is more common, but I have no numbers to back this up.
    – chirlu
    May 28, 2015 at 17:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.