Good day everyone!

I browsed the internet and couldn't find a word to describe irregular verbs in German.

  1. Verb -> Verb
  2. Noun -> Substantiv
  3. Adjective -> Adjektiv
  4. Irregular Verb -> ???

Is there a word for "irregular verb" in German? What I mean by irregular is for verbs like lesen, when it meets du, it changes into liest (not lesst) as sitzen into sitz (not sitzst) and essen into isst (not essst). Looking forward for the answers, thank you very much! :)

  • 2
    The term you are looking for is unregelmässiges Verb, the direct translation from the English words. Oct 7, 2018 at 18:15
  • 3
    The term Nomen for noun is also common.
    – Janka
    Oct 7, 2018 at 18:47
  • @Janka Yes, the term is common, but - in my opinion - as a synonym for "Substantiv" ("nomen substantivum") infuriatingly incorrect. Oct 10, 2018 at 13:07
  • dict.leo.org/german-english/irregular%20verb, also vote to close Oct 12, 2018 at 14:43
  • @problemofficer, why voted to close this question? It's a question about terminology, not a direct translation of a word.
    – Logos
    Oct 12, 2018 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


The term for irregular Verb is unregelmässiges Verb, but you aren't looking for these. German verbs follow one of four patterns.

  • schwache Beugung (weak conjugation)
  • starke Beugung (strong conjugation)
  • gemischte Beugung (mixed conjugation)
  • unregelmäßige Beugung (irregular conjugation)

Your examples lesen, sitzen and essen follow the strong conjugation pattern. They have an Ablaut, a vowel change in the stem. Please learn about the strong and mixed conjugation patterns from your grammar book.

In German, only very few verbs are truly irregular, sein for example, and some verbs which have two different past participles.

  • Ah, I see. I haven't learned those patterns yet. I am learning from a book and it gives examples in complex German sentences, which is why I decided to improve my vocabularies first and asked this question to keep my study on track.
    – Logos
    Oct 8, 2018 at 0:53
  • 1
    It's okay to focus on vocabulary first. Those grammar terms aren't too helpful in learning about German verbs, but you asked for the correct terminology.
    – Janka
    Oct 8, 2018 at 0:59

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