Guten Tag.

I faced a new word - "heilen". Nice one and it looks really familiar (to heal). Usually I look for simple sentences with the word to add them into my memory-program. But with this word I have a little issue.

I found out that it may be used in Perfekt with both "haben" and "sein":

  • Er hat ihn geheilt
  • Sie ist geheilt
  • Sie hat sie geheilt
  • Er hat dein Herz geheilt
  • Sie ist fast geheilt

I didn't find any rules about it yet. Also I see that different dictionaries provides different auxiliary word (haben or sein).

But it seems that I see the pattern. For me it looks like:

  • If somebody heals somebody - use "haben akk. ... geheilt"
  • If somebody heals himself - use "sein ... geheilt"

So I have some questions:

  • Do I understand it correctly?
  • Is there any general logic behind it, or is it something specifically related only to "heilen"?
  • Is there any simple way to find out when to use sein/haben with words like this, that supports both (like umziehen)?
  • 1
    In the case of "heilen", it's actually simple: when used intransitively, sein is used, when used transitively, haben is used.
    – RHa
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:42
  • Thank you. So when I have some object to what the verb acts I use haben, and when there's no such an object - sein. Hm. It's simple.
    – faiwer
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:49
  • I have added your link below as an answer
    – faiwer
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:54
  • 1
    It's not the same with all verbs. There are several categories of verbs with respect to haben and sein. See e.g. the first answer to the question I posted. "Heilen" belongs to the category "verbs which express change of state".
    – RHa
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:55
  • 2
    Actually, "sie ist geheilt" is not perfect but Zustandspassiv.
    – RHa
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


The answer is there (thx @rha and @david-vogt)

The general rule for many of German verbs that can be used with both "sein" and "haben":

  • Transitive case: there's some object, to which this verb acts - HABEN
  • Intransitive case: If there's no such an object - SEIN

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