While learning German, I have noticed that in the example questions ("Are you" type), we do not use the word sind

Q: Are you going?

A: fährst du

Instead of

Sind fährst du (# I hope this sentence is right)

So is this the way the standard german write questions or the first and the second sentence both are considered correct, and where will sind actually go: first or last?

I am not sure which tag I should use, so can anybody suggest or edit the question's tags. Danke.


Some concepts from English can be applied to German, some can't.

In this case, your confusion is the result of the English verb form present continuous: "I am going", "You are going", "Are you going?".

This form just doesn't exist in German, so it isn't used in questions, either. So instead normal present tense is used:

"Ich gehe", "Du gehst", "Gehst Du?".


Unlike English, German does not need an auxiliary verb to form a question.

German also does not have a continous form constructed using to be + present participle.

This means that there are two cases where English uses an auxiliary verb but German does not.

So it's correct that

Are you going?

translates to

Gehst/Fährst du?

Note that are, if translated, would translate to bist (2nd person singular), not to sind. (You are = Du bist) But are is not translated because as stated above there is no continuous form in Standard German.

Things are different when to be is a full verb in a question:

Are you German?

which translates to:

Bist du Deutscher?

A question like

Do you see this?

translates to:

Siehst du das?

instead of Tust du das sehen?

  • Is there a way to understand when bist is to be used and when not? – Momobear May 24 at 12:03
  • 4
    to be is not translated if it is used in a continuous form, like "I am going". Sentences like "I am going" and "I am English" are actually two entirely differrent kinds of sentences, respectively, They just happen to look the same in English. – RHa May 24 at 12:57
  • Ich verstehe es. Danke. – Momobear May 24 at 14:08

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