German Grammar 104 – To Be – Sein

Most verbs in German are regular, but “sein“ – to be, is one of the irregular verbs. It’s used in a very similar way to English.


As it is a very important verb you will use it a lot. It also is used to form tenses and other grammatical forms.

One important difference is that German has only one present tense, so while in English you use forms with the verb ‘to be’ like: “I am cooking“, in German there exists only the simple form “Ich koche“ (lit. “I cook“).

Conjugation of “sein“

ich bin – I am
du bist – you are (singular, informal)
er/sie/es ist – he / she / it is
wir sind – we are
ihr seid – you are
sie sind – they are (informal, plural)
Sie sind – you are (formal singular)

Examples:

Ich bin aus Berlin.
I am from Berlin.

Frankreich ist schön.
France is beautiful.

Wir sind müde.
We are tired.

Sie ist Italienerin.
She is Italian.

Sind Sie Frau Müller?
Are you Mrs Müller?

Ihr seid zu spät.
You are too late.

EXERCISE: 104 To Be – Sein | NEXT: 105 To Have / Haben