A Power Verb: sein – to be

Page updated in August 2022

The verb sein (to be) is a powerful building block of self-expression. With this single verb, you can describe yourself and others, ask questions, express feelings and thoughts, and construct thousands of sentences.

You can use sein (to be) to describe your identity, your profession and your relationship with others.

  • Ich bin ein Mensch. → I am a human being.
  • Wer bist du? → Who are you?
  • Sie ist Australierin. – She is (an) Australian.
  • Er ist ein Freund von mir. → He is a friend of mine.
  • Sie ist Künstlerin. → She is an artist.

You can use sein (to be) with an adjective to describe people and everything else in the world.

  • Die Frau ist glücklich. – The woman is happy.
  • Die Kinder sind lustig. – The children are funny.
  • Der alte Mann ist einsam. – The old man is lonely.

You can use sein (to be) to talk about life, the universe and everything.

  • Was sind die Ursachen des Klimawandels? – What are the causes of climate change?
  • Viele Tiere sind ausgestorben. – Many animals are extinct.
  • Das ist die Hauptsache. – That’s what matters most.
  • Ich denke, also bin ich. – I think, therefore I am.

Conjugation Table

sein – to be
1st personich bin – I amwir sind – we are
2nd persondu bist – you areihr seid – you are
3rd personer / sie / es ist – he / she / it issie sind – they are
Formal Address Sie sind – you are

Online Activities

A Fill the Gap Quiz: Conjugating sein – the verb to be

Learn the conjugation of this crucial verb and practise using it correctly in sentences.

A Fill the Gap Quiz: More Practice with the Power Verb sein – to be

Analyse the pattern of this verb conjugation and use the verb correctly in a simple conversation.

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2 thoughts on “A Power Verb: sein – to be

  1. Hi Ms Green,
    I am Ying Ying from S1Y and I have an amazing story to tell you.
    Today after school I was walking home and then I met a lady who once helped me with some english that I didn’t understand. Well I haven’t seen her for ages and we were talking about high school. I told her about german and she seemed quite happy. So she started to talk to me in german. She talked really fluently and I understood what she meant but I don’t know how to reply. I even talked in german ,like my age, when my birthday was,how I feel etc. When she arrived at her doorstep we said goodbye in german.
    It was a great experience talking to someone from Deutschland.
    Your student,
    Ying Ying

    • Dear Ying Ying,
      Your comment made me feel very happy! I was especially proud of you for daring to speak German so soon. Thanks for your lovely message.
      Kind regards,
      Ms Green
      Liebe Ying Ying,
      dein Kommentar hat mich glücklich gemacht! Ich bin besonders stolz auf dich, weil du dich schon traust Deutsch zu sprechen. Danke für deine schöne Nachricht.
      Viele Grüße,
      Ms Green

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