Conjugation of Trinken In German

Instructor: Jens Bargmann

Jens is a native German and has taught adults both in Germany and in the United States. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy/Ethics.

In this lesson, we will get to know the German verb 'trinken', and we will learn how to conjugate it in the present tense. This is an important verb to know when you are in German-speaking countries.

Quenching Our Thirst

Ich habe Durst und möchte etwas trinken. Translation: I am thirsty and would like to drink something.

As we know, our bodies can go longer without food than without water. Staying hydrated is essential for staying healthy and alive. If we find ourselves in a German-speaking country like Germany, Switzerland, or Austria, it will be helpful to be able to talk about drinking. In German, 'to drink' is trinken (pronounced TRING-ken).

Translation: Cheers!

Prost is actually an abbreviated form of the Latin word prosit, which means ''may it be useful.'' Drinking is indeed useful, unless we drink the wrong liquid, or the wrong amount, of course.

Conjugating Trinken

Let's look at the conjugation of trinken in the present tense active voice.

Subject Pronoun trinken Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
Ich trinke TRING-kah I drink
Du trinkst tringkst You (singular) drink
Er/Sie/Es trinkt tringkt He/She/It drinks
Wir trinken TRING-ken We drink
Ihr trinkt tringkt You (plural) drink
Sie trinken TRING-ken They drink

Now, let's look at a few sentences in which you might use trinken in the present tense.

  • Ich muss trinken. (I have to drink.)
  • Was trinkst du? (What do you drink?)
  • Trinkt ihr etwas? (Are you drinking something?)
  • Der Hund trinkt Wasser. (The dog is drinking water.)
  • Sie trinken Kaffee. (They are drinking coffee.)

Example Conversation

Let's say you are running in this year's Berlin Marathon. You have trained for it along with your German friend Birgit, and you are now running side by side. The race is long - 42.195 kilometers - and after about 30 kilometers, Birgit is experiencing fatigue and muscle cramps in both legs. She has to stop, so you stop, too.

Translation: Birgit had to stop.

You: Birgit! Bist du okay? (Birgit! Are you okay?)

Birgit: Nein. Ich habe Muskelkrämpfe in beiden Beinen. (No. I am having muscle cramps in both legs.)

You: Willst du etwas trinken? (Do you want to drink something?)

Birgit: Ja. Ich trinke etwas Wasser. (Yes. I will drink some water.)

You: Komm, wir trinken beide etwas. (Come on, we both drink something.)

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