Tragen Conjugation 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 'tragen,' and we will learn how to conjugate it in the present tense. As we will see, it is a useful verb in different contexts.

Carry on!

The German verb tragen (pronounced TRAH-gen) can have different meanings, depending on the context. Primarily it means ''to carry.'' When it refers to clothes (Kleidung tragen), it means ''to wear.'' In yet another context, it can mean ''to bear'' or ''to produce'' (Früchte tragen, or ''to bear fruit'').

Translation: This vine bears much fruit.

Conjugating Tragen

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

Subject Pronoun trinken Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
Ich trage TRAH-geh I carry
Du trägst traygst You (singular) carry
Er/Sie/Es trägt traygt He/She/It carries
Wir tragen TRAH-gen We carry
Ihr tragt trahgt You (plural) carry
Sie tragen TRAH-gen They carry

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

  • Ich trage gerne Jeans. (I like to wear jeans.)
  • Was trägst du? (What are you carrying?)
  • Tragt ihr das nach hause? (Are you carrying that home?)
  • Der Esel trägt viel Gewicht. (The donkey carries a lot of weight.)
  • Sie tragen verschiedene Uniformen. (They wear different uniforms.)

Example Conversation

Shopping in Hamburg is fun! The northern German city of Hamburg is home to one of Germany's major ports. In Germany, Hamburg is often referred to as Das Tor zur Welt (''the gateway to the world''). Let's say you are visiting your friend Carla, and you are walking through one of Hamburg's nice clothing stores.

Translation: Should I wear this?

You: Carla, dieses Kleid trägt sich sehr gut. Es ist sehr bequem. (Carla, this dress wears very well. It is very comfortable.)

Carla: Ja, aber das andere solltest du nicht tragen. (Yes, but you shouldn't wear the other one.)

You: Schau mal, die Dame da drüben. Sie trägt hübsche Schuhe. (Look at that lady over there. She wears pretty shoes.)

Carla: Trägst du bequeme Schuhe? (Do you wear comfortable shoes?)

You: Nein. Ich trage heute keine sehr bequemen Schuhe. Vielleicht werde ich nach neuen Schuhen suchen. (No. I do not wear comfortable shoes today. Maybe I will look for new shoes.)

Carla: Ich auch nicht. Wir tragen beide keine bequemen Schuhe. (Me neither. We both don't wear comfortable shoes today.)

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