Umziehen Conjugation in German

Instructor: Sandra Salajic

Sandra has a master's degree in teaching German. She has taught middle and high school German, and worked on different on- and offline courses with kids and adults.

In today's lesson, we will talk about the verb 'umziehen', which means 'to move' or 'to change clothes'. We will look at its conjugation and how to use it in different sentences and phrases.

We Are Moving!

Are you moving to a new apartment and want to tell everyone about it? Or maybe you are leaving your hometown and moving to another city. What if the change is much more subtle, and you just want to change your shirt? In all these occasions, you will need the verb umziehen (to move, to relocate).

It's a separable verb, which means that you will have to break it into two parts before you can put it into a sentence. But don't worry, after this lesson, you will feel confident using this verb whenever you need it. So let's begin!

Umziehen in the Present Tense

Because umziehen is a separable verb, it consists of two parts, which will occasionally split apart: the prefix um- and the word ziehen. Let's take a look at its conjugation in the present tense:

Pronoun Conjugation Pronunciation Meaning
ich ziehe um eeh TSEE-eh oom I move
du ziehst um doo tseest oom you move
er/sie/es zieht um ehr/zee/ehs tceet oom he/she/it moves
wir ziehen um veer TSEE-ehn oom we move
ihr zieht um eehr tseet oom you move
sie/Sie ziehen um zee TSEE-ehn oom they/You (formal) move

The verb umziehen uses the standard present tense endings (-e, -st, -t, -en, -t, -en), and although it is irregular, it does not have a stem change in the present tense like a lot of the other irregular verbs.

Separating the Verb

The interesting thing about umziehen is the separable prefix. The little prefix um- gets cut off from the verb and gets to stand by itself. Let's take a look at that in a few example sentences.

  • Er zieht in eine große Stadt um. (He is moving to a big city.)
  • Ich ziehe nächste Woche in meine neue Wohnung um. (I'm moving to my new apartment next week.)
  • Unsere Firma zieht in das neue Büro um. (Our company is moving to the new office.)

As you can see, the separable prefix will always be at the end of the sentence, no matter how many words get between the verb and the prefix.

Be careful not to forget the little prefix while speaking or writing a sentence. It is an important part of the word. Without the prefix um, the verb ziehen means 'to pull' or 'to draw' - the meaning is totally different! Also, try to be patient while listening to or reading a sentence, because the prefix at the end can change the whole meaning!

Translation: We are moving.

Reflexive Verb

Besides the meaning 'to move' or 'to relocate', the verb umziehen can also be used with a reflexive pronoun (sich), and in that case it means 'to change clothes'. Let's take a look at a few examples:

  • Ich ziehe mich um, wenn ich nach Hause komme. (I change my clothes when I come home.)
  • Der Schauspieler zieht sich dreimal um. (The actor is changing three times.)

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