Wandern 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 are going to take a look at the verb 'wandern,' which means 'to hike,' 'to walk,' 'to roam' or 'to migrate.' We will take a look at its conjugation in the present tense and how to use it in different situations and sentences.

Let's Roam!

Wandern (VAHN-dehrn) means 'to hike,' 'to walk,' 'to roam' or 'to migrate.' However you translate it, it involves a kind of movement from one place to another.

It is said that hiking is one of the most popular leisure activities in Germany and the people will often spend their free time walking in nature. As such, you will probably hear this verb a lot in Germany, so it's important to know how to use it correctly.

Let's see how to conjugate this verb and use it in different sentences.

Present Tense of Wandern

This is how the verb wandern conjugates in the present tense:

Pronoun Conjugation Pronunciation Meaning
ich wandere eeh VAHN-deh-reh I hike
du wanderst doo VAHN-dehrst you hike
er wandert ehr VAHN-dehrt he hikes
sie wandert zee VAHN-dehrt she hikes
es wandert ehs VAHN-dehrt it hikes
wir wandern veer VAHN-dehrn we hike
ihr wandert eehr VAHN-dehrt you hike
sie wandern zee VAHN-dehrn they hike
Sie wandern zee VAHN-dehrn you hike (singular and plural formal)

Wandern is a regular verb but with a little twist. Let's check out what's going on.

Usually, to make the present tense from a regular verb, we would remove the infinitive ending -en and add the present tense endings: -e, -st, -t, -en, -t, -en.

But with the verb wandern, it's a little different. This verb is one of the rare verbs that, instead of the ending -en, has the ending -n in the infinitive form.

After removing the -n infinitive ending, we will add the endings -e, -st, -t, -n, -t, -n. As you can see, the verb uses the ending -n instead of the -en in the first and third person plural and the formal form Sie. This happens to all the verbs whose stems end with a vowel. The stem of wandern ends in r (wander-), but the letter r is often considered a vowel and used as one. That's why the plural will be ihr wandert, sie wandern and Sie wandern.

For the first person singular, you may sometimes also see the forms ich wandre or ich wander being used regionally.

Translation: They are hiking in the mountains

Uses and Examples

Now, we will take a look at all the possible ways you can use the verb wandern. Each use is accompanied by example sentences.

To hike

  • Wir wandern jedes Wochenende in den Bergen. (We go hiking in the mountains every weekend.)
  • Ich wandere gerne in der Natur. (I like to hike in the nature.)

To walk

  • Sie wanderte den Strand entlang. (She walked along the beach.)
  • Wir sind zurück zum Campingplatz gewandert. (We walked back to the camping spot.)

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