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Waschen 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 this lesson, we will take a look at the verb 'waschen' (to wash) and its conjugation. We will explain all its irregularities and how to correctly use this verb.

Waschen (to wash)

You can wash your car, wash your hair and hands, or do your laundry. It's an important part of your hygiene and tidiness. That's why you should know how to use this verb!

The verb waschen means 'to wash.' It belongs to the so-called strong verbs, which means that the stems change while conjugating these verbs. Let's take a look at the conjugation of this verb and all the things that happen to it!

Pronoun Conjugation Pronunciation Meaning
ich wasche ish WAH-sheh I wash
du wäschst doo WEHSHST you wash
er wäscht ehr WEHSHT he washes
sie wäscht zee WEHSHT she washes
es wäscht ehs WEHSHT it washes
wir waschen weer WAH-shen we wash
ihr wascht eer WASHT you wash
sie waschen zee WAH-shehn they wash
Sie waschen zee WAH-shehn You wash (formal singular)

As you can see from the examples above, the verb is a stem-changing one. In the singular form, the vowel a turns into ä in the second (du-you) and third person (er, sie, es - he, she, it).

The little dots (Umlaut) may seem like a small change, but this symbol designates a completely different letter and is also pronounced differently.

Examples

Let's take a look at the verb in a few sentences to help you remember it easier:

  • Ich wasche mir die Hände. (I wash my hands.)
  • Wir waschen unsere Klamotten. (He is doing laundry.)
  • Sie wäscht sich die Haare. (She is washing her hair.)
  • Meine Nachbarn waschen ihr Auto jede Woche. (My neighbors wash their car every week.)
  • Mein Bruder wäscht sich. (My brother is washing himself.)

As you can see, you can use the verb in a variety of sentences and on many occasions. Just take care to change the verb correctly and don't forget about the stem change (a-ä) when using du, er, sie, or es.

Translation: to wash hands
wash

To Wash Yourself

The verb waschen can also be a reflexive verb, meaning that the subject and the object are the same ('I wash myself'). In this case, it will always come with a reflexive pronoun (sich) that also changes depending on the person doing the washing.

Let's take a look at this:

Subject Verb Reflexive Pronoun Pronunciation Translation
ich wasche mich meeh I wash myself
du wäschst dich deeh you wash yourself
er wäscht sich zeeh he washes himself
sie wäscht sich zeeh she washes herself
es wäscht sich zeeh it washes itself
wir waschen uns oons we wash ourselves
ihr wäscht euch oyh you wash yourself
sie waschen sich zeeh they wash themselves
Sie waschen sich zeeh You wash yourself (formal)

So don't forget to use the correct reflexive pronoun when talking about washing yourself!

Example:

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