The Verb “werden”

"Werden" is an important verb in German that is used in a number of different ways. It can be used as a main verb (meaning "to become") or as helping verb when constructing the future tense, passive voice, or subjunctive 2. This page talks about when and how to use "werden," along with a number of examples.

Using "werden"

There are a few different situations where we use the verb "werden":


"Werden" as Main Verb

Use with a noun:

  • „Ich werde später Polizist.“
  • „Du wirst bestimmt ein Feuerwehrmann.“

Use with an adjective:

  • „Autos werden immer schneller.“
  • „Dein Deutsch wird immer besser.“

As a main verb it means "to become."

"Werden" as Helping Verb

Future 1:   „Ich werde morgen zu dir kommen.“

Passive:   „Der Kuchen wird gebacken.“

Subjunctive 2:  „Er würde gern Millionär sein.“

When "werden" is used in these constructions, it doesn't have any meaning of its own. It is just used to signal what tense is being used. For more information on how to use "werden" in these situations, look at the individual pages on the future 1 , passive and subjunctive 2.

Conjugating "werden"

"Worden" or "geworden"?

When do I use "worden" and when "geworden"? 

When using the perfect tense with "werden" as the main verb (i.e. "He has become a teacher."), use "geworden."

When using the perfect tense in the passive voice (i.e. "The cake has been baked."), use "worden."


Related Topics:

Werden in Passive.

Werden ​in Future 1.

Werden in Subjunctive 2.

Another important verb with different uses: "lassen."

Modal verbs have similar characteristics to "werden."

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