‘Kommen’ Conjugations

‘Kommen’ conjugations translate to ‘I come/ came / will come, etc.’ The infinitive verb ‘kommen’ (‘to come’ in English) is one of the very first German verbs you should learn.

‘Kommen’ is a common German verb that you’ll need to use in various tenses and moods in order to communicate in everyday spoken & written German.

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‘Kommen’ Conjugations
Written by Laura Bennett
-   Updated:
- 13 minute read
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Learning ‘kommen’ is tricky because German verbs have more conjugation options compared to English verbs –so there’s more that our brains have to remember!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Kommen’ (‘to come’) is a commonly used infinitive verb in German.
  • There are more ‘kommen’ conjugation options than what we have in English.
  • You need to learn ‘kommen’ conjugations for multiple tenses and moods.

How is ‘Kommen’ Used in German?

Knowing how to correctly use ‘kommen’ in its many diverse forms allows you to speak masterfully in German in a wide variety of contexts.

‘Kommen’ allows you to talk about yourself and others ‘coming’ (I will come to the party tomorrow. Please come here for a minute. She came quietly into the room.) in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

You’ll use ‘kommen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about coming / arriving places (I am coming home, etc.)
  • ✅ Emphasize the destination point vs. the point of departure 
  • ✅ Say that you (or someone else) comes, came, has come, will come, etc.

What Are The 6 Conjugations of ‘Kommen’? 

The 6 conjugations of ‘kommen’ in the present tense line up with our 6 subject pronouns to give us ‘ich komme’, ‘du kommst’, ‘er / sie / es kommt’, ‘wir kommen’, ‘ihr kommt’, and ‘sie kommen.’

There are, of course, even more forms of ‘kommen’ in other tenses (and moods). 

But it’s best to first focus strictly on the present tense conjugations of ‘kommen’, so let’s look at it side-by-side with the English ‘to come’:

‘Kommen’ (in English)

I come
you come
he/she/it comes
we come
they come

‘Kommen’ in German is ‘to come’ in English. And in the present tense, we have two possible conjugations: ‘come’, and ‘comes’.

In the case of ‘come’, it is recycled –that is, it’s used with multiple different pronouns (i.e. I, you, we, they). It’s only he/she/it that uses its own unique conjugation ‘comes’.

Those same conjugations in German look like this:

‘Kommen’ (Present Tense) English vs German

Kommen Conjugation English vs. German in the Present Tense

Comparing German & English

It’s important to notice the patterns of similarities and differences at this point. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does German ‘recycle’ the same conjugations?
  • Are the German & English changes to ‘kommen’ (to come) occurring with equivalent pronouns?
  • Which language includes more changes compared to the other? 

‘Kommen’ in the Present Tense

The present tense conjugations of ‘kommen’ are ich komme, du kommst, er / sie / es kommt, wir kommen, ihr kommt, and sie kommen.

Put into a typical conjugation table, these options are presented like this:

Present Tense Conjugation Chart:
ich kommewir kommen
du kommstihr kommt
er/sie/es kommtsie kommen

You truly haven’t even begun to learn ‘kommen’ until you know ALL the nominative case pronouns and which form of ‘kommen’ each of them takes.

To talk about the conjugations of ‘kommen’ used by the various pronouns, we have to work backward by starting with the pronouns. 

And in order to understand nominative case (i.e. subject) pronouns, we need to talk about the grammar concept of ‘persons’.

What are ‘persons’?

The ‘persons’ (I, you, they, etc.) are split into two categories that interact with each other: 

There are 3 subcategories of ‘persons’ (1st Person, 2nd Person, and 3rd Person) and each of these has a ‘singular’ and a ‘plural’ variant. 

When we intersect this information on Y and X axes, we get these ultra-familiar English subject pronouns:

English Subject Pronouns Chart

Now, here is the German version of the same table of subject pronouns: 

German Subject Pronouns Chart

German & English Pronouns Side-by-Side

Where do English and German line up and where are there differences?

English and German have 1-to-1 equivalents for all pronouns … except that German has extra pronouns for ‘you’ (highlighted).

FULL German Subject Pronouns Chart
2nd (informal)duihr

Understanding the ‘ihr’ plural of ‘du’ is straightforward enough: Americans might relate it to the concept of y’all. We’re simply talking to multiple ‘you’s at the same time.

But what is the deal with the singular and plural ‘Sie’?

Formal vs. Informal ‘You’

If you took high school Spanish, you’ve already been exposed to the idea of ‘you’ having an informal version and a formal version (e.g. ‘tu’ [informal] and ‘Usted’ [formal]).

It’s the exact same idea in German.

We need to use the formal ‘you’ when we address …

  • someone we don’t intimately know 
  • someone to whom we want to show additional respect
  • someone in a relative position of authority 

Of course, these separate categories have some obvious potential overlaps in that many times we perceive others as authority figures whom we also genuinely respect and with whom we wouldn’t go out to a pub for a beer because we don’t know them intimately enough.

When to Use the Formal ‘Sie’

As you can see in the table, if you’re using the formal address ‘Sie’, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking to one person or multiple –the pronoun AND its conjugation of ‘kommen’ stays the same:

German Subject Pronoun & ‘Kommen’ Conjugations Chart:
1stich kommewir kommen
2nd (informal)du kommstihr kommen
(formal)Sie kommenSie kommen
3rder/sie/es kommensie kommen

In German, you generally need to use this formal version of ‘you’ if you’re talking with…

  • professionals (e.g. clerks, police officers, doctors, plumbers, etc.) 
  • leaders (e.g. priests, politicians, choir directors, bosses, etc.)
  • elders (e.g. anyone clearly at least a generation older than you are)

Examples of ‘Kommen’

Knowing how to use ‘kommen’ in the present tense for all the 1st, 2nd (formal and informal) and 3rd persons, singular and plural, is exactly what you should know for now. 

1st Person, Singular & Plural

Ich komme in den Zoo. (I am coming to the zoo.)
Ich komme bald. (I am coming soon.)

Wir kommen in den Zoo. (We are coming to the zoo.)
Wir kommen bald. (We are coming soon.)

2nd Person (Informal), Singular & Plural

Du kommst in den Zoo. (You are coming to the zoo.)
Du kommst bald. (You are coming soon.)

Ihr kommt in den Zoo. (You are coming to the zoo.)
Ihr kommt bald. (You are coming soon.)

2nd Person (Formal), Singular & Plural

Sie kommen in den Zoo. (You are coming to the zoo.)
Sie kommen bald. (You are coming soon.)

Sie kommen in den Zoo. (You are coming to the zoo.)
Sie kommen bald. (You are coming soon.)

3rd Person, Singular & Plural

Das Kind kommt in den Zoo. (The child is coming to the zoo.)
Das Kind kommt bald . (The child is coming soon.)

Die Kinder kommen in den Zoo. (The children are coming to the zoo.)
Die Kinder kommen bald. (The children are coming soon.)


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Comparing German & English

There are several interesting points to make on the above examples so that you can further your general knowledge of German beyond specifics of ‘Kommen’.

  • Almost every English noun pluralizes simply with ‘s’ (e.g. doctor -> doctors), but German has SEVEN different options that we have to know how to choose between! You may have noticed specifically the -er plural at play in ‘Kind’ (child) becoming ‘Kinder’ (children). Learn more about noun plurals here.
  • To that point: FUN FACT! Did you know that ‘children’ (which is an oddball English plural –one would expect ‘childs’) is actually a holdover from an old form of English not so long after English and German started developing into separate languages? (Note: they share the same proto-language).
  • Notice the use of the two-way preposition ‘in’ taking the accusative case every time we talk about ‘to the zoo’ (in den Zoo). Read more about two-way prepositions here.

Skills You’ll Need to Use ‘Kommen’ Conjugations:

‘Kommen’ makes it possible to relay information about places you’re going toward –and from the perspective of the destination point– in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

‘Kommen’ is such a common, everyday verb that you can’t masterfully speak German if you don’t understand how to use its various conjugations.

You’ll use ‘kommen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about coming places (I’m coming to the party, etc.)
  • ✅ Make use of lots of handy separable-prefix verbs that have ‘kommen’ as their main verb (e.g. mitkommen, vorkommen, auskommen, and more!)
  • ✅ Speak using common idioms (e.g. ‘to cut to the chase’ = zur Sache kommen)
  • ✅ Talk about ‘coming’ in the past, present, and future (I will come…, etc.)
  • ✅ Speak hypothetically (e.g. I would have come, if only …)
  • ✅ Give a command or make a suggestion (e.g. ‘come here!’)

Building Blocks You Need For ‘Kommen’

‘Kommen’ conjugations empower you to express yourself in a LOT of different ways. You need to correctly wield ‘kommen’ in a variety of contexts in order to speak German capably, comfortably, and confidently.

To correctly use ‘kommen’ in various tenses and moods, to give commands or offer suggestions, or to speak hypothetically, you need to build these foundational skills:

  1. Know the subject [i.e. nominative] pronouns for all singular & plural persons.
  2. Learn the present and simple past tense conjugations of ‘kommen’ for all persons.
  3. Learn the ‘kommen’ conjugations for the conditional, subjunctive, and imperative moods.
  4. Know when to use the infinitive form vs. past participle of ‘kommen’.

Terminology Explained

subject pronouns are the words ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ in English. German has these same options BUT also three more! These pronouns are categorized as ‘persons’ that are either singular (e.g. ‘I’) or plural (e.g. ‘we’). 

conjugations are slight changes to a verb that line up with different ‘persons’ –for example, ‘I come’ (base verb) vs. ‘he comes’ (with the added ‘es’). English generally has only these two conjugations, but German typically uses four conjugations.

tense & mood are simply variants of a verb such as present tense (‘I come’), past tense (‘I came’), future tense (‘I will come’), and subjunctive mood (‘I would come, [if]…’). German and English have all the same verb tenses and moods and they function similarly.

infinitive verbs are the base form of German verbs and typically end with an -en that is removed (producing the ‘root’ /’stem’) before then adding on conjugations. Also, some particular sentence formulations utilize a verb (or even two) in its infinitive form.

past participles are a form of a verb that is used to formulate the 3 ‘perfect’ tenses and also in the utilization of the passive voice. Every verb has just one past participle that is used by all persons in conjunction with a ‘helping verb’ (either ‘haben’ or ‘sein’).

“HELP! This Feels Overwhelming!”

This can understandably feel like a LOT, but the good news is that you DON’T have to fully master all the applications of ‘kommen’ right now as a beginner learner –which also means you don’t have to have all the relevant lingo totally down yet, either.

The ideal place to start is by learning just the German subject pronouns and the present tense conjugations of ‘Kommen’. We covered this in depth above, but here is the table with both pieces of information, again, here:

kommen conjugation table

Repetitious, simple sentences (like the examples I gave you above in an earlier section) will help you drill these present tense ‘kommen’ conjugations into your memory. 

And since all the subject pronouns are exactly the same no matter what German verb conjugations we’re learning, we’ll get lots of mileage out of learning our ‘ich’ and ‘du’, etc.

If you’re beyond a beginner level already, you’ll see those ‘ich’s and ‘du’s repeated again and again in the following tables of ALL the ‘kommen’ conjugations. 


Learning all of this is a big task for almost every German learner.

I’ll teach you step-by-step.

Get Started Now

‘Kommen’ Conjugations in ALL Tenses & Moods

‘Kommen’ is used in 6 tenses (of the indicative mood), and in two additional moods (the subjunctive and imperative). We use ‘kommen’ to talk about ‘coming’ in the past, present, and future (e.g. I come, I came, I will come). ‘Kommen’ is also used to say ‘I wouldcome’ (subjunctive) or to give a command such as ‘come here!’

For those of you who are ready for it, here are the full conjugation tables for ‘kommen’:

Indicative (Indikativ)

The indicative mood is how we talk most of the time: about real facts (I came home to a messy kitchen. Please come back soon. She will come to visit us next month. Etc.)

The indicative mood subcategories into SIX tenses in both English and German. Most of these tenses are used very similarly. 

It’s essential to learn the Present Tense first, and then the Present Perfect. After that, you’ll get the most utility out of the Simple Future, then Simple Past, then Past Perfect, and then Future Perfect.

Present (Präsens)

‘KOMMEN’- Present Tense (Präsens) Table
1stich komm(e)⁵wir kommen
2nddu kommst/kömmst⁷ihr kommt
3rder kommt/kömmt⁷sie kommen

Simple Past (Präteritum)

‘KOMMEN’- Simple Past (Präteritum) Table
1stich kamwir kamen
2nddu kamstihr kamt
3rder kamsie kamen

Present Perfect (Perfekt)

‘KOMMEN’ – Present Perfect (Perfekt) Table
1stich bin gekommenwir sind gekommen
2nddu bist gekommenihr seid gekommen
3rder ist gekommensie sind gekommen

Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

‘KOMMEN’ – Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich war gekommenwir waren gekommen
2nddu warst gekommenihr wart gekommen
3rder war gekommensie waren gekommen

Simple Future (Futur I)

‘KOMMEN’ – Simple Future (Futur I) Table
1stich werde kommenwir werden kommen
2nddu wirst kommenihr werdet kommen
3rder wird kommensie werden kommen

Future Perfect (Futur II)

‘KOMMEN’ – Future Perfect (Futur II) Table
1stich werde gekommen seinwir werden gekommen sein
2nddu wirst gekommen seinihr werdet gekommen sein
3rder wird gekommen seinsie werden gekommen sein
Important Notes on German Tenses

Although German and English HAVE all the same tenses, they aren’t necessarily all used the same way.

In German …

  • The Present Tense covers three different English options: for example, I eat, I do eat, I am eating would ALL simply be ‘Ich esse’ in German. 
  • The Present Perfect Tense (which would technically translate to, e.g. I have eaten) actually correlates with English’s simple past (i.e.  I ate) in terms of usage.
  • The Simple Future tense is frequently avoided in favor of the Present tense and a time adverbial. 

Imperative (Imperativ)

The imperative mood is used in both English and German for giving commands. Note that a ‘du’ or ‘ihr’ subject is generally omitted, but that a ‘wir’ and ‘Sie’ must be present.

‘KOMMEN’- Imperative (Imperativ) Table
1stkommen wir!
2nd Informalkomm(e)⁵ [du]!kommt [ihr]!
2nd Formalkommen Sie!kommen Sie!

Subjunctive (Konjunktiv)

The subjunctive mood is used in both English and German (but much more frequently in German!) to communicate hypothetical (i.e. not factual [indicative]) situations. 

The subjunctive can be used to communicate a present or future likelihood (but not certainty) OR a complete impossibility in the past, present, or future. 

The subjunctive is also used for expressing polite requests vs. the commands of the imperative mood.

Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) 

‘KOMMEN’- Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) Table
1stich kommewir kommen
2nddu kommestihr kommet
3rder kommesie kommen

Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II) 

‘KOMMEN’- Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II)  Table
1stich kämewir kämen
2nddu kämestihr kämet
3rder kämesie kämen

Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) 

‘KOMMEN’ – Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) Table
1stich sei gekommenwir seien gekommen
2nddu seiest gekommenihr seiet gekommen
3rder sei gekommensie seien gekommen

Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) 

‘KOMMEN’ – Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich wäre gekommenwir wären gekommen
2nddu wärest gekommenihr wäret gekommen
3rder wäre gekommensie wären gekommen

Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) 

‘KOMMEN’ – Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) Table
1stich werde kommenwir werden kommen
2nddu werdest kommenihr werdet kommen
3rder werde kommensie werden kommen

Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II)

‘KOMMEN’ – Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II) Table
1stich werde gekommen seinwir werden gekommen sein
2nddu werdest gekommen seinihr werdet gekommen sein
3rder werde gekommen seinsie werden gekommen sein

Common Confusion

What is the difference between ‘komme’ and ‘kommen’? 

‘Kommen’ is the infinitive verb that then needs to be conjugated for the different persons. ‘Komme’ is the conjugation that pairs with ‘ich’ (I): ich komme (I’m coming).

Is ‘kommen’ a strong or weak verb?

‘Kommen’ is a strong verb that changes the simple past vowel to ‘a’ (‘kamen’) and the past participle vowel back to ‘o’ (‘gekommen’). ‘Kommen’ doesn’t take a stem-vowel change in the present tense for ‘du’ and ‘er/sie/es’, though.

Is ‘kommen’ a separable verb?

‘Kommen’ as such is not a separable-prefix verb, but it combines with a great many different prepositions to create a lot of separable-prefix verbs such as ‘mitkommen’ (to come with), ‘vorkommen’ (to occur), and ‘auskommen’ (to get along).

What is the difference between ‘kommt’ and ‘kommen’?

‘Kommen’ is the infinitive verb that then needs to be conjugated for the different persons. ‘Kommt’ is the conjugation that pairs with both ‘er / sie / es’ (i.e. the 3rd person singular) and with ‘ihr’ (i.e. the 2nd person plural)to produce, e.g. ‘er kommt’ (he’s coming) and ‘ihr kommt’ (ya’ll are coming). 

What is the preposition of ‘kommen’?

‘Kommen’ doesn’t have a static preposition. But ‘kommen’ is a verb commonly used to create what are called ‘separable-prefix verbs’, which are generally verbs with prepositions attached to the front of them:

mit + kommen = mitkommen (to come with)
vor + kommen = vorkommen (to occur)
aus + kommen= auskommen (to get along)

What is the difference between ‘kommen sie’ and ‘kommst du’ in German?

‘Kommen Sie? (Are you coming?) uses the formal address vs. ‘Kommst du?’ (Are you coming?) being the informal address. Learn more about formal vs. informal address here.

Rapid Q&A

Is ‘kommen’ singular or plural?

‘Kommen’ is an infinitive noun (‘to come’) and is used for three plural persons: wir kommen (we come), Sie kommen (you [plural, formal] come), and sie kommen (they come). 

All the other persons (mostly singular) use different forms of ‘kommen’ called ‘conjugations such as ich komme (I come), du kommst (you come), er / sie / es kommt (he / she / it comes) and ihr kommt (ya’ll come).

See full conjugation tables for ‘kommen’ here.

What does ‘zugute kommen’ mean?

The phrase ‘jemandem zugute kommen’ means to benefit someone. ‘Das wird dir zugute kommen’ means, thus, ‘that will benefit / help you!’

What does ‘ich kommen’ mean?

The correct conjugation is ‘ich komme’ and means ‘I’m coming’.

What does ‘mit kommen’ mean?

‘Mitkommen’ (to come with) is a separable-prefix verb that must be written as one word.

What is the subjunctive 2 of ‘kommen’?

The Subjunctive 2 (Konjunktiv 2) of ‘kommen’ is ‘kämen’ in its base form, which must then be conjugated for all persons.

What does ‘auf kommen’ mean?

‘Aufkommen’ (to arise, emerge) is a separable-prefix verb that must be written as one word.

What are the 3 forms of ‘kommen’?

kommen conjugation 3 verb forms

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