The German irregular verb ‘werden’ (= to become) is used as main verb as well as auxiliary verb.
It has multiple meanings:
- to get into a particular state / condition and to get a certain feature / property –> Example: Many children get sick without clean water. = Viele Kinder werden ohne sauberes Wasser krank.
- to undergo a development –> Example: Soon the child becomes a man. = Bald wird aus dem Kind ein Mann.
- to result, develop, emerge –> Example: In the Bible, God commanded on the first creation day: “Let there be light!” = In der Bibel befahl Gott am ersten Schöpfungstag: “Es werde Licht!”
Present Tense Conjugation:
Since the German verb ‘werden’ is an irregular verb, it changes its word stem in the past tense and present perfect. See below:
Conjugation in Past & Present Perfect:
Examples for Past Tense:
to meaning 1. (above): He became rich. = Er wurde reich.
to meaning 2. (above): Sylvia became a doctor. = Sylvia wurde Arzt.
to meaning 3. (above): There was light. = Es wurde Licht.
Examples for Perfect Tense:
to meaning 1. (above): I’ve become very angry about this wrongful treatment. = Ich bin über diese unrechtmäßig Behandlung sehr wütend geworden.
to meaning 2. (above): He finally has become a lawyer. = Er ist endlich Anwalt geworden.
to meaning 3. (above): How have the pictures come out? = Wie sind die Bilder geworden?
In the above examples, the German verb is used as the main verb. You may also have noticed that the English uses several other verbs in translation. This means that there are a lot of expressions that use ‘werden’. Some of them need to be learned by heart.