German Language Blog

Partizip I Posted by on Nov 1, 2010 in Grammar, Language

The Partizip I is a form of word that is derived from verbs. It can have different functions in a sentence. For example, the Partizip I can be used as an adjunction, an adverb or a noun. Let’s have a closer look to how the Partizip I can affect our sentences.

In German we can form the Partizip I with every verb. All we have to do is to add the letter -d to the infinitive present form of the verb, e.g.

schreiben (to write) -> schreibend (writing)

lachen (to laugh) -> lachend (laughing)

spielen (to play) -> spielend (playing)

Partizip I as an adjunction

The Partizip I forms with -d are the basic forms. When we want to use the Partizip I as an adjunction in a phrase we need to decline it like an adjective. That is, the ending of the adjunction must agree with the noun you are using in gender, case and number.

Der Mann schreibt. – The man is writing.

Ein schreibender Mann. – A writing man.

Der schreibende Mann. – The writing man.

Schreibende Männer. – Writing men.

Die schreibenden Männer. – The writing men.

Die Frau lacht. – The woman is laughing.

Eine lachende Frau. – A laughing woman.

Die lachende Frau. – The laughing woman.

Lachende Frauen. – Laughing women.

Die lachenden Frauen. – The laughing women.

Das Kind spielt. – The child is playing.

Ein spielendes Kind. – A playing child.

Das spielende Kind. – The playing child.

Spielende Kinder. – Playing children.

Die spielenden Kinder. – The playing children.

Partizip I as an adverb

When we want to use the Partizip I as an adverb we need to use it with a full verb. In this case, the Partizip I need not to be inflected. It only exists in its basic form with -d.

Der Mann steht schreibend am Tisch. – The man is standing at the table writing.

Die Frau geht lachend über die Straße. – The woman is crossing the road laughing.

Das Kind sitz spielend in seinem Zimmer. – The child is sitting in his room playing.

Partizip I as a noun.

Additionally, the Partizip I can also function as a noun. This is usually translated as “the (verb) one” in Englisch, e.g.

Der Schreibende. – The writing one. (m.)

Die Schreibende. – The writing one. (f.)

Die Schreibenden.  – The writing ones. (pl.)

Der Lachende. – The laughing one. (m.)

Die Lachende. – The laughing one. (f.)

Die Lachenden.  – The laughing ones. (pl.)

Der Spielende. – The playing one. (m.)

Die Spielende. – The playing one. (f.)

Die Spielenden. – The playing ones. (pl.)

Please take into consideration that the Partizip I as a noun can only be used when you are referring to a person or thing that is involved in a particular activity. Compare the translations of the following nouns:

Schreiber – author, writer

Lacher – laugh, laugher

Spieler – player; gambler

If you like you can practice forming the Partizip I with the verbs below and try to form sentences with them.

essen – to eat

warten – to wait

stehen – to stand

singen – to sing

sprechen – to speak

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About the Author: Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. Radwa:

    thanks :))

  2. Marta:

    Really good post

  3. Natalie:

    very useful, thank you 🙂

  4. Jupitar:


    I’ve read a few of your posts, and, while it is very helpful to post German grammar exercises, I sense you believe that German is some extremely difficult language.

    It isnt. It’s a mildly inflected language, whose inflections can be a bit difficult to pick up for speakers of languages that don’t have them, but in the scheme of things its inflections are not very complex. Look up Latin and see what inflection could be. German inflection is pretty simple, often only ‘e’ or ‘en’, or otherwise simply indicating the gender, ‘er’ or ‘es’. OK, gender in German is a bit of a pain, but its very often predictably feminine ‘e’, ‘ung’, etc, and even if it’s masculine or neuter you just learn it. It’s nothing hugely complex.

    And once you get past this basic premise of German, the language just gets more and more logical and straightforward.

    At an extremely high level it is indeed difficult, but no more than English or any other language.

  5. JR:

    adjunction –> adjective

  6. Gillian:

    This actually made my day! An “ah-ha”, that’s what the Partizip I is. Thank you!

  7. Elizabeth:

    You just made my day!

  8. cristina:

    non male…considerando ciò ke ho trovato,anzi NON trovato fin’ora…!thank’s!

  9. Ruth:

    Thank you very much! it is very helpful indeed.

  10. Disha:

    Es ist sehr interessant aber es ist wie ein adjektive endungen !!

  11. Bulgarian:

    Really helpful! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!

  12. Someone:

    This topic will be in my test soon. Thank you very much, but I also need the Partizip 2 form. Can you share it with us some time as well? :))

  13. keyhan:

    Thanks a lot. Very useful

  14. Rizwan:

    Thanks for the above explanation, it’s really simple to understand, I think without it I wasn’t going to learn Partizip 1.

  15. Beri:

    Thanks for this clarification.

  16. issa:

    ich danke ihnen !
    jetzt verstehe ich etwas über Partizip I …..
    noch mal Dankeschön!

  17. Brightstar:

    Great post, ver useful.
    Could I verify the correctness of the exercises you suggest?

    Also, I think there is typo in ‘das Kind sitz spielend…’ I think it should be sitzt spielend….