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The German verb zahlen (to pay) – 50 powerful Example Sentences using “zahlen”


The German language is one of the most spoken languages in Europe, and it has become increasingly popular due to the country’s economic power. German is an inflected language, which means that words can change their endings to reflect their grammatical function and meaning in a sentence. Verbs are the cornerstone of the German language and are essential for communication. One of the most important verbs in German is “zahlen,” which means “to pay or to count.” In this article, we will explore the usage of the German verb zahlen in detail, including its various conjugations and meanings.

The German verb zahlen (to pay) – 50 powerful Example Sentences using “zahlen”, How Learn German

Conjugation of the verb “zahlen”

The verb “zahlen” is a regular verb, which means that it follows a predictable pattern when it comes to its conjugation. Here are the conjugations of “zahlen” in the present tense:

Ich zahle – I pay
Du zahlst – You pay (informal)
Er/Sie/Es zahlt – He/She/It pays
Wir zahlen – We pay
Ihr zahlt – You all pay (informal)
Sie zahlen – They pay/formal you pay

As you can see, the verb changes slightly depending on the subject of the sentence. The verb also changes in the past tense and future tense. Here are the conjugations of “zahlen” in the past tense:

Ich zahlte – I paid
Du zahltest – You paid (informal)
Er/Sie/Es zahlte – He/She/It paid
Wir zahlten – We paid
Ihr zahlte – You all paid (informal)
Sie zahlten – They paid/Formal you paid

In the future tense, the verb “zahlen” is often paired with the auxiliary verb “werden.” Here are the conjugations of “zahlen” in the future tense:

Ich werde zahlen – I will pay
Du wirst zahlen – You will pay
Er/Sie/Es wird zahlen – He/She/It will pay
Wir werden zahlen – We will pay
Ihr werdet zahlen – You all will pay (informal)
Sie werden zahlen – They will pay/Formal you will pay

The verb “zahlen” can also be used in other tenses, such as the present perfect, past perfect, and conditional. If you want to use the verb “zahlen” in these tenses, you will need to use a helping verb.

Usage of the verb “zahlen”

The verb “zahlen” can have various meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Here are the main meanings of the verb “zahlen:”

  1. To pay

The most common usage of the verb “zahlen” is to refer to payment. This could be for a purchase, a service, or even a debt. Here are some examples:

  • Ich zahle für das Essen. (I am paying for the food.)
  • Er hat mir das Geld zurückgezahlt. (He paid me back the money.)
  • Wir müssen für den Flug zahlen. (We have to pay for the flight.)
  1. To count

The verb “zahlen” can also be used to mean “to count.” This usage is most common when referring to numbers. Here are some examples:

  • Der Ladenbesitzer zählte das Geld. (The shop owner counted the money.)
  • Wie viele Menschen zählen zur Familie? (How many people are in the family?)
  • Ich habe die Sterne gezählt. (I counted the stars.)
  1. To contribute

The verb “zahlen” can also be used to mean “to contribute.” This usage often refers to groups or organizations. Here are some examples:

  • Jeder muss etwas zahlen, um die Kosten zu decken. (Everyone has to contribute something to cover the costs.)
  • Die Firma hat viel Geld für die Wohltätigkeitsorganisation gezahlt. (The company paid a lot of money to the charity organization.)
  • Wir haben viel Zeit und Energie in das Projekt gezahlt. (We invested a lot of time and energy into the project.)
  1. To result in

The verb “zahlen” can also be used to mean “to result in.” This usage is often used in a negative context. Here are some examples:

  • Du wirst für dein Verhalten zahlen. (You will pay for your behavior.)
  • Seine Faulheit hat ihn seinen Job gezahlt. (His laziness cost him his job.)
  • Die Entscheidung hat hohe Kosten gezahlt. (The decision came with a high cost.)

50 example sentences using the verb “zahlen”

  1. Ich zahle für das Abendessen. (I am paying for the dinner.)
  2. Wie viel zahlst du für diese Hose? (How much are you paying for these pants?)
  3. Die Firma zahlt ihrer Mitarbeiterin ein hohes Gehalt. (The company pays its employee a high salary.)
  4. Ich werde die Rechnung mit Kreditkarte zahlen. (I will pay the bill with a credit card.)
  5. Hast du schon die Miete gezahlt? (Have you already paid the rent?)
  6. Er musste für den Schaden zahlen. (He had to pay for the damage.)
  7. Wir zahlten viel für die Reparatur. (We paid a lot for the repair.)
  8. Sie zahlte ihre Schulden zurück. (She paid back her debts.)
  9. Meine Eltern haben mein Studium gezahlt. (My parents paid for my education.)
  10. Die Firma hat die Steuern gezahlt. (The company paid the taxes.)
  11. Er zählte das Geld zwei Mal. (He counted the money twice.)
  12. Wie viele Freunde hast du? Ich zähle sieben. (How many friends do you have? I count seven.)
  13. Ich habe alle meine Münzen gezählt. (I counted all my coins.)
  14. Sie haben ihr gesamtes Geld gezählt. (They counted all their money.)
  15. Jeder sollte etwas zahlen, um das Projekt zu finanzieren. (Everyone should contribute something to finance the project.)
  16. Die Regierung hat viel Geld in die Infrastruktur gezahlt. (The government invested a lot of money into the infrastructure.)
  17. Du musst für deine Fehler zahlen. (You have to pay for your mistakes.)
  18. Wir müssen für unsere Sünden zahlen. (We have to pay for our sins.)
  19. Die Entscheidung hat uns viel gekostet. (The decision cost us a lot.)
  20. Ich werde für meinen Mut zahlen. (I will pay for my courage.)
  21. Ihre Faulheit hat sie ihren Job gekostet. (Her laziness cost her job.)
  22. Der Dieb wird für seine Taten zahlen. (The thief will pay for his actions.)
  23. Du wirst für deine Worte zahlen. (You will pay for your words.)
  24. Die Firma hat keinen Cent gezahlt. (The company didn’t pay a cent.)
  25. Der Arbeiter zahlt einen Teil seines Gehalts in die Rentenkasse ein. (The worker contributes a part of his salary to the pension fund.)
  26. Wir haben viel für unsere Beziehung gezahlt. (We invested a lot into our relationship.)
  27. Die schrecklichen Ereignisse haben ihren Preis gezahlt. (The terrible events came at a price.)
  28. Die Frau hat viel Lebenszeit in ihre Karriere gezahlt. (The woman invested a lot of her lifetime into her career.)
  29. Ich werde für meine Freiheit zahlen. (I will pay for my freedom.)
  30. Die Entscheidung, den Job zu kündigen, hatte hohe Kosten gezahlt. (The decision to quit the job came with a high cost.)
  31. Du hast für deine Fehler gezahlt. (You paid for your mistakes.)
  32. Er wird für seine Schuld zahlen. (He will pay for his guilt.)
  33. Wir müssen für den Schaden zahlen. (We have to pay for the damage.)
  34. Der Mann hat viel Geld in Aktien gezahlt. (The man invested a lot of money in stocks.)
  35. Die Firma zahlt einen Bonus an ihre Mitarbeiter. (The company pays a bonus to its employees.)
  36. Ich werde für die Hochzeit viel zahlen müssen. (I will have to pay a lot for the wedding.)
  37. Das Auto hat viel Geld gekostet, aber es hat sich gezahlt gemacht. (The car was expensive, but it was worth it.)
  38. Ich zahle immer mit Bargeld. (I always pay with cash.)
  39. Die Firma hat viel in die Forschung und Entwicklung gezahlt. (The company invested a lot into research and development.)
  40. Sie zahlt ihre Rechnungen pünktlich. (She pays her bills on time.)
  41. Er hat für seine Freiheit gekämpft und dafür gezahlt. (He fought for his freedom and paid for it.)
  42. Ich habe meine Schulden endlich zurückgezahlt. (I finally paid back my debts.)
  43. Die Firma hat viel in ihre Mitarbeiter investiert und das hat sich gezahlt gemacht. (The company invested a lot in its employees, and it paid off.)
  44. Wenn du das Risiko eingehst, wirst du dafür zahlen. (If you take the risk, you will pay for it.)
  45. Die Rechnung beträgt 50 Euro. Wie viel zahlen Sie? (The bill is 50 euros. How much are you paying?)
  46. Ich werde für meine Entscheidung zahlen. (I will pay for my decision.)
  47. Die Bank hat viel Geld in das Unternehmen gezahlt. (The bank invested a lot of money into the company.)
  48. Die Kosten für das Konzert waren hoch, aber es hat sich gezahlt gemacht. (The costs for the concert were high, but it was worth it.)
  49. Der Sportler hat viel in seine Karriere gezahlt. (The athlete invested a lot into his career.)
  50. Die Firma hat ihr Personal gut bezahlt. (The company paid its staff well.)


The verb “zahlen” is an essential verb in the German language and can be used in various situations related to payment, counting, contributing, and the cost of something. As a regular verb, it is relatively easy to conjugate, and with the right context, it can be used in many ways to convey different meanings. By mastering the verb “zahlen,” you will be better equipped to communicate effectively in the German language.

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