The verb lassen

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The verb lassen

The verb lassen (to leave / to let) is irregular. It’s conjugated like this:

ich lasse
du lässt
er/sie/es lässt
wir lassen
ihr lasst
sie/Sie lassen

Lassen is used:

  • as a verb in its own right meaning to stop doing something:

Lass das!

Stop that!

Warum lässt er das nicht?

Why does he keep doing that? / Why doesn't he leave it at that?

  • as an auxiliary verb can have various meanings:

Du lässt deine Kleidung nicht auf dem Boden liegen. (= etwas zurücklassen)

You don't leave your clothes lying all over the floor.

Ich lasse meinen Hund im Bett schlafen. (= Erlaubnis)

I let my dog sleep in my bed.

Ich habe mir die Haare schneiden lassen. (= etwas von jemandem machen lassen)

I got my hair cut.

Lasst uns nach Hause gehen! (= Vorschlag)

Let’s go home.

Notes

  • as an auxiliary verb, lassen (to leave, to let) always comes after an infinitive. We don't need to add zu.
  • In the perfect tense, the past participle is gelassen when there is only one verb in the sentence, and lassen if there is another verb in the infinitive.

Sie haben das Rauchen gelassen. lassen, Perfekt

They have quit smoking.

Ich habe meinen Hund im Bett schlafen lassen.

I let my dog sleep in the bed.

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