Verbs taking sein


A number of verbs in German form their present perfect tense with the present tense of sein + past participle. They can be divided into the following groups:

Verbs indicating movement from one location to another 
This group contains commonly used irregular verbs such as gehen ‘to go’, fahren ‘to go (by vehicle)’, kommen ‘to come’, ankommen ‘to arrive’, laufen ‘to run’:
Ich bin ins Kino gegangen. I have gone/went to the cinema.
Seid ihr mit dem Auto gefahren? Did you go by car?
Jörg ist den ganzen Weg gelaufen. Jörg has run/ran the whole way.

There are also a few regular verbs indicating movement such as joggen ‘to jog’, reisen ‘to travel’, segeln ‘to sail’ and wandern ‘to hike’ which require sein:

Robert ist letztes Jahr durch Asien gereist. Robert travelled through Asia last year.
Sie sind in den Alpen gewandert. They went hiking in the Alps.

Verbs expressing a change of state
Another group of verbs indicates a process or a change of state. They include aufstehen ‘to get up’, einschlafen ‘to fall asleep’, sterben ‘to die’, wachsen ‘to grow’, werden ‘to become’:
Er ist Ingenieur geworden. He has become/became an engineer.
Du bist aber gewachsen! How you have grown!
Wir sind sehr früh eingeschlafen. We fell asleep very early.

Other verbs – bleiben, passieren, sein
There are three other verbs which also take sein to form the present perfect: bleiben ‘to stay’, passieren ‘to happen’ and sein ‘to be’:

Wir sind nur eine Woche geblieben. We only stayed for a week.
Was ist denn passiert? What (has) happened?
Er ist noch nie in Berlin gewesen. He has never been to Berlin.

Usage with haben

Sometimes, the verbs fahren and fliegen form their present perfect with haben when the focus is on the driver or pilot. However, this usage is quite rare:
Er hat das Auto selbst gefahren. He drove the car himself.
Sie hat den Hubschrauber geflogen. She flew the helicopter (herself).