Learn how to use the verb brauchen in Luxembourgish

This lesson is inspired by a student’s question who asked me how and when to use this important verb which is brauchen. A word you’ll need every day. Let’s start with the conjugation of brauchen.


Present Tense: ech brauch – du brauchs – hien / hatt brauch – mir brauchen – dir braucht – si brauchen

Conditional: ech bräicht – du bräichs – hien / hatt bräicht – mir bräichten – dir bräicht – si bräichten

Past participle: gebraucht: Ech hunn eng Stonn gebraucht fir op d’Gare ze kommen. – I needed 1 hour to come to the station.


a) It is ech brauch and NOT ech brauchen

b) Brauchen has NO Past Tense

Now, get ready to explore the meaning of brauchenThere are several ways to express the verb brauchen in a sentence:

Brauchen – to need

Actually,  it means to need someone or something because it only works with nouns or names. 

Beispiller (examples):

  • Ech brauch e bëssen Zäit. – I need a bit of time.
  • Ech brauch e Kaffi. – I need a coffee. 


Do not confuse this definition of brauchen with gebrauchen. Even though you may hear it spoken at times, it is still grammatically wrong. You can however substitute brauchen for gebrauchen and vice versa in the next definition as follows.

2 Brauchen – to use / to make use of

With this definition you can often use brauchen and gebrauchen interchangeably. There is no difference in meaning.

Beispiller (examples):

  • Brauchs / Gebrauchs du däin ale Vëlo nach? – Do you still use your old bike?
  • Haut sinn ech zu näischt ze brauchen / gebrauchen. – I am of no use today.

3 Net Brauchen – not need to

Use this construction: brauchen + net + ze + infinitive (of the second verb).

Beispiller (examples):

  • Ech brauch haut net schaffen ze goen. – I don’t need to work today.
  • Du brauchs mäi Jong haut net ofzehuelen. – You don’t need to pick up my son today.

As you have observed, there are no sentences with brauchen that express an activity so need to + verb (brauchen ze + Verb). It is only used with negated sentences: use brauchen ze  ONLY in negation!

Examples expressing an activity:

           I need to sleep.

Ech brauch ze schlofen…. is WRONG

The proper translation uses the verb mussen.

  • Ech muss schlofen.

Strictly speaking, there is no literal translation in Luxembourgish of I need to sleep, since mussen, also means must.

Aner Beispiller (Other examples):

  • Ech brauch net unzefänken, Vokabelen ze léieren. – I don’t need to start learning vocabulary.   
  • Ech muss ufänken, Vokabelen ze léieren. –  I need to start learning vocabulary.
  • Du brauchs net ze waarden. – You don’t need to wait.
  • Du muss waarden. – You need to wait.
  • Du brauchs dech net ze tommelen. – You don’t need to hurry up.


  • Du muss dech tommelen. – You need to hurry up.

Phrases and Expressions with Brauchen :

  • gebraucht – used, second-hand
  • E gebrauchte Vëlo. – A used (second-hand) bike.
  • Ech brauch kengem senger. – I don’t need any help (from anybody)
  • Haut sinn ech zu näischt ze brauchen / gebrauchen. – I am of no use today.


Let’s practice:

Translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:

  1. My daughter needs new glasses.
  2. I need to start learning vocabulary.
  3. Do you (formal) need a garage?

Check the solution by downloading the PDF and practice  with MORE sentences to translate !

Get the PDF!

I hope you liked it and found it useful. And …. why not sharing this lesson with your friends:-)


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