German/Print version? (1. Teil)


Main Contents edit

Introduction edit

A Textbook on Five Levels

The question arose early in the development of this textbook as to precisely who would be the target audience. Although intended to be a "beginning" textbook on German, many felt that the early lessons were too difficult for younger students with very limited or no experience with German and, perhaps more importantly, limited skills in English grammar. For this reason a textbook on three levels was conceived. Beginning German (Level I) puts more emphasis on building vocabulary around subject matter interesting and useful to young students. Basic German (Level II) emphasises grammar, and assumes a greater knowledge of English grammar more typical of an older high school or a college student. If you are just beginning to learn German or attempting to teach yourself, you may wish to try both approaches and see which works better for you, since some people require a strong structural approach to learning a new language while others find this "structure" only impedes progress by adding another layer of complexity. Intermediate German (Level III), which requires even more knowledge of English, is for college students, preferably for sophomores or juniors. With even more complex lessons, grammar and vocabulary comes Advanced German (Level IV), which with the most complex and difficult parts of the German language, is for late college students (Seniors) and college graduates. The last level, which is a review level, but also has cultural facts and the history of the German language, is Reviewed German. (Level V). An existing, separate text, German/Grammar, may eventually be merged into the lesson modules or developed into useful appendices as a grammar reference. At present, however, German Grammar is an expanding, significant contribution to the textbook; it provides an important reference on German language grammar rules useful to the student working through any of the three levels.

The German Language edit

German (Deutsch) is a member of the western group of the Germanic languages. It is spoken primarily in Germany, Austria, the majority of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Südtirol (South Tyrol) region of Italy, the Opole Voivodship of Poland, the eastern part of Belgium, parts of Romania, the Alsace (Elsass) region of France and parts of Denmark. Additionally, several former colonial possessions of these countries, such as Namibia in Africa, have sizable German-speaking populations. There are German-speaking minorities in several eastern European countries including Russia, and in the United States as well as countries in South America like Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Over 120 million people speak German as their native language. German is the third most popular foreign language taught worldwide, and the second most popular in Europe. Continue reading about the German language.

German and English edit

If you are an English speaker unfamiliar with German, you may be surprised to learn that English and German are closely related languages and share many words that are very similar. Such words are called cognates. This is particularly true for everyday words in English that are Anglo-Saxon (that is, Germanic) in origin. Consider the following list of English words followed by their German counterparts:

arm ~ der Arm
book ~ das Buch
cat ~ die Katze
father ~ der Vater
finger ~ der Finger
wagon ~ der Wagen
house ~ das Haus
hand ~ die Hand
June ~ der Juni
man ~ der Mann
mother ~ die Mutter
mouse ~ die Maus
name ~ der Name
son ~ der Sohn
garden ~ der Garten
lamp ~ die Lampe
bush ~ der Busch
baker ~ der Bäcker
net ~ das Netz
storm ~ der Sturm
hat ~ der Hut
fire ~ das Feuer
grass ~ das Gras
fish ~ der Fisch
kindergarten ~ der Kindergarten

Some German words have the same origin as their English counterparts but the meaning has changed:

worry ≠ würgen (strangle)
kind ≠ das Kind (child)
  • Audio: OGG (308KB) ~ Hear these words

Of course, even words whose spelling is no different in English and German may be pronounced quite differently. But in reading German, you will see the connections between these languages, even in many of the "small" words (the above examples are all nouns). For example:

This week, my father is with my brother in the city.
Diese Woche ist mein Vater mit meinem Bruder in der Stadt.
  • Audio: OGG (87KB) ~ Hear these sentences

Note also the general similarity of sentence structure with English. The only real difference in the German is that the verb is moved forward in the sentence. However, there are many German sentences in which a verb form is the last word in the sentence.

Unfortunately, while German is perhaps the easiest "foreign" language for an English speaker to learn, meanings of words that are spelled similarly are not always identical. These "false friends" can be confusing for the beginner. Further, German is a more structured language than English, with a more complex grammar, and it will become apparent as you learn German that you will also learn more about English language structure than you might ever recall from your high school English classes. For a quick listing of similarities and differences between English and German, read the Introduction to Level I.

Vocabulary and Grammar edit

In learning to read or speak any language with which you have minimal acquaintance (that is, are not a native speaker of), the two aspects to be mastered are vocabulary and grammar. Acquiring vocabulary is a "simple" matter of memorization. For the language(s) we learn as children, this process is so transparent that we have trouble conceiving of the importance of having a large vocabulary. By the age of conscious recognition of our communicating with others through speech, we have already learned the meaning of thousands of words. Even words we have trouble defining, we readily understand their use in conversation. This process can be "reactivated," as it were, by immersion in a second language: a method of learning a new language by moving to a place where that language is spoken and having to get around and live without use of one's native tongue.

The student of German language, if not residing in a German-speaking environment, must put forth substantial effort to learning words, including their meaning, their pronunciation and their usage in common sentences. Be sure to "learn"—commit to memory—all of the vocabulary words in each lesson as they are presented. Early lessons have simple sentences because it is assumed that the student's vocabulary is limited. But throughout the text, more complex discourses (often as photo captions) are included to introduce the student to regular German in use. It may be helpful to translate these using a German-English dictionary (access to one is a must; see Appendix 5 for on-line options). Other sources of German, such as newspapers, magazines, web sites, etc., can also be useful in building vocabulary and developing a sense of how German words are put together. The German Wikipedia provides an ever expanding source of German language articles that can be used for this purpose. Further, a German version of the Wikibooks project—a library of textbooks in German—is available at German Wikibooks.

German grammar is more complex than, but sufficiently similar to, English that "reading" German is possible with minimal vocabulary in the sense that the student should generally recognize the parts of a sentence. With a good dictionary or an online translator, an English speaker can usually translate a German sentence close to correctly. However, to accurately speak and understand German, you must learn how each word functions in a sentence. There are eight basic grammatical functions: case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, voice, and comparison. How words "signal" these functions is an important aspect of learning a new language. English speakers should know all of these functions and the signals used in English, but it is often the situation that you know perfectly well how to speak English, without understanding much about word-functions and signals. For this reason, this textbook incorporates considerable detail on grammar, including both English and German grammar. The reference book English at Wikibooks may be consulted for additional help. When we say German is more complex than English, what we really mean is that the signals used in German are different from and more numerous than those used by English.

Pronunciation edit

A guide to the pronunciation of German is provided. You should become familiar with this page early on, and refer to it often. Nothing can replace learning a language from a native speaker, but the text is liberally sprinkled with audio files providing the student with valuable input from hearing spoken German. Analyze the spoken words carefully. The pronunciation guide can only closely, not exactly, convey how German words should be pronounced. And of course, German (like English) has a number of dialects distinguished by differences in pronunciation.

Help in the pronunciation of individual words can be found by accessing the sound files of either of the online dictionaries, links to which are given in the German websites appendix.

Layout of Lessons edit

This textbook is intended as a beginning course in the German language for English speakers. Early lessons emphasize conversational subjects and gradually introduce German grammatical concepts and rules. In addition, sound files accompany appropriate parts of each lesson. Although the basic lessons (Grundlegende Lektionen) are presented at about the (US) high school level, beginners (including those attempting to learn German outside of a course structure) are expected to work through several basic lessons up to an indicated point, when review is suggested along with additional study. The basic way lessons go to other lessons is very simple and direct:

  • Lesson 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > and on to the end of the text.

Layout within Lessons edit

The following subheadings or categories are offered within the lessons (Level II and above):

  1. One or more conversation (Gespräch) or story (Geschichte) pieces in German alone to illustrate the language in use.
  2. Study material (Lernen) in English and German to present lists of conceptually related words.
  3. One or more grammar (Grammatik) lessons covering elements of German grammar, with illustrations drawn from the conversation, story, or study materials.
  4. A list of words (Vokabeln) and phrases introduced in the lesson, above that point, usually in the conversation, story, or study presentations. Words and phrases are arranged alphabetically within groups, and the groups are presented in the following order: 1) nouns, 2) phrases, 3) verbs, and 4) all other words. A guide to pronunciation of the words presented is consolidated within Appendix 1. However, in each Vokabeln, nouns stressed on other than the first syllable (the general rule in German) are indicated by bolding of the stressed syllable (e.g., Biologie). Note that the English translation of all German words in a Vokabeln is the best equivalent for the lesson example. The lesson Vokabeln is not a dictionary, but a quick reference for translation purposes. For this reason, verbs are not translated into a typical English infinitive form with a preceding particle, "to".
  5. A list of additional, related words or phrases (Andere Wörter; advanced lessons only) that relate to, but are not included in, the vocabulary presented in the basic and advanced lessons.
  6. English sentences and other material to be translated by the student into German (Übersetzung). These are numbered and a matching answer sheet is linked to this category. The student should write out the German using material from the lesson (and previous lessons) before checking their work against the answer list.

The Student and the Lesson edit

Each level of the text is designed to constitute a course of study in the German language. For any level selected, each lesson should be read thoroughly and mastered before moving on. Substantial text in German is included and the student should read all of it, not once, but multiple times. At Levels II and III, complete translations into English are included only in selected places. Most of this text must be translated by the student using his or her acquired vocabulary and the vocabulary presented at the bottom of each lesson. As the German text is read (preferably out loud), the student must succeed in gaining an understanding of the meaning of each sentence, and of the role each word plays in establishing that meaning. To the beginner, there will seem to be many words in a German sentence that are out of place or even redundant or unnecessary. These add subtleties to the language that will make sense eventually. But it is important to experience these subtleties from the very beginning.


Contents edit

Lesson 1.00 - Introduction edit

I.0: Introduction


Welcome to Level I German!

Level I is aimed at junior high and high school students. However, it can also be used by others just beginning to learn to speak or read German.

The goal of Level I German is to introduce the basics of the German language without overwhelming students. Therefore, the vocabulary is formatted for translating from English (which the students know) into German.

Although Level II is aimed at students and people who are a bit proficient after Level I, still, English translation will be used, so as to ease the learning. It helps because, at times while learning a new language, even with basic understanding, the words are above normal understanding level, and thus require a "sub" assistance.

German and English edit

German and English are quite close to each other, and are called language sisters or, more formally, cognate languages. Both belong to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Here are some major similarities:

  • Both languages use the Latin alphabet.
  • Normally, sentences follow Subject-Verb-Object order.
  • Questions have Verb-Subject-Object order or Adverb-Verb-Subject-Object order.
  • There are contractions (e.g., isn't) in both German and English.
  • Many words share the same roots, such as word and Wort, or house and Haus.
  • Many words are spelled almost the same way in English and German; for example, Text, Zoo, Handball, Motor, Bus, Park, Position, or Garage.
  • Kindergarten (early school grade) is an English word borrowed directly from German, with a slight change of meaning from its original sense of daycare or nursery school.

As you can see, German is quite similar to English. There are, however, differences:

  • German has more letters than and different pronunciations from English.
  • In German the verb is sometimes the last word of a sentence.
  • German has more verb forms than English.
  • German is the only known written language where every noun is capitalized, whether or not it is a proper noun.
  • The word ich (I) is only capitalized if it is the first word of the sentence.
  • German has three different words for you.
  • Adjectives have different endings based on the noun they are modifying in German.
  • German does not have any Present Continuous tense, only Present tense.

However, German is still one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. The differences will be tackled over the course of the lessons.

How to Use this Level of the German Textbook edit

The lessons are meant to be taken in order. You should read and review the German dialogs as often as possible. Many of the dialogs come with audio recordings by native speakers. These recordings are invaluable to learn the German pronunciation. If there is a recording, you can do several kinds of exercises:

  • Read the German dialog and translate it to English with the help of the vocabulary list.
  • Listen to the dialog while you read it and try to understand as much as possible.
  • Listen to the dialog without reading it, pause the playback after each sentence and translate it to English.
  • Listen to the dialog without reading it, pause the playback after each sentence, and write it down in German.
  • Listen to the dialog while reading it, stop after each sentence and repeat the pronunciation.

At the reviews, after every third lesson, go back to look at the previous lessons.

Layout of the Lessons edit

  • Every lesson has a title at the top.
  • The lesson will introduce several topics, more and more as the lessons progress.
  • Topics are usually introduced by dialogs, which are accompanied by vocabulary lists.
  • Each lesson features several problems and a test at the end. You should write down your answers (either electronically or on paper) before looking at the suggested answers. The act of writing down your answers will help you to learn the spelling.
  • Level I uses a "more than enough" system for the problems. You don't have to do all of the problems if you think you know the material. However, the test may require knowing certain vocabulary, so you need to make sure you know it.

Levels of Completion edit

On the contents page, you will see filled-in boxes next to each lesson. The number of boxes corresponds to the completeness of the lesson as follows:

  - The lesson is started, with a lesson overview at least.
  - At least half of the sections are complete.
  - Most of the lesson is complete.
  - The entire lesson is complete.

Section 1.01 ~ Starting Point edit

Lesson 1.01 - Wie heißt du? edit

Germans usually shake hands when they are introduced or introduce themselves.

This lesson deals with basic conversation topics such as saying hello and goodbye and asking people how they are feeling. This lesson features audio recordings by native speakers to help you with the pronunciation.

Dialogue edit

Read and listen to the following dialogue between two students: Franz and Greta. You don't have to understand anything! You should rather try to find out how each word is pronounced.

Dialogue:   What's your name? (1st Part) —   Wie heißt du? (1. Teil)
Franz Hallo, ich bin Franz. Wie heißt du?
Greta Hallo, Franz. Ich heiße Greta. Wie geht's?
Franz Es geht mir gut. Kennst du den Lehrer?
Greta Ja, er heißt Herr Weiß.
Franz Oh, danke, Greta. Bis dann!
Greta Wiedersehen!
Problems: Listen carefully!
The German pronunciation of many letters is similar to the English pronunciation, but there are also many differences. Try to answer the following question by listening carefully. Write your answers on a piece of paper or in a text file before you check them.
  1. How is the "a" in "Hallo", "Franz", "Greta", "ja", "danke", and "dann" pronounced?
  2. How is the "i" in "ich" and "bis" pronounced?
  3. How is the "ch" in "ich" pronounced?
  4. How is the "z" in "Franz" pronounced?
  5. How is the "w" in "wie", "Weiß" and "wiedersehen" pronounced?
  6. How is the "ie" in "wie" and "Wiedersehen" pronounced?
  7. How is the "ei" in "heißt", "heiße" and "Weiß" pronounced?
  8. How is the "ß" in "heißt", "heiße" and "Weiß" pronounced?
  9. How is the "e" in "es", "kennst", "er" and "Herr" pronounced?
  10. How is the first "e" in "gehen", "Greta", and "geht" pronounced?
  11. How is the “s” in “wiedersehen” pronounced?
  12. How is the “j” in “Ja” pronounced?
  1. Similar to the "a" in "hard".
  2. Similar to the "i" in "hit".
  3. Similar to, but not entirely like, the “Sh” as in English “shell.” The sound in German needs the tongue to be quite hardly pressed against the top of your mouth, then the air is somewhat forced out through.
  4. "z" is pronounced like "ts".
  5. Similar to the "v" in "vat".
  6. Similar to the "ee" in "meet".
  7. "ei" is pronounced like "ai" in German or like the "i" in the English word "time".
  8. "ß" is a ligature (combination letter) of a double s (“ss”). pronounced like "s". It is always a soft “S.” Always like “sound” but never like a “z.”
  9. Similar to "e" in "pet".
  10. This is a long German "e"; the sound doesn't exist in English. It is between the "i" in "hit" and the "e" in "pet". The sound is like the “a” in “day,” without the “y.”
  11. “S” in German is always pronounced hard like an English “z” at the start and in the middle of words. Before other consonants or at the end of a word, it is soft like an English “s” in “soft.”
  12. “J” in German is always pronounced like the “y” in “yes” (which by the way is what “Ja” means).

Now try to understand the dialogue with the help of the following list of vocabulary. (A complete translation is given in the answers to the next problems.)

Vocabulary:   What's your name? (1st Part) —   Wie heißt du? (1. Teil)
English German
Hello! Hallo!
I ich
I am... Ich bin ...
how wie
you du
Your name is... Du heißt ...
What is your name? Wie heißt du?
My name is... Ich heiße ...
it es
it goes es geht
How is it going? Wie geht's? (Longer: Wie geht es?)
me mir
good gut
I'm good. Es geht mir gut. (Shorter: Mir geht's gut. Even shorter: Gut.)
you know du kennst
Do you know...? Kennst du ...?
teacher Lehrer
yes ja
he er
His name is... Er heißt ...
Mr. Herr
oh oh
thanks danke
until bis
then dann
See you! Bis dann!
on auf
again wieder
(to) see sehen
Goodbye! (Auf) Wiedersehen!
Problems: Working with the dialogue
  1. Translate the dialogue to English with the help of the list of vocabulary. Write your translation on a piece of paper before you check it.
  2. Listen to the recording without reading and try to understand the meaning of the words. If you cannot remember some words, look them up and start again.
  3. Read the dialogue aloud. Compare your pronunciation with the pronunciation of the recording.
  4. Listen to the recording without reading and write down the dialogue in German. Pause the playback after each sentence to write down what you have heard. Repeat this exercise until you know the spelling of the German words.
  1. Translation to English:
    Franz: Hello, I am Franz. What is your name?
    Greta: Hello, Franz. My name is Greta. How is it going?
    Franz: I'm good. Do you know the teacher?
    Greta: Yes, his name is Mr. Weiß.
    Franz: Oh, thanks, Greta. See you!
    Greta: Goodbye!
  2. See the dialogue.

Hellos and Goodbyes edit

There are many ways of saying hello and goodbye in German; some of them are:

Vocabulary:   Greetings —   Grüße
English German
Hello! Hallo!*
Servus! (used in southern Germany and eastern Austria, informal)
Moin! (used in northern Germany)
Good morning! Moin Moin! (used in northern Germany)
Guten Morgen!*
Morgen! (shorter)
Good day! Guten Tag!*
Tag! (used in Germany, shorter)
Good evening! Guten Abend!*
Hello! Grüß Gott! (used in southern Germany, Austria and South Tyrol)
Goodbye! Auf Wiedersehen!*
Wiedersehen! (shorter)
Bye! Tschüss!*
Tschau! (also spelled "ciao" as in Italian)
Servus! (used in southern Germany and eastern Austria, informal)
See you later! Bis später!*
See you! Bis dann!*
Bis bald!*
See you soon! Bis gleich!
Good night! Gute Nacht!*

*You will need to know each expression with an asterisk (*) after it. The others, of course, would be useful to know if you are traveling to regions where they are used. (As you can see, the different German-speaking regions often have their own ways of saying hello and goodbye. However, you will not be required to know any of these less common phrases for any problems or tests.)

The more formal phrases are guten Morgen, guten Tag, and auf Wiedersehen. The less formal ones are tschüss, Tag, servus, and ciao. The others are somewhat inbetween formal and informal.

Problems: Hellos and goodbyes
How would you say hello and goodbye in these situations:
  1. You meet a friend in the morning.
  2. You meet a teacher in the classroom in the afternoon.
  3. You meet a classmate in the evening.
  4. You talk to a shop assistant in the morning.
Avoiding local variants, these are some options:
  1. Hello: Hallo!/(Guten) Morgen!/(Guten) Tag! Goodbye: Tschüss!/Bis später!/Bis dann!/Bis bald!
  2. Hello: Guten Tag! Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen.
  3. Hello: Hallo!/Guten Abend! Goodbye: Tschüss!/Bis dann!/Bis bald!
  4. Hello: Guten Morgen!/Guten Tag! Goodbye: (Auf) Wiedersehen!

Mr. and Mrs. edit

In German, Herr and Frau are used instead of Mr. and Mrs. before a last name; e.g., Mr. SchwarzHerr Schwarz.

Vocabulary:   Mr. & Ms. —   Herr und Frau
English German
Mr. Herr
Mrs. Frau

Frau is used for married and unmarried women. Some people still use MissFräulein in spoken German but it is no longer used in written German since it is considered an inappropriate discrimination of unmarried women.

Literally, der Herr means the gentleman and die Frau means the woman. If you use these words without a last name after them, you have to use an article before them; e.g., der Herr or die Frau. This is actually just like in English. For example:

  • The woman's name is Mrs. Weiß – Die Frau heißt Frau Weiß.

Note also that the German translation of the man is der Mann and the lady should be translated to die Dame. Thus, without last names you would rather use these pairs:

  • man and woman – Mann und Frau
  • men and women – Männer und Frauen
  • lady and gentleman – Dame und Herr
  • ladies and gentlemen – Damen und Herren

Problems: Mr. & Mrs.
Translate the following words and phrases to German:
  1. Mr. Schwarz
  2. the man
  3. The man's name is Mr. Schwarz.
  4. the woman
  5. The woman's name is Mrs. Schwarz.
  6. ladies and gentlemen
  1. Herr Schwarz
  2. der Mann
  3. Der Mann heißt Herr Schwarz.
  4. die Frau
  5. Die Frau heißt Frau Schwarz.
  6. Damen und Herren

Replies to Wie geht's? edit

There are many ways to reply to the question Wie geht's? Here are some of them:

Vocabulary:   How are you —   Wie geht's?
English German
How are you? Wie geht's? (longer: Wie geht es dir?)*
great prima
good gut
very good sehr gut
miserable miserabel
bad schlecht
not (so) good nicht (so) gut
O.K. ganz gut
all right Es geht so. (Or shorter: Geht so.)

*The more formal form is Wie geht es Ihnen?

After replying to the question, you could continue with:

  • And how are you? — Und wie geht es dir? (formal: Und wie geht es Ihnen?)

Or shorter:

  • And you? — Und dir? (or: Und selbst?; or formal: Und Ihnen?)

Problems: Wie geht's?
Fill in the blanks:
  1. _______ geht's?
  2. Prima. _______ dir?
  3. Es _______ so.
  4. Wie geht _______ Ihnen?
  5. Sehr _______. _______ selbst?
  6. Ganz _______, danke.
  1. Wie geht's?
  2. Prima. Und dir?
  3. Es geht so.
  4. Wie geht es Ihnen?
  5. Sehr gut. Und selbst?
  6. Ganz gut, danke.

Test edit

The test consists of three parts: pronunciation, vocabulary, and translation. As always, you should write down your answers before you check them. (Writing the German words is in fact a great way to practice the spelling of German words.) The vocabulary and translation problems are all from English to German because this is what you have to learn if you want to communicate in German. Once you are able to translate an English word to the corresponding German word, it won't be any problem to translate the German word back to English.

Problems: Pronunciation
  1. How do you pronounce "Ich heiße ..."?
  2. How do you pronounce "Franz"?
  3. How do you pronounce "Wiedersehen"?
  1. "i" as in "hit", "ch" as in "Loch", "h" as in "hotel", "ei" as the "i" in "times", "ß" is pronounced just like a "s", last "e" as in "pet"
  2. "f", "r", "n" similar to the English pronunciation of these letters, "a" as in "hard", "z" like "ts".
  3. "w" as the "v" in "vat", "ie" as the "ee" in "meet", "eh" is the long German "e" (between "i" in "hit" and a "e" in "pet"), the other letters are pronounced similarly in English.

Problems: Vocabulary
Translate from English to German:
  1. Mr.
  2. Good evening!
  3. how
  4. Good morning!
  5. teacher
  6. (the) man
  7. Good night!
  8. you
  9. (the) woman
  10. Bye!
  11. How are you?
  12. thanks
  13. bad
  14. Good day!
  15. I
  16. Goodbye!
  17. he
  18. See you later!
  19. Hello!
  20. very good
  21. Mrs.
  22. yes
  23. not (so) good
  1. Herr
  2. Guten Abend!
  3. wie
  4. Guten Morgen!
  5. Lehrer
  6. (der) Mann
  7. Gute Nacht!
  8. du
  9. (die) Frau
  10. Tschüss!
  11. Wie geht's?
  12. danke
  13. schlecht
  14. Guten Tag!
  15. ich
  16. Auf Wiedersehen!
  17. er
  18. Bis später!
  19. Hallo!
  20. sehr gut
  21. (die) Frau
  22. ja
  23. nicht (so) gut

Problems: Translation
Translate from English to German:
  1. Hello! I'm Susanne. What's your name?
  2. Good morning, Susanne. My name is Andreas.
  3. Good day, Andreas. How are you?
  4. Very good. Thanks, Susanne. And you? How are you?
  5. Great, thanks. See you later, Andreas!
  6. Goodbye!
  1. Hallo! Ich bin Susanne. Wie heißt du?
  2. Guten Morgen, Susanne. Ich heiße Andreas.
  3. Guten Tag, Andreas. Wie geht's?
  4. Sehr gut. Danke, Susanne. Und dir? Wie geht's dir?
  5. Prima, danke. Bis später, Andreas!
  6. Wiedersehen!

External resources edit

Lesson 1.02 - Freizeit edit

Lesson I.4: Freizeit

Dialogue edit

Literally, Freizeit means free time, i.e., spare time. In this dialogue, Franz and Greta are familiarizing each other with their sports activities.

Dialogue:   Sports and time —   Sport und Zeit
Franz Hallo, Greta! Wie spät ist es?
Greta Es ist Viertel vor drei.
Franz Wirklich? Ich spiele um drei Fußball. Machst du Sport, Greta?
Greta Nein, ich bin faul. Ich gehe jetzt nach Hause.
Franz Fußball macht aber Spaß!
Greta Bis dann.
Franz Wiedersehen!
Vocabulary:   Sports and Time —   Sport und Zeit
English German
late spät
quarter das Viertel
to (+ hour) vor (+ hour)
three drei
to play spielen
I play ich spiele
at (+ time) um (+ time)
soccer der* Fußball
(to) make; (to) do machen
you make; you do du machst
sport(s) der Sport
lazy faul
(to) go gehen
I go ich gehe
now jetzt
to (+ place) nach (+ place)
house das Haus
home (direction) nach Hause
at home (place) zu Hause
but aber
fun der Spaß

*The audio recording says "das", but it should be "der".

Sports and Activities edit

Vocabulary:   Sports and activities —   Sport und Aktivitäten
English German
the sport(s) der Sport
the interests, hobbies, activities die Hobbys (singular: das Hobby) or das Steckenpferd (-e)
the football/soccer der Fußball
the American football der Football (pronounced as in English)
the volleyball der Volleyball (the Volley- in Volleyball is pronounced as in English)
the basketball der Basketball
the tennis das Tennis
the baseball der Baseball (pronounced as in English)
the 9-pin bowling das Kegeln
the chess das Schach
the board game das Brettspiel
the game das Spiel
the homework die Hausaufgaben (usually plural; singular: die Hausaufgabe)
the TV watching das Fernsehen (the TV: der Fernseher)
the movie der Film

Section Problems>>

Spielen, Machen and Other Verbs edit

All three verbs that you were introduced to in Lesson 2 are irregular in some way; however, most verbs are regular verbs. In English, the regular conjugation is very easy: only for the third person singular an "-s" is added to the infinitive ("to see" becomes "he/she/it sees"). Unfortunately, there are more endings in German. The following two tables show the endings for the two regular verbs spielen (to play) and machen (to do; to make):

Verb:   to play —   spielen
English German
singular 1st person I play ich spiele
2nd person you play du spielst
3rd person he/she/it plays er/sie/es spielt
plural 1st person we play wir spielen
2nd person you play ihr spielt
3rd person they play sie spielen
Verb:   to do_make —   machen
English German
singular 1st person I do/make ich mache
2nd person you do/make du machst
3rd person he/she/it does/makes er/sie/es macht
plural 1st person we do/make wir machen
2nd person you do/make ihr macht
3rd person they do/make sie machen

As you see, the endings are the same for corresponding forms of spielen and machen. In fact, they are the same for all regular verbs. Thus, you can always just remove the -en from the infinitive of a regular German verb to form the stem (e.g., spielen becomes spiel- and machen becomes mach-) and then add the ending for the particular person. Here is a table with these endings:

Verb:   conjugation —   Konjugation
English German
singular 1st person I - ich -e
2nd person you - du -st
3rd person he/she/it -s er/sie/es -t
plural 1st person we - wir -en
2nd person you - ihr -t
3rd person they - sie -en*

*The form for you (polite)Sie is exactly the same as for the plural, 3rd person pronoun theysie.

Examples edit

  • Was machst du?
What are you doing?
  • Ich spiele Basketball.
I'm playing basketball.
  • Spielst du Fußball?
Do you play soccer?
  • Ich mache Hausaufgaben.
I'm doing homework.
  • Er macht Hausaufgaben.
He's doing homework.
  • Machst/Treibst du Sport?
Do you play sports?

Note that in English one plays sport, while in German one does sport. You can also use the question words from Lesson 3 to form more combinations:

  • Warum spielst du Baseball?
Why do you play baseball?
  • Wann machst du die Hausaufgaben?
When do you do the/your homework?

To say "not", use "nicht". "Nicht" goes after the verb but before the sport.

  • Wer spielt nicht Fußball?
Who doesn't play soccer?
  • Wir spielen nicht Tennis.
We don't play tennis.

Compound Sentences edit

Vocabulary:   Conjunctions —   Verbindungen
English German
and und
but aber
or oder

Both German and English have compound sentences; the applications of these are enormous. They can be used in lists and also in compound sentences. For example,

  • Ich spiele Basketball, und er spielt auch Basketball.
I play basketball, and he also plays basketball.

The new word, also — auch is very important. The one grammar rule about auch is that it always comes after the verb.

Section Problems>>

Other Verbs and Their Conjugations edit

Grammar:   Verbs —   Verben
English German
(to) read lesen
(to) watch schauen
(to) see sehen
(to) work arbeiten
(to) write schreiben
(to) swim schwimmen

Schauen, schreiben and schwimmen are all regular verbs; i.e., they follow regular conjugations. To conjugate them, you first remove the -en from the infinitive to form the stem (i.e., schau-, schreib-, and schwimm-), and then add the correct ending. Here is an example:

verb (infinitive) first step (stem) conjugated form
schauen schau- ich schaue

Arbeiten is an irregular verb; however, it has a simple change. Whenever the ending starts with a consonant, an -e- is added before it. For example, du arbeitest (not du arbeitst). As well as er/sie/es/ihr arbeitet (not er/sie/es/ihr arbeitt).

Lesen is also an irregular verb. For the second and third person singular the form is liest, i.e., du/er/sie/es liest (not du lesst).

Sehen is the last irregular verb. The second person singular is du siehst and the third person singular is er/sie/es sieht.

Section Problems>>

Two More Verb Forms edit

There are two common verb forms in English that just don't exist in German: the ing-form (or: present progressive); e.g., "I am playing" or "he is making"; and forms with "to do"; e.g., "I do play" or "he does not play".

The simple rule is: these constructions don't exist in German. Thus, you should translate I am playing to ich spiele. Similarly, I do play is also translated to ich spiele. Anything else (ich mache spielen or ich bin spielen) is either not possible in German or has a different meaning.

The phrase I do not play should be translated to ich spiele nicht (literally: I play not) since nicht (not) comes usually after the verb. This may sound like Early Modern English in a play by Shakespeare, and this is no coincidence since German and English are both West Germanic languages.

Section Problems>>

Expressing likes and dislikes edit

Vocabulary:   Expressing likes and dislikes —   Vorlieben und Abneigungen ausdrücken
English German
What do you like to do? Was machst du gern*?
I like to play. Ich spiele gerne*.
What do you like to play? Was spielst du gerne*?
I like to play soccer. Ich spiele gerne* Fußball.

* gern and gerne can be used interchangeably.

In German, there are several ways to express likes and dislikes; this is just one of them. You can also add other verbs for other activities, e.g., I like to read.Ich lese gern. or I like to work.Ich arbeite gern. or I like to watch TV.Ich schaue gern Fernsehen.

To express preference, you can use lieber instead of gern. For example, I prefer to play basketball.Ich spiele lieber Basketball. or I prefer to read.Ich lese lieber.

To express favorite activities, you can use am liebsten (meaning most of all) instead of lieber or gern. For example, Most of all, I like to play chess.Ich spiele am liebsten Schach.

To express dislikes, you can use nicht gern instead of gern, for example I don't like to swim.Ich schwimme nicht gern. or I don't like to work.Ich arbeite nicht gern. or I don't like to play soccer.Ich spiele nicht gern Fußball.

Section Problems>>

Numbers edit

Numbers are among the most important and most useful words: we need them to talk about time, amounts, money, etc. Even if you are "just" a tourist, you often cannot avoid numbers. Learning numbers can be a bit of a pain; thus, here is some advice: whenever you have time, count something in German; e.g., steps, cars, people, seconds, whatever: just count.

Vocabulary:   Numbers —   Zahlen
English German
zero null*
one eins
two zwei**
three drei
four vier
five fünf
six sechs
seven sieben
eight acht
nine neun
ten zehn
eleven elf
twelve zwölf
thirteen dreizehn
fourteen vierzehn
fifteen fünfzehn
sixteen sechzehn
seventeen siebzehn
eighteen achtzehn
nineteen neunzehn
twenty zwanzig
twenty-one einundzwanzig*
twenty-two zweiundzwanzig*
twenty-three dreiundzwanzig*
24 – 29 analogous to 22 and 23
thirty dreißig
31 – 39, etc. analogous to 21 – 29
forty vierzig
fifty fünfzig
sixty sechzig
seventy siebzig
eighty achtzig*
ninety neunzig*
hundred hundert (or: einhundert)
hundred and one hunderteins*
two hundred zweihundert*
thousand tausend (or: eintausend)
two thousand zweitausend*

*Some numbers are missing in the audio recording.

**Some people sometimes say zwo instead of zwei in order to distinguishing it more clearly from drei (three), especially on the phone.

Notice the pattern: -teen translates to -zehn, and -ty to -zig.

There is one big problem with the numbers: in German the unit position comes before the tens and is connected by und (and). For example: twenty-threedreiundzwanzig (literally: threeandtwenty), twenty-fourvierundzwanzig, thirty-fivefünfunddreißig, forty-sixsechsundvierzig, etc.

One exception is eins which becomes ein- in 21, 31, 41, etc.: twenty-oneeinundzwanzig (literally: oneandtwenty), thirty-oneeinunddreißig, forty-oneeinundvierzig, etc.

German is not the only language with this "reverse" order of numbers: Danish (another Germanic language) and Arabic do it the same way. This was also the standard way of forming numbers in older versions of English ("Four and twenty blackbirds/Baked in a pie." w:Sing a Song of Sixpence).

Section Problems>>

What's On the Test edit

To go straight to the lesson test, go here.

The test will have four parts to it: Grammar (79 points), Translating (95 points), Reading Comprehension (20 points), Vocabulary (20 points), and Previous Topics (10 points) in that order. The Grammar section will test your ability to know the verbs from this lesson and its various versions, to know articles – the genders of them and the correct usage of them, and correct word order.

The Translating section is worth the most points, and it too has three sections. You must know the translations for sentences and phrases going from English to German, and be able to take a German dialogue and translate it back into English. Also you must know the translation from Numbers to German.

The third section, Reading Comprehension, is Comprehension Questions you must know how to read the conversion and after reading you will be asked question on the previous conversion.

The fourth section is a vocabulary section. You get 20 English words on the left and 20 German words on the right, and be asked to match them. To study for that, check out the 401 flashcards related to this lesson at Part I and Part II.

The last section, Previous Topics, is a quick review on Lesson 1 to get ready for this section, just look at some past notes or go to Lesson 1 and study. That is the whole test. Take it!

Lesson 1.03 - Essen edit

Lesson I.6: Essen

Dialogue edit

Dialogue:   I'm hungry! —   Ich habe Hunger!
(missing file: File:German Dialogue - I'm hungry!.ogg, how to upload audio)
Franz Hallo, Greta! Wie geht's?
Greta Sehr gut. Ich habe Hunger.
Franz Ich auch. Möchtest du etwas essen?
Greta Ja!
In der Gaststätte
Greta Ich möchte Salat, Brot und Wasser.
Franz Hast du jetzt keinen Hunger?
Greta Doch, ich habe großen Hunger. Was bekommst du?
Franz Ich bekomme ein Stück Apfelstrudel und einen Eisbecher.
Greta Warum das? Du sollst eine Bratwurst nehmen.
Franz Nein, ich bin zufrieden. Ich habe keinen großen Hunger.
Greta Ach so, dann ist das genug.
Nach zwanzig Minuten
Greta Diese Gaststätte ist schrecklich! Ich möchte etwas zu essen!
Franz Wir gehen!

Food! edit

Vocabulary:   Food —   die Nahrungsmittel (pl.)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Food.ogg, how to upload audio)
die Früchte (das Obst) - fruits das Gemüse - vegetables
der Apfel apple der Champignon, die Pilze mushroom
die Banane banana der Spargel asparagus
die Erdbeere strawberry der Spinat spinach
die Kirsche cherry die Erbsen peas
die Orange orange die Kartoffel potato
die Traube grape die Tomate tomato
die Zitrone lemon die Zwiebel onion
die Grapefruit grapefruit die Bohnen beans
die Möhre, die Karotte carrot
das Fleisch - meat die Meeresfrüchte - shellfish, seafood
das Lammfleisch lamb die Kammmuschel scallop
der Truthahn turkey die Krabbe crab
der Schinken ham die Garnele shrimp
das Schweinefleisch pork der Fisch - fish
das Hähnchen chicken die Sardellen anchovies
das Rindfleisch beef der Lachs salmon
die Wurst sausage der Aal eel
die Milchprodukte - dairy products Other Foods
die Butter butter die Suppe soup
der Käse cheese die Pommes (frites) French fries
die Milch milk die Pizza pizza
der Joghurt yogurt der Hamburger hamburger
die Nachspeise - dessert der Senf mustard
das Bonbon candy das Brot bread
die Schokolade chocolate die Butter butter
die Torte tart der Salat salad
der Kuchen cake der Pfeffer pepper
der Apfelstrudel apple strudel der Reis rice
der (Apfel)Kuchen (apple) pie das Salz salt
das Eis ice cream der Zucker sugar
der Eisbecher bowl of ice cream die Konfitüre jam

Section Problems >>

Accusative Case edit

As you know from the introduction, in German, there are four cases. Three are used often. The first, Nominative Case, you learned in Lesson 1. It covers the subject, and the predicate noun (in "He is (noun).", (noun) is the predicate noun). The second, the Accusative Case, you will learn now. It covers the direct object and the object of several prepositions. The third, the Dative Case will be taught later on. It covers the indirect object and the object of many other prepositions.

The object of a sentence will be in accusative case. In, "You hurt me.", 'me' would be accusative.

Note: The Accusative Case and Dative Case are identical in English; that's why German has one case extra.

Articles edit

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Definite Article den die das die
Indefinite Article einen eine ein -eine*

* The indefinite article for plurals is non-existent. However related words, such as possessives and the kein- words that you will learn later this lesson, will end in eine for plurals.

In the articles, the memory hook for accusative case is "Der goes to den (pronounced "dane"   audio ) and the rest stays the same." The masculine indefinite article goes to einen, and everything else stays the same there. Therefore above, der Hamburger goes to den Hamburger and ein Hamburger goes to einen Hamburger when the hamburger is the direct object, such as in "Er hat einen Hamburger." ("He has a hamburger.")

If you are getting confused, it's fine. This topic is one of the hardest for English speakers to grasp. Here are some solutions:

To find out the case of something, first find the verb. The verb rules the sentence. Everything revolves around it. Next you find the subject of the sentence. The subject is the thing/person that is doing the verb. The subject is always in the Nominative Case, so it takes on the der, die, das, die, or ein, eine, ein.

Now you look back at the verb. If it is a being verb (am, are, is, etc.), the next noun after the verb is the predicate noun. An easy way to figure this out is to write an equation. If the verb can be replaced with an equals sign (=), then the following noun is a predicate noun. If it can't be replaced by an equals sign, refer to the next paragraph. The predicate noun is also always in the Nominative Case, so the same rules apply to it.

Ich bin ein Junge.
Sie ist eine Frau.

If the verb of the sentence is an action verb (playing, throwing, making, eating), find what the subject is doing the verb to. For example, if the verb is "makes" (macht), you look for what is being made. That is the direct object. The direct object is always in the Accusative Case, so it takes on the den, die, das, die, or einen, eine, ein.

Sie haben den Cheeseburger.
Habt ihr einen Salat?

The indefinite articles, when you just look at their endings, select e, -, e for nominative case, and en, e, -, e for accusative.

Remember, between nominative and accusative, the only third-person change is in the masculine form.

Section Problems >>

Pronouns edit

The pronouns experience a much bigger change than the articles. This is also true in English, as the articles (a, an, the) do not change ever, but I goes to me, we goes to us, etc.

Not everything is the same, though. While me is mich and us is uns, the second and third persons undergo different changes. In third person, as in the articles, the only change is in masculine singular. Following the "der goes to den" rule, er goes to ihn when in the accusative case.

The second person in English never changes. In German, du goes to dich and ihr goes to euch. Sie, the formal version of either, stays the same. Remember, Sie (2nd person formal) and sie (3rd person plural) only differ in their meanings and the fact that the former is capitalized and the latter is not. This stays true throughout German grammar.

Here is a tabular representation of the above.

Person Singular Plural
English German English German
1st me mich us uns
2nd you dich you (all) euch
3rd him, her, it ihn, sie, es them sie

Section Problems >>

Antecedents edit

Note: This is just a quick lesson in English grammar applied into German. If you already know all about antecedents in English, skip the first paragraph.

When using a pronoun, you have to know what it is for it to work. There are some rare exceptions, such as in mysteries or drama, but otherwise this is always true. Sometimes in dialogue this is taken care of by pointing or making some other gesture, but most of the time, the pronoun modifies something already mentioned. The object/person mentioned earlier that turns into a pronoun later is called the antecedent.

In German this is very useful. You can't simply say 'it' any more. Many food words are masculine and feminine, and when you turn them into pronouns, they turn into 'he', 'she', 'him', and 'her', not always 'it'. For example, the sentence "The cheeseburger tastes good. It's very crunchy." turns into "The cheeseburger tastes good. He's very crunchy." Note: You will learn how to say this in German later in this lesson.

Why is it "he"? This is where the antecedent comes in. Because there are foods that are masculine and feminine in German, you can't assume the 'es'. You have to look back at the previous sentence, at the antecedent, der Cheeseburger. "Der Cheeseburger" is replaced by er (since it is the subject, and therefore in Nominative Case). Therefore, all you need to know are these connections: der/den-er/ihn, die-sie, das-es, die-sie.

Section Problems >>

Food-Related Verbs edit

  • essen (I) - to eat, to be eating, to do eat
  • trinken - to drink, to be drinking, to do drink
  • bekommen - to get/receive, to be getting/receiving, to do get/receive
  • möchten (M) - would like
  • wollen (M) - to want, to be wanting, to do want

Of these five verbs, only trinken and bekommen are regular. Essen is irregular (that's what the "I" means). Do you remember from the last lesson 'lesen' and 'sehen'? In both of them, the first 'e' changed to 'ie' in the du- and er/sie/es-forms. Well essen experiences the same change, except that it changes to 'i', not 'ie'. Also, it acts the same as 'lesen' in the du-form: You don't have three s's in a row.

Person Singular Plural
1st ich esse wir essen
2nd du isst ihr esst
3rd er/sie/es isst sie essen

Isst sounds and looks a lot like ist. The minute difference happens to be in the way you pronounce the s. When you mean eats it is sometimes an overstressed hissing (i.e. extremely sharp) sound. In normal life Germans, too, can only tell which verb is meant from knowing the context.

Just like in last lesson, where you could say, "Ich spiele gerne Fußball.", you can also extend it to food. "I like to eat cheeseburgers." is translated as "Ich esse gerne Cheeseburger."

Before 1996, the usage of ißt and eßt were common, but the new reform rules specify that these spellings are now the only correct spellings.

The last two verbs (marked (M)) are modals. They will be discussed in the next section.

Section Problems >>

Modals edit

In the introduction, you learned that German has no helping verbs. Instead, they have modals, words that basically do the same thing.

Modals are conjugated very differently from normal verbs. The ich- and er/sie/es-forms are always the same, while the du-form adds an 'st'. Most modals experience a vowel change from singular to plural, and the rest is the same.

Möchten edit

'Möchten' isn't technically a modal, but it acts exactly the same. There is no vowel change, and the ich- and er/sie/es forms are "möchte". Here is the complete conjugation:

Person Singular Plural
1st ich möchte wir möchten
2nd du möchtest ihr möchtet
3rd er/sie/es möchte sie möchten

'Möchten' means "would like" and can be applied to food (e.g. Ich möchte einen Cheeseburger.). Möchten can be translated even more literally as "would like to", and is traditionally used with an infinitive verb at the end of the sentence (e.g. "Ich möchte jetzt gehen"/"I would like to go now"). However, this infinitive is not necessary if it's completely obvious what you're talking about (If you say "Ich möchte einen Cheeseburger", everyone will assume that you would like a cheeseburger to eat.)

(Note: Technically, "möchten" is not a word. The above cited conjugation is actually the "Konjunktiv" of "mögen", which has become so popular as a phrase, that even many Germans today aren't aware of it any more, so you don't need to worry about it. "Etwas mögen" means "to like to", and "I would like" is the closest translation of "ich möchte.")

Wollen edit

'Wollen' is a true modal; it even changes vowels. Ich/er/sie/es will and du willst. Here is the complete conjugation:

Person Singular Plural
1st ich will wir wollen
2nd du willst ihr wollt
3rd er/sie/es will sie wollen

'Wollen' can also be applied to food, but may be considered impolite and demanding ("Ich will einen Cheeseburger!" roughly means "I demand a cheeseburger!" Möchten should be used instead: "Ich möchte einen Cheeseburger!" = "I want a cheeseburger!").

'Wollen' should not be confused with the future tense, despite the presence of the English word 'will' in the conjugations. However, will can also mean an intent or a document showing what one wants to happen. So it is not so different from 'to want' as possibly originally presumed.

Modals with other verbs edit

This is very important. When you need to use another verb with a modal (such as expressing you would like or want to perform an action), the sentence's word order is somewhat different than it would be in English. In English, you would state the subject pronoun (such as "I"), an English equivalent to the modal verb (such as "want"), the action you want to perform (such as "to eat") and then what the action will be performed on (such as "hamburger"), making the sentence "I want to eat a hamburger." In German you must put the action at the end of the sentence, making the sentence "I want a hamburger to eat." ("Ich will einen Hamburger essen.")

Section Problems >>

Hunger and Thirst edit

In German, instead of saying, "I'm hungry."(Ich bin hungrig), you may also say "I have hunger."(Ich habe Hunger) The same applies to thirst. Here are the German translations of the corresponding nouns:

Hunger - der Hunger

Thirst - der Durst

Like in English, these two words do not have a plural form. When using them, you don't need to worry about the 'der'; you can just say, "Ich habe Hunger" to say "I am hungry" and "Ich habe keinen Hunger" for "I am not hungry."

Somewhat archaic but still in use are the adjectives hungrig and durstig. Those are often used when talking about someone (especially animals): "Der Löwe ist hungrig" for "The lion is hungry".

Section Problems >>

Formal Conversations edit

In Lesson 1, you learned how to talk formally, using phrases like "Guten Morgen!" and "Wie heißen Sie?". There are, however, a few words that are 'survival words' in Germany, specifically:

Danke - Thank you, Thanks

Bitte - Please and You're welcome.

To make this even more formal, you can tack on the word 'schön' to the end of "Thank you" and "You're welcome" to make 'dankeschön' and 'bitteschön' (both one word) in response. 'Schön' literally means 'pretty' (you'll relearn this next lesson).

Some other ways to say "thank you":

  • Dankeschön - Thank you very much
  • Danke sehr - Thanks a lot
  • Herzlichen Dank ("herzlichen" means sincere or from the heart; you may remember it from "Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!" last lesson)
  • Vielen Dank - Thanks a lot
  • Tausend Dank* - Thanks a million (literally meaning a thousand, but English is more generous)
  • Aufrichtigen Dank* - would be "thank you sincerely" (very formal)

* - You will not be tested on these phrases.

Some other ways to say "You are welcome":

  • Bitteschön!
  • Bitte sehr!
  • Gern geschehen! - Don't mention it
  • Gerne! - also meaning "gladly"
  • Kein Problem! - No problem
  • Dafür nicht!* - (Do) not (thank me) for this (only used in Northern Germany)

* - You will not be tested on this phrase.

These might also be useful:

Entschuldigung - Excuse me, Pardon

Es tut mir leid - Sorry, I'm sorry

Section Problems >>

Kein-words edit

Twice you have been taught that the ending of the indefinite article for plurals would be eine (for Nominative and Accusative cases), if there was an indefinite article for plurals. Now that lesson applies. The kein-words have the same endings as the ein-words, and they mean the opposite: no, not any, none. For example, "kein Cheeseburger" means "no cheeseburger". "Keine Cheeseburger" (in this case Cheeseburger is plural) means "No cheeseburgers". Notice the 'e' at the end of 'keine'. That's the ending for plurals and feminine nouns and can be likened to the "der, die, das -> die" relationship, where the feminine article serves for the plural as well.

Section Problems >>

Ordering at a Restaurant in Germany edit

das Restaur'ant' (French pronunciation) - Restaurant   Fr-Restaurant.ogg

There are many restaurants you might find in Germany. Much like in English-speaking countries, you would more likely use the name of the restaurant than name what kind of restaurant. If you want to address the wish to eat a certain food, there are two ways:

example: "wanting to eat chinese food"

1. "Ich möchte gerne zum Chinesen." - literally: "I want to go to the Chinese (restaurant)." 2. "Ich möchte gerne chinesisch essen (gehen)." - literally: "I want to (go) eat Chinese (style food)."

Here are some more restaurants you can find in Germany:

  • American food: "zum Amerikaner" / "amerikanisch essen"*
  • Arabic food: "zum Araber" / "arabisch essen"
  • Chinese food: "zum Chinesen" / "chinesisch essen"
  • French food: "zum Franzosen" / "französisch essen"
  • Greek food: "zum Griechen" / "griechisch essen"
  • Italian food: "zum Italiener" / "italienisch essen"
  • Indian food: "zum Inder" / "indisch essen"
  • Japanese food: "zum Japaner" / "japanisch essen"
  • Mexican food: "zum Mexikaner" / "mexikanisch essen"
  • Spanish food: "zum Spanier" / "spanisch essen"
  • Turkish food: "zum Türken" / "türkisch essen"

* "zum Amerikaner" is often used in a jokey way, to express that one is going to either McDonald's or Burger King. There are few American restaurants, in Germany and they are mostly referred to as "(American) Diner", so it is not used like "zum Italiener".

Accusative case prepositions edit

You read at the beginning of this lesson that the Accusative Case covers the direct object and the objects of some prepositions. Here are those prepositions that always fall under Accusative Case

bis - until

durch - through

entlang - along

für - for

gegen - against

ohne - without

um - at, around

You learned um last lesson, and ohne earlier this lesson. Bis, durch, entlang and gegen will be taught in depth later, and für will be taught now.

Up until this point, you have only worried about the Accusative Case in third person. Für, meaning 'for', can and should be used in the first and second persons, too. Here's an example:

"The cheeseburger is for me." - "Der Cheeseburger ist für mich."

As you can see, 'me' is put into accusative case because the preposition is für.

Section Problems >>

Saying How Food Tastes edit

In German (as in English) there are several ways of telling how food tastes. You can do this with 'gut' and 'schlecht' from Lesson 1 to say:

Der Cheeseburger schmeckt gut - The cheeseburger tastes good

Der Cheeseburger schmeckt schlecht - The cheeseburger tastes bad

But this is bland. Hopefully the food has more flavor than the description of it. You can use the following words to more colorfully describe how the cheeseburger tastes:

  • delicious - lecker
  • delicious - delikat* (a lot more formal than lecker)
  • tasty - schmackhaft
  • juicy - saftig*
  • crunchy - knackig (can also mean crispy)
  • crispy - knusprig*
  • spicy - würzig, pikant
  • stale, tasteless - fade* (Austria: fad)
  • salty - salzig
  • oversalted - versalzen* oder zu salzig
  • sweet - süß
  • bitter - bitter
  • sour - sauer
  • creamy - cremig*
  • hot (in the sense of "very spicy") - scharf - literally meaning "sharp"
  • hot (in the sense of "very warm") - heiß
  • burnt - angebrannt*
  • cold - kalt
  • disgusting, terrible - schrecklich

* - You will not be tested on these descriptors.

Schmecken is a regular verb. Here is its conjugation:

Person Singular Plural
1st ich schmecke wir schmecken
2nd du schmeckst ihr schmeckt
3rd er/sie/es schmeckt sie schmecken

The first and second persons really shouldn't be used. No one is going to say, "You guys taste salty" or "I taste creamy." So the only forms you really need to know are er/sie/es schmeckt and sie (plural) schmecken.

You can use 'schmeckt' and 'schmecken' or 'ist' and 'sind' to state how the food tastes. Just use whichever one you would use in English and it'll usually be correct.

Although the English meaning of schmecken is simply to taste, "Schmeckt der Cheeseburger?" can be taken in a positive way to mean "Do you like the cheeseburger?". In other words, schmecken alone can mean to taste good.

Section Problems >>

Dieser-forms edit

"The cheeseburger tastes good." does not sound that specific as to which cheeseburger you are talking about. You could be talking about a cheeseburger that is not directly in front of you. It just isn't clear. Now, if you said, "This cheeseburger tastes good.", it would be obvious that you're talking about the cheeseburger you're eating. 'Dieser' is the German translation for 'this': "Dieser Cheeseburger schmeckt gut."

Dieser edit

'Dieser' is a special adjective. It changes forms in different situations: different genders and different cases. It can also mean 'these' when modifying a plural. Here are its forms:

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative Case dieser diese dieses diese
Accusative Case diesen diese dieses diese

As you can see, dieser is only appropriate for modifying masculine nouns in nominative case. But 'Cheeseburger', which is masculine, is the subject of the sentence, "Dieser Cheeseburger schmeckt gut." So it is correct in that circumstance.

Jeder edit

Jeder means 'every'. It acts exactly like 'dieser' in its endings, so it should be easy to remember. Here are the different forms:

Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative Case jeder jede jedes
Accusative Case jeden jede jedes

Notice the absence of the plural form. When you think about this, it's the same in English: no one says 'every books'.

Welcher edit

'Welcher' is the third of this threesome of adjectives. 'Welcher' means 'which' and is used like the other interrogatives (wer, was, wann, wo, warum, wie, and welcher). However, because the general subject has to be specified, welcher must be inflected before use: "Welcher Hamburger ist seiner?" Its forms have the same endings as 'dieser'.

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative Case welcher welche welches welche
Accusative Case welchen welche welches welche

Connection with Time edit

You might want to say 'every day', 'this week', 'every morning', or 'which Tuesday night?'. But to do this, not only do you need to know the jeder-forms, but also the genders of the times and the cases. The second one is easy: Whenever you do something at a certain time, that time is put into Accusative Case. Last lesson, you learned the gender of one time: der Tag. So now you know everything to say 'diesen Tag', 'jeden Tag', and 'welchen Tag?' (this day, every day, and which day?). Here are the cases of all the times in Lesson 2:

Masculine Feminine Neuter
  • Tag
  • Monat
  • Morgen
  • Abend
  • Nachmittag
  • Woche
  • Nacht
  • Jahr
  • Wochenende

When extending to 'which Tuesday night?', remember that the night stays feminine on Tuesday, so it stays "Welche Dienstagnacht?". Likewise, you can say 'every June' the same as 'every month': 'jeden Juni'.

This and That edit

Ich möchte einen Cheeseburger. Der schmeckt sehr gut.

Ich esse jeden Tag Cheeseburger. Die habe ich gern.

Look at the second sentence of each of these German dialogues. What's missing? That's right, instead of "Der Cheeseburger schmeckt sehr gut." and "Die Cheeseburger habe ich gern.", both of the 'Cheeseburgers, so to speak, are dropped. We're left with just the articles, only in this case, they aren't articles. They're demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative pronouns aren't scary. They're just the same as the normal pronouns, only they give more oomph to the sentence. They can be translated as either 'this' or 'that' ("I'd like a cheeseburger. That tastes very good."), or 'these' or 'those' for plurals ("I eat cheeseburgers every day. These I like.").

Demonstrative pronouns are exactly the same as the definite articles (well, there is one change in dative, but that will be covered in Lesson 7). If you are not sure of the gender (meaning in context, the speaker doesn't know, not that you've forgotten that it's 'der Cheeseburger'), use 'das', like in "Was ist das?" (What is that?).

Money and Paying edit

Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Belgium and Südtirol – in other words: all German speaking regions except Switzerland and Liechtenstein– have given up their former currencies and adopted the Euro as of 1999. One Euro is worth 100 Cents. Because they are not members of the European Union, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have kept the Swiss Francs (Franken = 100 Rappen).

'Euro' normally does not change in the plural in German, so you would still say "Ich habe 500 Euro." Nevertheless, there is an exception: Euro coins. If you say "Ich habe vier Euros.", you actually are saying that you have four 1-Euro coins. Because the backsides of euro coins look different in each country, many people in Europe have started collecting foreign euro coins. In this case you can say "Ich habe irische Euros." (I have Irish euro coins.) for example.

There is not yet a rule whether or not the word "Cent" has a different plural form. The majority of Germans are using the word "Cent" as a plural form, but when they don't it is simply "Cents".

In German "euro" is pronounced [‘oi-ro], not [you-ro]. For "Cent" there are two pronunciations: you can either pronounce it as in English or you say "tzent". The latter version seems to be preferred by older people.

When at a restaurant, you will want to pay at the end. You can use this vocabulary to help you.

  • to pay - zahlen
  • the bill - die Rechnung*
  • the waiter - der Kellner, die Bedienung (also der Ober)**
  • the waitress - die Kellnerin (but not die Oberin because this means Reverend Mother)
  • "How much is that?" - "Was macht das?" ("What does that make?") or the "umgangssprachliche" "Wie viel kostet das?"

* To ask for the bill you can say, "Bitte zahlen!", or make it a complete sentence: "Ich würde gern zahlen!", or "Wir möchten/wollen zahlen!". You can also say, "(Herr Ober), die Rechnung bitte!". The term "der Ober" is the waiter, but this sounds very old fashioned and is hardly ever used today. To address the waiter you would probably say "Entschuldigen Sie, ..." ("Pardon, ...") as in "Entschuldigen Sie, wir würden gern zahlen" (Pardon me, we would like to pay").

** Although it is perfectly OK to say “Bedienung” or “Kellner” when talking about a waiter or a waitress, you should not address the waiter by saying "Bedienung!" or even “Fräulein!” which is regarded very impolite since the 1980s.

Section Problems >>

Test edit

The test will be located here, but the test for this lesson is not yet completed.

Review 1.01 edit

Review Section I.A: Lessons I.1 to I.3

Vocabulary edit

Vocabulary:   What's your name? (1st Part) —   Wie heißt du? (1. Teil)
English German
Hello! Hallo!
I ich
I am... Ich bin ...
how wie
you du
Your name is... Du heißt ...
What is your name? Wie heißt du?
My name is... Ich heiße ...
it es
it goes es geht
How is it going? Wie geht's? (Longer: Wie geht es?)
me mir
good gut
I'm good. Es geht mir gut. (Shorter: Mir geht's gut. Even shorter: Gut.)
you know du kennst
Do you know...? Kennst du ...?
teacher Lehrer
yes ja
he er
His name is... Er heißt ...
Mr. Herr
oh oh
thanks danke
until bis
then dann
See you! Bis dann!
on auf
again wieder
(to) see sehen
Goodbye! (Auf) Wiedersehen!
Vocabulary:   Greetings —   Grüße
English German
Hello! Hallo!*
Servus! (used in eastern Austria, informal)
Moin! (used in northern Germany)
Good morning! Moin Moin! (used in northern Germany)
Guten Morgen!*
Morgen! (shorter)
Good day! Guten Tag!*
Tag! (used in Germany, shorter)
Good evening! Guten Abend!*
Hello! Grüß Gott! (used in southern Germany, Austria and South Tyrol)
Goodbye! Auf Wiedersehen!*
Wiedersehen! (shorter)
Bye! Tschüss!*
Ciao! (pronounced as in Italian)
Servus! (used in eastern Austria, informal)
See you later! Bis später!*
See you! Bis dann!*
Bis bald!*
See you soon! Bis gleich!
Good night! Gute Nacht!*

*You will need to know each expression with an asterisk (*) after it. The others, of course, would be useful to know if you are traveling to regions where they are used. (As you can see, the different German-speaking regions often have their own ways of saying hello and goodbye. However, you will not be required to know any of these less common phrases for any problems or tests.)

Vocabulary:   Mr. & Ms. —   Herr und Frau
English German
Mr. Herr
Mrs. Frau
Vocabulary:   How are you —   Wie geht's?
English German
How are you? Wie geht's? (longer: Wie geht es?)*
great prima
good gut
very good sehr gut
miserable miserabel
bad schlecht
not (so) good nicht (so) gut
O.K. ganz gut
all right Es geht so. (Or shorter: Geht so.)

*The more formal form is Wie geht es Ihnen?

Vocabulary:   What's your name? (2nd Part) —   Wie heißt du? (2. Teil)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - What's your name? (2nd Part).ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Good morning. Guten Morgen.
you (formal) Sie
You are... (formal) Sie sind ...
Are you...? (formal) Sind Sie ...?
no nein
late spät
I am late. Ich bin spät dran.
You're welcome. Bitte.
also auch
later später
See you later. Bis später.
Grammar:   Subject Pronouns —   Subjekt-Pronomina
English German
singular 1st person I ich
2nd person you du, Sie*
3rd person he, she, it er, sie, es
plural 1st person we wir
2nd person you ihr, Sie*
3rd person they sie

*Sie is the formal (polite) version of du and ihr.

Grammar:   Names —   Namen
English German
My name is... Ich heiße ...
His/Her/Its name is... Er/Sie/Es heißt ...
Their names are... Sie heißen ...
Our names are... Wir heißen ...
Your name is... Du heißt ...
Your names are... Ihr heißt ...
What is your name? Wie heißt du?*
What are your names? Wie heißt ihr?*

*Remember, the formal way to ask someone's name is to ask Wie heißen Sie?

Verb:   to be called —   heißen
English German
singular 1st person I am called ich heiße
2nd person you are called du heißt
3rd person he/she/it is called er/sie/es heißt
plural 1st person we are called wir heißen
2nd person you are called ihr heißt
3rd person they are called sie heißen*

*The form of verbs for you (polite)Sie is exactly the same as for the plural, 3rd person pronoun theysie.

Verb:   to be —   sein
English German
singular 1st person I am ich bin
2nd person you are du bist
3rd person he/she/it is er/sie/es ist
plural 1st person we are wir sind
2nd person you are ihr seid
3rd person they are sie sind*

*Don't forget that the form for you (polite)Sie is the same as for the plural, 3rd person pronoun theysie.

Verb:   to have —   haben
English German
singular 1st person I have ich habe
2nd person you have du hast
3rd person he/she/it has er/sie/es hat
plural 1st person we have wir haben
2nd person you have ihr habt
3rd person they have sie haben*

*This is also the form for you (polite)Sie.

Vocabulary:   Vocabulary —   Wortschatz
English German
the directory assistance die Auskunft
I would like to have... Ich hätte gern(e) ...
the phone number die Telefonnummer
from Berne aus Bern
How do you write this? Wie schreibt man das?
please bitte
(to) spell buchstabieren
of course natürlich
A as in Anton A wie Anton
twice zweimal
The number is... Die Nummer lautet ...
Grammar:   The Alphabet —   Das Alphabet
Characters Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Umlauts Ää Öö SS ß Üü
Examples Ärger (anger) Ökonom (economist) Übermut (high spirits)
Vocabulary:   Questions —   Fragen
English German
who? wer?
what? was?
where? wo?
when? wann?
why? warum?
how? wie?
Grammar:   The Definite Article in the Nominative Case —   Der bestimmte Artikel im Nominativ
German English
singular masculine der Junge the boy
feminine die Frau the woman
neuter das Mädchen* the girl
plural masculine die Jungen the boys
feminine die Frauen the women
neuter die Mädchen the girls

*Note that Mädchen is neuter. (In fact, almost all words with the ending -chen are neuter.)

Grammar:   The Indefinite Article in the Nominative Case —   Der unbestimmte Artikel im Nominativ
German English
singular masculine ein Mann a man
feminine eine Frau a woman
neuter ein Mädchen* a girl

*Note that Mädchen is neuter.

Wie heißt Du? (1. Teil) edit

Hello and Goodbyes edit

Can you remember the most common phrases for hellos and goodbyes in German?


Mr. and Mrs. edit

How do you say Mr. and Mrs. in German?


Replies to Wie geht's? edit

Do you remember how to reply to this question?


Wie heißt du? (2. Teil) edit

Sie and du edit

Do you remember when to use Sie and when to use du?


Subject Pronouns edit

Do you remember what a subject pronoun is? Do you remember the German subject pronouns?


Names edit

Do you remember how to tell your or someone else's name?


Important Verbs edit

Do you remember how to conjugate heißen, sein, and haben?


Bitte buchstabieren Sie edit

The German Alphabet edit

Do you remember how to spell the German letters?


Forming Questions edit

Do you remember the word order in questions and the most common question words?


Articles edit

Do you remember the definite and indefinite articles in German?


Section 1.02 ~ Berlin, Germany edit

Lesson 1.04 - Kleidung edit

Gedächtniskirche auf dem Kurfürstendamm, Berlin

Lesson I.7: Kleidung

Hello from Berlin! edit

In every Lesson from 7 - 15 there is going to be a featured German-Speaking city, which will be the theme of the lesson. For 7 - 8 it is Berlin. There will be famous locations in Berlin, for this lesson it's Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe, the shopping area of Berlin. Also in each lesson there will be facts, so if you ever travel to a German-Speaking country, it'll be like you are a native!

Facts edit

It's Time to Change Time edit

Berlin's time is GMT+1, meaning they are 6 hours ahead of EST. If it's 2:00pm in New York City, it's 8:00pm (or 20:00) locally. Please note that Germany changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U.S., so time differences still vary in March and October.

Tip, Tip, and More Tip edit

In contrast to many other countries where waiters sometime 'live on the tips,' in German-speaking countries service personnel always receive a regular wage (usually per hour), and the tip is always an extra for good service. Not to give a tip will probably give the waiter the impression that either the service or product were not that good and you are too polite to admit this, but not tipping is not considered 'rude'. If you tip you usually round up, up to 50 Cents for coffee or up to the next 5 euros for lunch, e.g. 2,70 € becomes 3,00 € and 21 € become 25 €. Also, tipping is only expected when you get served, i.e. when the service personnel bring something to your table, so if you pay at a counter – like at McDonald's or Starbucks – you don't tip at all. Only when having a large party, like celebrating your birthday in a restaurant, you do extra tipping. For a night you should pay 30 EUR to 80 EUR per waiter and give it separately to the manager (“für die Bedienung”). In many restaurants it is normal the tip is shared with the kitchen personnel. Paying with credit card or debit card makes tipping difficult, because there is no line on the bill to fill in the tip. Always tip when paying, don't leave money on the table.

Shopping Locations edit

There are two major shopping locations. The Kurfürstendamm in the old west is lined with boutiques and department stores. It continues eastwards for about three hundred yards where you can visit KaDeWe, the biggest department store in Europe. On the newly-developed Friedrichstraße in the old east, the famous French store Galleries Lafayette is to be found together with a maze of underground shopping malls. Shops are generally open 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday. In the outskirts, most shops close at 4pm on Saturdays.

Dialogue edit

Dialogue:   Going Shopping —   Einkaufen gehen
(missing file: File:German Dialogue - Going Shopping.ogg, how to upload audio)
Sarah Morgen, Lisa.
Lisa Morgen. Wie geht's dir?
Sarah Gut, danke! Ich gehe zum Kurfürstendamm, möchtest du mitkommen?
Lisa Ja, gerne. Ich hole vorher noch Geld.
Sarah Ich sehe dich dann am Kurfürstendamm.
am Kurfürstendamm
Sarah Hallo Lisa!
Lisa Hallo!
Sarah Wohin gehen wir zuerst?
Lisa Lass uns zu dieser Boutique gehen.
Sarah O.K.
in der Boutique
Angestellter Thomas Hallo meine Damen!
Sarah und Lisa Guten Tag!
Angestellter Thomas Darf ich Ihnen helfen?
Lisa Ja, können Sie mir helfen, diesen Rock in meiner Größe zu finden?
Angestellter Thomas Natürlich.
Angestellter Thomas Hier ist der Rock in Ihrer Größe.
Lisa Danke. Wo ist die Umkleidekabine?
Angestellter Thomas Dort drüben.

Shopping edit

There is a lot to say about shopping, places to shop at, money and items to buy. In this lesson we will cover most of it. There are two major shopping locations in Berlin: Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe.

Vocabulary:   Shopping —   Einkaufen
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Shopping.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Babywear die Babyartikel (plural)
Children's Wear die Kinderbekleidung
(Children) department die (Kinder-)Abteilung
Clearance Sale der Räumungsverkauf
Closed geschlossen
Clothing die Kleidung
Computer Section die Computerabteilung
Cosmetics die Kosmetik (singular) die Kosmetika (plural)
Customer der Kunde
Customer Service der Kundendienst
Electrical Appliance das Elektrogerät
Escalator die Rolltreppe
Fashion die Mode
Furniture das Möbelstück (singular), die Möbel (plural)
Gift der Geschenkartikel
Good Value (Adj.) preiswert
Groceries die Lebensmittel (plural)
Jewellery der Schmuck (no plural)
Lady's Shoes die Damenschuhe (plural)
Leather Goods die Lederwaren (plural)
Open geöffnet
Opening Hours die Öffnungszeiten (plural)
Present das Geschenk
Reduced reduziert
price cut die Preissenkung
Sales Receipt der Kassenbon, der Kassenzettel, die Quittung
Souvenir das Andenken
Special Offer das Sonderangebot
Sporting Goods die Sportartikel (plural)
Stationery die Schreibwaren (plural)
Summer Sale der Sommerschlussverkauf (abbr. SSV)
Video Store die Videothek
Winter Sale der Winterschlussverkauf (abbr. WSV)

Kurfürstendamm edit

  • Kurfürstendamm

The Kurfürstendamm has many boutiques, department stores, etc., which are on Tauentzienstraße and Fasanenstraße, two streets in Kurfürstendamm. Tauentzienstraße has a lot of the department stores, including KaDeWe, which we will get into greater detail later. Fasanenstraße has a lot of the boutiques.

Vocabulary:   A Shopping Street in Berlin —   Kurfürstendamm (Ku'damm)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - A Shopping Street in Berlin.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Department Store das Kaufhaus (old fashioned "das Warenhaus")
Retail Store das Einzelhandelsgeschäft
The Mall das Einkaufszentrum
Boutique die Boutique
Store das Geschäft

And some of the things you might say or ask while in a clothing store...

  • Können Sie mir helfen, meine Größe zu finden (für dieses ____)?
Can you help me find my size (for this ____)?
  • Wo ist die Umkleidekabine?
Where is the dressing room?

Vocabulary:   A Shopping Street in Berlin —   Kurfürstendamm (Ku'damm)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - A Shopping Street in Berlin.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Manager der Manager
Employee der/die Angestellte
Sales Clerk der Verkäufer
Cashier der Kassierer
Dressing Room die Umkleidekabine
Men's Section die Männerabteilung
Women's Section die Frauenabteilung

Section Problems >>

KaDeWe edit

Another shopping location is das KaDeWe, an upscale department store in Germany. It has six floors, and is also called "the department store of the west" (Kaufhaus des Westens), because it is the largest and most magnificent department store on continental Europe.

Vocabulary:   A Department Store in Berlin —   Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - A Department Store in Berlin.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
First Floor Erstes Stockwerk
Menswear Männerkleidung
Second Floor Zweiter Stock
Womenswear Frauenkleidung
Third Floor Dritter Stock
Kids Section Kinderabteilung
Fourth Floor Vierter Stock
Electronics Elektronik
Kitchenware Küchenbedarf
Fifth Floor Fünfter Stock
Lighting Beleuchtung
Bedding Bettwäsche
Toys Spielwaren
Sixth Floor Sechster Stock
Food Lebensmittel

Since we already have most of the general shopping phrases and vocabulary down, we are going to get into more detail in the next few sections.

Section Problems>>

Electronics edit

First is electronics: it might seem a little sparse, but electronics and many other things will be featured in Lesson 12.

Vocabulary:   A Department Store in Berlin —   Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - A Department Store in Berlin.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Electronics die Elektronik
Television das Fernsehen/der Fernseher, die Fernseher (plural)
Digital Camera die Digitalkamera, die Digitalkameras (plural)
Telephone das Telefon, die Telefone (plural)
Cell phone das Mobiltelefon/das Handy (pronounced "Hendee"), die Mobiltelefone/Handys (plural)
Computer der Computer/der Rechner, die Computer/Rechner (plural)
Speaker, Speakers der Lautsprecher, die Lautsprecher (plural)
DVDs die DVDs (singular: die DVD)
CDs die CDs (singular: die CD)
DVD Player der DVD-Player
CD Player der CD-Player

Spielt der DVD-Player auch CDs?

Does the DVD player also play CDs?

Hat das Mobiltelefon/das Handy eine Digitalkamera?

Does the cell phone have a digital camera?

If you look at the word order of this sentence, you will see that you've already learned everything you need to make these sentences, and you, yourself can customize these sentences if you want.

Section Problems>>

Bedding edit

The bedding section is also quite bare, but that is because it will be discussed further in Lesson 12.

Vocabulary:   A Department Store in Berlin —   Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - A Department Store in Berlin.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Bedding die Bettwäsche
Blanket die Decke, die Decken
Pillow das Kopfkissen/das/der Polster (Austrian German), die Kopfkissen/Polster
Pillow Case der Kopfkissenbezug, die Kopfkissenbezüge
Sheet das Betttuch, die Betttücher
Bed Skirt der Bett-Rock

And like always here are some of the things you might say that are related to bedding.

  • Passen die Kopfkissenbezüge auf das Kopfkissen?
Does the pillow case fit the pillow?

And with that question there are other variations of it you can ask, like...

  • Passt die Decke auf das Bett?
Does the blanket fit the bed?

Section Problems>>

Money edit

Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Belgium and Südtirol – in other words: all German speaking regions except Switzerland and Liechtenstein– have given up their former currencies and adopted the Euro as of 1999. Because they are not members of the European Union, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have kept the Swiss Francs. Currently 1 EUR is 1.34 USD.

Now if you were at a shopping center in German like Kurfürstendamm, and you were shopping at a boutique here is some vocabulary you might want to know.

  • Was macht das?

Was kostet das?

How much does it cost?
  • Das Hemd kostet 120 Euro.
The shirt costs 120 euros.
  • Das kostet 690 Euro.
That costs 690 euros (all together).
Vocabulary:   Money —   Geld
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Money.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Price der Preis
Note der Schein
Coin die Münze
1 Euro coin das Eurostück, das Ein-Euro-Stück
2 Euro coin das Zweieurostück
5 Euro note der Fünfeuroschein
10 Euro note der Zehneuroschein
100 Euro note der Hunderteuroschein

Note: The word coin (Münze) mostly turns to Stück when a word or number is put together with it.

Even though in the vocabulary we list the 1, 2, 5, 10, 100 Euro there are more Euro notes. The twenty, fifty, two hundred, and five hundred Euro notes are the ones we didn't list, also there are cent coins.

Vocabulary:   Money —   Geld
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Money.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
1 Cent Coin das Centstück
2 Cent Coin das Zweicentstück
5 Cent Coin das Fünfcentstück
10 Cent Coin das Zehncentstück
20 Cent Coin das Zwanzigcentstück
50 Cent Coin das Fünfzigcentstück

German Math edit

In written German, a comma is used (e. g. in prices) where we would put a decimal point in English. Thus € 5,49 (or 5,49 €) means five euros and forty-nine cents. When a price ends in a round number of euros, it is most commonly written as € 5,- etc. The reverse is also true. Where as English uses a comma to split up large numbers, German uses a dot. So "€ 6.945" means sechs tausend neunhundertfünfundvierzig (six thousand nine hundred and forty-five) euros - not six point nine four five euros.

Clothing edit

Vocabulary:   Clothes —   Kleidung
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Clothes.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Skirt der Rock, die Röcke (plural)
Pullover der Pullover, die Pullover
Sweatshirt das Sweatshirt, die Sweatshirts
Scarf der Schal, die Schale/Schals
Jacket die Jacke, die Jacken
Coat der Mantel, die Mäntel
Shirt das Hemd, die Hemden
T-shirt das T-Shirt, die T-Shirts
Sweater der Sweater, die Sweater
(Neck)tie die Krawatte, die Krawatten
Bowtie die Fliege, die Fliegen
Suit der Anzug, die Anzüge
Pants die Hose, die Hosen (note: "die Hose IST"="the (pair of) pants ARE")
Underpants die Unterhose, die Unterhosen
Boxershorts die Boxershorts (plural)
Top das Top
Bra der Büstenhalter/der Busenhalter (abbr. BH), die Büstenhalter/Busenhalter
Swimming costume der Badeanzug, die Badeanzüge
Trunks die Badehose, die Badehosen
Hat der Hut, die Hüte
Shoe der Schuh, die Schuhe
Sock die Socke, die Socken
Stocking der Strumpf, die Strümpfe
Tights/Pantyhose die Strumpfhose, die Strumpfhosen
Glove der Handschuh, die Handschuhe
Blouse die Bluse, die Blusen
Cap die Mütze, die Mützen
Woollen hat die Wollmütze, die Wollmützen

Vocabulary:   Clothes —   Kleidung
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Clothes.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Size die Größe, die Größen
Color die Farbe, die Farben
Cotton die Baumwolle
Leather das Leder
Rayon die Kunstseide

Vocabulary:   Sizes —   Die Größen
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Sizes.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Small klein (abbr. S)
Medium mittel (abbr. M)
Large groß (abbr. L)
Extra-Large extragroß (abbr. XL)

Section Answers >>

Describing Clothes edit

Here are some of the words you can use when you are describing clothes:

Vocabulary:   Adjectives for Clothes —   Adjektive für Kleidung
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Adjectives for Clothes.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
Cheap günstig, billig
Expensive teuer
Pretty schön
Ugly hässlich
Soft weich
New neu
Broad breit
Wide weit
Tight eng
Comfortable bequem
Uncomfortable unbequem

To say I like something or not, for clothing, it's...

I like it!

Er/Sie/Es gefällt mir!

I don't like it!

Er/Sie/Es gefällt mir nicht!

Now if you try something on or you're looking for a soft shirt with a tight fit, you find it, feel it, try it on, but it's fairly expensive you might say this...

In English: The shirt looks great! The shirt feels soft, fits tight. The shirt is very comfortable. How much does it cost? Oh no! The shirt is expensive! 55 euros is a little too much for me.

In German: Das Hemd sieht prima aus! Das Hemd fühlt sich weich an, es sitzt eng. Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. Wieviel kostet es? Oh nein! Das Hemd ist teuer! 55 Euro sind mir ein bisschen zuviel.

The phrases to describe the shirt were...

The shirt looks great.

Das Hemd sieht prima aus.

The shirt feels soft.

Das Hemd fühlt sich weich an.

The shirt fits tight.

Das Hemd sitzt eng.

Now, the bold words are verbs that are one part in describing how the shirt is. The other half of describing it is the adjectives like soft, tight, great, etc. And as you can see the verb "looks" is separable, but we will get into that later.

Clothing-Related Verbs edit

And now getting into verbs - here are some of the verbs, and also some of these are Separable-Prefix Verbs, like aussehen, anprobieren, and anhaben. But we will study those in more detail later. Also we will be learning about "tragen".

Vocabulary:   Verbs Related to Clothes —   Verben im Zusammenhang mit Kleidung
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Verbs Related to Clothes.ogg, how to upload audio)
English German
To look aussehen
He looks Er sieht aus
To try on anprobieren
He tries on Er probiert an
to put on anziehen
He puts on Er zieht an
To take nehmen
To buy kaufen
To have on/wear anhaben, tragen
He has on/wears Er hat an

Separable Prefix Verbs edit

Many German verbs change their meaning by adding prefixs, which are often preposition such as ab-, an-, auf-, aus-, bei-, ein-, mit-, vor-, or zu-.The verbs anhaben (to wear) and aussehen (to look) are both verbs with separable (trennbar) prefixes. That is, when used next to the subject pronoun, the prefix is separated from the verb and put at the end of the sentence or clause. Or, better put, In the present tense and imperative, the prefix is separated from the infinitive stem.


"Ich habe einen Mantel an." ("I'm wearing a coat." Or, more literally translated, "I have a coat on.")

"Was hast du an?" ("What are you wearing?" or "What do you have on?")

However, when the separable-prefix verb is put at the end of the sentence, such as when used with a modal verb, the verb in question and its prefix are not separated.


"Du willst einen Mantel anhaben." ("You want to wear a coat.")

"Willst du eine Bluse anhaben?" ("Do you want to wear a blouse?")

Section Problems >>

Tragen edit

Instead of "anhaben" the verb "tragen" is often used. The sentences from above would then be:

"Ich trage einen Mantel." ("I'm wearing a coat." )
"Was trägst du?" ("What are you wearing?")
"Du willst einen Mantel tragen." ("You want to wear a coat.")
"Willst du eine Bluse tragen?" ("Do you want to wear a blouse?")

The verb "tragen" has two meanings: "to wear" and "to carry". So if someone says "Ich trage Schuhe" only the context will tell you whether the person is carrying the shoes in his hands or actually wearing them. Tragen is a different kind of irregular verb -- one that not only changes at the end of the word, but also changes internally. Notice that the vowel in tragen's second and third-person forms changes from an a into an ä. Other verbs with similar conjugation patterns include fahren, graben, schaffen, and waschen.

Person Singular Plural
1st ich trage wir tragen
2nd du trägst ihr tragt
3rd er/sie/es trägt sie tragen

Colors edit

Color are also another great way to describe clothes like Das rote Hemd passt gut.which means The red shirt fits well.

Read the following paragraph, try to find the words described to have a color.

Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald. Ich habe ein grünes Hemd getragen. Die Reise war lang. Es begann kälter zu werden und abzukühlen. Ich hörte Musik auf meinem braunen iPod. Ich bin schließlich eingeschlafen. Als ich aufwachte, sah ich den blauen Himmel und den weißen Schnee.

If you found 5 words you are right.

Schwarz which means black (the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) is a wooded mountain range)

Grünes Hemd which is a green shirt.

Brauner iPod which is a brown iPod.

Blauer Himmel which is blue sky.

And weißer Schnee which is white snow.

And now for the actual colors...

Red                "Rot"     
Blue               "Blau"
Green              "Grün"  
Orange             "Orange"
Violet             "Violett"
Yellow             "Gelb"
Brown              "Braun"
Indigo             "Indigo"
Gray               "Grau"
Black              "Schwarz"
White              "Weiß"

Section Problems >>

Lesson 1.05 - Volk und Familie edit

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Lesson I.8: Familie und Nationalität

Hello from Berlin! edit

Facts edit

Banks and Money edit

Germany's main banks are Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank. There are many banks of all kinds throughout the country. Banks are open Mon-Fri 9am-12pm and 2:30-4pm. On Thursdays, they are open until 5:30 or 6pm. Changing money is best done at a bank because their rates will be better than exchange services located at a Bureau de Change. Major post office branches and travel agents also offer currency exchange. Germany is one of 15 European countries that have replaced their national currencies with the Euro, which is stronger to the U.S. Dollar, but weaker than the British Pound.

Dialog edit

Dialogue:   Visiting Family —   Familie besuchen
Vater, Mutter und die Geschwister bekommen Besuch von Oma und Opa
Vater Karl Hallo Mama, Hallo Papa! Wie geht es euch?
Opa Rudolf Na mein Enkel, du bist ja richtig groß geworden!
Oma Lisa Mir geht's gut. Ich gehe zum Kurfürstendamm. Möchtet ihr mit mir kommen?
Sohn Thomas Ja, Opa, ich weiß.
Tochter Marie Oma! Hast du uns etwas mitgebracht?
Mutter Bettina Nun sei nicht so aufgeregt Marie, lass Oma und Opa erst einmal hereinkommen.
kurze Zeit später, die Geschenke wurden schon ausgepackt...
Tochter Marie Mutti! Thomas nimmt mir immer meine Puppe weg.
Mutter Bettina Thomas! Du sollst deiner Schwester nicht ihre Puppe wegnehmen.
Sohn Thomas Nein, das ist meine Puppe.
Mutter Bettina Nein. Die Puppe gehört deiner Schwester.
Sohn Thomas Gut, hier hast du die Puppe...
Mutter Bettina Und bedanke dich bei deinen Großeltern, Marie.

People edit

The Family edit

Home is where the heart is, they say. And what is in the home? Family! of course, so this is a very important section of the lesson. It'll give all vocabulary for the family, and later in a different section, you'll learn how to describe your brothers and sisters or any person! And now to get started let's do some vocabulary...

Vocabulary:   The Family —   Die Familie
English German
Son der Sohn, die Söhne (plural)
Daughter die Tochter, die Töchter
Father der Vater, die Väter
Mother die Mutter, die Mütter
Dad der Papa (informal), der Vati/der Papi (informal)
Mum die Mama (informal), die Mutti/die Mami (informal)
Grandfather der Großvater, die Großväter
Grandmother die Großmutter, die Großmütter
Grandpa der Opa, die Opas
Grandma die Oma, die Omas
Sister die Schwester, die Schwestern
Stepsister die Stiefschwester, die Stiefschwestern
Brother der Bruder, die Brüder
Stepbrother der Stiefbruder, die Stiefbrüder
Siblings die Geschwister
Stepbrothers and stepsisters die Stiefgeschwister (kein Singular)
Grandson der Enkel/der Enkelsohn, die Enkelsöhne
Granddaughter die Enkelin, die Enkelinnen
Wife die Ehefrau, die Frau (informal), die Gattin (formal)
Husband der Ehemann, der Mann (informal), der Gatte (formal)
Father-in-law der Schwiegervater
Mother-in-law die Schwiegermutter
Brother-in-law der Schwager, die Schwäger
Sister-in-law die Schwägerin, die Schwägerinnen
Son-in-law der Schwiegersohn, die Schwiegersöhne
Daughter-in-law die Schwiegertochter, die Schwiegertöchter
Uncle der Onkel, die Onkel
Aunt die Tante, die Tanten

Now even though many of these are common phrases you and I would say in everyday life, some of these are rather used when you are on a visit to grandmother's, or things your mother would say. Maybe you notice some of these in the dialogue. Now you might be asking "How am I going to speak fluent German, if I just learn phrases?" Like I said, these are basically from the dialogue, and you can study these to look at the word order. Also certain things are just different in German, like "Wie heißt du?" which translates literally to "How are you called?" when we use "What is your name?". Okay let's get started on these common phrases...

Du bist ja richtig groß geworden.

You have grown up so much (usual sentence used by Opa und Oma)

Hast du uns etwas mitgebracht?

Have you brought something for us? (usual sentence used by Enkel and Enkelin)

Nun sei nicht so aufgeregt.

Now don't be so excited.

Komm rein.

Come in.

(Sie) Wurden schon ausgepackt.

(They) Have already been opened.

(Sich) Bedanken für etwas.

To thank for something.

Using Formal and Informal Pronouns in the Family edit

Some very conservative families might still use Sie with grandparents or even parents! This is sometimes practiced in families of nobility or exterritorial cultural islands in which older German customs have survived. However, using "Sie" feels very outdated to the vast majority of people. In practically every family all members use du with each other.

Describing People edit

I can't describe in words how important this section of the lesson is. Even though you have already learned to describe to some degree, here we will introduce a new aspect of describing, and we will review. But how could we describe if we didn't have vocabulary? Here it is...

Vocabulary:   Describing People —   Leute beschreiben
English German
Nice nett, sympathisch
Mean unfreundlich, gemein
Nasty fies, gemein
Pretty schön
Ugly hässlich
Intelligent intelligent
Unintelligent unintelligent
Clever schlau, klug, clever
Stupid dumm/blöd/deppert (Austrian German)
Interesting interessant
Boring langweilig, fad (Austrian German)
Active rührig, aktiv
Lazy faul
Funny komisch, witzig
Serious ernst(haft)
Strong stark, kräftig
Weak schwach
Odd eigenartig
Talented begabt, talentiert
Untalented unbegabt, untalentiert
Bossy rechthaberisch
Passive untätig
Old alt
Young jung
Fat fett, dick
Skinny dünn
Tall groß
Short klein
Evil böse

The verb used most often for describing is "to be" which we learned in the first lesson. Some examples are: He is wet, This is stupid, I am lazy. But you do use other verbs like feel, look, etc. This lesson we will be sticking mostly with the verbs we've learned in the past. We will, however, learn one new verb. All sentences we will create will be in the nominative case. Okay, let's get started!

In term of beauty, you can say four basic things. These aren't the all but these are the easiest and simplest ones.

She is beautiful.

Sie ist schön.

He is ugly.

Er ist hässlich.

These two use the verb to be, and the next one will use the verb to look which would need something else in order to make sense.

She looks beautiful, but that shirt is ugly.

Sie sieht schön aus, aber dieses Hemd ist hässlich.

He looks ugly, but he looked handsome yesterday.

Er sieht hässlich aus, aber gestern sah er schön aus.

And in the last sentence it says "ausgesehen." Don't worry about that--it wouldn't be taught until Level 3. So since you get the idea of describing, let's learn a new verb! And the new verb is klingen which is to sound. As in "He sounds weird.", "She sounds boring." Since we know how to describe, we really don't have to cover it. It's works just like other verbs.

He sounds nice.

Er klingt nett.

They sound funny.

Sie klingen komisch.

Remember that when describing it's S+V+A, or subject, verb, then adjective. Exactly like in English. For right now, that's all for describing things. We are going to have some small describing lessons with some parts of this lesson.

Related Verbs edit

Okay we just went over the verb in the previous section. This will basically be a list that will help you memorize them better, and there is not a lot. Other than "klingen" and "fühlen" you should know all of these. The "Er sieht aus" is to show you it is a separable-prefix verb.

Vocabulary:   Verbs —   Verben
English German
To be sein
To look aussehen, ausschauen (Austrian German)
He looks Er sieht aus
To feel (sich) fühlen
To sound klingen

Nationality edit

This is also a large section of this lesson: nationality, and it's very important. There are many nationalities, too many to go over in this lesson, but you will learn more nationality as this level and book goes on. Right now we are just going to have a vague little list, and as this section goes on there will be more. Finally, gentlemen, get ready to have your minds blown...

Some Nationalities edit

This is the small list, make sure you memorize this list and the next one.

Vocabulary:   Nationalities —   Nationalitäten
English German
German(s) (masculine) der Deutsche, (m. plural) die Deutschen; (feminine) die Deutsche, (f. plural) die Deutschen
American(s) der Amerikaner, die Amerikaner; die Amerikanerin, die Amerikanerinnen
Englishman der Engländer, die Engländer; die Engländerin, die Engländerinnen
Spaniard(s) der Spanier, die Spanier; die Spanierin, die Spanierinnen
Italian(s) der Italiener, die Italiener; die Italienerin, die Italienerinnen
Frenchman der Franzose, die Franzosen; die Französin, die Französinnen

Describing People with Nationality edit

It is no surprise you can describe people with nationality, most times, it's stereotypical, like Norwegians are blonde, tall, etc. or Germans wear lederhosen, drink beer, and play polka all day long, but that is just not true. However you can just use it for what it is, a nationality. If you do describe people by nationality this will help. Okay, you should already know how to describe, right?

This part we will get more in to detail later, but right it is an important part of describing people with nationality, even though in English we most times don't do this, in German they do. The difference between nationality and language, like in English, French and French. But in German it is französisch and Franzose, Französin. This also is how it works for nationality describing by noun or adjective, which we are going to learn right now.

Noun or Adjective Nationality edit

There are two ways to describe someone. With a noun-based nationality word or an adjective-based nationality word. But note that in German the noun-based form is used more often.

Example: Ich bin Schwede (I am Swedish) and Ich bin schwedisch (I am Swedish)

Example: Ich bin Franzose (I am French) and Ich bin französisch (I am French)

More Nationalities edit

A longer list of nationalities found in and around Germany:

Vocabulary:   More Nationalities —   Mehr Nationalitäten
African (m.) Afrikaner (-); (f.) Afrikanerin (-nen)
Albanian Albaner (-); Albanerin (-nen)
Austrian Österreicher (-); Österreicherin (-nen)
Czech Tscheche (-n); Tschechin (-nen)
Chinese Chinese (-n); Chinesin (-nen)
Dane Däne (-n); Dänin (-nen)
Dutchman/woman Holländer (-); Holländerin (-nen)
Estonian Este (-n); Estin (-nen)
Finnish Finne (-n); Finnin (-nen)
Greek Grieche (-n); Griechin (-nen)
Hungarian Ungar (-n); Ungarin (nen)
Irish Ire (-n); Irin (-nen)
Indian Inder (-); Inderin (-nen)
Japanese Japaner (-); Japanerin (-nen)
Korean Koreaner (-); Koreanerin (-nen)
Latvian Lette (-n); Lettin (-nen)
Lithuanian Litauer (-); Litauerin (-nen)
Norwegian Norweger (-); Norwegerin (-nen)
Polish Pole (-n); Polin (-nen)
Romanian Rumäne (-n); Rumänin (-nen)
Russian Russe (-n); Russin (-nen)
Serbian Serbe (-n); Serbin (-nen)
Slovakian Slovake (-n); Slovakin (-nen)
Swede Schwede (-n); Schwedin (-nen)
Swiss Schweizer (-); Schweizerin (-nen)
Turkish Türke (-n); Türkin (-nen)
Ukrainian Ukrainer (-); Ukrainerin (-nen)

Age edit

Now we are all familiar with the word "alt'", which means old. And in English, to find out somebody's age we ask "How old are you?". In German it is exactly the same. The "alt" kind of belongs to the interrogative adverb, so in both German and English it may be in front of the verb:

Wie alt bist du?

How old are you?

Now to ask the question with 1st person it is...

Wie alt bin ich?

How old am I?

And as response you might get...

Ich bin __ Jahre alt.

I am __ years old.

Du bist __ Jahre alt.

You are __ years old.

And now the plural version of the 1st person...

Wie alt sind wir?

How old are we?

The responses you will get is...

Wir sind __ Jahre alt.

We are __ years old.

Ihr seid __ Jahre alt.

You all are __ years old.

To ask this important question in the 2nd person. First, we will learn the biggest question here, "How old are you?" which is...

Wie alt bist du?

How old are you?

And there is only one response to this it is...

Ich bin __ Jahre alt.

I am __ years old.

For the equally important plural 2nd person...

Wie alt seid ihr?

How old are you all?

Which the response is...

Wir sind __ Jahre alt.

We are __ years old.

And formal question, for both singular and plural is...

Wie alt sind Sie?

How old are you?

How old are you all?

You should all ready get the pattern for this, but we are going to keep on doing this list, if you aren't sure of something or you are confused. So for the 3rd person...

Wie alt ist er/sie?

How old is he/she?

The responses to this are...

Er ist __ Jahre alt.

He is __ years old.

Sie ist __ Jahre alt.

She is __ years old.

And now the plural 3rd person of question and response...

Wie alt sind sie?

How old are they?

And of course the response...

Sie sind __ Jahre alt.

They __ years old.

Now with some people you might be able to guess their age, and you could ask them directly about it. This is usually pretty of rude, but it illustrates nicely how the phrase has to be changed if you ask a yes-no-question, so let's get started, anyway!

Bist du __ Jahre alt?

Are you __ years old?

Ist er/sie __ Jahre alt?

Is he/she __ years old?

Sind sie __ Jahre alt?

Are they __ years old?

Note the inversed order between "Wie alt bist du?" und "Bist du __ Jahre alt?" This is exactly the same as in English!

Possessives edit

Person Singular Plural
English German English German
1st my mein our unser
2nd your dein, Ihr your euer, Ihr
3rd his, her, its sein, ihr, sein their ihr

Note: 'Euer' is irregular. When 'euer' has to have a different ending the e before r is dropped, so it turns into 'eur-'.

Gender, Case, and Endings edit

Expressing Favorites edit

Problems >>

Lesson 1.06 - Schule edit

Lesson I.9: Schule

Hello from Berlin! edit

School in Germany edit

  • School is not regulated nationwide, but by each Land
  • German "Kindergarten" is optional - it translates rather to "play school", "Vorschule" being roughly the equivalent to "Kindergarten"
  • From the age of six on, all Germans attend a "Grundschule" (elementary school) for four or six years, depending on the Land.
  • After that, they go to either
    • the "Hauptschule" which is industrially oriented,
    • the "Realschule", which is skill oriented,
    • the "Gymnasium", which is academically oriented,
    • or the "Gesamtschule", or comprehensive school.
  • Schooling is obligatory until the age of 16, but the Gymnasium diploma "Abitur" can only be obtained after 12 or 13 years, i.e. at age 18 or 19.
  • Latin and sometimes even ancient Greek are regularly taught at the Gymnasium. For the "Abitur", at least two foreign languages as well as some calculus and analysis classes have to be taken.
  • School days often are from 8:00-13:00. In most 'Länder', only the older students have additional classes between about 14:00-15:30 (i.e. 8AM - 1PM and 2PM - 3:30PM)
  • In most schools, Extracurricular Activities are offered, such as Drama Club or School Choir, but they are less common than in the U.S. Though many students feel some sort of identification with their school, most are just happy when they can go home.
  • Generally speaking, many schools still are more formal than US or Canadian schools.
  • The marking system uses
    • 1 (very good, 87,5% or 96%),
    • 2 (good 75% or 85%), **
    • 3 (satisfactory, 62,5% or 65%),
    • 4 (sufficient 50% or 45%).
    • 5 (faulty) is failed or 25%.
    • 6 (not sufficient) is only used when the student literally hands in a blank sheet or failed.
  • These marks can be modified with a "+" or a "-" to indicate a tendency, so e.g. 2+ is a fairly good mark that corresponds to about 80%.

Dialogue edit

Silke: Jetzt haben wir Mathe.
Torsten: Oh nein, ich habe überhaupt keine Lust dazu.
Silke: Hast du die Aufgaben gemacht?
Torsten: Ja, im Bus.
Silke: Super! Kann ich sie abschreiben?
Lehrer (Betritt den Raum): Guten Morgen!
Klasse: Guten Morgen!
Lehrer: Wer möchte die Aufgaben an der Tafel rechnen? Florian?
Florian geht zur Tafel, schreibt an und liest vor: 
   "5 plus 8 ist gleich 13"
   "8 minus 5 ist gleich 3"
   "3 mal 8 ist gleich 24"
   "24 geteilt durch 12 ist gleich 2"
Lehrer: Sehr gut, Florian!
Die Glocke läutet. Es ist Fünfminutenpause.
Silke: Schnell, wir müssen zu Musik!
Torsten: Au ja, darauf freue ich mich schon.
Silke: Was machen wir heute?
Torsten: Wir wollen ein Lied von Grönemeyer singen!
Silke: Welches denn?
Torsten: "Alkohol", glaube ich.
Nach dem Musikunterricht:
Silke: Jetzt haben wir nur noch Geschichte...
Torsten: Komm, wir schwänzen und gehen ins Bistro.
Silke: Schon wieder!

Und Satz für Satz ... edit

Oh nein, ich habe überhaupt keine Lust dazu.

"Lust (zu etwas) haben" means "feeling like (it)". "Ich habe keine Lust (dazu)" is "I don't feel like (it)". "Ich habe überhaupt keine Lust" emphasizes it, meaning "I don't feel like it at all."

Hast du die Aufgaben gemacht?
Have you the tasks done?

"Did you do your homework?"

Ja, im Bus.
Yes, in the bus.

This is a common practice of students everywhere in the world, I guess...

Notice the contraction of "im", which is derived from "in dem", "in the".

Super! Kann ich sie noch schnell abschreiben?
Super! Can I just quickly copy them?

"Super", "Cool", "Toll", are common exclamations ... "Noch schnell" is here meant as "while there is still time"

Lehrer (Betritt den Raum): Guten Morgen!
Teacher (enters the room): Good Morning!

Klasse: Guten Morgen!
Class: Good Morning!

Wer möchte die Aufgaben an der Tafel rechnen? Florian?
Who would like the tasks on the blackboard calculate? 

"Who would like to do these questions on the blackboard?" Note that "Tafel" is related to "table", meaning a flat surface, and indeed German "Tafel" can also designate a table prepared for a feast.

Don't let the weird order of the words disturb you, even if the phrase seems totally incomprehensible at first. I'll try to construct this bit by bit:

This is the basic question and answer pair:

"Wer rechnet?" - "Ich rechne."
"Who calculates?" - "I calculate."

To ask, if you want to do something, you use a construction similar to English:

"Wer will rechnen" - "Ich will rechnen."
"Who wants to calculate" - "I want to calculate."

Note that the "to" is already included in the German word "rechnen". "Rechnen" is clearly already an infinitive, and doesn't need a "zu" to prove it. This is one of the main reasons why complicated conjugations can survive, they contain information that doesn't have to be expressed otherwise then...

To be a little more polite (or at least seem like it, since our teacher probably wouldn't take a no for an answer)

"Wer möchte rechnen?" - "Ich möchte rechnen!"
"Who would like to calculate?" - "I would like to calculate"

This is another example for brevity by conjugation. The word "möchte" contains the "would", as it is a "Konjunktiv"-form of the word "mögen" which translates to "like". Don't be discouraged, many Germans don't realize this, and many don't use the Konjunktiv correctly, if ever. However, "ich möchte"-phrases are extremely popular, so just use them, even if you didn't understand yet a word of the explanation above ;-)

Let's introduce objects in our phrase:

"Wer rechnet die Aufgabe?" - "Ich rechne die Aufgabe"
"Who calculates the task?" - "I calculate the task", meaning "Who answers the question"

This is a direct object, "Aufgabe" is in the accusative case. Because this is a feminine noun, this is not so obvious, but the structure is the same as in:

"Wer sieht den Mann?" - "Ich sehe den Mann."
"Who sees the man?" - "I see the man."

Now, we also have an adverbial expression of the place. This is an expression that defines the verb, thus ad-verbial.

"Wer rechnet an der Tafel?" - "Ich rechne an der Tafel"
"Who calculates on the blackboard?" - "I calculate on the blackboard"

Now let's put all this together:

"Wer rechnet die Aufgabe an der Tafel?" - "Ich rechne die Aufgabe an der Tafel."
"Who calculates the task on the blackboard?" - "I calculate the task on the blackboard"

Note that the order expressions is widely interchangeable. You can emphasize something by putting it closer to the end of the question.

And now for the whole phrase in all its glory:

"Wer | möchte | die Aufgabe | an der Tafel | rechnen?" - "Ich | möchte | die Aufgabe | an der Tafel | rechnen."
"Who | would like | the task | on the blackboard | calculate?" - "I | would like | the task | on the blackboard | calculate."

It wasn't THAT bad, was it?

Florian geht zur Tafel, schreibt an und liest vor: 
Florian goes to the blackboard, writes on and reads out:

"Florian goes to the blackboard, writes down and reads out aloud"

"zur" is another contraction, this time of "zu" and "der". Note that after "zu" follows the dative case, so "der" is not the masculine but the feminine article.

"anschreiben" splits to "schreibt an", and means literally "writing on". It is often used when writing legibly on a large, visible surface such as blackboard or a flipchart.

"vorlesen" splits to "liest vor" and translates to "read aloud".

   "5 plus 8 ist gleich 13"
   "8 minus 5 ist gleich 3"
   "3 mal 8 ist 24"
   "24 geteilt durch 12 gleich 2"

So, as you might have guessed, plus and minus are the same as in English - they are just pronounced German. The verbs "addieren" and "subtrahieren" are probably not difficult either... "Ist gleich" or short "gleich" or just "ist" corresponds obviously to "is equal to" or "equals".

"mal" means "times". This is also used in every day phrases, such as "100mal habe ich dir gesagt ..." "I told you a 100 times ..." The corresponding verb is "malnehmen" or "multiplizieren"

"geteilt durch" is literally "divided by", and the verb is "teilen" or "dividieren".

Lehrer: Sehr gut, Florian! Very good, Florian!

Now, that was easy!

Die Glocke läutet. Es ist Fünfminutenpause.
The bell rings. It is five-minute-break

Between single classes, there is usually a break of five minutes to allow teachers and students to go from one classroom to another. In most schools, classes such as German, English, History, Philosophy are taught in the classroom. Classes that use special equipment, such as all sciences, music and arts and of course computers and sport are being taught in a specialized lab classes. Roughly every second break is 15 minutes long, and if there are lessons in the afternoon, there's often a break of 45 to 60 minutes for lunch.

Schnell, wir müssen zu Musik!
Quick, we must to music!

This sentence sounds strange. This is, because in everyday German, sometimes the verb gehen can be left out, if it is clear what is meant. In this case, the complete phrase would have to be "Wir müssen zu Musik gehen". But since Torsten will not think Silke is going to fly there, there will be no misunderstanding. Additionally, the word "class", or "course" is missing, which is the usual way of students to talk about their subjects.

Note: In English, the phrase might be "We have to go to the music room" instead of must. The German translation "Wir haben in den Musikraum zu gehen" would be understood, but is quite formal. Additionally, there is a connotation that the speaker distances himself from the order he is being given.

Au ja, darauf freue ich mich schon!
Oh yes, to this look forward I myself already!

Whew, what was that?

Let's start at the beginning. "Au ja" ist an exclamation meaning "cool", "that's great". It has nothing to do with the German equivalent of "ouch!", which is "au(a)!"

"Sich freuen" means "being happy". It is reflexive such as in "I help myself", because the subject and the object are the same. Some phrases simply are constructed like this, even if there seems to be no real reason to this, and many languages know this phenomenon. The "sich" here is technically the accusative of "he, she, it" and is being changed depending on the person:

ich freue mich                 I am happy
du freust dich                 you are happy
er, sie, es freut sich         he, she, it is happy
wir freuen uns                 we are happy
ihr freut euch                 you are happy
Sie/sie freuen sich            they are happy

Note that "to be happy" actually would be rather translated by "glücklich sein", but it is the closest English equivalent to "sich freuen".

"Sich über etwas freuen" means "to be happy about something". This is kind of self-explanatory. But "sich auf etwas freuen", literally "to be happy on something" means "to look forward to". This is a common phrase that uses the on in the same wide sense as in "on drugs", or "living on something" - there is no spatial relation here...

In "darauf" you recognize the "auf". The "da" is a demonstrative prounoun such as in "that place". "Darauf" actually is another contraction which developped a long time ago from "da-herauf". The "darauf" is referencing the word "Musik" from Silke's sentence.

So "Au ja, darauf freue ich mich schon" or "to-this look-forward I myself already" just means "Great, I'm already looking forward to that"

Maybe it comforts you a little that the English phrase in a word-by-word translation to German would be just as unintelligible...

Was machen wir heute?
What make we today?

"What we (are going to) do today?" Note again, that "machen" often does not translate to "make", but to "do"!

Wir wollen ein Lied von Grönemeyer singen!
We want a song of Grönemeyer sing!

"We want to sing a song by Grönemeyer!"

Welches denn?
Which then?
"Alkohol", glaube ich...
"Alcohol", believe I...

Note that adding a "glaube ich" is another common phrase, exacly as "I think" or "I believe" can be added to an English phrase. (Never mind the word order, this is because Alcohol is the object, so the verb is at the second position in the text)

Herbert Grönemeyer is a very popular German rock singer from the Ruhr region. His most famous songs include "Männer", "Bochum" (a city in the Ruhr region), "Mensch" and also "Alkohol".

Nach dem Musikunterricht:
After the music class:

"Unterricht" comes from "unterrichten" "to teach", and means simply "class". Better not think about "under" and "right" here, which you might have correctly recognized as the word's components "richten" literally means "to correct".

Jetzt haben wir nur noch Geschichte...
Now have we only still history...

"Now we have only history left"

Komm, wir schwänzen und gehen ins Bistro.
Come, we skip and go in the bistro.

"Come on, let's skip class and go to the bistro instead". As in English, "Komm" can be used to motivate others.

There is yet another contraction here "ins" is derived from "in das", meaning "in the". "das" is the neutral article in accusative case here.

Schon wieder!
Already again!

Aufgabe edit

  • Make a list of all the contractions used in this chapter. Can you determine the full tables?

School edit

Vocabulary edit

School-Related Verbs edit

Lesen                                                 To Read
Schreiben                                             To Write
Rechnen                                               To Calculate (doing maths)
Studieren                                             To Study
Lernen                                                To Learn
Zeichnen                                              To Draw
Malen                                                 To Paint

School Subjects edit

Deutsch                                               German
Englisch                                              English
Russisch                                              Russian
Französisch                                           French
Latein                                                Latin
Mathe                                                 Maths
Mathematik                                            Mathematics
Sport                                                 PE or Gym
Kunst, Zeichnen                                       Arts
Musik                                                 Music
Werken                                                Crafts
Sachkunde, Sachunterricht                             Science Lesson in Elementary School
Geschichte                                            History
Erdkunde                                              Geography
Politik                                               Politics
Biologie                                              Biology
Geografie                                             Geography
Religion                                              RE or Religion
Ethik                                                 Ethics
Chemie                                                Chemistry
Physik                                                Physics
Informatik                                            Computer Science
Elektronische Datenverarbeitung                       Computer Science

School Supplies and Ect. edit

der Radiergummi                                       Eraser/Rubber
der Bleistift                                         Pencil
der Stift, der Kugelschreiber                         Pen
der Füller, der Füllfederhalter                       Fountain pen
das Fach                                              Subject
die Klasse                                            Class
der Lehrer                                            Teacher (male)
die Lehrerin                                          Teacher (female)
die Schule                                            School
der Schüler                                           Pupil
der Student                                           Student (College/University)
die Stunde/Schulstunde                                school hours
die Pause                                             Break
die Schultasche                                       Backpack

Die Straße the street

Review 1.02 edit

Review Section I.B: Lessons I.4 to I.6

Vocabulary edit


I             ich
We            wir
You           du
              Sie (formal) 
You All       ihr
              Sie (formal)
He            er
She           sie
It            es
They          sie

Common Verbs (to have and to be) and Their Conjugations:

Have          habe (1st Person, Singular, ich)
              hast (2nd Person, Singular, informal, du)
              haben (1st & 3rd Person, Plural, wir, sie; 2nd Person, singular & plural, formal, Sie)
              habt (2nd Person, Plural, informal, ihr)
Has           hat (3rd Person, singular, er, sie, es

Am            bin (1st person, Singular)
Are           bist (2nd Person, Singular, informal)
              sind (1st & 3rd Person, Plural; 2nd Person, sing. & plur., formal)
              seid (2nd Person, Plural, informal)
Is            ist

Greetings and Goodbyes

Hello!        Hallo!
              Servus! (used in Bavaria and Austria)
              Moin! or Moin Moin! (used in northern Germany)                    
              Grüezi! (used in Switzerland)
Good morning! Guten Morgen! or Morgen!
Good day!     Guten Tag! or Tag!
Good evening! Guten Abend! or N'Abend!
              Grüß Gott! (used in southern Germany, Austria and South Tyrol)
Goodbye!      Auf Wiedersehen! or Wiedersehen 
Bye!          Tschüss! or Tschau! (Ciao from Italy)
              Servus! (used in Bavaria, Austria)
Later!        Bis später! or Bis dann!
Good night!   Gute Nacht!

Common Adjectives:

Good          Gut
Super!        Spitze!
Great!        Prima!
Very good!    Sehr gut!
Bad           Schlecht
Miserable     Miserabel

Common Question Words

Who           Wer
What          Was
Where         Wo
When          Wann
Why           Warum
How           Wie


Boy           Der Junge
Girl          Das Mädchen
Man           Der Herr
Woman         Die Frau
Boys          Die Jungen
Girls         Die Mädchen
Men           Die Männer
Women         Die Frauen

Hobbies and Conjuctions

Sport(s)      Sport
Interests     Hobbys
Soccer        Fußball
USA Football  Football
Volleyball    Volleyball
Basketball    Basketball
Tennis        Tennis
Baseball      Baseball
9-pin Bowling Kegeln
Chess         Schach
Board Game    Das Brettspiel
Game          Das Spiel
Homework      Hausaufgaben
Television    Fernsehen
Movie         Der Film, Filme
And           und
But           aber
Or            oder

Common Verbs

To Have       haben
To Be         sein
To Be Called  heißen
To Play       spielen
To Do/Make    machen
To Read       lesen
To Watch      schauen
To See        sehen
To Work       arbeiten
To Write      schreiben
To Swim       schwimmen


One           Eins
Two           Zwei
Three         Drei
Four          Vier
Five          Fünf
Six           Sechs
Seven         Sieben
Eight         Acht 
Nine          Neun
Ten           Zehn
Eleven        Elf
Twelve        Zwölf
Thirteen      Dreizehn
Fourteen      Vierzehn
Fifteen       Fünfzehn
Sixteen       Sechzehn
Seventeen     Siebzehn
Eighteen      Achtzehn
Nineteen      Neunzehn
Twenty        Zwanzig
Thirty        Dreißig
Forty         Vierzig
Fifty         Fünfzig
Sixty         Sechzig
Seventy       Siebzig
Eighty        Achtzig
Ninety        Neunzig
Hundred       Hundert
Thousand      Tausend


Noon           Mittag
Midnight       Mitternacht
After          Nach
Till           Vor
Quarter        Viertel
Half Before    Halb
Quarter Before Dreiviertel (used in eastern Germany)

Day           Tag
Today         Heute
Tomorrow      Morgen
Yesterday     Gestern
Early Morning Morgen (use morgen früh for tomorrow morning)
Morning       Vormittag
Afternoon     Nachmittag
Evening       Abend
Night 	      Nacht

Monday        Montag
Tuesday       Dienstag
Wednesday     Mittwoch
Thursday      Donnerstag
Friday        Freitag
Saturday      Samstag or Sonnabend
Sunday        Sonntag
January       Januar 
              Jänner (used in Austria)
February      Februar
March 	      März
April 	      April
May 	      Mai
June 	      Juni 
              Juno (in spoken word only)
July 	      Juli 
              Julei (in spoken word only)
August        August
September     September
October       Oktober
November      November
December      Dezember
Spring        Frühling
Summer        Sommer
Autumn        Herbst
Winter        Winter

Time          Die Zeit
Free Time     Die Freizeit
Always        immer
Often         oft
Sometimes     manchmal
Seldom        selten
Never         nie
Only          nur

Accusative Case

Me            mich
Us            uns
You           dich
You (formal)  Sie
You All       euch
Him           ihn
Her           sie
It            es
Them          sie


Appetizers    Vorspeisen
Salad         Der Salat
Bread         Das Brot
Breadstick    Die Scheibe Brot
Main Dishes   Hauptgerichte
Sausage       Die Wurst
Sausages      Die Würste
Bratwurst     Die Bratwurst
Hot Dog       Das Hot Dog
Pizza         Die Pizza
Pizzas        Die Pizzen
Hamburger     Der Hamburger
Hamburgers    Die Hamburger
With          mit (ignore article)
Without       ohne (ignore article)
Tomatoes      Die Tomaten
Lettuce       Der Salat
Cheese        Der Käse
Pickles       Die Gewürzgurken
Onions        Die Zwiebeln
Ketchup       Der Ketchup
Mustard       Der Senf
Chicken       Das Hähnchen
Chickens      Die Hähnchen
Seafood       Die Meeresfrüchte (plural)
Fish          Der Fisch 
Sides         Die Beilage (singular), die Beilagen (plural)
Soup          Die Suppe
Soups         Die Suppen
Noodle Soup   Die Nudelsuppe
French Fries  Die Pommes frites (plural)
Fries         Die Fritten (Informal and plural)
Pasta         Die Pasta or Die Nudeln
Potato        Die Kartoffel
Potatoes      Die Kartoffeln
Corn          Der Mais
Bean          Die Bohne
Beans         Die Bohnen
Desserts      Nachspeisen
Gâteau        Die (Sahne-)Torte
Strudel       Der Strudel
Apple strudel Der Apfelstrudel
Cake          Der Kuchen
Piece of Cake Das Stück Kuchen
Pie           Die Pastete
Piece of Pie  Das Stück Pastete
Apple Pie     Die Apfelpastete
Ice Cream     Das Eis
Pudding       Der Pudding
Cookie        Der Keks
Cookies       Die Kekse
Fruit         Das Obst
The Meal      Das Essen
Lunch         Das Mittagessen
Dinner        Das Abendessen
Hunger        Der Hunger 
Thirst        Der Durst

To Eat        essen
To Drink      trinken
To Receive    bekommen
To Want       wollen
Would Like    möchten

Useful Phrases

Thank you                Danke        
Please & You're Welcome  Bitte   
Thank you very much      Dankeschön
Thanks a lot             Danke sehr
No problem               Kein Problem!


Chinese Food  chinesisches Essen
Japanese Food japanisches Essen
American Food amerikanisches Essen
Mexican Food  mexikanisches Essen
Arabic Food   arabisches Essen
Italian Food  italienisches Essen
Indian Food   indisches Essen
French Food   französisches Essen
Greek Food    griechisches Essen

Common Prepositions

Through       Durch
For           Für
Against       Gegen
Without       Ohne
At, Around    Um

Adjectives to Describe Food

Delicious     lecker
Tasty         schmackhaft
Juicy         saftig
Crunchy       knackig
Crispy        knusprig
Spicy         würzig
Stale         fade 
              fad (used in Austria)
Salty         salzig
Sweet         süß
Bitter        bitter
Sour          sauer
Creamy        cremig     
Hot           heiß
Burnt         angebrannt
Cold          kalt
Disgusting    schrecklich


To Pay        Zahlen
The Bill      Die Rechnung
Waiter        Der Ober/Der Kellner

Wie heißt Du? edit

Hello and Goodbyes edit

Wir haben Begrüßungen und Verabschiedungen gelernt. Können Sie sich an diese erinnern?


Nominative Case edit

Wir haben auch den Nominativ gelernt. Können Sie sich an ihn erinnern?


Names edit

Wir haben das Verb heißen gelernt. Erinnern Sie sich?


Verbs edit

Wir haben zwei andere Verben konjugiert. Können Sie sich daran erinnern?


Articles edit

Wir haben die Artikel beim Nominativ gelernt. Können Sie sich an sie erinnern?


Freizeit edit

Regulars Verbs edit

Wir haben die regelmäßigen Verbende gelernt. Können Sie sich an sie erinnern?


Likes & Dislikes edit

Wir haben gelernt unser Gefallen auszudrücken. Können Sie sich daran erinnern?


Numbers edit

Wir haben die Zahlen gelernt. Können Sie sich an sie erinnern?


Time edit

Wir haben schon Zeit-Wörter gelernt. Können Sie sich an diese erinnern?


Essen edit

Accusative Case edit

Wir hatten schon den Akkusativ-Fall gelernt. Können Sie sich an ihn erinnern?


Modal Verbs edit

Wir haben die Modalverben gelernt. Können Sie sich an sie erinnern?


Kein-Words edit

Wir haben die „Kein“-Wörter gelernt. Können Sie sich daran erinnern?


This, Everyone, and Which edit

Wir haben „dieser“, „jeder“ und „welcher“ gelernt.. Können Sie sich erinnern?


Section 1.03 ~ Vienna, Austria edit

Lesson 1.07 - Das Fest edit

Lesson I.10: Das Fest

This lesson deals with the Christmas time in the German language countries, where you learn some traditions and vocabularies about Christmas. You'll also learn about "there is" and "there are" in German and about the dative case.

Dialogue edit

Read and listen to the following dialogue between mother and daughter: Roswitha and Anja. Both of them want to decorate for Christmas.

Dialogue:   Decoration —   Dekoration
Roswitha Heute ist der erste Advent. Lass uns zusammen schmücken!
Anja Au ja, Mama. Ich hole die Dekoration heraus.
Roswitha Den Adventskranz stellen wir wie jedes Jahr auf den Wohnzimmertisch und die Weihnachtspyramide kommt auf das Regal.
Anja Wo soll ich den Räuchermann hinstellen?
Roswitha Stelle ihn bitte mal auf den Fenstersims hin, Mäuschen.
Anja Wird gemacht!
Vocabulary:   words of the dialogue —   Wörter vom Dialog
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - words of the dialogue.ogg, how to upload audio)
advent der Advent
decorate schmücken, dekorieren
decoration die Dekoration, die Deko coll., der Schmuck
advent wreath der Adventskranz
coffee table der Wohnzimmertisch
Christmas pyramid die Weihnachtspyramide
shelf das Regal
sill der Fenstersims, die Fensterbank
Little mouse das Mäuschen
  • In Austria Adventkranz

Es gibt edit

Grammatik:   There is —   Es gibt
(missing file: File:German Grammatik - There is.ogg, how to upload audio)
German English
Es gibt Zimt There is cinnamon
Es gibt ein Rentier There is a reindeer
Es gibt Nussknacker There are nutcrackers
Es gibt ein paar Ausstecher There are some cookie cutter
  • The English words there is and there are are both in German es gibt. When you ask someone, if there's a snowman, you say Gibt es hier einen Schneemann?. Many German native speaker put the words gibt and es into gibt's.

Weihnachten in Deutschland edit

In Germany the advent season begins on Sunday four weeks before Christmas. It's the day where many families decorate their houses or flats, begin to bake some biscuits and start to sing some Christmas carols. One typical decoration is the advent wreath, which has four candles - one candle is lit in the first week, two candles in the second week, etc. - and normally stands on the dining table or on the coffee table. Another tradition, especially for children, is the advent calendar that you hang on the wall. They've often got 24 doors and you're only allowed to open one a day. Other typical Christmas decorations are a crib, a Räuchermann - a wooden figure that blows flavour of incense cones - in Northern Germany a Moosmann, Christmas pyramids and Schwibbogen and nutcrackers and poinsettias and much more. Most Christmas markets start in the first week of Advent. There you can buy some little Christmas presents, decorations, ride some carnival rides, and often drink some hot spiced wine - the children drink punch for children, listen to carolers and enjoy a warm, snowy atmosphere. On the 6th of December, German children celebrate St. Nicholas Day. The children put a boot in front of the door and wait until St. Nicholas brings little presents that are often sweets, walnuts, apples, tangerines and oranges. Bad children get birching by Knecht Ruprecht (which is now forbidden in Germany). Pupils do a secret Santa with other pupils on the last school days before the Christmas holidays, which are often two or three weeks long. St. Nicholas looks similar to Santa Claus who brings big presents on the evening of the 24th of December; in Southern Germany Christkind brings the presents. Most families decorate their Christmas trees on this day with Christmas baubles and tinsel and candles and so forth. After the Christmas dinner, the whole family sits next to the Christmas tree and exchanges gifts.

Vocabulary:   Christmas —   Weihnachten
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Christmas.ogg, how to upload audio)
Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!
Fröhliche Weihnachten! (used by Santa)
advent season die Adventszeit
advent calendar der Adventskalender
bag der Sack
boot der Stiefel
caroller der Sternsinger
Christmas bauble die Christbaumkugel
Christmas bonus Weihnachtsgeld
Christmas carol das Weihnachtslied
Christmas card die Weihnachtskarte
Christmas cracker Knallbonbon
Christmas Day Speech die Weihnachtsansprache
Christmas Eve der Heiligabend
Christmas market der Weihnachtsmarkt
Christmas ornament Christbaumschmuck, Weihnachtsbaumschmuck
Christmas present das Weihnachtsgeschenk
Christmas spirit die Weihnachtsstimmung
Christmas time die Weihnachtszeit
Christmas tree der Weihnachtsbaum, der Christbaum
crib die Krippe
dining table der Esstisch
do a secret Santa wichteln
flavour der Duft
gift giving die Bescherung
gnome der Wichtel
holly die Stechpalme
Jack Frost Väterchen Frost
list of wishes der Wunschzettel
mistletoe der Mistelzweig
North Pole der Nordpol
nutcracker der Nussknacker
poinsettia der Weihnachtsstern
Santa's Little Helper Knecht Ruprecht
sleigh der Schlitten
St. Nicholas St. Nikolaus
the three Magi die heiligen drei Könige
tinsel das Lametta
tradition der Brauch
  • Do you have the Christmas spirit yet? - Bist du schon in Weihnachtsstimmung?
  • Do you decorate your house this year? - Schmückst du dieses Jahr dein Haus?
  • On St. Nicholas Day gets Julian a little present. - An Nikolaustag bekommt Julian ein kleines Geschenk.
  • The Queen takes every year a Christmas Day Speech. - Die Queen hält jedes Jahr eine Weihnachtsansprache.
  • The whole room is sweet with cinnamon. - Der ganze Raum duftet nach Zimt.

Dativsätze edit

  • The Dativ, also called 3. Fall or Wemfall is in the German language the third object.
  • Die Kokosmakronen gehören der Anja. - You ask: Wem gehören die Kokosmakronen? - the answer is: Der Anja (gehören die Kokosmakronen).
  • Lisa schenkt (dem) Björn ein Spekulatius - You ask: Wem schenkt Lisa ein Spekulatius? - the answer is: Dem Björn (schenkt Lisa ein Spekulatius).

Weihnachtsessen edit

das Plätzchen, der Keks         cookie 
die Ausstecher                  cookie cutter
das Nudelholz                   rolling pin
die Vanillekipferl              vanilla cornets
der Lebkuchen                   gingerbread         
das Lebkuchenhaus               gingerbread house
die Kokosmakrone                coconut macaroon
die Spitzbuben                  jammy dodgers, linzer eye a biscuit with currant jam and icing powdered sugar
die Pfeffernuss                 spice nut
der Christstollen               stollen
die Marzipankartoffel           marzipan potato
die Weihnachtsgans              Christmas goose
der Weihnachtskarpfen           Christmas carp
der Truthahn                    turkey
Würstchen und Kartoffelsalat    sausages and potato salad
das Spekulatius                 almond biscuit
der Baumkuchen                  pyramid cake
der Mürbeteig                   shortcrust
der Springerle                  springerle
das Bethmännchen                bethmännchen typical Frankfurt marzipan biscuits
der Zimtstern                   star-shaped cinnamon biscuit
das Früchtebrot                 fruitcake
der Bratapfel                   roast apple
der Dominostein                 domino  a candy that you can eat in advent time
die Zuckerstange                candy cane
der Glühwein                    hot spiced wine
der Kinderpunsch                punch for children
das Kenkentjüch                 kenkentjüch cookies from northern Germany
die gebrannte Mandeln           roasted almonds
das Weihnachtsessen             Christmas dinner
das Hirschhornsalz              salt of harts horn
der Zimt                        cinnamon
der Puderzucker                 icing powdered sugar
das Aroma                       flavour
  • In the southern part of Germany they have other words for Plätzchen.

So in Swabian they call it Plätzle or Brötle and in Bavaria Platzerl. In Switzerland they call it Guetsli.

  • Other names for Nudelholz are Teigrolle, Wellholz, Wälgerholz and Rollholz rare.

In Austria and Bavaria they call it Nudelwalker and in Switzerland Wallholz.

Lesson 1.08 - Privileg und Verantwortung edit

Lesson I.11: Privileg und Verantwortung

Jobs and Tasks edit

Vocabulary edit

Careers edit

Work                        Arbeit
Doctor                      Arzt
Business Man                Geschäftsmann
Business Woman              Geschäftsfrau
Teacher                     Lehrer
Police Officer              Polizeibeamte
Fireman                     Feuerwehrmann
Actor  	             Schauspieler  	 
Artist  	            Künstler  	
Author  	            Schriftsteller  	
Bank Clerk  	            Bankangestellter  	 
Car Mechanic  	            Automechaniker  	 
Chemist  	            Chemiker  	 
Civil Servant  	    Beamter  	
Computer Programmer        Programmierer  	 
Engineer  	            Ingenieur  	
Farmer  	            Landwirt  	 
Hairdresser  	            Friseur  	 
Journalist  	            Journalist  	 
Lawyer  	            Rechtsanwalt  	 
Lecturer  	            Dozent  	 
Nurse  	            Krankenpfleger  	 
Pensioner  	            Rentner  	 
Photographer  	            Fotograf  	 
Politician  	            Politiker  	 
Postman  	            Briefträger  	 
Professor  	            Professor  	 
Salesperson  	            Verkäufer  	 
Secretary  	            Sekretär  	 
Student  	            Student  	 
Taxi Driver  	            Taxifahrer  	  
Waiter  	            Kellner

Tasks edit

Cleaning                   Reinigung
Cooking                    Kochen
Homework                   Hausaufgaben 
Laundry                    Wäscherei
Tasks                      Aufgaben

Plans edit

Common Phases edit

Ich habe Pläne...

I have plans...

Ich habe Pläne mit...

I have plans with...

Places To Go edit

Vocabulary edit

Germany                 Deutschland
Hamburg                    Hamburg
Berlin                     Berlin
Frankfurt                  Frankfurt
Cologne                    Köln
Munich                     München

Common Phases edit

Ich muss nach ... gehen.

I have to go to...

Lesson 1.09 - Wetter edit

Lesson I.12: Wetter

Dialoge edit

Lukas calls his friend Nadja after he sees the weather forecast.

Dialogue:   The weather —   Das Wetter
(missing file: File:German Dialogue - The weather.ogg, how to upload audio)
Lukas Was für ein Dreckswetter die heute mal wieder in der Wettervorhersage angekündigt haben!
Nadja Was für ein Wetter soll es denn geben?
Lukas Es soll heute regnen.
Nadja Hattest du was vor?
Lukas Ja, ich wollte in die Stadt gehen, um einen Mantel zu kaufen.
Nadja Es kommt noch schlimmer!
Lukas Wieso?
Nadja Es wird nämlich zuerst regnen und dann bekommen wir Schneefall.
Lukas Boah nee! Die Straßen werden dann vereist sein.
Nadja Na ja, ich muss jetzt zur Schule. Tschau Lukas!
Lukas Tschau!

Weather edit

Vocabulary edit

Vocabulary:   weather —   das Wetter
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - weather.ogg, how to upload audio)
informal for: bad weather das Sauwetter (lit. sow weather)
das Dreckswetter (lit. dirty weather)
das Scheißwetter (lit. shit weather)
weather forecast die Wettervorhersage*
sun die Sonne*
sunny with some clouds heiter (you'll hear it in the weather forecast)
rainbow der Regenbogen
starlit sternenklar
fog der Nebel*
frost der Frost*
wind der Wind*
storm der Sturm*
thunderstorm das Gewitter*
bad weather das Unwetter
thunder der Donner*
lightning der Blitz*
cloud die Wolke*
overcast bedeckt*
precipitation der Niederschlag
rain der Regen*
rain shower der Regenschauer*
rainy regnerisch*
(to) rain cats and dogs in Strömen regnen
pour down schütten
drizzle der Niesel*
snow der Schnee*
snow falling der Schneefall*
snowy verschneit*
sleet der Schneeregen*
low snow falling der Schniesel (in some regions of Germany)
hail der Hagel*
graupel der Graupel*
black ice das Glatteis*

You will need to know each expression with an asterisk (*) after it. The others, of course, would be useful to know for the weather forecast or when someone talks with you about weather. But you aren't forced to know Schniesel. Because many people don't know this word.

Common Phrases edit

Wie ist (denn) das Wetter in Berlin?

What's the weather like in Berlin?

In Berlin scheint die Sonne.

The sun shines in Berlin.

Wie wird das Wetter?

What's the weather going to be like?

Können Sie mir sagen wie das Wetter heute wird?

Can you tell me how today's weather is going to be?

Wird es regnen, oder bleibt es schön?

Will it rain, or will it remain nice?

Es wird heute schlechtes Wetter erwartet. Nimm bitte deinen Regenschirm mit!

Bad weather is today expected. Please take your umbrella with you!

Wie viel Grad zeigt das Thermometer an?

How many degrees on the thermometer?

Das Thermometer zeigt 15 Grad (Celsius) an.

The thermometer says 15 degrees (Celsius).

Das Thermometer zeigt minus 15 Grad (Celsius)* an.

The thermometer says minus 15 degrees (Celsius).

  • You can also say Das Thermometer zeigt 15 Grad minus an.

Transportation edit

Vocabulary edit

das Auto                  car
der Bus                   bus
das Fahrrad               bike
das Motorrad              motor-cycle
das Mofa                  moped
der Lastwagen             truck, lorry
die Straße                road
die Landstraße            highway
die Autobahn              motorway
der Stadtbus              city bus
der Linienbus             urban bus
der Reisebus              coach
die Bushaltestelle        bus stop
der Zug                   train
die Stadtbahn             city railway
die Straßenbahn           tramway, streetcar
der Bahnhof               train station, railway station
das Flugzeug              airplane, aeroplane
der Helikopter            helicopter
der Flughafen             airport
das Boot                  boat
das Schiff                ship
die Fähre                 ferry
der Hafen                 harbor, harbour

Review 1.03 edit

Review Section I.C: Lessons I.7 to I.9

Here is a review of what we have learnt;

Vocabulary edit

Here is the vocabulary we have learnt.

Clothes edit

We have learnt about the clothes we wear.

Babywear 	             Die Babyartikel  
Children's Wear 	     Die Kinderbekleidung 
Fashion                      Die Mode
Clearance Sale 	             Der Räumungsverkauf 
Closed 	                     Geschlossen,
Cosmetics                    Die Kosmetik
Clothing 	             Die Kleidung
die Schultasche              Backpack

Shops edit

We have learnt about shops.

Computer Section 	     Der Computershop 
Customer 	             Der Kunde
Customer Service 	     Der Kundendienst 
Good Value (Adj.)             Preiswert

Gifts and objects edit

We have learnt about gifts and objects sold in shops.

Electrical Appliance 	     Das Elektrogerät
Escalator 	             Die Rolltreppe   
Furniture 	             Das Möbel (no plural)
Gift 	                     Der Geschenkartikel 
Groceries 	             Die Lebensmittel (plural)
Jewellery 	             Damenschuhe (plural) 
Leather Goods 	             Die Lederwaren (plural) ,

Other edit

Open 	                     Geöffnet 
Opening Hours 	             Die Öffnungszeiten (plural) 
Present 	             Das Geschenk
Reduced 	             Reduziert
Sales Receipt 	             Der Kassenbon 
Souvenir 	             Das Andenken 
Special Offer 	             Das Sonderangebot 
Sports Goods 	             Sportartikel (plural)
Stationery 	             Schreibwaren (plural)
Summer Sale 	             Der Sommerschlussverkauf (abbr. SSV)  
Video Store 	             Die Videothek 
Winter Sale 	             Der Winterschlussverkauf (abbr. WSV) 

Department Store             Warenhaus
Retail Store                 Einzelhandelsgeschäft
The Mall                     Einkaufszentrum
Boutique                     Boutique
Store                        Geschäft
Manager                      Manager
Employee                     Angestellter
Sales Clerk                  Verkäufer               
Cashier                      Kassierer
Dressing Room                Umkleidekabine
Men's Section                Männerabteilung
Women's Section              Frauenabteilung
First Floor                  Erstes Stockwerk
Menswear                     Männerkleidung
Second Floor                 Zweiter Stock
Womenswear                   Frauenkleidung
Third Floor                  Dritte Stock
Kids Section                 Kinderabteilung
Fourth Floor                 Vierter Stock
Electronics                  Elektronik
Kitchenware                  Küchenbedarf
Fifth Floor                  Fünfter Stock
Lighting                     Beleuchtung           
Bedding                      Bettwäsche
Toys                         Spielwaren
Six Floor                    Sechster Stock
Food                         Lebensmittel

Electronics                  Elektronik           
Television                   Fernsehen
Digital Camera               Digitalkamera
Telephone                    Telefon
Cell phone                   Mobiltelefon, Handy
Computer                     Computer, Rechner
Speakers                     Lautsprecher
DVDs                         DVDs
CDs                          CDs
DVD Player                   DVD-Player
CD Player                    CD-Player
Bedding                      Bettwäsche
Blankets                     Decken
Pillow                       Kopfkissen
Pillow Case                  Kopfkissenbezug
Sheets                       Blätter
Bed Skirt                    Bett-Rock

Prices edit

Price                        Preis
Note                         Der Schein
Coin                         Die Münze
1 Euro Coin                  Das Eurostück
2 Euro Coin                  Das Zweieurostück
5 Euro Note                  Der Fünfeuroschein
10 Euro Note                 Der Zehneuroschein
100 Euro Note                Der Hunderteuroschein
1 Cent Coin                  Das Centstück
2 Cent Coin                  Das Zweicentstück
5 Cent Coin                  Das Fünfcentstück
10 Cent Coin                 Das Zehncentstück
20 Cent Coin                 Das Zwanzigcentstück
50 Cent Coin                 Das Fünfzigcentstück

Clothes edit

You should now know what different clothes are called.

Skirt                        Der Rock
Pullover                     Der Pullover
Scarf                        Das Tuch
Coat                         Der Mantel
Shirt                        Das Hemd
Sweater                      Der Pullover
Necktie                      Der Schlips
Jacket                       Die Jacke
Pants                        Die Hose
Hat                          Der Hut
Shoe                         Der Schuh
Sock                         Die Socke
Glove                        Der Handschuh
Blouse                       Die Bluse

Material edit

We have learnt about different materials. Cotton Die Baumwolle Leather Das Leder Rayon Die Kuntseide

Size edit

Size                         Die Größe
Small                        Klein
Medium                       Mittel
Large                        Groß
Extra-Large                  Extragroß

Is it cheap?! edit

We have learnt how to say if something is cheap or expensive.

Cheap                        Billig                               
Expensive                    Teuer

Describe edit

We have learnt how to say something is ugly or pretty and how it feels and looks.

Pretty                       Schön
Ugly                         Hässlich
Soft                         Weich
New                          Neu
Broad                        Breit 
Wide                         Weit 
Tight                        Eng
Comfortable                  Bequem

Colour edit

We have learnt about how to describe what colour things are.

Color                        Die Farbe
Red                          Rot     
Blue                         Blau
Green                        Grün  
Orange                       Orange
Violet                       Veilchen
Yellow                       Gelb
Brown                        Braun
Indigo                       Indigo
Gray                         Grau
Black                        Schwarz
White                        Weiß

Family edit

We have learnt what relatives are called.

Sohn                         Son
Tochter                      Daughter
Vater                        Father
Mutter                       Mother
Großvater                    Grandfather
Großmutter                   Grandmother
Opa                          Grandpa  
Oma                          Grandma
Schwester                    Sister
Bruder                       Brother
Geschwister                  Brothers & Sisters
Enkel                        Grandson
Enkelin                      Granddaughter  
Frau                         Wife
Mann                         Husband
Schwiegervater               Father-in-Law
Schwiegertochter             Daughter-in-Law
Schwager                     Brother-in-Law
Schwägerin                   Sister-in-Law
Schwiegermutter              Mother-in-Law
Schwiegersohn                Son-in-Law
Onkel                        Uncle
Tante                        Aunt
Geschenk                     Present

Verbs edit

Nimmt                        To Take Away
Lesen                        To Read
Schreiben                    To Write
Studieren                    To Study
Lernen                       To Study
Zeichnen                     To Paint
To Look                      Aussehen 
To Try On                    Anprobieren 
To Put On                    Anziehen
To Take                      Nehmen
To Buy.                      Kaufen
To Have On/Wear.             Anhaben/Tragen

Subjects edit

das Fach                     Subject
Deutsch                      German
Englisch                     English
Russisch                     Russian
Französisch                  French
Latein                       Latin
Mathematik                   Mathematics
Sport                        PE or Gym
Kunst or Zeichnen            Arts
Musik                        Music
Geschichte                   History
Biologie                     Biology
Geografie                    Geography
Religion                     RE or Religion
Chemie                       Chemistry
Physik                       Physics
Informatik                   Computer Science

Objects in a pencil case edit

der Radiergummi              Eraser/Rubber
der Bleistift                Pencil
der Kuli/Kugelschreiber      Pen

School edit

die Klasse                   Class
der Lehrer                   Teacher (male)
die Lehrerin                 Teacher (female)
die Schule                   School
der Schüler                  Student (High/Secondary School and Lower)
der Student                  Student (College/University)
die Stunde/Schulstunde       Lesson
die Pause                    Break

Section 1.04 ~ Berne, Switzerland edit

Lesson 1.10 - Zu Hause Essen edit

Lesson I.13: Zu Hause essen

Lesson 1.11 - Filme edit

Lesson I.14: Filme

Lesson 1.12 - Das Haus edit

Lesson I.15: Das Haus

The Home edit

Rooms in the Home edit

Room das Zimmer
Living Room das Wohnzimmer
Dining Room das Esszimmer
Kitchen die Küche
Pantry die Speisekammer
Bedroom das Schlafzimmer/das Bettzimmer
Bathroom das Badezimmer/die Toilette
Hall der Flur
Closet der Schrank

Features in the Home edit

Floor der Boden
Ceiling die Decke
Door die Tür
Front door die Haustür
Window das Fenster
Wall die Wand
Roof das Dach
Stairs die Treppe
Central heating die Zentralheizung

Furniture and fittings edit

Carpet der Teppich
Table der Tisch
Chair der Stuhl
Armchair der Sessel
Sofa das Sofa
Cupboard der Küchenschrank
Bed das Bett
Radiator der Heizkörper
Cooker/Stove der Herd
Oven der (Back)Ofen
Dishwasher die Spülmaschine
Refrigerator der Kühlschrank
Washer die Waschmaschine
Dryer der Trockner
Bathtub die Badewanne
Television der Fernseher

The Bathroom edit

English Deutsche
Toothbrush die Zahnbürste
Toothpaste die Zahnpasta
Toilet bowl die Toilettenschüssel
Bath tub die Badewanne
Shower die Dusche
Vanity die Nichtigkeit
Mirror der Spiegel
Hot water das Heißes Wasser
Cold water das Kaltes Wasser
Faucet der Wasserhahn
Sink die Wasserspüle
Soap die Seife
Shampoo das Shampoo
Razor der Rasierer
Perfume das Parfüm
Shaving gel das Rasiergel
Scissors die Schere

Review 1.04 edit

Review Section I.D: Lessons I.10 - I.12

Vocabulary edit

das Spiel                   Game
das Videospiel              Video Game
der Spaß                    Fun
die Feier                   Party*
die Party                   Party
die Musik                   Music
die Torte                   Cake
das Fass                    Keg
das Bier                    Beer
der Schnaps                 Hard Liquor
der Wein                    Wine
der Weißwein                White Wine
der Rotwein                 Red Wine

Feiern                      To Party
Trinken                     Drinking
Saufen                      To Get Drunk
Erbrechen / sich Übergeben  To Throw Up
Kotzen                      To Puke (slang)
Tanzen                      To Dance
der Geburtstag              Birthday
Weihnachten                 Christmas
Ostern                      Easter
das Jubiläum                Anniversary
das Wasser                  Water

Work                        Arbeit
Doctor                      der Arzt
Buniness Man                der Geschäftsmann
Buniness Woman              die Geschäftsfrau
Teacher                     der Lehrer
Police Officer              der Polizeibeamte
Fireman                     der Feuerwehrmann
Actor  	             der Schauspieler  	 
Artist  	             der Künstler  	
Author  	             der Schriftsteller  	
Bank Clerk  	             Bankangestellter  	 
Car Mechanic  	             der Automechaniker  	 
Chemist  	             der Chemiker  	 
Civil Servant  	            Beamter  	  	 
Engineer  	            der Ingenieur  	
Farmer  	            der Landwirt  	 
Hairdresser  	            der Friseur  	 
Journalist  	            der Journalist  	 
Lawyer  	            der Rechtsanwalt  	 
Lecturer  	            der Dozent  	 
Nurse  	            der Krankenpfleger  	 
Pensioner  	            der Rentner  	 
Photographer  	            der Fotograf  	 
Politician  	            der Politiker  	 
Postman  	            der Briefträger  	 
Professor  	            der Professor  	 
Salesperson  	            der Verkäufer  	 
Secretary  	            der Sekretär  	 
Student  	            der Student  	 
Taxi Driver  	            der Taxifahrer  	  
Waiter  	            der Kellner
Germany                     Deutschland
Humburg                     Hamburg
Berlin                      Berlin
Frankfurt                   Frankfurt
Colonge                     Köln
Munich                      München
Weather                     das Wetter
Rain                        der Regen
Snow                        der Schnee
Snow Showers                Schneesch
Showers                     Schauer
Thunder                     Donner
Storm                       der Sturm
Thunderstorm                das Gewitter
Cloudy                      Bewölkt
Overcast                    Bedeckt
Hail                        der Hagel
Drizzle                     Nieseln
Thaw                        Tauen
Frost                       der Frost
Car                         das Auto
Train                       der Zug
Trainstation                der Bahnhof
Airplane                    das Flugzeug
Boat                        das Boot
Highway                     die Landstraße
Road                        die Straße


Contents edit

Section 2.01 ~ Salzburg, Austria edit

Lesson 2.01 - Einfache Gespräche unter Freunden edit

German/Level II/Einfache Gespräche unter Freunden

Lesson 2.02 - Fremde und Freunde edit

German/Level II/Fremde und Freunde

Lesson 2.03 - Die Zahlen edit

German/Level II/Die Zahlen

Lesson 2.04 - Eine Geschichte über Zürich edit

German/Level II/Eine Geschichte über Zürich

Review 2.01 edit

German/Level II/Review 1

Section 2.02 ~ Zürich, Switzerland edit

Lesson 2.05 - Die Wohnung edit

German/Level II/Die Wohnung

Lesson 2.06 - Mathematik edit

German/Level II/Mathematik

Lesson 2.07 - Mein, Dein, und Sein edit

German/Level II/Mein, Dein, und Sein

Lesson 2.08 - Einkaufen gehen edit

German/Level II/Einkaufen gehen

Review 2.02 edit

German/Level II/Review 2

Section 2.03 ~ Hannover, Germany edit

Lesson 2.09 - Verbtempus und Wortstellung edit

German/Level II/Verbtempus und Wortstellung

Lesson 2.10 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level II/Undeveloped

Lesson 2.11 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level II/Undeveloped

Lesson 2.12 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level II/Undeveloped

Review 2.03 edit

German/Level II/Review 3


Contents edit

Section 3.01 ~ Bonn, Germany edit

Lesson 3.01 - Markus edit

German/Level III/Markus studiert

Lesson 3.02 - Gespräche unter Geschäftsmännern edit

German/Level III/Gespräche unter Geschäftsmännern

Lesson 3.03 - Mach dir keine Sorgen! edit

German/Level III/Mach dir keine Sorgen!

Section 3.02 ~ Innsbruck, Austria edit

Lesson 3.04 - Die Geschäftsleute edit

Lektion 1 | Lektion 2 | Lektion 3 | Lektion 4 | Lektion 5 | Lektion 6 | Lektion 7 | Lektion 8 | Lektion 9 | Lektion 10 | Lektion 11 | Lektion 12

Lektion Vier für Fortgeschrittene

Gespräch 4-2 ~ Die Geschäftsleute edit

Herr Schmidt und Herr Standish, als sie sich am Hauptsitz endlich begegnen. Frau Baumann ist auch da.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Guten Morgen, Herr Standish! Darf ich mich vorstellen: mein Name ist Schmidt, Johann Schmidt.
  • Herr Standish:   Es freut mich sehr, Sie kennen zu lernen. Ich heiße Miles Standish.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Ich glaube, dass Sie Frau Baumann schon kennen.
  • Herr Standish:   Ja, gewiss. Wie geht es Ihnen, Frau Baumann?
  • Frau Baumann: Danke, es geht mir gut.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Verstehe ich es richtig, dass Sie gestern ankamen und morgen ins Wiener Büro reisen müssen?
  • Herr Standish:   Ja, am Montag fuhr ich mit dem Schnellzug durch den Ärmelkanaltunnel. Wenn ich meine Arbeit abgeschlossen habe, werde ich am Donnerstag nach Zürich und Wien reisen.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Sehr gut. Bitte sprechen Sie vor Ende der Woche noch mit Frau Kaufmann.
  • Frau Baumann: Sie arbeitet in der Geschäftsbibliothek.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Das ist richtig. Die Bibliothek.
  • Herr Standish:   Ich werde es sofort tun.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Alles klar.
  • Frau Baumann: Später werden wir eine Versammlung in der Buchhaltung abhalten.
  • Herr Standish:   Sehr gut. Auf Wiedersehen Frau Baumann. Auf Wiedersehen Herr Schmidt.
  • Herr Schmidt:   Auf Wiedersehen.

Vokabeln 4-3 edit

der Ärmelkanaltunnel    Chunnel (England-France channel tunnel)
die Arbeit              work
die Bibliothek          library
die Buchhaltung         accounting office
das Büro                office
der Donnerstag          Thursday
die Geschäftsbibliothek company (business) library 
der Montag              Monday
der Name                name
der Schnellzug          express train
das Sehen               vision
die Versammlung         meeting
das Wien                Vienna (Austria)
das Wiedersehen         reunion  
die Woche               week
das Zürich              Zurich
alles klar              all right, everything clear
am Montag               on Monday
dann wenn               at such time when
Darf ich... ?           May I... ?
Es freut mich sehr      It gives me pleasure
Guten Morgen!           Good morning!                    (greeting)
Ja, gewiss               certainly, of course
vor Ende der Woche      before the end of the week
Wiener Büro             Vienna branch office
abhalten                hold
abschließen             complete
ankommen (kam an,
     angekommen)        arrive
fahren                  ride
geben                   give
kennen lernen           meet, make acquaintance
müssen                  must                             (aux.)
reisen                  travel
sehen                   see, look
tun                     do, accomplish
sich vorstellen         introduce
werden                  will
würde                   would
bitte                   please
da                      there
durch                   through, by means of
endlich                 finally
gestern                 yesterday
nach                    to, towards
natürlich               of course
mich                    myself (reflexive)
mit                     with
schnell                 fast, quick, rapid
sofort                  directly, forthwith
wieder                  again, once again

Grammatik 4-4 ~ Personal Pronouns: Accusative Case edit

Here are the personal pronouns in the accusative case:

Singular Plural
1st person  mich   me   uns  us
2nd person   dich (Sie*)  you  euch (Sie*)  you
3rd person  ihn, sie, es     him, her, it    sie (all genders)     them      

*Polite form.

The accusative case is that of the object of a verb. Only transitive verbs take direct objects. The pronoun (and noun in two cases) object in each of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:

Können Sie mich verstehen?       Can you understand me?
Ich kann Sie verstehen.          I can understand you. 
Ich kann sie verstehen           I can understand (her or them).
Ich kann ihn dir zurück kicken!  I can kick it back to you!

Note the order of the pronouns in this last sentence. If the direct object (here: ihn) is a personal pronoun, it precedes the dative (dir); if it were a noun, the dative would precede it, as in these sentences:

Hier, ich kicke dir den Ball zu.       Here, I kick the ball to you. 
Darf ich Ihnen meine Freundin vorstellen?   May I introduce my friend to you? 

Other uses of the accusative case in German will be explored in future lessons. Tables of the personal pronouns in all cases are summarized in Pronoun Tables.

Grammatik 4-5 ~ Personal Pronouns in the Dative Case edit

Here are the personal pronouns in the dative case:

Singular Plural
1st person  mir   me   uns  us
2nd person   dir (Ihnen*)  you  euch (Ihnen*)  you
3rd person  ihm, ihr, ihm  him, her, it    ihnen (all genders)  them      

*Polite form.

The dative case is that of the indirect object of a verb. The pronoun indirect object of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:

Es geht mir gut              It goes (for) me well 
Wie geht es dir?             How goes it (for or with) you
Und können Sie mir sagen...?     And can you tell me...?
Karl gibt ihm den Ball       Karl gave him the ball.
Wie geht es Ihnen?           How goes it (with) you? (How are you?)             

This last sentence is an example from Gespräch 1-2 using the polite form of 'you'. Whether singular or plural must be established by context. This next sentence translates with ihnen as 'them':

Wie geht es ihnen?           How goes it with them? (How are they?)

The meaning of ihnen (or Ihnen) would have to come from context in a conversation.

Another use of the dative case in German is after these prepositions: aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu. You will be introduced to the meanings of these prepositions over many future lessons rather than all at once, because some have many meanings in English. Indeed, because each language associates specific prepositions with many common sayings (and these often do not correspond in German and English), these "little" words can be troublesome for students. Nonetheless, you should memorize now the list of prepositions above to always remember their association with the dative case. Tables of the pronouns in all cases are summarized in Appendix 2.

Word order in a German sentence with an indirect object depends upon whether that direct object is a pronoun or a noun. If the direct object is a noun, the dative precedes the accusative; if the direct object is a personal pronoun, the accusative precedes the dative:

Ich gebe dem Jungen den Ball. I give the boy the ball.
Ich gebe ihm den Ball. I give him the ball.
Ich gebe ihn ihm. I give it to him.
Ich gebe ihn dem Jungen. I give it to the boy.

English sentence structure is similar.

Lesson 3.05 - Der Engländer in Österreich edit

Lektion 1 | Lektion 2 | Lektion 3 | Lektion 4 | Lektion 5 | Lektion 6 | Lektion 7 | Lektion 8 | Lektion 9 | Lektion 10 | Lektion 11 | Lektion 12

Lektion Fünf

Rathaus von St. Pölten

Gespräch 5-2 ~ Der Engländer in Österreich edit

Republik Österreich

Wenn er auf den Kontinent fährt, wandert Herr Standish gern. Heute früh fährt er in die Stadt St. Pölten in Niederösterreich. Er spricht mit einer fremden Frau:

  • Herr Standish: Entschuldigen Sie bitte. Wo ist hier ein Hotel?
  • Die Frau: Gleich dort drüben. Das ist das Hotel "Zur Post".
  • Herr Standish: Gibt es ein Restaurant darin?
  • Die Frau: Ja gewiss! Ein Restaurant mit einfacher Küche, besonders zum Abendessen. Aber ich könnte Ihnen ein anderes Restaurant empfehlen. Es heißt 'Alt-Wien', und es gibt dort das beste Frühstück. Das Restaurant ist links neben dem Hotel, um die Ecke.
  • Herr Standish: Danke sehr. Und können Sie mir sagen, wo das Rathaus von St. Pölten ist?
  • Die Frau: Wie bitte?
  • Herr Standish: Wie komme ich zum Rathaus?
  • Die Frau: Rechts um die Ecke und dann immer geradeaus – ungefähr ein Kilometer.
  • Herr Standish: Danke sehr.
  • Die Frau: Bitte sehr. Wiedersehen.
  • Herr Standish: Auf Wiedersehen.

Vokabeln 5A edit

das Abendessen             supper (evening meal)
[das] Österreich           Austria
die Ecke                   corner
das Frühstück              breakfast
das Hotel                  hotel
der Kilometer              kilometer
die Küche                  cooking, cuisine
der Kontinent              continent (Europe)
[das] Niederösterreich     (federal state of) Lower Austria
das Rathaus                city hall
das Restaurant             restaurant
die Stadt                  city
Bitte sehr                 You're welcome
Entschuldigen Sie          Pardon me, excuse me
Es gibt dort...            There is there...
Gibt es...?                Is there..?
Guten Tag                  good day (parting)
immer geradeaus            straight on ahead
können Sie                 could you (polite form)
Wie bitte?                 Pardon me? (polite "come again?")
empfehlen                  recommend
fahren                     travel
kommen                     come, go, get
wandern                    wander
sagen                      say, tell
sprechen                   speak
anderer, andere, anderes   other
besonders                  especially
bitte                      please
das                        that
dann                       then
darin                      therein
ein                        a (indefinite article)
eins                       one (cardinal number)
fremd                      unknown
gern                       gladly 
gleich                     just, right (correct), right here, same         
heute früh                 this morning
hier                       here (in this place)
ich                        I (personal pronoun)
links                      left (direction)
neben                      next to
rechts                     right (direction)
ungefähr                   approximately           
von                        of (Rathaus von St. Pölten = St. Polten City Hall)
wie                        how (interrogative)
wo                         where (interrogative)
zu                         to (zum = contraction of zu dem)

Andere Wörter 4A edit

der Bahnhof                train station
der Flughafen              airport
die Polizeiwache           police station
die Post                   post office
genau                      exact(ly)
heute                      today 

Lesestück 5-1 ~ Eine Geschichte über St. Pölten edit

Karte: St. Pölten in Österreich

Niederösterreich ist sowohl flächenmäßig als auch nach Einwohnern das größte der neun österreichischen Bundesländer. Sankt Pölten ist die Landeshauptstadt von Niederösterreich. Der Name St. Pölten geht auf den heiligen Hippolytos zurück, nach dem die Stadt benannt wurde.

Die Altstadt befindet sich dort, wo vom 2. bis zum 4. Jahrhundert die Römerstadt Aelium Cetium stand. 799 wurde der Ort als "Treisma" erwähnt. Das Marktrecht erhielt St. Pölten um 1050, zur Stadt erhoben wurde es 1159. Bis 1494 stand St. Pölten im Besitz des Bistums Passau, dann wurde es landesfürstliches Eigentum. Bereits 771 findet sich ein Benediktinerkloster, ab 1081 gab es Augustiner-Chorherren, 1784 wurde deren Kollegiatsstift aufgehoben, das Gebäude dient seit 1785 als Bischofssitz. Zur Landeshauptstadt von Niederösterreich wurde St. Pölten mit Landtagsbeschluss vom 10. Juli 1986, seit 1997 ist es Sitz der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung.

Luftbild von St. Pölten

Vokabeln 5B edit

Die Altstadt                   old town
Der Augustiner                 Augustinian
Der Besitz                     possession, holding
Das Bistum                     diocese
Der Bischofssitz               bishop's see (a seat of a bishop's authority)
Die Bundesländer               federal states
Die Chorherren                 men's choir 
Das Eigentum                   proprietorship
Die Einwohner                  inhabitants
Das Gebäude                    premises
Die Geschichte                 history
Das Jahrhundert                century
Das Kloster                    monastery, friary
Das Kollegiatsstift            monastery college
Die Landeshauptstadt           regional or state capital city
Die Landesregierung            provincial (state) government
Der Landtagsbeschluss          day of jurisdictional reorganization
Das Marktrecht                 right to hold markets
Der Name                       name
Der Ort                        place, spot, city
Die Römerstadt                 Roman town
Der Sitz                       official place
Bistum Passau                  a dioecian region in Bavaria
sowohl... als auch             both... and
zurück auf                     goes back to
aufheben (hob auf, aufgehoben) merged in (or turned into?)
befinden sich                  situated, located
(befand sich, haben sich befunden)
finden sich*                   found (located)
benennen (benannte, benannt)   call (as to label)
erhalten (erhielt, erhalten)   receive
erheben (erhob, erhoben)       arise, raise
erwähnen (erwähnte, erwähnt)   mention
stehen (stand, gestanden)      stand (stood, stood)
werden (wurde, [ist]geworden)  become
ab                             from
auf                            up
bereits                        already
bis                            until, by, up to
flächenmäßig                   (no direct translation) ~ when measured in surface
heilig                         holy
landesfürstlich                baronial or princely (holdings)
nach                           in terms of 
um                             around

(* one short form of anfinden: findet sich (an); in colloquial language you can cut the "an"; but in THIS special case it is the short form of "(be)findet sich (dort)")

Pronunciation Guide >>

  • Read more about St. Pölten at the German Wikipedia (source of article above).

Lesson 3.06 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level III/Undeveloped

Section 3.03 ~ Bavaria, Germany edit

Lesson 3.07 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level III/Undeveloped

Lesson 3.08 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level III/Undeveloped

Lesson 3.09 - Undeveloped edit

German/Level III/Undeveloped


Contents edit

Section 01 ~ Kiel, Germany edit

Section 02 ~ Schaan, Liechtenstein edit

Section 03 ~ Schaffhausen, Switzerland edit



Contents edit

Adjectives and Adverbs edit

Adjectives edit

Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Most adjectives are stand-alone words; however, present and past participles can also be used as adjectives. Numbers are also adjectives, though they do not decline.

Adjectives can have three functions in a sentence:

  • Attributive
  • Predicative
  • Adverbial

An adjective is only declined when it is attributive. The predicative and adverbial functions are not declined. You can determine what function an adjective plays in a sentence by looking at what the adjective modifies.

Attributive Adjectives edit

An attributive adjective precedes the noun it describes; it directly modifies the noun.

Example of an attributive adjective:

Der große Mann ist lustig.

The tall man is funny.

Attributive adjectives are always declined.

Predicative Adjectives edit

A predicative adjective follows a copulative verb (for example, sein, bleiben, werden) in a sentence. A copulative verb links the subject of a sentence with an adjective or a noun.

Example of a predicative adjective:

Der große Mann ist lustig.

The tall man is funny.

In the example above, the copulative verb is sein (to be). This verb links the subject (Der große Mann) with the adjective (lustig).

Another example of a predicative adjective using the adjective groß:

Der Mann ist groß.

The man is tall.

Predicative adjectives are not declined.

Adverbial Adjectives edit

An adverbial adjective is an adjective that performs the function of an adverb in a sentence. That is, the adverbial adjective modifies a verb or an adjective. In German, any adjective can be used as an adverb.

Example of an adverbial adjective:

Der große Mann läuft gut.

The tall man runs well.

In the example above, the adjective modifies the verb laufen (läuft is the third person singular conjugation of the verb) and accordingly, it acts like an adverb.

Adverbial adjectives, like adverbs, are not declined.

Declension of Attributive Adjectives edit

Note the shape of the state Oklahoma

Learning the adjective endings for attributive adjectives is an important aspect of the study of German. Declension of adjectives is frequently cited as one of the hardest topics for new students to learn. It is best to commit the declension tables to memory, while attempting to speak independently. Proper use of adjective endings, especially in speaking, will come with repeated use.

This section makes use of the Oklahoma mnemonic, which denotes the fields of nominative masculine; nominative neuter; accusative neuter; nominative feminine; and accusative feminine, which resemble the state of Oklahoma in the tables used below.

Forms of Declension edit

There are three forms of declension that you must learn for attributive adjectives. The manner in which adjectives are declined depends on what precedes them:

  • Strong declension (no article preceding the adjective).
  • Weak declension (a definite article or der-word precedes the adjective).
  • Mixed declension (an indefinite article or ein-word precedes the adjective).

The guiding principle for adjective endings is that a noun, whenever possible, should have a primary case ending. Definite articles and der-words always provide a primary case ending. Indefinite articles and ein-words provide primary case endings outside of Oklahoma. Sometimes nouns have no article, in which case adjectives provide the primary case ending.

Strong Declension edit

Strong declension describes the declension of adjectives that are not preceded by either a definite or indefinite article (e.g. der, die, das, ein, or eine). The table below sets out the endings for adjectives in this situation.

Strong Adjective Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative -er -es -e -e
Accusative -en -es -e -e
Dative -em -em -er -en
Genitive -en -en -er -er

The strong adjective endings are nearly the same as the der-word endings, with the exception of masculine and neuter adjectives in the genitive case (both marked in bold).

Weak Declension edit

Weak declension describes the declension of adjectives that are preceded by a definite article or der-word, e.g. der, die, das, jeder, alle, etc.

If an attributive adjective has weak declension, you simply add an -e or an -en to the end of the adjective depending on the case of the noun that the adjective modifies. The table below sets out the endings for adjectives in this situation.

Weak Adjective Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative -e -e -e -en
Accusative -en -e -e -en
Dative -en -en -en -en
Genitive -en -en -en -en

Make note of the Oklahoma shaped region in the table below for the nominative and accusative cases.

Mixed Declension edit

Mixed declension describes the declension of adjectives that are preceded by an indefinite article or ein-word, e.g. ein, eine, mein, meine, kein, keine, etc). The table below sets out the endings for adjectives in this situation.

Mixed Adjective Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative -er -es -e -en
Accusative -en -es -e -en
Dative -en -en -en -en
Genitive -en -en -en -en

Forms in Context of Articles edit

This terminology - strong and weak endings - is confusing for many students. As the student develops, they will develop an ear for case endings and will recognize when a noun has and has not received a case ending. Nonetheless, it is worth providing the three declension tables that result from this principle.

Adjective Declension following a Definite Article or der-word
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
the large man the small book the quiet cat the red apples
Nominative der große Mann das kleine Buch die ruhige Katze die roten Äpfel
Accusative den großen Mann
Dative dem großen Mann dem kleinen Buch der ruhigen Katze den roten Äpfeln
Genitive des großen Mannes des kleinen Buches der roten Äpfel

Adjectives following a definite article or der-word always have a weak ending. Within Oklahoma, that is "-e", and outside of Oklahoma, that is "-en". Also dies.., jed.., manch.., welch.., solch.. and all.. get the same ending as in the table above.

Adjective Declension following an Indefinite Article or ein-word
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
a large man a small book a quiet cat no red apples
Nominative ein großer Mann ein kleines Buch eine ruhige Katze keine roten Äpfel
Accusative einen großen Mann
Dative einem großen Mann einem kleinen Buch einer ruhigen Katze keinen roten Äpfeln
Genitive eines großen Mannes eines kleinen Buches keiner roten Äpfel

Note how, within Oklahoma, adjectives take strong endings, and outside Oklahoma, they take weak endings. This is because indefinite articles provide primary endings only outside of Oklahoma. Also mein.., dein.., sein.., ihr.., unser.., euer.. and Ihr.. get the same ending as in the table above.

Adjective Declension with no preceding article
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative großer Mann kleines Buch ruhige Katze rote Äpfel
Accusative großen Mann
Dative großem Mann kleinem Buch ruhiger Katze roten Äpfeln
Genitive großen Mannes kleinen Buches roter Äpfel

Forms of nouns without articles are rare compared to those with definite and indefinite articles; however, one must still know the strong declension. Note that the strong adjective declension is almost the same as the der-word endings, with the exceptions of masculine and neuter in the genitive case (in bold).

Adverbs edit

Adverbs based on adjectives are one of the simplest parts of German grammar. Any adjective can be used as an adverb simply by placing its uninflected form within the sentence, usually towards the end.

Das Ehepaar ging gestern fröhlich spazieren.
(The married couple went for a walk joyfully yesterday.)

Other adverbs have no adjectival equivalent. Many of these express time.

Damals (at that time)
Ich bin gestern dort gewesen.  (I was there yesterday.)
Morgens bin ich normalerweise im Büro.  (I am normally in the office in the morning.)

Adverbs can also be based on participles (past and present). These are less common.

Er betrachtete mich bedrohlich.  (He looked at me threateningly.)

Some adverbs are formed by adding -weise to adjectives and nouns in the plural form, and mean "regarding", "with respect to", or "-wise" in English. Construction of new adverbs of this sort is usually frowned upon.

Adverbs based on prepositions edit

Much of the material in this section will be explained in greater detail in the chapter on prepositions.

German has a complex system of adverbs based on prepositions, which are used to indicate direction of motion, location, time, and other concepts. English also possesses such a system, though it is used less. Consider the following sentences in English:

1) Could you take the garbage out?
2) Come over this evening if you get the chance.
3) You should just give up.
4) I will look you up in the phone book.
5) The contract, and the conditions contained therein, is hereby declared null and 
   void. (Legalese)

In both English and German, prepositions and particles derived from prepositions are treated as adverbs. In many cases, these prepositional adverbs are associated with specific verbs.

In the first two examples, the italicized prepositions are used as adverbs of motion; in the first example, the word "out" indicates the direction "out of the apartment"; in the second case, "over" not only means means the direction "towards", but also implies visitation of a residence.

The third and fourth examples correspond to separable-prefix verbs in German. The word "up" is integral to the verb, which would have a different meaning without the adverb. "To give up", whose infinitive in German would be "to up-give", means "to quit", in sharp contrast to "to give". In the fourth example, it is not even possible to "look someone", whereas it is possible to "look someone up," or "look a candidate's resume over". (English even has inseparable prepositional prefix verbs; compare "to look s.o. over" to "to overlook s.o." Many of these verbs have been replaced by verbs based on Latin and Greek.)

The adverbs in the fifth example correspond to da-, wo-, hin- and her- compounds in German. Such compounds are often used in legal texts in English. In such compounds, the object of the preposition is replaced with the words "there" or "here", compounded with the preposition. "Therein" simply means "in it".

The German system of adverbs based on prepositions is considerably more rigorous, and forms the basis of a large part of the language's morphology. "To catch on" means "to begin" in English; In German, the primary word for "to begin" is literally "to catch on" (anfangen), from which the equivalent noun, der Anfang (the beginning) is derived. A remnant of this in English can be found when describing a child's upbringing.

As in English, prepositional adverbs in German to varying degrees alter the meaning of their associated verb.

Separable-prefix verbs. This topic is better explored in the chapter on verbs. Separable prefixes are themselves adverbs. As in English, many of them are integral to the meaning of the verb. Fangen means "to catch," whereas anfangen means "to begin".

Most prepositional adverbs are treated as part of the root word in the infinitive, and are used as such in the construction of participles. However, not all possible separable-prefix verbs are lexical; "vorbeikommen" (to come over), "vorbeibringen" (to bring over), and so on, may not all be listed in a dictionary. It is better to learn "vorbei" as an adverb implying visitation.

The German prefix in is of note. It has two adverbial forms. As in it describes location; when describing movement, it becomes ein. Thus, for example, darin means "in there", whereas darein means "in(to) there". Another example is the word, einleiten, to introduce.

Hin- and her-. Prepositional adverbs of motion are usually based on hin-, implying motion or direction away from the speaker, and her-, implying motion or direction towards the speaker. Hin and her are themselves stand-alone adverbs meaning the same thing, and describe less-specific motion or direction. (One example in which hin is an integral separable prefix is the verb hinrichten, which means "to execute.) Not all verbs formed from hin- and her- compounds are lexical. Some examples of hin- and her- compounds are:

herab (down, down from)
hinein (in, inside)
hinaus (out, out of, onto)
darüber hinaus (furthermore, above all)
dahin (in the direction/towards of known location)

Mastery of hin- and her- requires considerable effort from the student.

Da- compounds are also adverbs, corresponding to "there-" compounds in English. They replace specific prepositional objects. Although are used principally in legal texts and therefore sound formal in English, they are often employed in written and spoken German and are convenient replacements for long and complicated prepositional phrases. Their comprehension and active use are essential in German. Da- compounds are formed by adding da- before the preposition, with an "r" inserted before prepositions starting with a vowel. There are exceptions to this, and da- compounds are given a fuller treatment in the chapter on prepositions.

Hier- and dort- compounds also exist in German, though they are used less frequently. As in English, they are considered formal, and are used primarily in academic and legal texts. They are best memorized as vocabulary.

hierhin und dorthin - hither and thither

Articles edit


Nouns edit

What Is a Noun? edit

A noun is a word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or idea, that is, a part of speech. It can serve as the subject or object of a verb. For example, a table (ein Tisch, eine Tafel) or a computer (ein Computer). What makes nouns in German special is that they must start with a capital letter in the written language.

Plurals edit

German, unlike English, has more than one way to make nouns plural, and plural form, like gender, must be memorized with every noun.

There are twelve different ways to form plurals in German. They are formed by affixes at the end of the word, and the umlaut of the vowel of the stem. They are - (changing nothing); -¨; -e; -¨e; -n; -¨n; -en; -¨en; -er; -¨er; -nen (to feminine suffix -in); -s (mainly with English loan-words); adding "foreign" endings (mainly Latin words); and changing suffixes (mainly Latin words).

When German nouns are used in the plural, their gender becomes irrelevant. The plural can almost be thought of as a gender on its own. In the plural, the definite article is always "die" when using the nominative and accusative cases.

When using the dative case, "den" is the definite article of all plurals. All plurals not ending in -n or -s affix an -n.

The definite article of the plural in the genitive case is "der".


Nominative: Die alten Männer spielen Schach. The old men are playing chess.

Accusative: Ich sah die alten Männer beim Schachspielen. I saw the old men as they played chess.

Dative: Ich spielte mit den alten Männern Schach. I played chess with the old men.

Genitive: Das Schachspiel der alten Männer war nicht sehr spannend. The old men's chess game was not very exciting.

Suffixes edit

Although gender and plural form are often arbitrary, there exist certain suffixes whose gender and plural form are regular. They are mainly feminine.

-ung, -heit, -keit, -schaft, -ion, and -tät

These are all feminine endings, which are pluralized by -en.

  • Diskussion(en)
  • Universtät(en)


This ending is feminine and is pluralized by changing the stem vowel and adding -e

  • Unterkunft
  • Unterkünfte


This ending often doesn't have a plural. When it does however, you add '-en

  • Technik(en)


When verb infinitives transform into nouns, they do not have a plural form.

  • das Sprechen

Many masculine nouns are formed by verbal stems without a suffix. Many of these receive an umlaut in their plural form.

Gender edit

German, like many other languages, gives each noun a gender: Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter. Plural nouns also act differently not only with the verb of the sentence, but the article preceding it.

The way any particular word is classified may not be logical.


das Mädchen       the girl (neuter)
die Person        the person (feminine - even when talking about a man)

However, not all German Nouns are randomly allocated a gender. The following notes will apply to most nouns but not all.

A note on Mädchen:

This is derived from the diminutive form of Maid (old, rarely used) - Maidchen. Grammatically it is neuter, but when referenced, nowadays the logical feminine gender can take over: "Das Mädchen und ihr Hund", instead of "Das Mädchen und sein Hund".

Compound nouns have the same gender as the last noun.

Example: die Armbanduhr (wristwatch) (der Arm, das Band, die Uhr)

Masculine edit

There are far more masculine nouns than of either of the other genders. The masculine nominative definite article is der.

Semantic Groups Which Are Masculine edit

days              z.B. der Montag
times of the day  z.B. der Morgen
months            z.B. der August
seasons           z.B. der Sommer
compass points: Norden, Osten, Süden, Westen, Nordwesten, ...
(male) animals      z.B. der Löwe, der Hahn, der Ochse
alcohol**         z.B. der Wein, der Likör, der Alkohol, der Champagner
car***            z.B. der Wagen, der Opel, der Mercedes, der BMW

** However, it is das Bier, die Spirituose (because of the ending "-ose"), das Pils (because it is a beer), das Methanol (because it is a scientific term of a substance)
*** Excepting "das Auto".

Nouns meaning a male person are usually masculine. Typical endings for such nouns are -er, -iker, -or, -ar, -är, -ent, -ant, -ist, -loge, -graph, -graf, -eur, -arch.
  • Examples (masculine): Mann, Sohn, Bub, Junge, Bruder, Vater, Enkel, Onkel, König, Lehrer, Mathematiker, Student, Arzt, Professor, Ingenieur, Demonstrant, Kommissar, Tourist, Meteorologe, Fotograf, Biograph, Monarch, Millionär
  • Exceptions: die Person, das Kind, das Baby, das Opfer, die Geisel (These words can mean a male or a female person but the gender stays the same.)

Words with Certain Endings edit

Nouns ending with -ismus are always masculine: der Kommunismus, der Anglizismus, der Terrorismus
Nouns ending with -smus or -thmus are usually masculine: der Algorithmus, der Logarithmus, der Rhythmus, der Enthusiasmus, der Sarkasmus, der Orgasmus

Nouns ending with -ling that are not English words are usually masculine (if they mean a person, they can mean a male or a female person): der Flüchtling (refugee), der Lehrling (apprentice), der Liebling (darling), der Schmetterling (butterfly), der Setzling, der Zwilling
Nouns ending with -or are often masculine: der Motor, der Rotor, der Faktor, der Vektor, der Prozessor, Äquator, Monitor
Exceptions: das Labor (because it is short for das Laboratorium)
Nouns ending in -en are usually masculine (but not infinitives used as nouns. They are neuter: das Rauchen, das Lachen).

Examples (masculine): Kuchen (cake), Frieden (peace), Glauben (faith), Balken, Bogen (bow), Socken (sock), Brocken, Stecken, Samen, Daumen (thumb), Boden, Busen, Degen, Reigen, Faden, Hafen, Haken, Laden, Orden, Rasen, Braten, Spaten, Ballen, Barren, Batzen, Drachen, Felsen (rock), Fetzen, Funken, Garten (garden), Galgen, Gaumen, Graben, Haufen, Hopfen, Klumpen, Kasten, Karren, Besen, Schuppen, Karpfen, Krapfen, Knoten, Kolben, Korken, Kragen, Lappen, Brunnen, Rahmen, Schaden, Ofen, Magen, Zapfen, Schinken, Knochen, Pfropfen, Topfen, Regen (rain), Reifen, Streifen, Tropfen, Hoden, Loden, Fladen, Roggen, Weizen, Segen, Husten, Schnupfen, Nacken, Packen, Rücken, Zacken, Zinken, Rachen, Rechen, Rochen, Wagen

Exceptions (neuter): Leben, Wissen, Essen, Küken, Laken, Leinen, Nomen, Becken, Examen, Fohlen, Wappen, Kissen, Eisen, Beben, Volumen, Treffen, Schreiben, Wesen, Zeichen

The following groups of nouns are relatively often masculine if they do not begin with the unstressed syllable Ge-:
Nouns ending in -el (but not stressed on the last syllable): der Vogel
Nouns ending in -er (but not -ier): der Hamster

Examples (-el, masculine): Vogel (bird), Apfel (apple), Himmel (sky, heaven), Nebel (fog), Hagel (hail), Nagel (nail), Nabel (navel), Schnabel (beak), Hebel (lever), Kübel (bucket), Löffel (spoon), Hügel (hill), Gipfel (peak), Wipfel (treetop), Schlüssel (key), Deckel (lid), Henkel (handle), Beutel (bag), Schenkel, Tempel, Zirkel, Würfel, Handel (trade), Flügel (wing), Gürtel (belt), Mantel (coat), Kegel, Ziegel, Knödel, Esel (donkey), Igel, Dackel, Pudel, Pinsel (paint brush), Titel (title), Ärmel, Muskel, Knöchel, Knorpel, Tunnel (tunnel), Artikel (article), Pegel, Pickel, Winkel (angle), Stapel, Zettel, Sessel (chair), Jubel, Trubel, Mörtel, Meißel, Kessel (kettle), Kittel, Sockel, Tümpel, Mangel, Büffel, Rüssel, Säbel, Bügel, Dübel, Egel, Engel (angel), Erpel, Pöbel

Exceptions (-el, feminine): Schachtel (box), Schüssel (bowl), Amsel, Drossel, Wachtel, Kordel, Kurbel, Achsel, Dattel, Ampel, Insel (island), Muschel, Regel (rule), Wurzel (root), Bibel, Fabel, Gabel (fork), Nadel (needle), Nudel, Kugel, Fackel, Gondel, Kapsel, Tafel, Rodel, Orgel, Formel (formula), Geisel, Distel, Eichel, Angel

Exceptions (-el, neuter): Segel (sail), Kabel (cable), Pendel (pendulum), Kapitel (chapter), Rätsel, Wiesel, Ziesel, Orakel, Ferkel, Übel, Paddel, Debakel, Rudel, Nickel

Examples (-er, masculine): Acker, Ärger, Anker, Eifer, Eimer, Eiter, Hafer, Käfer, Biber, Tiger, Kater, Kader, Köder, Laser, Polster, Bagger, Becher, Bohrer, Hammer, Hamster, Bunker, Donner, Dotter, Dünger, Fächer, Falter, Fehler, Filter, Finger, Fühler, Höcker, Hocker, Hummer, Hunger, Ingwer, Jammer, Keller, Kerker, Kleber, Körper, Koffer, Krater, Kühler, Kummer, Luster, Ordner, Panzer, Puffer, Sender, Sommer, Teller, Walzer, Wecker, Winter, Zauber, Zeiger, Zucker

Exceptions (-er, feminine): Ader, Butter, Dauer, Faser, Leiter, Feder, Feier, Leber, Mauer, Oper, Elster, Folter, Kammer, Nummer, Steuer, Trauer, Wimper, Ziffer

Exceptions (-er, neuter): Alter, Messer, Fenster, Feuer, Futter, Wasser, Wetter, Lager, Leder, Opfer, Puder, Pulver, Ruder, Ufer, Banner, Fieber, Gatter, Gitter, Kupfer, Muster, Poster, Silber, Wunder, Zimmer

Nouns that end with -pf but do not begin with Ge- are often masculine.

Examples (masculine): Kopf, Zopf, Napf, Sumpf, Strumpf, Dampf, Kampf, Rumpf, Tropf, Knopf, Kropf, Krampf, Stumpf, Trumpf, Propf, Schopf, Topf, Unterschlupf, Gugelhupf

Nouns ending in -aum are often masculine.

Baum, Traum, Schaum, Raum, Saum, Flaum

Nouns ending in -ang are often masculine.

Drang, Fang, Gang, Hang, Klang, Rang, Anfang, Empfang, Gesang, Tang

Nouns ending in -und are often masculine.

Bund, Grund, Schund, Hund, Fund, Schwund, Schlund, Mund

neuter: Pfund

Nouns ending in -all are often masculine.

Ball, Fall, Krawall, Drall, Hall, Wall, Aufprall, Kristall, Knall, Schall, Zufall, Abfall, Vorfall, Schwall

neuter: All, Metall, Intervall
feminine: Nachtigall

Feminine edit

The feminine Gender article is die. It is used in the nominative and accusative singular case. It is also used to indicate nominative and accusative plural for nouns of any gender.

e.g. die Katze — Feminine

       die Katzen — feminine plural
       die Männer - masculine plural
       die Mädchen - neuter plural

Semantic Groups Which Are Feminine edit

Female persons and (female) animals are usually feminine (very few exceptions).


die Frau (woman)
die Schwester (sister)
die Mutter (mother)

To change a designation to explicitly feminine, one often uses the ending -in.

der Lehrer - die Lehrerin (teacher)
der Kaiser - die Kaiserin (emperor and empress)
der König - die Königin (king and queen)
der Arzt - die Ärztin (doctor)
der Löwe - die Löwin (lion and lioness)


das Mädchen (girl)
das Kind (child)
das Fräulein (old fashioned for Miss)

A lot of trees and other plants are also feminine.


die Buche (beech)
die Eiche (oak)
die Rose (rose)
die Tulpe (tulip)
die Nelke (carnation)


das Veilchen (violet), der Farn (fern) ...

Words With Certain Endings edit

Words with these endings are feminine:
-heit: die Gesundheit (health), die Wahrheit (truth)
-keit: die Möglichkeit (possibility)
-schaft: die Wirtschaft, die Freundschaft
-ei: die Türkei, die Mongolei, die Bäckerei*


* das Ei (egg) has nothing to do with the ending -ei. 
Das Ei is neuter, including all words derived from: z.B. das Spiegelei, das Rührei, das Vogelei (different types of eggs) * der Papagei (parrot)
Words with the suffix -ung are feminine (they are usually derived from verbs). But: der Sprung, der Schwung, der Dung.

Examples (feminine): die Beobachtung (observation; v: beobachten), die Verfolgung (persecution; v: verfolgen), Wohnung, Zeitung, Bildung, Währung, Werbung, Landung, Warnung, Erfahrung, Forschung, Übung, Beziehung, Richtung, Bewegung, Vorlesung, Bedeutung, Erziehung, Erklärung, Ordnung, Spannung, Bedingung, Siedlung, Öffnung, Handlung, Zeichnung, Lösung, Verbindung, Stimmung, Endung, Erzählung, Wirkung, Regierung, Einführung, Sammlung, Beratung, Neigung, Prüfung, Veränderung, Abteilung, Sendung, Rettung, Erfindung, Verletzung, Leistung

Words derived from verbs (mostly irregular verbs) and ending in -t are feminine:
 die Handschrift (hand writing (n), derived from schreiben),
 die Fahrt (journey, trip or ride, derived from fahren)
Many German nouns end with an -e that is pronounced [ə]. They are usually feminine if they do not mean a male person and do not begin with the unstressed syllable Ge-.

Examples: die Lampe (lamp), die Karte (card, map), Liebe, Freude, Erde, Tasse, Masse, Klasse, Rasse, Rolle, Brücke, Lücke, Krücke, Ecke, Zecke, Decke, Strecke, Matte, Ratte, Krabbe, Ebbe, Sonne, Tonne, Wonne, Nonne, Farbe, Narbe, Nase, Zunge, Lunge, Wange, Zange, Spange, Lippe, Frage, Sprache, Suche, Seite, Kante, Bitte, Socke, Hose, Jacke, Kreide, Waffe, Sekunde, Minute, Stunde, Straße, Gasse, Suppe, Speise, Reise, Oase, Diagnose, Analyse, Krise, Seele, Flagge, Fahne, Falle, Bremse, Beute, Adresse, Presse, Messe, Toilette, Pause, Tomate, Banane, Melone, Kirsche, Pflaume, Ameise, Motte, Fliege, Biene, Wespe, Schlange, Schnecke, Giraffe, Spinne, Blume, Pflanze, Vase, Tanne, Kanne, Pfanne, Lüge, Sorge, Kappe, Liste, Summe, Zelle, Trompete, Flöte, Gitarre, Violine, Ehe, Schokolade, Wiese, Sache, Schule, Oboe, Treue, Kleie

der Name, der Wille, der Käse (cheese), der Friede, der Glaube, der Buchstabe (letter (symbol)), das Ende (end), das Interesse (interest), das Auge (eye), das Erbe (heritage), der Löwe (lion), der Hase (hare), der Affe (monkey), der Rabe, der Falke, der Drache, das Karate, der Rüde, das Genre, das Prozedere, der Ochse, der Welpe, das Finale

Foreign words:

Words with the endings given below are stressed on the last syllable. They are feminine.
-anz: die Eleganz, die Toleranz
-enz: die Intelligenz (intelligence), die Konsequenz (consequence)
-logie: die Biologie, die Meteorologie
-grafie/graphie: die Biografie, die Orthografie
-tät: die Universität, Majestät, Lokalität, Pietät, Integrität, Qualität, Aktivität, Priorität, Nationalität, Kapazität
-tion, -sion, -gion, -xion, -lion, -nion: die Nation, die Mission, die Religion, die Reflexion, die Million, die Union
-thek: die Bibliothek, die Diskothek
Words with the endings given below are usually feminine.
-ie (but not English words, e.g.  das Selfie): die Philosophie (philosophy), die Melodie (melody), die Familie, die Studie, die Demokratie
-ik: die Musik (music), die Politik (politics), die Physik, die Klassik, die Gotik, die Romantik, Kritik
-ur (but not -eur): die Kultur (culture), die Natur, die Temperatur, die Literatur, die Frisur, die Tastatur, die Armatur, die Glasur

Exceptions: das Genie, das Mosaik, das Abitur, der Merkur, der Purpur

Words ending with -age are often feminine.
Garage, Montage, Etage, Spionage, Persiflage, Blamage

Neuter edit

The neutral Gender article is das for the nominative and accusative case.

Semantic Groups Which Are Neuter edit

The letters of the alphabet are neuter: das A, das z, das scharfe S
Names of colors are neuter: das Blau, das Rot, das Gelb, das Hellgrün, das Dunkelbraun
Languages are usually neuter.
Examples: Deutsch, Englisch, Esperanto, Latein
Countries with the ending -ien, -land, -reich or -stan are always neuter.

Examples: Italien, Spanien, Deutschland, England, Österreich, Frankreich, Vereinigtes Königreich, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Other countries are often neuter.

Examples (neuter): China, Japan, Mexiko, Kanada, Peru, Chile, Nigeria, Bangladesch, Ägypten, Vietnam, Südafrika, Polen
masculine: Irak, Iran, Jemen, Senegal, Sudan, Niger
feminine: Schweiz, Slowakei, Türkei, Mongolei, Ukraine

The definite article of neuter countries is only used when there is an adjective, e.g. you have to say "ich bin in Österreich", not "ich bin im Österreich", but you say "ich bin im schönen Österreich". The definite article of masculine and feminine countries is always used, e.g. "ich bin in der Schweiz", "ich bin in der schönen Schweiz", "ich bin im Senegal".

Afrika, Amerika, Asien, Europa and Ozeanien are neuter. Arktis and Antarktis are feminine.

Words With Certain Endings edit

Words with the diminutive endings -lein and -chen are always neuter:
  das Mädchen (girl), das Häuschen (little house), das Büchlein (little book)
Words with the ending -tum are often neuter.

Examples: Judentum, Heldentum, Rittertum, Rowdytum, Schrifttum, Sklaventum, Spießertum, Volkstum, Wachstum, Altertum, Brauchtum, Bürgertum, Christentum, Eigentum, Fürstentum, Heiligtum
Exceptions: der Reichtum, der Irrtum

Words with these endings are often neuter:
ending -um if the word has Latin origin: das Zentrum, das Museum, Studium, Stadium, Kriterium, Maximum, Minimum, Optimum, Jubiläum, Evangelium, Gymnasium, Ministerium, Album, Opium, Podium, Serum, Vakuum, Visum, Aquarium, Terrarium, Bakterium, Auditorium, Publikum, Forum, Datum, Impressum, Individuum, Ultimatum
Exceptions: der Konsum

ending -ment: das Parlament (parliament), das Fundament (base, basis), das Element (element), Dokument, Experiment, Instrument, Kompliment, Medikament, Temperament, Abonnement, Management, Fragment, Monument, Ornament, Pergament, Segment, Testament, Argument, Pigment, Sortiment, Apartment, Equipment, Exkrement, Reglement, Sakrament, Statement
Exceptions: der Zement, der Konsument
Words that end with -em and are stressed on the last syllable are often neuter.

Problem, Theorem, System, Extrem, Emblem, Ekzem, Diadem, Phonem, Ödem
Also these words with the stress on the first syllable are neuter:
Modem, Totem, Tandem, Requiem
But these words with the stress on the first syllable are masculine: Atem, Harem, Moslem

Foreign words that end with -ett and are stressed on the last syllable are often neuter.

Tablett, Etikett, Korsett, Parkett, Kabarett, Ballett

Words that end with -ma are often neuter.

Thema, Trauma, Drama, Dilemma, Prisma, Schema, Koma, Klima, Komma, Karma, Lama, Dogma, Paradigma, Charisma, Magma, Panorama, Plasma, Stigma, Aroma

feminine: Firma
masculine: Puma

Words that end with -om or -ym  are often neuter.

Syndrom, Palindrom, Phantom, Polynom, Binom, Monom, Atom, Axiom, Genom, Symptom, Diplom, Kondom, Chromosom, Metronom; Enzym, Pseudonym, Synonym, Akronym

Foreign words from English with the ending -ing are usually neuter.

Examples (neuter): Training, Stalking, Jogging, Mobbing, Lobbying, Marketing, Recycling
feminine: Holding (because it is short for die Holdinggesellschaft)

Words that end with -skop, -fon, -phon or -gramm are usually neuter.

Examples: Mikroskop, Teleskop, Periskop, Kaleidoskop, Horoskop, Telefon, Mikrophon, Megaphon, Grammophon, Programm, Diagramm, Parallelogramm, Kilogramm, Autogramm, Hologramm, Telegramm

Words With Certain Beginnings edit

Nouns that begin with the unstressed syllable Ge-, do not mean a person and do not end with the feminine suffix -heit, -keit, -schaft or -ung are often neuter.

Examples: Gedicht (poem), Gericht (court, dish), Gesicht (face), Gewicht (weight), Geheimnis (secret), Gebirge (mountains), Geschirr (dishes), Gedächtnis (memory), Gebiet, Gespenst, Gewissen, Gesetz (law), Getränk (drink), Gewand, Gewitter (thunderstorm), Geschenk (present), Gespräch (talk), Gebäude (building), Gehäuse (case), Gemüse (vegetable), Geschäft (shop), Getreide (cereal), Gerücht (rumor), Gewerbe, Gefühl (feeling), Gepäck (luggage), Gehirn (brain), Gewürz (spice), Gemälde (painting), Gebet (prayer), Gerät (device), Gebiss, Gesindel, Gerangel, Gelaber, Getue, Gewehr, Gesuch, Gelenk, Geweih, Gewinde, Geschrei, Gebäck, Gewirr, Gebell, Gewühl, Gewölbe, Gewieher, Gejaule, Gewässer, Gewebe, Gewächs, Gestrüpp, Gestüt, Gestein, Gestell, Gestirn, Getöse, Geschlecht, Geschoss, Geschoß, Geschütz, Geschwader, Geschick, Geschwür, Gespür, Geschehen, Gesäß, Gerede, Gerippe, Geröll, Gerüst, Gerinnsel, Gerümpel, Gelände, Gelächter, Gemäuer, Gelage, Gemenge, Gemetzel, Gemüt, Genick, Geräusch, Gefäß, Geschöpf, Geschwätz

masculine: Gedanke (thought), Genuss (enjoyment), Geschmack (taste), Gewinn (prize, profit), Geruch (smell), Gestank (stink), Gebrauch (use), Gesang (singing), Gefallen (favor)
feminine: Gewalt (violence), Gestalt, Geschichte (story, history), Gemeinde, Gefahr (danger), Geduld (patience), Gewähr, Gebühr, Geburt (birth), Gebärde

Nouns Derived From Infinitives edit

Verbs used as noun (roughly corresponding to the gerund) are neuter:
das Rauchen (Smoking), das Lesen (Reading)

Masculine or Neuter edit

Words that end with a double consonant, -ck, -tz or  are usually masculine or neuter if they do not end with -ness.

Exceptions (feminine): Nuss, Null, Nachtigall, Hatz, Hetz, Geiß, Maß (different meaning than das Maß)
Examples (masculine): Pass, Biss, Sinn, Damm, Zoll, Stoff, Griff, Tipp, Müll, Witz, Schluck, Rock, Ritt, Tritt, Kuss, Fluss, Schluss, Schuss, Schlamm, Gruß, Fuß, Fraß, Scheiß, Stoß, Schoß, Fleiß, Grieß, Kloß, Löss/Löß, Ruß, Spaß, Spieß, Schweiß, Strauß
Examples (neuter): Ass, Fass, Kinn, Fell, Schiff, Kaff, Netz, Deck, Glück, Bett, Brett, Lamm, Schloss, Maß, Floß, Gefäß, Gesäß, Edelweiß, Geschoß/Geschoss

Words that end with -kt are usually masculine or neuter.

Examples (masculine): Prospekt, Sekt, Takt, Pakt, Trakt, Markt, Punkt, Aspekt, Defekt, Effekt, Infekt, Affekt, Dialekt, Infarkt, Kontakt, Akt, Respekt, Instinkt, Konflikt, Kontrakt, Architekt, Intellekt, Katarakt
Examples (neuter): Projekt, Produkt, Objekt, Subjekt, Edikt, Delikt, Insekt, Relikt, Konfekt, Verdikt, Artefakt, Konstrukt, Perfekt
Examples (masculine and neuter): Fakt, Extrakt, Aquädukt, Viadukt
Exceptions (feminine): Katarakt (different meaning than der Katarakt)

Words that end with -o are usually neuter or masculine.

Examples (neuter):
Auto, Video, Kino, Kilo, Büro, Sakko, Solo, Ego, Deo, Bistro, Manko, Banjo, Tempo, Motto, Fresko, Embargo, Esperanto, Studio, Ghetto, Foto, Echo, Piano, Cello, Kasino, Klo, Duo, Trio, Ufo, Konto, Go, Judo, Logo, Veto, Karo, Polo, Lasso, Lotto, Porto, Rodeo, Bingo, Intro, Credo/Kredo, Mikro, Makro, Rollo, Rondo, Risiko, Rokoko, Cabrio, Eldorado, Fiasko, Cembalo, Inferno, Placebo, Shampoo, Inkasso, Kommando, Libretto, Neutrino, Szenario, Portfolio, Abo, Intermezzo, Montenegro, Marokko, Monaco, Mexiko, Memo

Examples (masculine):
Euro, Tango, Fango, Espresso, Embryo, Torpedo, Salto, Po, Kakao, Zoo, Pluto, Saldo, Torso, Korso, Gecko, Ginkgo, Porno, Macho, Tacho, Torero, Sombrero, Trafo, Bolero, Dynamo, Eskimo, Gigolo, Kimono, Pharao, Poncho, Oregano, Tornado, Calypso, Schirokko, Flamenco, Flamingo, Cappuccino, Mungo, Dingo, Gusto

Examples (neuter and masculine): Radio, Silo, Storno, Tattoo, Techno, Indigo, Kosovo

Exceptions (feminine): Demo, Disko, Limo, Info (because they are short for die Demonstration, die Diskothek, die Limonade/Limousine, die Information); Uno/UNO, NATO, NGO (because the O stands for die Organisation); Mango, Avocado, Libido

Neuter or Feminine edit

Words with the ending -nis are usually neuter or feminine.

Examples (neuter): Zeugnis, Hindernis, Bekenntnis, Ereignis, Geheimnis, Gefängnis, Gedächtnis, Erlebnis, Ärgernis, Bildnis, Hemmnis, Bündnis, Wagnis, Verzeichnis, Bedürfnis, Begräbnis, Besäufnis, Erzeugnis, Geständnis, Verhältnis, Zerwürfnis, Ergebnis, Verständnis
Examples (feminine): Wildnis, Kenntnis, Befugnis, Ödnis, Fäulnis, Erlaubnis, Bitternis, Bedrängnis, Finsternis

Animals edit

Birds edit

Bird species that end with -e or -el are often feminine.

Examples (feminine): Amsel (blackbird), Drossel (thrush), Wachtel (quail), Taube (dove, pigeon), Möwe (gull), Krähe (crow), Meise (tit), Ente (duck), Eule (owl), Lerche (lark), Schwalbe (swallow, martin)

Exceptions (masculine): Tölpel (gannet, booby), Rabe (raven), Falke (hawk, falcon)

Bird species that end with -chen are often neuter.

Examples (neuter): Rotkehlchen (robin)

Other bird species are often masculine. Vogel (bird) is masculine too.

Examples (masculine): Uhu (eagle owl), Papagei (parrot), Kuckuck (cuckoo), Star, Reiher, Spatz, Fink, Adler (eagle), Geier, Habicht, Pinguin, Pelikan, Albatros, Kormoran, Schwan, Pfau, Kolibri, Wellensittich, Strauß, Kakadu, Emu, Kasuar, Kiwi, Storch, Kranich, Wiedehopf, Tukan, Nandu

Exceptions (feminine): Elster, Gans (goose), Nachtigall (nightingale)

Exceptions (neuter): Huhn (chicken)

Fish edit

Fish species that end with -e are often feminine.

Examples (feminine): Forelle, Makrele, Scholle, Sardine, Äsche, Groppe, Seekatze, Seezunge

Exceptions (neuter): Neunauge

Exceptions (masculine): Meerrabe

Other fish species are often masculine. Fisch (fish) is masculine too. Dolphins and whales are not fish, but Delphin (dolphin) and Wal (whale) are masculine too.

Examples (masculine): Karpfen (carp), Hai (shark), Stör, Hecht, Piranha, Aal, Wels, Barsch, Rochen, Hering, Lachs, Goldfisch, Thunfisch, Kabeljau, Zander, Saibling, Zobel, Barrakuda, Steinbutt, Dorsch

Exceptions (feminine): Grundel, Flunder, Seenadel

Rivers edit

Rivers in Europe and Russia are usually feminine or masculine. Other rivers are usually masculine.

Examples (feminine, Europe/Russia): Donau, Wolga, Seine, Themse, Elbe, Oder, Weichsel, Loire, Maas, Weser, Moldau, Isar
Examples (masculine, Europe/Russia): Rhein, Main, Po, Tiber, Don, Dnjepr, Tajo, Ebro, Inn, Neckar
Examples (masculine, not Europe/Russia): Nil, Amazonas, Mississippi, Rio Grande, Ganges, Jangtsekiang, Kongo, Yukon River, Orinoco, Euphrat, Tigris

Chemical Elements edit

The chemical elements with the ending -stoff are masculine (because of der Stoff): Wasserstoff, Sauerstoff, Stickstoff, Kohlenstoff.
The others are usually neuter: Gold, Silber, Eisen, Kupfer, Aluminium, Platin, Helium, Neon, Chlor, ...
Exceptions: der Schwefel, der Phosphor

Tips For Learning edit

As most German articles can not be attributed to certain rule, it is best to always learn the article when learning the noun. You may think of the article as necessary information belonging to every noun. You avoid a lot of looking-up-time that way.

Looking Up Gender in Dictionaries edit

Most dictionaries do not give the article. Instead, you find different sets of abbreviations which tell you to which class the noun in question belongs.

The most common sets of abbreviations are:

r, e, and s.
  r: der, masculine; 
  e: die, feminine; 
  s: das, neuter.
The abbreviations of this type are usually given before the noun.
m., f., and n.. 
m.: masculine; f.: feminine; n.: neuter. The abbreviations of this type are usually given after the noun.
m., w., and s.. 
m.: männlich, masculine; w.: weiblich, feminine; s.: sächlich, neuter. The abbreviations of this type are usually given after the noun.

Contents edit

Gender edit


Plurals edit


Adjectival Nouns edit

German/Grammar/Nouns/Adjectival nouns

Weak Nouns edit

German/Grammar/Nouns/Weak nouns

Mixed Nouns edit

German/Grammar/Nouns/Mixed nouns

Pronouns edit

German Pronouns Declined
Nominative Accusative Dative Genitive Possessive Pronoun
I ich mich mir meiner mein-
You (informal singular) du dich dir deiner dein-
He er ihn ihm seiner sein-
It es es ihm seiner sein-
She sie sie ihr ihrer ihr-
We (us) wir uns uns unser unser-
You (informal plural) ihr euch euch euer euer- (shortened to eur- for "eure")
They sie sie ihnen ihrer ihr-
You (formal - singular or plural) Sie Sie Ihnen Ihrer Ihr-

Note: The possessive is not a case of the personal pronoun; it's a possessive determiner, called possessive adjective. This table shows the possessive adjective's stem, which is declined as an ein- word (that is, like the indefinite article "ein").

The genitive case indicates possession or association, and is equivalent to, and replaces, the English word "of". "Des" and "der" (do not confuse with masculine singular nominative) mean "of the"; "eines" and "einer" mean "of a" / "of an"; and "der Sohn guten Weins" means "the son of good wine" (no article, M, Gen strong adjective). Strict replacement of the genitive case with the word "of" maintains the word-order of the German nominal phrase: possessed - possessor (in genitive). The genitive case also replaces "'s" in English, though reversing the word order (possessed then possessor, vs. English: possessor then possessed). German itself also uses an "s" (though without the apostrophe) to indicate possession, in the same word order as English. It is used mainly with proper nouns, such as "Goethes Heimat", as well as for compounding words.

Standard genitive constructions are used with nouns and modifiers of nouns such as articles and adjectives, and the inflection they receive implies possession. The first noun may be in any case and may occur in any part of the sentence; the second noun, which possesses the first noun, immediately follows the first noun, and is in the genitive case. The noun in the genitive case need not have any modifiers - e.g., Heimat Goethes, Heimat Katerina, which mean the homeland of Goethe and Katerina, respectively - though such constructions can be cumbersome and ambiguous.

Proper treatment of the genitive case, including all of the declensions, is found in another part of this book.

German pronouns have genitive forms, but they are used only rarely nowadays, mostly in archaic or formal German. In many cases, a preposition can be added to allow a different case to be used.

Ich erinnere mich ihrer. (I remember her)
Also possible: Ich erinnere mich an sie.
Wir gedachten seiner. (We thought of him)
Also possible: Wir dachten an ihn.
Herr, erbarme dich unser! (Lord, have mercy upon us)
Also possible: Herr, erbarme dich über uns.

The possessive pronouns (mein-, dein-, unser-, etc.) are almost identical in form to the genitive pronouns but they directly modify their attribute and could be conceived of as adjectives, though they decline differently. Alternatively, one could think of possessive pronouns, for example, "mein-", as replacing the phrase, "of me". Directly translated, "mein-" means "mine" in English.


I want the teacher's book. Let's rewrite this as: I want the book of the teacher.
-Ich will das Buch des Lehrers (der Lehrerin).

--The genitive case here is masculine (feminine) singular, inflecting the definite article (der/die inflected to des/der) as well as the noun (Lehrer [+s], but not Lehrerin, which doesn't change because it is feminine).

Without his friend's car, we cannot go home.
-Ohne den Wagen seines Freundes können wir nicht nach Hause fahren.

--Here, two possessive relationships are mentioned. The car belongs to the friend, and the friend belongs to "him". For illustrative purposes, one could conceivably rewrite the prepositional phrase as "without the car (accusative case) of the friend of him". German's rendering is far less awkward.

The wall of the building is old and brown.
-Die Wand des Gebäudes ist alt und braun.

--As in the first example, the genitive case here is in the neuter singular, and inflects the definite article and the noun (M,N add +s/+es in the genitive case).

Comparison of Pronouns to other Parts of Speech edit

Despite the difficulty many people have in learning German declensions, case endings in German correspond to each other to a considerable degree. Specifically, the pronouns bear an obvious resemblance to their parent direct articles. Learning the corresponding third-person declensions side by side allows some people to comprehend the declension pattern more easily.

As discussed above, possessive pronouns replace the genitive case for pronouns. In this table, they will be placed where the genitive case is, so that their similarities to other parts of speech that actually are in the genitive case can become clear.

German is very rigorous in its use of gender, and will use the pronoun corresponding to the gender of the referential noun, regardless of whether the noun being referenced is a person (unlike English, which uses "it" for everything not a person or other entities (animals, ships) in certain contexts). Der Liberalismus will be referred to as "er", or "he", whereas "das Mädchen" would be "es", or "it". Many English speakers have trouble with this, especially in spoken language. Mastery is nonetheless possible with a proper understanding of German declension, use of a few rules of thumb (for example, nouns ending in "-chen" are usually neuter), and a considerable amount of practice.

Side-by-side Declension of Definite Articles, der-word Endings, 3rd-Person Pronouns (and possessives), Strong Adjective Endings, and Interrogative Pronouns, to illustrate their similarities
Gender and Case Definite Article der-word Endings Pronoun (possessive) Strong Adjective Endings Interrogative Pronouns, sometimes also used as relative pronouns
Nominative der -er er -er wer (who?)
Accusative den -en ihn -en wen (whom?)
Dative dem -em ihm -em wem (to/for whom?)
Genitive des + s -es (sein-) (corresponding "s") -en (M,N strong adjective endings in genitive case do not fit pattern) (wessen) (whose? - form similar to masculine, genitive relative pronoun). N.B.(1)
Nominative das -es es -es was (what?)
Accusative das -es es -es was (what?)
Dative dem -em ihm -em
Genitive des + s -es (sein-) (corresponding "s") -en (M,N strong adjective endings in genitive case do not fit pattern)
Nominative die -e sie -e
Accusative die -e sie -e
Dative der -er ihr -er
Genitive der -er (ihr-) -er
Nominative die -e sie -e
Accusative die -e sie -e
Dative den + n -en ihnen N.B.(2) -en
Genitive der -er (ihr-) -er

N.B.(1) The use of "wessen" is considered old-fashioned, though most Germans would find it endearing to hear a non-native speaker use the word. One is encouraged to use the "gehören + dativ (wem?)" construction, which means "to belong to someone (whom?)".

N.B.(2) The dative plural. Except for words whose plural form adds an "-s" (mainly loan words), and words whose plural form already ends in "-n"/"-en", all nouns add an "-n/-en" in the dative plural. Like the s's added to masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive, this is a remnant from when German inflected all of its nouns. Other languages based on declension, such as Russian and Latin, retain that characteristic. Sometimes one will notice an "-e" after masculine and neuter nouns in the dative case, such as the dedication on the Reichstag building - "Dem deutschen Volke", "for the German People".

This nominal declension is reflected in the dative plural pronoun (to/for them), "ihnen", instead of "ihn" (masculine, accusative). For example,

Helga: Können Sie bitte meinen Brüdern helfen?
Olga: Natürlich, aber ich kann ihnen leider nur nach zwei Tagen helfen.
Helga: Unsere Leben gehen trotzdem weiter.

Make a point of studying and getting used to the dative plural.

Sentences edit

Sentence Structure in Main clauses edit

Here is the ultimate syntax guide for a main clause. German allows a considerable amount of syntactical freedom as parts of speech are indicated through case, rather than syntax. Nonetheless, there are conventions to follow, especially ones that reduce the ambiguity of pronouns.

Word-Order in the Main Clause
First Position Anything Used for emphasis. Sometimes people will even put a past participle or some other verb in the first position. You shouldn't do that until you know what you are doing. The first position is often used for the subject (Nominative), however.
Second Position Conjugated Verb "habe", "muss", "arbeitete"
Mittelfeld Nominative Pronoun "ich"
Reflexive Pronoun "mich", "uns"
Accusative Pronoun A "dich"
Dative Pronoun D "dir", "mir"
(Temporal Expressions) Expressions of time, especially short temporal adverbs, are often placed here.
Nominative Noun "die Katze"
Dative Noun D "meiner Mutter"
Accusative Noun A = ADDA "meinen Vater"
Prepositional Phrases Time, Manner, Place
Adverbs, Predicate Adjectives Time, Manner Place
Verbal negation using "nicht" see section on negation for proper treatment of this topic
Final Position All Remaining Verbs Separable Prefixes "Ich fange damit an!"
Past Participles (conjugated verb should be either "haben" od. "sein) "Ich habe heute nicht gearbeitet."
Infinitives Used with modal verb as conjugated verb. "Du sollst das nicht tun."
Used with modal-like verbs (sehen, hören, helfen, lassen) "Ich höre dich atmen."
Extended verb phrases: three verbs in sentence Build Inwards
Translating a hypothetical English sentence with three verbs into German, the first English verb - the conjugated verb - would be in the second position in the German sentence. The second verb will be on the outside of the verb-phrase, at the end of the German sentence. The third verb will be immediately before that. Subj . 1 . [Mittelfeld] . 3 . 2.
"Ich habe (1) seit dem Unfall nicht arbeiten (3) können (2)." "I have (1) not been able (2) to work (3) since the accident."
Nachfeld The stuff you forgot to say, or that you just thought of after saying your verb. This happens to both native-speakers and those learning the language. However, try to avoid it. This position is also used for comparisons. See below.

This is the officially-sanctioned syntax of a main clause. However, German syntax is not written in stone. One has considerable latitude in the way one constructs one's sentence. Before fleshing out the topic, here are some rules, conventions, and words of advice:

1) In terms of being placed in proper syntax, the pronouns are the most important, for they are the ones most liable to ambiguity ("sie" = which person, what part of speech, which case? Put it in its correct position).

2) It is not possible for a sentence to include all of the listed items, but it is still good to be able to reproduce that schema from memory.

3) You must be able to recognize an element of a sentence. For example, you must not split something like, "mit einem Buch", for that is a prepositional phrase, i.e., one and only one sentence element. Many other sentence elements are, however, only one word. You get a lot better at this as time goes on.

4) Two good mnemonics. Number one: pronouns before nouns. always. even if it feels weird to put both your accusative and dative objects before your subject (a noun), you must get used to it. It doesn't happen very often, though.

5) The second one is "ADDA" (i.e., NOT DAAD, the Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst). ADDA describes, first, the pronouns (Accusative, then Dative), and then the nouns (Dative, then Accusative). ADDA. think ABBA, but with D's instead of B's.

6) The first position is usually your subject, but can also draw attention to something you want to discuss.

7) As will be explained below, prepositional phrases and adverbs follow the "Time, Manner, Place" format.

8) Beyond reducing/eliminating ambiguity, you actually do have a fair amount of freedom. "Time, Manner, Place" is more a suggestion than a commandment, and most German textbooks tell you to learn the schema laid out above, but then to speak and write your sentences with items in ascending order of importance. Put the important stuff at the end. Then you get to your verb, which gives all of the words in the sentence meaning, resulting in a crescendo of emotion and understanding. Or not. But you see how that might work.

9) If you speak enough, your verbs start going to the right places. It will seem perfectly natural that the verb is in the second position, and that the other verbs are at the end. Getting used to subordinate clauses takes more time, but eventually your words go to the right place. Don't worry about making mistakes, but also try not to forget which verb you have waiting in your head until the sentence ends.

10) Banish the terms, "subject", "direct object", and "indirect object" from your head. Get used to explaining things in terms of "nominative", "accusative", "dative", and "genitive". Same goes for "linking-" and "helping-verbs". Start talking about modal verbs, and modal-like verbs.

In general, you have to learn how to talk about grammar to be able to study German successfully.

11) If you can do the declensions in your head, you can do the syntax in your head. Syntax is easier.

Position of the Verb edit

Clauses with one verb part - Sätze mit nur einem Verbteil edit

In a main clause (Hauptsatz), the conjugated verb is in second position.

Clauses with one verb part
First Position (I) (II) Mittelfeld Punctuation
1. Er geht nach Hause .
2. Heute Abend fahre ich mit dem Auto nach Köln .
3. Im Park machte er einen langen Spaziergang .

Second position does not equal second word, as you can see above. However, there is only one group of words allowed before the conjugated verb. Such groups of words are called "phrases". While you can put very long phrases in front of the conjugated verb you mustn't use two. Therefore the sentence "Heute Abend ich fahre mit dem Auto nach Köln" is wrong. This is a big difference between English and German syntax.

Clauses with two verb parts - Sätze mit zwei Verbteilen edit

Clauses with two verb parts
First Position (I) (II) Mittelfeld Second Verb Punctuation
4. Der Junge zieht den Mantel an .
5. Der Junge hat den Mantel angezogen .
6. Schüler müssen Hausaufgaben machen .
7. Gestern hat sein Vater ein fantastisches Essen gekocht .
8. Ein fantastisches Essen hat sein Vater gestern gekocht .

Sometimes you have to use more than one verb part in a clause. This is true for Perfekt forms, separable verbs, modals etc. Only one of these verbs is conjugated. The conjugated verb stays in second position, the other part goes to the end.

Clauses with three verb parts - Sätze mit drei Verbteilen edit

Clauses with three verb parts
First Position II Mittelfeld Third Verb Second Verb Punctuation
9. Ich werde die Aufgaben nicht machen können .
10. Du hast mich nicht besuchen dürfen .
11. Ich kann dir deinen Wagen übermorgen umsetzen helfen .

Sometimes there are even three verbs in a sentence. These usually involve modals and perfect tenses. The conjugated verb is in the second position. The remaining two verbs are at the end of the clause, building inwards that is to mean, what would be the second verb in English is placed at the end, and what would be the third verb is placed before the second verb.

Order of phrases - Reihenfolge der Satzglieder edit

In English, you need the position of phrases to determine whether a noun phrase is a subject or an object. In German the cases tell you which role is assigned to a certain noun phrase. Therefore, the word order is less strict.

First Position - erste Position edit

In neutral sentences the subject is most likely in the first position (Examples 1, 4, 5, 6).

However, you can put everything there you want to stress. This is very common with phrases about time or place (Examples 2, 3, 7). English speakers need to remember that the first position is restricted to exactly one phrase.

You can even put objects in first position (Example 8). You do it mostly, if you want to emphasize the object or if you have to repeat the sentence because your partner has not understood this particular part of it.

If the subject is not in first position, it goes directly after the conjugated verb (Examples 2, 3, 7, 8), unless preceded by a reflexive pronoun or an accusative or dative pronoun.

Order of Phrases in the Middle of the clause - Reihenfolge der Satzglieder im Mittelfeld edit

Introduction edit

In the middle of the sentence – the part between the two parts of the verb – word order is quite flexible.

Often the word order for a neutral sentence can be described like this:

  1. Time
  2. Objects
  3. Manner
  4. Place

The mnemonic is "STOMP" where S is for subject. However, when looking at wild German sentences you will find structures that do not follow these principles but are nonetheless correct. This is very frequent in spoken language. Mostly the deviation from the neutral structure is caused by a special focus. While they are not wrong, it would be inappropriate to use them all the time. Therefore it is best to learn the principles described here. If you have mastered them and can use them without thinking about it, you can try some of the deviations.

Time edit

Time seems to be a very important concept for German speaking people. It is mostly mentioned very early in the sentence, either at the very beginning in the first position which means that the subject goes directly after the conjugated verb (i.e.: Gestern war ich im Kino) or early in the middle field (i.e.: Ich war gestern im Kino). The sentence "Ich war im Kino gestern" is not exactly wrong, but it would sound weird in most situations. It could be used though in a casual conversation when putting special emphasis on "im Kino", but it's not the regular sentence pattern.

Order of Objects edit

The order of objects is different for nouns and pronouns. Pronouns always come before nouns, and reflexive pronouns come before everything except nominative pronouns. ADDA, mentioned above, is a good way to remember the prescribed order of cases for pronouns and then nouns. As sentences can contain only two objects, here are the three possible combinations deriving from ADDA:

Two pronouns: accusative before dative (AD)

I   II    Acc. Dat.       
Ich habe  sie  ihm  gegeben.
Ich gab   sie  ihm         .

One noun, one pronoun: The pronoun goes first, regardless of the case

I   II    Pronoun  Noun      
Ich habe  ihm      die Kleider gegeben.
Ich gab   sie      dem Jungen         .

Two nouns: dative before accusative (DA)

I   II    Dat.           Acc.      
Ich habe  dem Jungen     die Kleider gegeben.
Ich gab   dem Jungen     die Kleider        .

Manner edit

This includes adverbs and prepositional phrases describing how, why, and by what methods the event of the sentence has taken place.

Place edit

This includes adverbs and prepositional phrases describing location and direction

Satzglieder im Nachfeld edit

In German grammar the term Nachfeld is used to describe parts of the sentence that come after the second part of the verb. The Nachfeld is neglected in most learner's grammars. It is mostly used in spoken language, when people add something to a sentence as an afterthought or with special emphasis. In written language it is important for comparisons. You put them almost exclusively in the nachfeld.

Consider the example Peter verdient mehr Geld als Paul' (Peter earns more money than Paul). Now try to convert the sentence to the perfect. If you follow the normal sentence structure rules you would have to write: Peter hat mehr Geld als Paul verdient, but this is almost never done. The sentence best accepted by a majority of German speakers is: Peter hat mehr Geld verdient als Paul. The comparison is put after the past participle.

Note that the two items being compared must be in the same case. Du verdienst mehr Geld als ich. This is also correct grammar in English, though it is now almost obsolete among native English speakers.

Syntax of Interrogatives and Imperatives edit

I am putting this up here for the sake of completion.

Interrogatives edit

Interrogatives (questions) change word order in the first two fields or so. There are two kinds. In a question based on a verb, the conjugated verb comes first. Following that is the same string of pronouns first and nouns thereafter (and other sentence elements and finally the remaining verbs) that was detailed above. The main difference between questions and statements is that the freedom of the first position is eliminated; the item you wanted to emphasize must now find a different position in the sentence. The ascending-order-of-importance convention still holds.


Q: Hast du schon "Fargo" gesehen?
A: "Fargo" habe ich noch nicht gesehen.

The second kind of question involves a question word or wo-compound, which always comes at the beginning, and is immediately followed by the conjugated verb. They are then followed by the remaining parts of the sentence in the order outlined above. Be mindful of the case of the question word, and make sure never to use a wo-compound when referring to a person.

Q: Warum hast du "Fargo" nie gesehen? (Why have you never seen "Fargo"?)
A: Ich hatte keine Lust. (I had no interest.)
Q: Wem hast du geholfen? (Wem = "whom?" in the dative case.) (Whom have you helped?)
A: Ich habe meiner Mutter geholfen. (I have helped my mother.)
Q: Bei wem hast du dich beworben?  (From whom have you applied [for a job]?)
A: Beim Geschäft meines Onkels habe ich mich beworben. (I applied at my uncle's business.)
Q: Worum hast du dich beworben? (For what did you apply?)
A: Um eine Stelle habe ich mich beworben!  Bist du verrückt? (I applied for a job!  
Are you insane?)

And so on.

Imperatives edit

Imperatives (commands) also slightly alter the aforementioned main-clause sentence structure. Imperatives are formed in several ways:

Geh', bitte!  (Please go, informal)
Gehen Sie, bitte! (Please go, formal)
Gehen wir, bitte! (Let's go! Within a group)

This sequence - verb in imperative form, perhaps followed by the person to whom it is directed in the nominative case (depending on the kind of imperative used, however) - is then followed by all of the other elements of the sentence, in the aforementioned order.

German-speakers, like English-speakers and the speakers of many other languages, consider the use of the imperative mood to be rude, and, as in English, use a conditional or subjunctive construction to convey requests. This will be dealt with in a different section of this book.

Both of these syntaxes are very easy to master once you understand main-clause syntax.

Coordinating Conjunctions edit

Before moving on to subordinate and relative clauses, we must address coordinating conjunctions and parallel clauses. A coordinating conjunction is a conjunction that connects two clauses that are able to stand alone, i.e., two main clauses.

Here are some examples in English:

I am here and I am glad to see you.
You are grateful for this job, or you are a spoiled brat.

Commas are generally optional in English, whereas they used more often in German.

Here are the common coordinating conjunctions one would find in German:

German   English
aber     but, nevertheless, however 
denn     for, because (rarely used in spoken German; not to be confused with weil)
oder     or 
sondern  but rather 
und      and

As coordinating conjunctions connect two independent clauses, they do not affect word-order in the two clauses. The first clause is often separated from the second with a comma - especially if it is a long or complicated clause - after which follows the coordinating conjunction and the second clause.

Here are some examples in German:

Ich hasse und ich liebe, und ich weiß nicht warum.  (Odi et amo - Catullus)
Ich bin nicht jung, aber ich bin froh.

There are two more constructions to be aware of: entweder/oder and weder/noch, which correspond to "either/or" and "neither/nor", respectively.

Entweder bist du mit uns gemeinsam, oder du bist unser Feind.

Entweder/oder and weder/noch can also be employed to contrast two items as well as clauses. Note how "entweder" functions as an adverb.

English speakers should take note of the difference between aber and sondern, both of which can be translated directly as "but". Aber means "however". Sondern means "rather". Many other languages make this distinction.

Coordinating conjunctions are rather straightforward, and the number of coordinating conjunctions is few.

Dependent Clauses: Subordinate and Relative Clauses edit

Introduction edit

Subordinate and relative clauses introduce information regarding the main clause that needs to be expressed as a separate clause. They are collectively called "dependent clauses" because they are unable to stand by themselves as independent clauses. Usually, subordinate and relative clauses occupy a part of the main clause that was not fully explained; subordinate clauses tend to fulfill more abstract missing sentence elements than relative clauses do. Here are a few examples in English:

Subordinate Clauses:

I know that you are unhappy.
We came because it was your birthday.
We came because we knew that you were having a rough time.

This last example has two subordinate clauses: because we knew and that you were having a rough time.

Subordinate clauses are usually set off by a subordinating conjunction, such as that, because, when, if, and so on. In English, it is sometimes possible to omit the subordinating conjunction, specifically that, resulting in sentences such as, "I know you are unhappy," which is perfectly acceptable in English. Such an option does not exist in German.

Relative Clauses:

I know the person to whom you were talking (who you were talking to).
God helps those who help themselves.
You are the person that got hit by the fly-ball at the game on Saturday.

Relative clauses relate one element of a clause to another clause by way of a relative pronoun. The system of relative pronouns in German is considerably more extensive than that of English.

In German, both subordinate clauses and relative clauses affect syntax, in most cases by moving the conjugated verb to the end of the clause. Both subordinate clauses and relative clauses are set off by a comma in German, which can frequently be omitted in English. We should now examine the two types of clauses in greater detail, and then return to their syntax.

Subordinate Clauses edit

Subordinate clauses are always set off by a comma, and begin with a subordinating conjunction. Here is a list of all subordinating conjunctions in German. Note how all of them answer a question presumably introduced in the main clause:

Subordinating Conjunctions
German English
als as, when
bevor before
bis until
da as, since (because)
damit so that, with it
dass that
ehe before
falls in case
indem while; "by [do]ing..." See below.
nachdem after
ob whether
obgleich although
obschon although
obwohl although
seit/seitdem since (time)
sobald as soon as
sodass / so dass so that
solang(e) as long as
trotzdem despite the fact that
während while, whereas
weil because
wenn if, when, whenever

Furthermore, all interrogative (question) words, such as wie, wann, wer, and wo, and wo-compounds, may be used as subordinating conjunctions. For example:

Ich weiß nicht, wohin er gegangen ist.  (I don't know where he went.)
Ich weiß nicht, wie das Fest sich entwickelt hat.  (I don't know how the party turned out)
Ich weiß nicht, warum er dir so böse ist.  (I don't know why he is so mad at you.)

Subordinate clauses provide information missing in the main clause. Consider the previous two examples. In both cases, the subordinate clause answered the question, "what?", or what would have been the accusitive object. Other subordinate clauses provide information that would otherwise have been provided by one of the several parts of speech.

Er hat mich geschlagen, als meine Frau im Klo war.  (He hit me when my wife was in the bathroom.)

In this example, the subordinate clause, set off by the conjunction, "als", answers the question, "when?", which would otherwise be answered adverbially.

The syntax regarding subordinate clauses will be discussed later. At this point, a property of subordinate clauses that is not altogether shared with relative clauses should be pointed out. Subordinate clauses are themselves parts of speech for the main clause, and to a limited extent can be treated as such. Consider the following two sentences, which are equivalent:

Ich darf in Kanada bleiben, solange wir noch verheiratet sind.
Solange wir noch verheiratet sind, darf ich in Kanada bleiben.

Note how, in the second sentence, the subordinate clause occupied the first position, immediately followed by the conjugated verb. In reality, the use of subordinate clauses as parts of speech integrated into the main clause is limited; they are, for aesthetic reasons, restricted to the first position and to following the main clause. At both times they are set off from the main clause by a comma.

Indem..., ist x passiert. This subordinating conjunction accomplishes the same functions as the English construction, "by [do]ing something..., x happened."

Indem er die Tür offen gelassen hat, hat er auch die Räuber ins Haus eingelassen.
By leaving the door open, he let the robbers into the house.

By requiring a subject in the clause, the German construction is less susceptible to ambiguity than English is; consider the sentence, "by leaving the door open, the robbers were able to enter the house," which is lacking an agent for the door being left open, even though such a construction is common in spoken English.

This section must make note of the differences between the words, als, wenn, and wann, all of which can mean "when" in English.

Als refers to a single event or condition in the past, usually expressed using the preterite tense.

Als du mich anriefst, war ich noch nicht zu Hause.  (When you called me, I was not yet home.)

Wann is the interrogative word for "when". It's use as a subordinating conjunction is limited to indirect questions and immediate temporal events.

Ich weiß nicht, wann er nach Hause kommen wird.

Wenn is the most versatile of the three, and has several other meanings beyond its temporal meaning. In the temporal space wenn describes, events are less recognized, or focuses on a condition, rather than an event.

Finally, "wenn" has one other principal function. It also means, "if", and is used in conditional and subjunctive statements.

Wenn ich einmal reich wär', ... (If i were ever rich...)

We will return to syntax later.

Relative Clauses edit

In many ways, a relative clause is a lengthy description of an item in the main clause. Minimally, a relative clause takes a part of speech from the main clause, known as the antecedent and uses it in the dependent clause. What connects the two is a relative pronoun. As should already be published in this book, the following declension table is provided:

Relative Pronoun - Declension Summary
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative der das die die
Accusative den das die die
Dative dem dem der denen
Genitive dessen dessen deren deren

Relative pronouns are similar to the definite article, with the exceptions of the dative plural and the genitive case being marked in bold.

Note that the distinctions between "that" and "which"; and "that" and "who" in English do not exist in German, where everything is described with a standard set of relative pronouns with no regard to how integral the qualities described in the relative clause are to the antecedent.

As relative clauses take one item from the main clause and use it in some way in a dependent clause, it is important to consider how relative pronouns work to avoid confusion. All words in German possess gender, number (singular or plural), and case. The main clause, as it relates to the antecedent, determines the gender and number of the relative pronoun; the relative clause determines its case.

In order to use relative clauses successfully, it is critical that this point be understood. Gender and number are "inherent" to the antecedent; no grammatical agent could conceivably change those properties. The relative pronoun's case is determined by its role in the relative clause, i.e., how it relates to the other parts of speech in the clause. Consider the following examples, all based on "the man", who is masculine and singular, and apparently not well-liked.

Case of Relative Pronoun Example
Nominative Der Mann, der nach Hause allein ging, ...
The man, who went home alone, ...
Accusitive Der Mann, den mein Freund während der Hochzeit schlug, ...
The man, whom my friend punched at the wedding, ...
Dative Der Mann, dem meine Mutter kein Weihnachtsgeschenk gegeben hat, ...
The man, to whom my mother didn't give a Christmas present, ...
Genitive Der Mann, dessen Tochter arbeitslos ist, ...
The man, whose daughter is unemployed, ...

In each of these examples, the gender and number of the relative pronoun were determined by the antecedent, while the case of the relative pronoun was determined by its role in the relative clause. Note particularly the genitive example, wherein the relative pronoun, meaning whose, modified a feminine noun, without his gender being affected.

Whenever you construct a relative clause, be mindful of this rule. Don't confuse yourself with its complexity, especially regarding the genitive case. As discussed in the chapter on personal pronouns, the word "whose", as well as other possessive pronouns such as "my", "your", and so forth, is a pronoun and not an adjective. The pronoun always expresses the characteristics of its antecedent, viz., gender and number.

Relative pronouns offered within prepositional phrases are perfectly acceptable:

Der Mann, mit dem meine Mutter wieder gestritten hat, ...
The man, with whom my mother argued again, ...

However, if the antecedent is not a person, and the relative pronoun falls within a prepositional phrase, a wo-compound is frequently substituted:

Das Flugzeug, worin ich nach Seattle geflogen bin, war fast kaputt.
The airplane, in which I flew to Seattle, was almost broken.

Relative clauses almost invariably follow the item that they are modifying or the main clause as a whole (with the gender and number of the relative pronoun indicating - to some extent - which potential antecedent it is referring to). Very rarely do they precede the main clause. Exceptions to this come in the form of aphorisms and proverbs:

Der (oder Wer) heute abend ruhig einschläft, bekommt morgen Eiskrem und Keks.  
(He who goes to bed quietly tonight will get ice-cream and cookies tomorrow 
- something a mother might say to her children.)

This usage is relatively unimportant.

One final property of relative clauses should be discussed. Relative clauses in some way describe their antecedent. The rules governing attributes in German are considerably more flexible than in English, because the German case system reduces ambiguity. This allows the German speaker to turn a relative clause into an extended attribute, which is essentially a long adjective. Compare the following two sentences, which are equivalent:

Der Mann, der jede Woche auf Dienstreise nach Seattle fährt, ist krank.
The man, who drives to Seattle every week on business, is sick.
Der jede Woche nach Seattle auf Dienstreise fahrende Mann ist krank.
The to-Seattle-every-week-on-business driving man is sick.

Such a construction is ludicrous in English, but not-uncommon in German. The experienced reader of German will, with practice, be able to read through such an item without difficulty.

It would be best to review what we have learned about subordinate and relative pronouns before discussing their syntax. Dependent clauses - both subordinating and relative clauses - modify or in some other way describe the antecedent clause upon which they are based. Subordinating clauses provide a variety of ways in which new information can relate to the main clause, many of which are adverbial in nature (e.g., "weil/because", but not "dass/that", which, in the examples above, replaced the accusitive object). Relative clauses modify and describe entities already mentioned in the main clause. Generally speaking, only subordinate clauses have the ability to occupy the first position in a main clause.


Main clause, subordinating conjunction + subordinate clause.
Subordinating conjunction + subordinate clause, conjugated verb + main clause.
Main clause including antecedent, relative pronoun based on antecedent + relative clause.

Syntax of Dependent Clauses edit

Subordinate and relative clauses have similar syntax. Indeed, neglecting the verbs, they have a syntax similar to main clauses. Recall the syntax described at the beginning of this chapter. That syntax will form the basis of the Mittelfeld in dependent clauses.

Syntax of Dependent Clauses
Field Items Examples
Comma All dependent clauses are set off with a comma unless occupying the first position of a main clause ,
Conjunction For subordinate clauses, this is the subordinating conjunction. For relative clauses, this is the relative pronoun. "dass", "weil", "obwohl", "denen"
Mittelfeld The Mittelfeld of a dependent clause follows the same syntax as the Mittelfeld of the main clause.
Nominative Pronoun "ich", "wir"
Reflexive Pronoun "mich", "uns"
Accusative Pronoun A "dich"
Dative Pronoun D "dir", "mir"
Nominative Noun "die Katze"
Dative Noun D "meiner Mutter"
Accusitive Noun A = ADDA "meinen Vater"
Prepositional Phrases Time, Manner, Place
Adverbs, Predicate Adjectives Time, Manner, Place
Verbs Verbs will be dealt with in greater detail below. They are very complicated.
Number of Verbs Placement of Verbs (always at end of clause}
One (conjugated) At end of Clause
Two (conjugated - modal/-like or auxiliary; infinitive) Build inwards. Infinitive, then conjugated verb
Modal/-like is conjugated 3.2.1. Build inwards.
Modal/-like is not conjugated (likely the second verb) Conjugated verb (1); infinitive verb (3); modal verb (2)

Once again, no dependent clause will contain each of these elements. But understanding the position of pronouns is critical. The same conventions listed under the main clause schema apply.

Verbs in Dependent Clauses edit

The way the verbs are arranged depends on the number of verbs in the verb-phrase, and the presence of a modal verb.

Dependent Clauses with One Verb

This is the simplest case. Such a clause has one verb, conjugated based on the person and number of the subject of the sentence. This conjugated verb is placed at the end of the clause.

Subordinate Clause Du weißt, dass ich dich liebe. (You know that I love you.)
Relative Clause Er ist ein Mann, der oft Berlin besucht. (He is a man who often visits Berlin.)

Dependent Clauses with Two Verbs

A clause with two verbs has one conjugated verb and one verb in the infinitive. Such examples are clauses in a perfect tense (wherein the conjugated verb is the auxiliary verb, either "haben" or "sein"), the future tense ("werden"), ones with modal verbs, and ones with modal-like verbs (sehen, hören, helfen, lassen).

In a main clause, the conjugated verb will be in the second position, and the infinitive verb will be at the end of the clause.

In a dependent clause, both verbs will be at the end of the clause, with the conjugated verb last. This supports the principle of "building inwards".

Subordinate Clause Du weißt, dass ich dich nicht lieben kann. (You know that I cannot love you.)
Relative Clause Er ist ein Mann, der nach seiner absolvierten Prüfung Berlin besuchen wird. (He is a man who will visit Berlin after his graduation exam.)

Dependent Clauses with Three Verbs

Sentences with three verbs typically involve a modal verb, whose presence complicates matters terribly. Let us think of some examples in English.

1) I am not able to help you move your car. - können - helfen - bewegen

2) I will be able to go to the store with you. - werden - können - gehen

3) I have not been able to afford that. (haben + "sich (dat) etw. leisten können" = to be able to afford sth.)

4) I have not been able to reach you over the phone. - haben - können - erreichen

And so on. The problem is, after you've learned how to put your verb at the end of the sentence in a main clause, and after you've learned how to "build inwards" in dependent clauses, and after you've pulled your hair out, night after night, sitting in a cafe in Seattle declining relative pronouns, German grammar throws yet another rule at you, this one so pointless and downright counter-productive, and it seems like German grammar is simply making fun of you at this point, that you leap out of your seat, scream "woo hoo!", and then get back to work.

The modal verb (or the modal-like verb) has to be at the end of the verb phrase, regardless of whether it has been conjugated. In cases where it has not, the conjugated verb moves to the beginning of the verb phrase. Let's look at our examples above.

Du weißt, dass...

1) ...ich dir dein Auto nicht bewegen helfen kann. This one is straightforward, because the modal verb is the conjugated verb, allowing the clause to follow the "build inwards" principle.

2) ...ich zum Markt mit dir nicht werde gehen können. The modal verb must come last. No semantic or logical reason for this.

3) ...ich mir das nicht habe leisten können. The modal verb must come last. Note here that the modal verb does not form a past participle when it has main verb to modify.

4) ...ich dich am Telefon nicht habe erreichen können. Note the somewhat sensible placement of "nicht".

And so...

Verb-order in Dependent Clauses
Number of Verbs Placement of Verbs (always at end of clause}
One (conjugated) At end of Clause
Two (conjugated - modal/-like or auxiliary; infinitive) Build inwards. Infinitive, then conjugated verb
Modal/-like is conjugated 3.2.1. Build inwards.
Modal/-like is not conjugated (likely the second verb) Conjugated verb (1); infinitive verb (3); modal verb (2)

Infinitive Clauses edit

The reader is already familiar with several types of German verbs that require other verbs; these verbs are modal verbs (können, dürfen, wollen, etc.); modal-like verbs (sehen, hören, helfen, lassen); auxiliary verbs (sein, haben), used for the perfect tenses; and werden, used for future and passive constructions. Another verb that can take another verb without forming an infinitive clause is bleiben (e.g., stehenbleiben, to remain standing). These verbs never form infinitive clauses, and the verbs that are used with them go at the end of the sentence.

Infinitive clauses are another kind of clause found in German, and are equivalent to infinitive clauses in English. Consider the following examples in English:

I am here (in order) to help you clean your house.
The car is ready to be driven.
I work to be able to afford my car.

Infinitive clauses are formed after verbs that do not regularly take other verbs. They indicate purpose, intent, and meaning of the action in the main clause. As such, infinitive clauses have no subject, or no nouns in the nominative case. Here are the above examples in German:

Ich bin hier, um dir dein Haus putzen zu helfen.
Das Auto ist bereit, gefahren zu werden.
Ich arbeite, um mir ein Auto leisten zu können.

Infinitive clauses are usually found after a main clause, though it is possible for them to occupy the first position of a main clause. They are always set off by a comma.

Of particular interest is the construction, "um...zu..."", which corresponds to the English construction, "in order to...". Um is placed at the beginning of the clause, after which follows a standard infinitive clause. Whereas "in order" is frequently omitted from English infinitive clauses of this sort, "um" is always included such clauses in German.

The Mittelfeld follows the standard syntax of main clauses, though without nominative nouns and pronouns. At any rate, infinitive tend to be rather short.

Verbs (in the infinitive form) always come at the end, immediately preceded by the word zu. In the case of separable-prefix verbs, such a verb is written as one word, with the word zu between the prefix and the main verb; e.g. anzuschlagen, auszugehen, abzunehmen, and so forth.

The syntax of infinitive clauses can thus be summarized as follows:

Syntax of Infinitive Clauses
Position Contents Examples
Introduction Comma or Capital Letter (beginning of sentence) "," "Um"
Mittelfeld Reflexive Pronoun "mich", "uns"
Accusative Pronoun A "dich"
Dative Pronoun D "dir", "mir"
(Temporal Expressions) Expressions of time, especially short temporal adverbs, are often placed here.
Dative Noun D "meiner Mutter"
Accusitive Noun A = ADDA "meinen Vater"
Prepositional Phrases Time, Manner, Place
Adverbs, Predicate Adjectives Time, Manner Place
Infinitive Verb Phrase Verbs with no separable prefix zu + Infinitive; e.g., "zu gehen"
Verbs with separable prefix prefix-zu-infinitive, written as one word; e.g., "anzufangen"
End Either a period to end the sentence, or a comma to introduce the main clause ","; "."

Verbs edit

Verbs edit

German verbs can be classified as weak or as strong. Weak verbs are very regular in their forms, whereas strong verbs change the stem vowel.


kaufen, kaufte, gekauft


singen, sang, gesungen

With its Anglo-Saxon origin, this notion is also present in English.

flip, flipped, flipped
sing, sang, sung

Some German verbs have weak and strong forms. This may depend on meaning:

Der Botschafter wurde nach Berlin gesandt.
Der Süddeutsche Rundfunk sendete ein Konzert aus dem Gasteig.

Or on transitive vs. intransitive use:

Das Hemd hing auf der Wäscheleine.
Sie hängte das Hemd auf die Wäscheleine.

Strong Verbs edit

Liste der starken und unregelmässigen Verben
Infinitiv Präteritum (Preterite) Perfekt (Past Participle)
A anfangen begin fing an began angefangen begun
ankommen arrive kam an arrived ist angekommen arrived
anrufen call up rief an called up angerufen called up
B backen bake backte baked gebacken baked
befehlen command befahl commanded befohlen commanded
beginnen begin begann began begonnen begun
beißen bite biss bit gebissen bitten
bekommen get, receive bekam got bekommen gotten
bergen salvage barg salvaged geborgen salvaged
bersten burst barst burst geborsten burst
betrügen deceive betrog deceived betrogen deceived
biegen bend bog bent gebogen bent
bieten offer bot offered geboten offered
binden tie band tied gebunden tied
bitten request bat requested gebeten requested
blasen blow blies blew geblasen blown
bleiben stay blieb stayed ist geblieben stayed
bleichen bleach blich bleached geblichen bleached
braten roast briet roasted gebraten roasted
brechen break brach broke gebrochen broken
brennen* burn brannte burned gebrannt burned
bringen* bring brachte brought gebracht brought
D denken** think↓
  • A "mixed" verb. Combination
    of strong + weak verbs.
dachte thought gedacht thought
dreschen thresh drosch threshed gedroschen threshed
dringen force drang forced gedrungen forced
dürfen may durfte was allowed gedurft** been allowed↓
  • Used with an infinitive.
    The past participle being
    the infinitive dürfen: "Wir haben
    nicht gehen dürfen".
E empfangen receive empfing received empfangen received
empfehlen recommend empfahl recommended empfohlen recommended
erfinden invent erfand invented erfunden invented
erlöschen extinguish erlosch extinguished erloschen extinguished
erschallen echo, sound erscholl sounded erschollen sounded
erschrecken* scare↓
  • Strong (passive) and weak (active)
    forms: "Ich habe ihn erschreckt."
    (I scared him.) and
    "Ich erschrak bei der Explosion."
    (I was startled/scared by
    the explosion.)
erschrak scared erschrocken scared
essen eat ate gegessen eaten
F fahren travel fuhr traveled ist gefahren traveled
fallen fall fiel fell ist gefallen fallen
fangen catch fing caught gefangen caught
fechten fence focht fenced gefochten fenced
finden find fand found gefunden found
fliegen fly flog flew ist geflogen flown
fliehen flee floh fled ist geflohen fled
fließen flow floss flowed ist geflossen flowed
fressen gorge fraß gorged gefressen gorged
frieren freeze fror froze gefroren* frozen↓
  • Frieren takes the helping verb haben
    or sein, which depends on its
    meaning. In most cases ("to be cold")
    is "hat gefroren". However meaning of
    "to freeze, turn into ice," turns out
    to be "Der Boden/Das Wasser ist
    steif gefroren."
    (The ground/
    water has frozen solid.)
frohlocken rejoice frohlockte rejoiced frohlockt rejoiced
G gären ferment gor fermented gegoren fermented
gebären bear (child) gebar bore geboren born
geben give gab gave gegeben given
gedeihen flourish gedieh flourished ist gediehen flourished
gefallen be pleasing, like gefiel liked gefallen liked
gehen go ging went ist gegangen gone
gelingen succeed gelang succeeded ist gelungen succeeded
gelten be valid galt was valid gegolten been valid
genesen recover genas recovered genesen recovered
genießen enjoy genoß enjoyed genossen enjoyed
geschehen happen geschah happened ist geschehen happened
gewinnen win gewann won gewonnen won
gießen pour goß poured gegossen poured
gleichen resemble glich resembled geglichen resembled
gleiten glide, slide glitt glided ist geglitten glided
glimmen glow, smoulder glomm* glowed ist geglommen* glowed↓
  • Also glimmte and
    hat geglimmt (weak).
graben dig grub dug gegraben dug
greifen grasp griff grasped gegriffen grasped
H haben have hatte had gehabt had
halten hold hielt held gehalten held
hängen hang hing hung/hanged*↓
  • Hängen is weak in transit ("Er
    hängte das Bild an die Wand.")
    strong in intransitive nomances
    ("Das Bild hing an der Wand.").
hauen hew, hit
haute* hit gehauen hit gehangen hung/hanged*↓
  • Past form hieb (strong verb)
    is used and the meaning becomes
    "struck (him) with a weapon."
heben lift hob lifted gehoben lifted
heißen be called hieß named geheißen named
helfen help half helped geholfen helped
K kennen* know kannte knew gekannt known
  • Kennen is a "mixed" verb.
    Combination of strong and
    weak verbs.
klingen ring klang rang geklungen rung
kneifen pinch kniff pinched gekniffen pinched
kommen come kam came ist gekommen come
können can konnte could gekonnt* could
  • Können becomes past participle,
    once added with an infinitive:
    "Ich habe nicht gehen können."
kriechen crawl kroch crawled ist gekrochen crawled
L laden load lud loaded geladen loaded
lassen let, allow ließ let gelassen let
laufen run lief ran ist gelaufen run
leiden suffer litt suffered gelitten suffered
leihen lend lieh lent geliehen lent
lesen read las read gelesen read
liegen* lie↓
  • Liegen (lie, recline, strong)
    and (sich) legen (lay, put, weak)
    are not the same.
lag lay gelegen lain
lügen lie log lied gelogen lied
M mahlen grind mahlte ground gemahlen ground
meiden avoid mied avoided gemieden avoided
messen measure maß measured gemessen measured
misslingen fail misslang failed misslungen failed
mögen like mochte liked 'gemocht* liked↓
  • The past participle is
    mögen, when used with a
    infinitive: "Sie hat nicht gehen
müssen must musste had to gemusst* had to↓
  • The past participle is
    the infinitive müssen, when
    used under all modals, with an
    infinitive: "Wir haben nicht
    gehen müssen."
N nehmen take nahm took genommen taken
nennen name nannte named genannt named
P pfeifen whistle pfiff whistled gepfiffen whistled
preisen praise pries praised gepriesen praised
Q quellen gush quoll* gushed↓
  • Weak form quellte.
ist gequollen* gushed↓
  • Weak form hat gequellt.
R raten advise riet advised geraten advised
reiben rub reib rubbed gerieben rubbed
reißen tear riss tore gerissen torn
reiten* ride↓
  • The verb reiten is only
    used for riding an animal
    (e.g., horseback riding); to
    express "ride" in a
    transportation sense (bus, train,
    etc.), fahren is used.
ritt rode ist geritten ridden
rennen* run↓
  • A "mixed" verb, combining
    elements of strong and weak
rannte ran ist gerannt run
riechen smell roch smelled gerochen smelled
ringen wring rang wrung gerungen wrung
rinnen flow rann flowed ist geronnen flowed
rufen call rief called gerufen called
S salzen salt salzte salted gesalzen/gesalzt salted
saufen drink soff drank gesoffen drunk
saugen suck sog* sucked gesogen* sucked↓
  • The weak forms saugte and
    hat gesaugt. Mostly the weak form is used.
schaffen create; accomplish, make schuf* created→↓
  • The strong forms schuf/hat
    are used when the
    meaning is "created" ("Sie hat schöne
    Sachen geschaffen.").
geschaffen* created→↓
  • To express "accomplished" or "made
    it," the weak forms schaffte/hat geschafft
    are used: "Er hat es
    geschafft (ein Tor zu machen)!"
scheiden depart; separate schied separated geschieden* separated↓
  • In the sense of "leave" or
    "depart" scheiden takes sein as a
    helping verb: "Karl ist
    aus dem Dienst geschieden."
scheinen shine schien shone geschienen shone
scheißen shit schiss shit geschissen shit
schelten scold schalt scolded gescholten scolded
schießen shoot schoss shot geschossen shot
schlafen sleep schlief slept geschlafen slept
schlagen hit schlug hit geschlagen hit
schleichen sneak schlich sneaked ist geschlichen sneaked
schleifen polish schliff* polished geschliffen* polished↓
  • Although the strong form is
    preferred, schleifte and hat geschleift
    (weak) are also used.
schleißen slit schliß slit geschlissen slit
schließen close, lock schloss closed geschlossen closed
schlingen gulp (down) schlang gulped geschlungen gulped
schmeißen fling, toss schmiss flung geschmissen flung
schmelzen melt schmolz melted geschmolzen melted
schneiden cut schnitt cut geschnitten cut
schrecken scare schrak/schreckte scared geschreckt/geschrocken scared
schreiben write schrieb wrote geschrieben written
schreien scream schrie screamed geschrien screamed
schreiten step schritt stepped ist geschritten stepped
schweigen be silent schwieg was silent geschwiegen been silent
schwellen* swell, rise↓
  • There are two forms of schwellen:
    Strong (above) for the sense of "to
    swell up/fill with wind," and
    Weak to "fill (something) up
    with wind/to swell (something) up."
schwoll swelled ist geschwollen swollen
schwimmen swim schwamm swam ist geschwommen swum
schwinden dwindle schwand dwindled ist geschwunden dwindled
schwingen swing schwang swung geschwungen swung
schwören swear schwur/schwor swore geschworen sworn
Se sehen see sah saw gesehen seen
sein be war was ist gewesen been
senden* send, transmit↓
  • In the sense of "transmit" or
    "broadcast" only the weak forms
    sendete and hat gesendet are used.
    The weak forms may also be
    used in the sense of "send."
sandte sent gesandt sent
sieden boil sott/siedete boiled gesotten boiled
singen sing sang sang gesungen sung
sinken sink sank sank ist gesunken sunk
sitzen* sit↓
  • Sitzen (sit, strong) and (sich) setzen
    (set, weak) are different!
saß sat gesessen sat
sollen should, ought to sollte should gesollt* should↓
  • With an infinitive, the
    past participle is sollen: "Ich
    habe nicht gehen sollen."
spalten split spaltete split gespalten/gespaltet split
speien spew spie spewed gespien spewed
spinnen spin spann spun gesponnen spun
sprechen speak sprach spoke gesprochen spoken
sprießen sprout spross sprouted gesprossen sprouted
springen jump sprang jumped ist gesprungen jumped
stechen stab, sting stach stung gestochen stung
stehen stand stand stood gestanden* stood↓
  • In some southern German and
    Austrian dialects, stehen takes sein
    as a helping verb: "Er ist
    im Eingang gestanden."
stehlen steal stahl stole gestohlen stolen
steigen climb stieg climbed ist gestiegen climbed
sterben die starb died ist gestorben died
stieben fly about stob flew about ist gestoben flown about
stinken stink stank stank gestunken stunk
stoßen push, bump stieß pushed gestoßen pushed
streichen strike, paint strich struck gestrichen struck
streiten argue stritt argued gestritten argued
T tragen carry, wear trug wore getragen worn
treffen meet traf met getroffen met
treiben move, drive trieb drove getrieben* driven↓
  • In the sense of "drift" or
    "float" treiben takes sein as
    a helping verb: "Das Eis ist
    den Fluss entlang getrieben."
triefen drip triefte/troff dripped getrieft dripped
trinken drink trank drank getrunken drunk
trügen be deceptive trog was deceptive getrogen been deceptive
tun do tat did getan done
U überwinden overcome überwand overcame überwunden overcome
V verderben spoil verdarb spoiled verdorben spoiled
verdrießen annoy verdross annoyed verdrossen annoyed
vergessen forget vergaß forgot vergessen forgotten
verlieren lose verlor lost verloren lost
verschleißen wear (out) verschliss wore (out) verschlissen worn (out)
verzeihen forgive verzieh forgave verziehen forgiven
W wachsen* grow↓
  • In the sense of "to wax"
    (skis, etc.), wachsen is weak:
    (wachste and hat gewachst).
wuchs grew ist gewachsen grown
waschsen wash wusch washed gewaschsen washed
weben weave wob/webte wove gewoben/gewebt woven
weichen* yield↓
  • In the sense of "to soften"
    (up), weichen is weak: (weichte
    and hat geweicht).
wich yielded ist gewichen yielded
weisen indicate wies indicated gewiesen indicated
wenden turn wandte* turned→↓ gewandt* turned→↓
  • Also wendete and gewendet
    (car, hay, etc.).
werben recruit warb recruited geworben recruited
werden become wurde became ist geworden* become↓
  • As a helping verb in
    the passive voice: worden, as
    in "Ich bin oft gefragt worden."
    (I have often been asked.)
werfen throw warf threw geworfen thrown
wiegen weigh wog/wiegte weighed gewogen/gewiegt weighed
winden twist wand twisted gewunden twisted
wissen* know↓
  • Wissen is a "mixed" verb,
    combination of strong and weak verbs
wusste knew gewusst known
wollen want to wollte wanted to gewollt* wanted to↓
  • With an infinitive, the past
    participle is wollen: "Ich habe
    nicht gehen wollen."
wringen wring wrang wrung gewrungen wrung
Z zeihen accuse zieh accused geziehen accused
ziehen* pull↓
  • Do not confuse with ↑zeihen.↑
zog pulled gezogen pulled
zwingen compel zwang compelled gezwungen compelled

Separable Verbs edit

Sometimes you will run into verbs such as anrufen, aufräumen, mitkommen. These verbs are examples of Separable Prefix Verbs. When you see these kinds of verbs, it will have a preposition prefix followed by a verb. These verbs separate when they are the main verb of a sentence.


I am calling the butcher. Ich rufe den Metzger an.

I am trying on the boots. Ich probiere die Stiefel an.

Reflexive Verbs edit

Reflexive Verbs are verbs involving the reflexive pronoun "sich" and its conjugations that reflect, or refer back, to the performer of the action. There are only accusative and dative reflexive pronouns.

Accusative reflexive pronouns are used when there is no direct object. Dative reflexive pronouns are used when a direct object is present. However, when using a direct object, the possessive is not used.


Accusative: Ich verletze mich. I injure myself.
Dative: Ich verletze mir die Hand. I injure my hand.
Accusative: Er hat sich verbrannt. He burned himself.
Dative: Er hat sich den Daumen verbrannt. He burned his thumb.

Reflexiv Pronommen
Akkusativ (Wenfall) Dativ (Wemfall)
1st sg. mich mir
2nd sg. (informal) dich dir
1st pl. uns uns
2nd pl. (informal) euch euch
2nd sg. or pl. formal; 3rd. sich sich

Notice that all reflexives are the same as the Akkusativ and Dativ Pronoun Declensions — except for 3rd Person and 2nd sg./pl. Person formal (man/sie/Sie), in which case all reflexives are sich.

Modals edit

Dürfen edit

Dürfen means to be allowed/permitted, may.

Present Past Conjunctive II
ich darf (I am allowed to) durfte dürfte
du darfst (You are allowed to) durftest dürftest
er/sie/es darf (He/She/It is allowed to) durfte dürfte
wir dürfen (We are allowed to) durften dürften
ihr dürft (You (plural) are allowed to) durftet dürftet
sie/Sie dürfen (They are allowed to/You (formal) are allowed to) durften dürften


Darf ich einen Freund zum Fest bringen? May I bring a friend to the party?
Man darf hier nicht rauchen. One is not allowed to smoke here.
Niemand durfte die Stadt verlassen. No one was allowed to leave the city.

Können edit

können means 'to be able, capable'. It is cognate with the English word 'can'/'could'.

Present Past Conjunctive II
ich kann (I can) konnte könnte
du kannst (You can) konntest könntest
er/sie/es kann (He/She/It can) konnte könnte
wir können (We can) konnten könnten
ihr könnt (You can) konntet könntet
sie/Sie können (They can) konnten könnten


Ich kann das nicht tun. I can't do it.
Wir konnten sie nicht erreichen. We could not reach them.

Mögen edit

mögen expresses a pleasure, or desire. In the present tense, it is used transitively with people or food. e.g. 'Ich mag dich' 'I like you' or 'Ich mag Erdbeeren' 'I like strawberries'. The subjunctive (of the past) expresses preference to perform the action of a subordinate clause 'Ich möchte nach Frankreich reisen' 'I would like to travel to France'. 'mögen' is cognate with the English verb 'may'/'might'.

Present Past Conjunctive II
ich mag (I would like to) mochte möchte (I would like to)
du magst (You like to) mochtest möchtest (You would like to)
er/sie/es mag (He/She/It likes to) mochte möchte (He/She/It would like to)
wir mögen (We like to) mochten möchten (We would like to)
ihr mögt (You like to) mochtet möchtet (You would like to)
sie/Sie mögen (They like to) mochten möchten (They would like to)


Ich möchte nach Deutschland reisen. I would like to travel to Germany.

(There is also a present subjunctive möge, which is very formal:
Der König sagte: "Er möge eintreten." - The king said: "He may enter.")

Müssen edit

müssen expresses something forced on you. It is etymologically related to 'must'.

Present Past Conjunctive II
ich muss gehen (I must/have to go) musste (I had to) müsste
du musst musstest müsstest
er/sie/es muss musste müsste
wir müssen mussten müssten
ihr müsst musstet müsstet
sie/Sie müssen mussten müssten


Ich muss nicht arbeiten. ~ Ich brauche nicht zu arbeiten.  I don't have to work.
Ich darf nicht arbeiten.  I must not work.

Note that the negative nicht müssen is not the English must not, but rather need not or don't have/need to. must not translates to nicht dürfen.

There are however some northern German uses like:

Du musst das nicht tun meaning Du solltest das nicht tun.

Sollen edit

sollen expresses an obligation or duty. It is etymologically related to 'shall'.

Present Past
ich soll schwimmen (I am to swim) sollte (I was to)
du sollst solltest
er/sie/es soll sollte
wir sollen sollten
ihr sollt solltet
sie/Sie sollen sollten

Wollen edit

wollen means to want.

Present Past
ich will rennen (I want to run) wollte
du willst wolltest
er/sie/es will wollte
wir wollen wollten
ihr wollt wolltet
sie/Sie wollen wollten

Use in Perfect (and Pluperfect) Tense edit

Although all these modals have a normal perfect:

gedurft gekonnt gemocht gemusst gesollt

in connection with other verbs, the infinitive form is used:

Ich habe das tun dürfen - können - mögen - müssen - sollen.


Ich habe das tun gedurft - gekonnt - gemocht - gemusst - gesollt.

It holds also for the verbs sehen and hören:

Ich habe ihn kommen sehen - hören.

Use of modal verbs as full verbs edit

Modal verbs can be used as full verbs indicating motion. In these cases, the infinitive verb is only implied.

Er muss nach Berlin. (implied: gehen or fahren) He must go to Berlin.

Present Tense edit

Use edit

The Present Tense is used for..

  • The Present Tense (="das Präsens") is used to describe situations that are happening and aren't the past.
  • For Ongoing Action, like I'm swimming in the pool now
  • Everyday Truths, like The moon and stars will come at night.
  • Future meaning, if explicitly stated, like I will run tomorrow morning
  • Actions started in the past and still going on in the present I've been cleaning the house all day

Progressive Forms edit

There is a present progressive tense in colloquial spoken German. Its use is optional.

Here is one example:

Ich bin am Fahren. (I am at the driving) I'm driving.

The person to say this would be driving during the time they say this and they would continue to drive after stating this for some time.

You nominalize the verb ("fahren" (driving) becomes "das Fahren") and add a "am". You can also do this with forms of the past.

Als er kam war ich gerade am Abwaschen. (When he arrived i was at "the dishwashing") I was washing the dishes when he arrived.

So the verb "sein" (to be) includes the information what tense he was doing what he did in.

Here the progressive meaning is also emphasized with the word "gerade" meaning something like: I was JUST ABOUT to wash the dishes(not the same though because it means he is already doing it and not about to start).

Perfect Tense edit

The Perfect Tense or das Perfekt of verbs is used to talk about things in the past which have already happened. It is sometimes referred to as "Present Perfect Tense". This can cause confusion. While the formation is similar, the meaning and usage differs.

Formation edit

As in English, the perfect tense consists of two parts. An auxiliary (Hilfsverb) and a past participle (Partizip Perfekt). Compare the examples given below with their English translations.

Er hat gelacht.
He has laughed.
Sie ist gekommen
She has come.
Die Kinder haben gegessen.
The children have eaten.

Past participle for regular verbs edit

The general rule is simple:

verb prefix + 3rd-person sing. participle(er/sie/es)
lachen (laugh) ge + (er/sie/es) lacht gelacht
kaufen (buy) ge + (er/sie/es) kauft gekauft
mähen (mow) ge + (er/sie/es) mäht gemäht

There are some groups of regular verbs that slightly differ from that pattern.

Some verbs drop the prefix ge-. Like the other regular verbs they end in -t. These are:

1. Verbs with unseparable prefixes (be-, ent-, er-, empf-, ge-, ver-, miss-, zer-)

verb past participle
besuchen (visit) besucht
entfernen (remove) entfernt
erreichen (achieve) erreicht
gehören (belong) gehört
verstecken (hide) versteckt
missverstehen (misunderstand) missverstanden

2. Verbs ending in -ieren

verb past participle
kopieren (copy) kopiert
polieren (polish) poliert

3. Another group is formed by verbs with separable prefixes
With separable verbs, the prefix ge is placed between the prefix and the rest of the verb.

verb sep. pref.+ ge + 3rd-person sg. = past participle
aufmachen (open) auf + ge + macht = aufgemacht
abstellen (put down) ab + ge + stellt = abgestellt

Separable and inseparable verbs are distinguished by the stressed syllable:

verb past participle
über'setzen (to translate) über'setzt
'übersetzen (to ferry across) 'übergesetzt
Er hat das Buch ins Chinesische übersetzt.
Der Fährmann hat den Passagier übergesetzt (über den Fluss gesetzt).

Past Participle for Irregular Verbs edit

Irregular verbs always end in -en. The vowel can be different from the one in present tense. Look at some examples:

infinitive 3rd-person sg. past participle
gehen (go) geht gegangen
essen (eat) isst gegessen
schreiben (write) schreibt geschrieben
trinken (drink) trinkt getrunken
schlafen (sleep) schläft geschlafen
nehmen (take) nimmt genommen

You have to learn these forms by heart. How you can obtain the necessary information and how you should learn them is described in section tips for learning below.

Note that irregular verbs can be combined with the same prefixes as described above. The same rules regarding the prefix ge- apply. Therefore the forms for schreiben, verschreiben and aufschreiben are geschrieben, verschrieben and aufgeschrieben respectively.

Which verbs are irregular edit

A lot of verbs that are irregular in English are irregular in German, too. Unfortunately, this is not always true. It is most likely when the German and the English verb are related (i.e. look similar).


see:    irregular   sehen:    irregular
buy:    irregular   kaufen:   regular
get:    irregular   bekommen: irregular ;-)

Regular verbs are much more frequent than irregular ones, but a lot of the irregular verbs are used very frequently, for instance haben, sein, gehen, kommen etc.

When in doubt whether a verb is irregular or not, it is best to look it up in a dictionary (See below).

Haben or sein as auxiliaries edit

Whether a verb is irregular or not does not influence the choice of auxiliary.

Most verbs take haben as auxiliary.

A) Verbs which take an accusative object (transitive verbs)
B) Reflexive verbs always take haben as auxiliary.

Examples A:

trinken: Er hat ein Bier getrunken.
lesen:   Sie hat ein Buch gelesen
kochen   Sie haben gestern Spaghetti gekocht.

Examples B:

sich freuen   Ich habe mich gefreut
sich kämmen   Er hat sich gekämmt
sich ärgern   Wir haben uns schon lange nicht mehr so geärgert.

The auxiliary sein is taken by verbs that describe

C) the relocation from one place to another or
D) the change of a state
and with
E) sein (be) and bleiben (stay)

Note: none of the verbs from groups C-E is combined with an accusative object.

Examples C: relocation verbs

verb               aux.  irregular  sentence with perfect tense 
kommen (come)      sein  yes        Ich bin gekommen.
reisen (travel)    sein  no         Wir sind schon dreimal nach China gereist.
fahren (drive)     sein  yes        Ich bin mit dem Auto nach Kalifornien gefahren.
begegnen (meet)    sein  no         Er ist ihm gestern begegnet. 
gehen (go)         sein  yes        Du bist gegangen.
starten (take off) sein  yes        Das Flugzeug ist gestartet.

In southern German (mostly Bavarian) use, also stehen, sitzen und schwimmen are treated like a (non-)movement:

Ich bin gestanden - gesessen - geschwommen. High German is: Ich habe gestanden - gesessen - geschwommen.
Aber: Ich habe den See durchschwommen.

Examples D: change of state verbs

verb                        aux.   irr.    sentence with perfect tense
aufstehen (get up)          sein   yes     Ich bin heute früh aufgestanden.
einschlafen (fall asleep)   sein   yes     Die Kinder sind endlich eingeschlafen.
verblühen (whither)         sein   no      Die Blumen sind schon verblüht

Examples E: sein and bleiben

Er ist nicht lange geblieben.  He didn't stay long.
Er ist immer nett gewesen.     He has always been nice.

Exceptions to the rules Some of the verbs from group A can be used with an object in accusative case. In this case, they take haben as auxiliary.


Ich bin nach Kalifornien gefahren.                  I drove to California. 
Ich bin mit dem Auto nach Kalifornien gefahren.     I drove to California by car (literally: with the car)
Ich habe das Auto (Akk.) nach Kalifornien gefahren. I drove the car to California. 

The same applies to fliegen (fly), starten and reiten (ride a horse).

Usage edit

Unlike in English the difference in meaning between Perfekt and Präteritum is rather small. The main difference between those two forms lies in usage. Perfekt is mostly used in spoken language, while Präteritum is mostly reserved for written texts. However, the modals, the verbs haben and sein and the expression es gibt are almost exclusively used in Präteritum - even when speaking. One reason might be the frequency of those verbs, the other reason is most likely the very complex perfect forms for modals.

(This is in southern German use; in northern German, you'll hear the preterite also in spoken language.)

On the other hand, the perfect tense is used in writing too. The more oral the text is, the more perfect tense you will find (for example in personal letters etc.). If an action has happened very recently, it tends to be in perfect tense too.

Look at the following conversation and concentrate on the distribution of Präteritum and Perfekt.

(1) Anna: Hallo Peter. Wo warst du denn? Ich habe dich schon lange nicht mehr gesehen.
(2) Peter: Hallo Anna. Ich war die letzen zwei Wochen im Urlaub.
(3) Anna: So? Wo warst du denn genau?
(4) Peter: Auf der Insel Elba, in einem fantastischen Hotel. Es gab jeden Abend ein Büffet und man konnte essen, so viel man wollte!
(5) Anna (lacht): Ich glaube dir sofort, dass dir das gefallen hat. Du hast aber nicht nur gegessen, oder? Was hast du denn den ganzen Tag gemacht?
(6) Peter (lacht auch): Nein, natürlich nicht. Ich bin viel geschwommen, ich habe mir die Insel angeguckt und am Abend bin ich immer zum Tanzen in eine Disco gegangen.
(7) Anna: Aha... Und? Hast du jemanden kennen gelernt?
(8) Peter (grinst): Kein Kommentar.

Vocablary to help you understand the text:

der Urlaub, -e   vacation
genau            exactly, precisely
die Insel, -n    island
das Büffet, -s   buffet
gefallen         like
angucken         to look at (colloquial)
kennen lernen    get to know
grinsen          grin

Used forms to talk about past events

Präteritum         Perfekt
du warst (1/3)     habe gesehen (1)
ich war (2)        es hat gefallen (5)
es gab (4)         du hast gegessen (5)
konnte (4)         du hast gemacht (5)
wollte (4)         ich bin geschwommen (6)
                   ich habe angeguckt (6)
                   ich bin gegangen (6)
                   du hast kennen gelernt

How to find the forms in a dictionary edit

Unless you have a special dictionary for learners, not all the forms will be spelled out. Regular forms are often omitted. The same goes for the auxiliary haben. If no forms are indicated, you may assume that the verb is regular and has the verb haben as an auxiliary. However, if you find the abbreviation itr or i. (for intransitive) behind the verb, the auxiliary is often sein. Intransitve verbs don't have an accusative object and these are often used with sein, while transitive verbs (tr. or t.) are always conjugated with haben.

Sometimes not even the forms of irregular verbs are given in the lexicon entry. Irregular verbs are often indicated by irr. for irregular or a similar abbreviation. In that case, look for a list of irregular verb forms in the index of your dictionary.

To find the past participle of separable verbs you often have to cut the prefix and look for the base form of the verb. If you look for aufstehen (get up), you probably find your answer in the entry of stehen. Remember: The prefix ge goes in between the prefix of the separable verb and the verb itself: auf + ge + standen.

When working online, you might consider using Canoo. Enter an arbitrary form of the word you are interested in into the mask. Hit enter. On the results page, choose the link Flexion behind the appropriate entry (or inflection in the English version). You will get a table of all possible verb forms.

Tips for learning edit

Irregular forms are just that - irregular. Therefore you have to learn them by heart. By learning four forms, you can construct every verb form for a given verb.

The forms you should know are:

Infinitiv    Präsens          Präteritum    Hilfsverb  + Partizip Perfekt
infinitiv    3rd person       preterite     auxiliary  + past participle
gehen        geht             ging          ist        + gegangen
nehmen       nimmt            nahm          hat        + genommen
fahren       fährt            fuhr          ist        + gefahren
lesen        liest            las           hat        + gelesen
essen        isst             aß            hat        + gegessen
kommen       kommt            kam           ist        + gekommen
bleiben      bleibt           blieb         ist        + geblieben
sein         ist              war           ist        + gewesen
anfangen     fängt ... an     fing ... an   hat        + angefangen

All forms - besides the infinitive of course - should be in 3rd-person singular.

A good way to learn those forms is to put them on small cards. On one side you write the infinitive and probably a sentence to illustrate the usage of the verb. On the backside you put the rest of the forms and - if needed - a translation of the verb. When learning, you look at the infinitve and try to remember the forms and the meaning. You can easily verify your hypothesis by flipping the card.

If you encounter a verb you want to learn, look it up in a dictionary. If it is irregular, learn the verb together with its defining forms. Like that, you spare yourself a lot of trouble later on.

Sentence Structure edit

The perfect tense consists of two verb forms: an auxiliary and a past participle. Together they form the so called predicate. The predicate consists of all verb parts in one clause.

The sentence structure in perfect behaves as with every two parts predicate (modals plus infinitive, separable verbs etc.)

Main Clauses edit

In a main clause (Hauptsatz), the conjugated verb (the auxiliary in this case) is in the second position and the past participle stands at the end of the clause.

   First Position (I)       (II)
1) Sein Vater               hat  gestern ein fantastisches Essen gekocht.
2) Gestern                  hat  sein Vater ein fantastisches Essen gekocht.
   Both: Yesterday, his father cooked a fantastic meal.
3) Ein fantastisches Essen  hat  sein Vater gestern gekocht.*
   It was a fantastic meal that his father cooked yesterday.

* The third example is correct, although not very frequent. You might use it if you want to stress what exactly his father has prepared or if you have to repeat the sentence because your partner has not understood this particular part of it.

Second position does not equal second word, as you can see above. However, there is only one group of words allowed before the conjugated verb (the auxiliary in this case). Such groups of words are called "phrases". While you can put very long phrases in front of the conjugated verb, you must not use two. Therefore the sentence "Gestern sein Vater hat ein fantastisches Essen gekocht" is wrong.

Subordinated Clauses edit

Subordinated clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction. Well known conjunctions of this kind are

weil  dass  wenn. 

*In spoken language weil is often used like und or aber, which means that it is followed by a main clause. However, after weil, speakers often pause for a little while. There is no pause after either und or aber.
Weil + main clause is not allowed in written language. Therefore you may say: Ich gehe, weil - (little pause) - ich bin müde. But you wouldn't use it in a letter. At least not yet.
The correct conjunction for a main clause is denn, which is rarely used in spoken language.

In subordinated clauses the conjugated verb, i.e. the auxiliary, stands at the very end of the sentence. The past participle stands directly in front of it. For example:

                  conj.    aux.                 participle  aux.
Ich weiß,         dass  du      das             gemacht     hast.
Ich glaube dir,   weil  du      bisher noch nie gelogen     hast.
Ich glaube dir,   denn  du hast bisher noch nie gelogen.
Ich gehe,         wenn  du                      gegangen    bist.

Past tense edit

Regular verbs edit

Regular (or better, weak) verbs take the ending -te. The person endings are added afterwards. Note that the forms for 1st- and 3rd-person singular are the same.

ich lernte
du lerntest
er/sie/es lernte
wir lernten
ihr lerntet
sie/Sie lernten

If the stem of a verb (infinitive minus -en) ends in -t (arbeit-en), -d (end-en) or consonant plus m or n (öffn-en, rechn-en) you add an -e before the preterite endings.

ich arbeitete
du arbeitetest
er/sie/es arbeitete
wir arbeiteten
ihr arbeitetet
sie/Sie arbeiteten

Irregular verbs edit

Without -te edit

The strong verbs belong to this group. The endings are easy to memorize. It is harder to know which vowel to use. The rule mentioned above for t/d, double-consonant + n/m applies also for irregular verbs.

fahren stehen
ich fuhr stand
du fuhrst stand(e)st
er/sie/es fuhr stand
wir fuhren standen
ihr fuhrt standet
sie/Sie fuhren standen
gehen, ging, gegangen
stehen, stand, gestanden

With -te edit

Few irregular verbs take the -te ending. Examples are: nennen, rennen, kennen, bringen, denken and the irregular modals (können, dürfen and müssen).

ich nannte
du nanntest
er/sie/es nannte
wir nannten
ihr nanntet
sie/Sie nannten

Future Tense edit

Talking about future with the present tense edit

German uses the Present Tense to talk about the future whenever it is clear to both speaker and listener that the future is meant. In the dialogue example:

Wenn du zu Hause bleibst, kommen wir dich besuchen.
If you stay at home, we shall come and visit you.

The whole conversation is about the future, so there is no need to indicate it again in the tense of the verb.

Some more examples:

Ich schreibe den Brief heute Abend.
I will write the letter this evening.

Wir gehen nächstes Jahr nach Spanien.
We will go to Spain next year.

Futur I edit

Where the meaning would not otherwise be clear, and in more formal language, e.g. to express an intention, German talks about the future tense by using werden plus the infinitive at the end of the clause. The forms of werden are:

ich werde
du wirst
er/sie/es/man wird

wir werden
ihr werdet
sie/Sie werden


Ich werde ein Haus bauen.
I shall build a house. (an intention)

Wir werden sehen.
We will see.

The future can also express some inescapable fate:

Sie werden alle umkommen.
They will all perish.

Future II edit

The Future II is formed with added "sein" oder "haben" and expresses that one action will happen before another one.

Wenn sie das Abendessen gekocht haben wird, werden sie kommen. 
When she will have cooked the dinner, they will come.

In the colloquial language, the perfect is often used for that.

In the colloquial language expresses the Future II often a speculation about the past.

Sie werden angekommen sein.
literally "they will have arrived" - meaning "(I gather) they have arrived (by now)"
Sie werden es gemacht haben.
"they will have done it"

In the colloquial language, the Futur II is normally used when speaking about something that should have happened already, but you are not sure or you can't prove it.


Contents edit

A.01 - Das Alphabet edit

The Alphabet edit

Like English, the German alphabet consists of 26 basic letters. However, there are also combined letters and three umlauted forms. An umlaut is the pair of dots placed over certain vowels; in German, Umlaut describes the dotted letter, not just the dots.

As in English, letters may be pronounced differently depending on word and location. The first column is the German letter, the second describes the IPA pronunciation and rough English approximation of the letter name. The third gives an English word that matches or approximates the German letter sound.

Reading down this column and pronouncing the "English" words will recite the alphabet auf Deutsch ("in German"). Note that letter order is exactly the same as in English, but pronunciation is not for many of the letters. In the list of pronunciation notes, no entry means essentially "pronounced as in English".

Pronunciation:   The alphabet —   Das Alphabet
A (a) /aː/

U as in up but short, and with spread out lips, just like the A in Spanish. All vowels except for the A can be long or short: This one is always short, except in diphthongs, see below.

B (be) /beː/ Pronounced like 'p' when at the end of a word or before a consonant (except a liquid)
C (ce) /tseː/ See combination letter forms;

without a following 'h': before 'e', 'i', 'y', 'ä', 'ö', 'ü', like the German letter 'z' elsewhere like 'k'

D (de) /deː/ Pronounced like 't' when at the end of a word or before a consonant (except for a liquid)
E (e) /eː/ Long 'e': as 'a' in 'late' (ay) without the y, like the E in the Received Pronunciation of bed

Short 'e': as 'e' in 'pet'. E is also short in unstressed syllables, when it sounds like 'a' in 'about' or 'e' in 'garden'

F (ef) /ɛf/  
G (ge) /geː/ Pronounced like 'g' in 'get'; pronounced like 'k' when at the end of a word or before a consonant (except a liquid)

pronounced like the German word "ich" (see below) in the suffix '-ig' at the end of words, and in words of French origin when followed by E or I, like the "S" in vision.

H (ha) /haː/ Pronounced like 'h' in 'house' only at the beginning of words. After a vowel, it is silent. See combinations with " H". The letter H can show up anywhere in a German word, just like in English.
I (i) /iː/ Long 'i' as 'e' in 'seen' (ee); short 'i' as 'i' in 'pit'
J (jot) /jot/ Pronounced like 'j' in juice at the beginning of words with English origin, and the "S" in vision at the beginning of words with French origin, the same as the J in English but without the initial D, and otherwise the English y as in yogurt.
K (ka) /kaː/ kn≠n
L (el) /ɛl/ Pronounced like 'l' but is always light. Not appɫe but Apfel Not miɫk, but Milch
M (em) /ɛm/  
N (en) /ɛn/ Slightly more "dental";

Before a vowel

O (o) /oː/ Long 'o': as 'o' in 'open' (oh), without the "W", similar to the O in American English cold.

Short 'o': as 'o' in 'pot'.

P (pe) /peː/  
Q (ku) /kuː/ Pronounced like 'k'; only occurs in the combination 'qu', which is pronounced like 'kv', not like 'kw'.
R (er) /ɛʁ/, /er/ At the end of a word or before a consonant, like the U in up. Before a vowel, after a consonant or when doubled, like the G in the Spanish amigo.
S (es) /ɛs/ Pronounced like the English 'z':

•Before a vowel at the beginning of a word •Between two vowels. •Pronounced like 'sh' in the beginning of a word or syllable before 'p' or 't' Like English 's' everywhere else.

T (te) /teː/ Pronounced like 't' but with the tongue touching the teeth (dental). Sometimes, this letter sounds like a ts, just like the German z. It happens in these endings: TION, TIE, TUAL, TIAL, TIO.
U (u) /uː/ Long 'u' as 'oo' in 'moon' (oo); short 'u' as 'u' in 'put'
V (vau) /faʊ/ Can be soft (like the german f) or hard (like the German w).

I can do three tricks. If a word starts with Ver- followed by a consonant, use the hard V, unless the Ver- is the prefix, if it appears at the end of a word, use the soft V, and if you need to guess, listen to the audio, for example, November sounds like:

W (ve) /veː/ Pronounced like 'v', but again, if it is the last letter of a word, do not pronounce it.
X (iks) /ɪks/ Pronounced like 'ks', like in English
Y (üpsilon) /ʏpsɪlon/ Pronounced like 'ü' (see below), 'i' at the end and 'j' at the beginning.
Z (zet) /tsɛt/ Pronounced like 'ts'

Unique German Letters edit

Umlaut Letters edit

  • Umlauts were originally written as 'ae', 'oe', and 'ue'.
Ä (ä), /ɛː/ or

(a Umlaut), /aː 'ʊmlaʊt/

Long ä /ɛː/: pronounced as 'e' in 'pet', but longer.

Short ä /ɛ/: pronounced as 'e' in 'pet'.

Ö (ö), /øː/ or

(o Umlaut), /oː 'ʊmlaʊt/

No English equivalent sound (see below).

Long ö /øː/: somewhat similar to vowel in 'jerk', 'turn', or 'third', but it is critical to note that there is no 'r' sound that is pronounced in conjunction with the ö.

Short ö /œ/: somewhat like 'ur' as in 'hurt', without the 'r' sound.

Ü (ü), /yː/ or

(u Umlaut), /uː 'ʊmlaʊt/

No English equivalent sound (see below).

Long ü /yː/: similar to 'ew' as in 'stew' or 'new', but with lips rounded.

Short ü /ʏ/: similar to 'u' as in 'cute'.

The ss-Ligature, ß edit

Pronunciation:   ß-ligature —   Eszett
(missing file: File:German Pronunciation - ß-ligature.ogg, how to upload audio)
ß (es-zet or scharfes es) /ɛsˈtsɛt/ Pronounced like 's' in 'set' or 'c' in 'nice'; see below for uses.

Combined Letters edit

eu and äu both sound like the oy in b"oy"
Pronunciation:   Combined letters —   Buchstabenkombinationen
(missing file: File:German Pronunciation - Combined letters.ogg, how to upload audio)
ch (ce-ha) // Pronounced like h in huge:

At the beginning of a word, after e i y ä ö ü l n r eu äu, in chen S as in sugar after s (see below) Spanish x in México elsewhere

ck (ce-ka) //

K sound after a short vowel.

tz (te-zet) //

Z sound after a short vowel.

ie (i-e) // pronounced like the 'ee' in the English word 'meet'.

Here long I, silent E.

ei, ai, ay, and ey are pronounced 'eye', just like the letter I, but ay (as in Paraguay) and ey (as in Aubrey) are rare, mostly used in proper nouns.
au (a-u) // Pronounced like the 'ow' in the English word cow
dt (de-te) //

Like b, if d appears at the end of a word or right before any consonant except for L or R, it will be pronounced as a t. DT is thus pronounced as a T.

st (es-te) // Pronounced like English 'sh' followed by 't' when at the beginning of words or a syllable, like in washed, or the Bulgarian letter Щ.
sp (es-pe) // Pronounced like English 'sh' followed by 'p' when at the beginning of words or a syllable.
sch, sh Pronounced like English 'sh'
tsch   Pronounced like English 'ch', like you word expect. The sound is made of a t sound (spelled t in German) and then an sh sound (spelled sch or sh in German), so that makes sense.
ph (pe-ha) // Pronounced like 'f'.

However, words in German that contain a Ph in them are always borrowed from English or Greek, because these words are always of foreign origin.

pf (pe-ef) // Difficult pronunciation for non-speakers. Both letters are pronounced. It sounds similar to the 'pef' in typeface. But it:
  • Can appear anywhere.
  • Can't follow any consonant.
  • Cannot be divided into Syllables

e. g. Apf|el, not Ap|fel, and Tropf|en, not Trop|fen.

qu (ku-u) // Pronounced like 'kv'.
  • q is always followed by u.
  • Audio:   OGG (305KB) ~ Das Alphabet oder Das ABC
  • Audio:   OGG (114KB) ~ Die Umlaute
th (te-ha) Pronounced like the English T. Note that the two English th sounds, /θ/ and /ð/, which are always spelled with a "TH", in English, do not exist in German at all.

E. g. Feather, Feder. And, Brother, Bruder. Yep, again, the H is silent.

Notes: •There is no uppercase ß. •All vowels (withot umlauts) are pronounced like those in Spanish, but in Spanish the long ones are pronounced much shorter in Spanish. •In German you capitalize these:

  1. Nouns (and words used as nouns)*
  2. Beginning of a sentence.
  3. The word "Sie", but only meaning you in the formal sense, and its forms.

•Modern German and Bavarian are the only languages in the world that capitalizes every noun. •Also, the only English word that is always capitalized whose German translation (unless it starts a sentence) is not capitalized is the pronoun "I". •in a title, like in Spanish only the first word and other "always" capitalized words are capitalized

  • Expect names of italicized letters: das a or das A.

The silent letters in German appear in five situations: • H after a vowel or T • First letter of double consonants, ck, and tz* • E after I, in which I is always long • Final W. • D before the T Vowels are long with one consonant after it, and short with two. But… A is always short Diphthongs are long Compound words are broken up: Weg|weiser Borrowed and short words may break this rule. Any following H's: Tuch, John, Sohn, Joshua, Buch have a long vowel sound. In French loanwords, if a vowel is followed by a nasal consonant in the same syllable, then the nasal consonant will be silent and the vowel will be nasal. A nasal vowel produces air through your mouth and your nose.

A double vowel is long, except for AA (see above)

Konsonanten ~ Consonants edit

Most German consonants are pronounced similarly to the way they are pronounced in English, with exceptions noted in column 3 above. Details of certain consonant sounds and uses are discussed further here.

  • d, t, l, and n – In German, these letters are pronounced with the tongue extended up to the back of the base of the teeth, creating a more dental sound. As noted above, 'd' is a 'dental d' except at the end of a word or before a consonant (except an R), where it becomes a 'dental t'.

Note that as above, L only uses the front of your tongue, just like in Spanish or French, which is similar to the L in Laugh.

  • sch – this combination is pronounced like 'sh' /ʃ/, not 'sk' as in English. A German example is Schüler /ˈʃyːlɐ/ (student).
  • sp and st – Where these combinations appear at the beginning of a word or syllable, the 's' sound becomes an 'sh' /ʃ/ sound, while the next letter is pronounced the same as itself in English and German. German examples are spielen /ʃpiːlən/ (play) and Stelle /ˈʃtɛlə/ (place).

German Sounds not found in English edit

There are sounds in the German language that have no real equivalent in the English language. These are discussed here.

  • r – Most Germans pronounce 'r' as /ʁ/, a guttural sound the g in amigo.
  • ö (read as oh-umlaut) – This vowel is pronounced similarly to the 'u' in the word 'murder' (spoken with a British accent), but with the lips rounded. Commonly, the 'long ö' /øː/ is made by first sounding 'oo' as in moon, then pursing the lips as if to whistle, and changing the sound to 'a' as in 'late'. An example of "long ö" is schön /ʃøːn/ (beautiful). The 'short ö' sound /œ/ is made by first sounding 'oo', pursing the lips, and changing the sound to 'e' as in 'pet', and it sounds very similar to the 'i' in 'sir'. An example of the "short ö" is zwölf /t͡svœlf/ (twelve). If you have problems pronouncing ö, do not replace it by 'o' but by 'e' (as in elf), which occurs in some German dialects. In written and printed German, 'oe' can be an acceptable substitute for 'ö' if the latter is unavailable.
  • ü (read as oo-umlaut) – As with 'ö', 'ü' is a rounded vowel sound with no real English equivalent. The 'long ü' /yː/ is made by first sounding 'oo' as in moon, then pursing the lips as if to whistle, and changing the sound to 'ee' as in 'seen'. A simpler approach is to simply shape your lips and tongue as if you are going to whistle, and then put some voice. An example of "long ü" is früh /fʁyː/ (early). The "short ü" sound /ʏ/ is made by first sounding 'oo', pursing the lips, and changing the sound to 'i' as in 'pit. An example of "short ü" is fünf /fʏnf/ (five). If you have problems pronouncing ü, do not replace it by 'u' but by 'i' (as in fish), which occurs in some German dialects. In written and printed German, 'ue' can be an acceptable substitute for 'ü' if the latter is unavailable.
  • ß looks like a B but be aware of the five warnings, which are as follows:

•It always sounds like an S. •It can't be the first letter of a word. •It always follows a vowel. •It doesn't have an uppercase version. •It looks like a Greek letter, the  , but never replace it with the Greek letter  .

  • ach – When 'ch' is not preceded by ä, ö, ü, l, n, r, e, i, y, eu, äu, or s it sounds like the x in the country México, when spoken by a Spanish-speaking person.
  • Ich has a meaning by itself: it means me. When ig is at the end of the word, it also sounds like the pronoun ich in German!

Audio: OGG (37KB) ~ ach, auch, ich, richtig

Syllable Stress edit

The general rule in German is that words are stressed on the first syllable. However, there are exceptions. Almost all exceptions are of Spanish or French origin. For those borrowed from French it will generally stressed on the last syllable, for example, Vokal, Konsonant, and Lektion (vowel, consonant, lesson). In loanwords from Spanish, however, the stress is generally on the next-to-last syllable if it ends in N, S, or a vowel and the last one otherwise. These words (not stressed on the first syllable) appear in the (Level II and III) lesson vocabularies as Vokal, Lektion (in some regions: Lektion), etc.

Words starting in common prefixes (ge-, be-, ver-, etc.) stress the syllable following said prefix. Examples are Gese, Beamte, and Vereinigung. Also, the German word "Ski" means "ski" and is spelled "ski" but it is actually pronounced like the pronoun "She" in English. Notice that we have genders in German, masculine, feminine, neutral. English doesn't have genders. Also as mentioned above, all nouns are capitalized in German, Bavarian and Luxembourgish. And finally, we saw that in words of French origin the letter J, as well as the letter G (before E or I) makes the sound of S as in vision, which is the English J sound without the initial D, and the IPA is this: /ʒ/, a very rare sound in both German and English. Example: In Garage the first G is pronounced the same as how it is pronounced in English, while the second one is pronounced /ʒ/ because it comes before an E, and the word has a French origin. Again, remember that this sound is very rare in both of these languages. Don't forget the Failed to parse (syntax error): {\displaystyle \ddot{}</math\>, which will go on back vowels only and move the sound from the back to the front, except for AU. The AU sounds like ow as in cow, while the ÄU sounds like the oy in boy. The <math>\ddot{ }} may not appear on the A in the AI or AY diphthongs. Last the A, which is always short, except in a diphthong and as  , as well as long vowels without double-dots on top, are pronounced like those in Spanish, but the Spanish vowel sounds are pronounced short, while in German, all of them except for the A are longer. Again A is always short, never long.

A.02 - Phrase Book edit

German Phrases edit

Greetings edit

Hallo!                      Hello!
Guten Tag!                  Good day!

Tag Day

Guten Morgen! Good morning!

Guten Abend! Good evening- this is for close friends and family

Wie geht es Ihnen? How are you (formal)? How are you doing?

Wie geht's How are you (informal)

Es geht mir gut I'm doing fine, I'm well

Prima!, Great!

Spitze! Super!

Gut!                        Good!

Sehr gut! Very good!

Toll!                       Terrific!
    Ganz gut                    Pretty good

  So lala                     OK
 Es geht so                  Going ok
Nicht gut                   Not well

Schlecht Bad

Sehr schlecht Very bad

Miserabel Miserable

Und Ihnen? And you (formal)?

Auf Wiedersehen!            Good bye!

Wiedersehen! Bye!

Tschüss! See you!

Ciao! Ciao! (Italian for 'see you')

Bis später!                 Later! (until later)

Bis dann! Later! (until whenever)

Wiederhören                 (hear) again (used over the phone)
Note: How are you? is not a typical query in German greeting etiquette as it is in English, where the standard answer is I'm Fine. A German speaker will consider this to be an earnest question, and you may receive an honest answer that is longer than you expected.
Note: Wiedersehen directly translates as "to see again".

Gespräche (conversations) edit

Danke (sehr)!              Thanks, thank you
Danke schön!               Thanks a lot!
Bitte?                     Please?
Bitte (sehr)!              You're welcome! (comes after danke)
Entschuldigung!            Excuse me!
Vielen Dank                Much thanks
Gern geschehen             You are welcome

Verstehen (understanding) edit

1. Sprechen Sie bitte etwas langsamer. Please, speak somewhat slower.

2. Bitte sprechen Sie langsamer. Please speak more slowly.

3. Können Sie mich verstehen? Can you understand me?

4. Ich verstehe Sie nicht. I don't understand you.

5. Ich weiß nicht/ Ich kennst nicht. I don't know.

6. Was haben Sie gesagt? What was that? What have you said?

7. Können Sie das bitte wiederholen? Can you say that again, please!

8. Ich spreche kein deutsch. I don't speak German (literally: I speak no German.)

9. Ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsch. I speak only a little German

10. Ich spreche nur wenig deutsch.

I speak a little German

11. Ich spreche nur ein paar Wörter auf deutsch. I only speak a few words of German.

12. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Do you speak German?

13. Sprechen Sie Englisch? Do you speak English?

Positionen (Locations) edit

Wo ist die Apotheke?                    Where is the drug store?
Wo ist das Geschäft?                    Where is the shop?
Wissen Sie, wo der Flughafen ist?       Do you know where the airport is? 
Wie gelangt man zur Bowlingbahn?        How do you get to the bowling alley?

More commonly used is: (few people say "gelangt")

Wie kommt man zur…                      How does one get to…? (for feminine words)
Wie kommt man zur Apotheke?             How does one get to the chemist / pharmacy?

Wie kommt man zum…                      How does one get to…? (for neuter or masculine words)
Wie kommt man zum Flughafen?            How does one get to the airport?
Gehen Sie nach links.                   Go left
Gehen Sie nach rechts.                  Go right

Common phrases edit

Translation Phrase IPA Pronunciation Sound
German Deutsch /dɔɪ̯ʧ/ (doytsh) (listen)
hello Hallo /ˈhaloː/ (HAH-loh) (listen)
good-bye auf Wiedersehen /aʊ̯f ˈviːdɐzeːn/ (owf VEE-der-zayn) (listen)
please bitte /ˈbɪtə/ (BIT-tuh) (listen)
you’re welcome bitte schön /ˈbɪtə ʃøːn/ (BIT-tuh shurn)
thank you danke /ˈdaŋkə/ (DAHNG-kuh) (listen)
that one das da /das da/ (duss dah) (listen)
how much? wie viel? /vi fiːl/ (vee feel) (listen)
English Englisch /ˈʔɛŋlɪʃ/ (ANG-lish) (listen)
yes ja /jaː/ (yah) (listen)
no nein /naɪ̯n/ (nine) (listen)
I need help Ich brauche Hilfe /ʔiç ˈbʁaʊ̯χə ˈhɪlfə/ (ish BROW-khuh HEEL-fuh)
excuse me Entschuldigen Sie /ʔɛntˈʃʊldɪgən ziː/ (ent-SHOOL-dee-gen zee)
pardon me verzeihen Sie /fɐˈʦaɪ̯ən ziː/ (fair-TSEYE-en zee)
I am sick ich bin krank /ʔɪç bɪn kʁaŋk/ (ish bin krunk)
where’s the bathroom? Wo ist die Toilette? /voː ʔɪst diː toːˈlɛtə/ (vo ist dee toe-LET-tuh) (listen)
generic toast prosit
Do you speak English? Sprechen Sie Englisch? /ˈʃpʁɛçən ziː ˈʔɛŋlɪʃ/ (SHPRE-shen zee ANG-lish) (listen)
I don’t speak German Ich spreche kein Deutsch /ʔɪç ˈʃprɛçə kaɪ̯n dɔɪ̯ʧ/ (ish SHPRE-shuh kine doytsh)
I don’t understand Ich verstehe nicht. /ʔɪç fɐˈʃteːə nɪçt/ (ish fair-SHTAY-uh nisht) (listen)
Sorry Entschuldigung /ʔɛntˈʃʊldɪgʊŋ/ (ent-SHOOL-dee-gung) (listen)
I don’t know Ich weiß nicht /ʔɪç vaɪ̯s nɪçt/ (ish vice nisht)
Happy birthday Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag /ˈhɛɐ̯ʦlɪçən ˈglʏkvʊnʃ ʦʊm gəˈbʊɐ̯ʦtaːk/ (HAIRTS-lee-shen GLUKE-voonsh tsoom ge-BOORTS-tahk) (listen)

A.03 - Grammar Reference Table I edit

Beginning German | Basic German | Intermediate German

Der-word Case for German Nouns edit

Gender Nominativ Genitiv Dativ Akkusativ
masculine der des dem den
feminine die der der die
neuter das des dem das
plural* die der den die
* The same regardless of singular noun gender

Personal Pronoun Tables: nominative, genitive, dative & accusative cases edit

Nominative case personal pronouns edit

The nominative case is used as the subject of a verb.

Singular Plural
1st person ich I wir we
2nd person  du (Sie*) you ihr (Sie*) you
3rd person er, sie, es he, she, it sie they
*Polite form.

Genitive case personal pronouns edit

The genitive case corresponds to the possessive case in English or to the English objective case preceded by 'of' and denoting possession. The use of genitive personal pronouns is very rare in German and many Germans are unable to use them correctly.

Singular Plural
1st person meiner my unser our
2nd person deiner (Ihrer*) your eurer (Ihrer*) your
3rd person seiner, ihrer, seiner his, her, its ihrer their
*Polite form.


Ich erbarme mich eurer. ~ I take pity on you(rs).
meiner unbedeutenden Meinung nach. ~ in my humble opinion (IMHO)

Dative case personal pronouns edit

The personal pronouns in the dative case are used as indirect objects of verbs and after the prepositions aus, außer, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu.

Singular Plural
1st person  mir   me   uns  us
2nd person   dir (Ihnen*)     you  euch (Ihnen*)     you
3rd person  ihm, ihr, ihm  him, her, it    ihnen  them      
*Polite form.

Accusative case personal pronouns edit

The personal pronouns in the accusative case are used as direct objects of transitve verbs and after the prepositions durch, für, gegen, ohne, um.

Singular Plural
1st person mich me uns us
2nd person dich (Sie*) you euch (Sie*) you
3rd person ihn, sie, es him, her, it sie them
* Polite form.

A.04 - Grammar Reference Table II edit

<< Beginning German | Basic German | Intermediate German

Conjugating 'to be' edit

Ich bin groß.              I am tall.
Du bist sehr groß.         You are very tall.
Sie ist klein.             She is short.
Sie sind groß.             They are tall.

In these cases, we use the correct form of sein for each situation. Please notice the final two sentences both use 'Sie', and we must look at the verb to determine the difference between 'she' and 'they'.

In German, the English infinitive 'to be' is translated as sein.

This is the table of the forms of 'sein', with rough English translations. Note that in English, there are only three forms (am, is, are) while German has five (bin, bist, ist, sind, seid).

Also, the verb conjugation of the two you-formals are always the exact same.




Singular Pronoun

Verb Form

Plural Pronoun

Verb Form












er / sie / es










to be












he / she / it





you (formal)


y'all (formal)


Conjugating Normal Verbs edit

Er spielt Volleyball.      He plays volleyball.
Ich mache Hausaufgaben.    I do my homework.
Wir kommen aus München.    We come from Munich.
Was machst du?             What are you doing?

In these sentences, different verbs and endings are used. Note that the verb is always in second position.

When conjugating normal verbs, use the endings shown below (a memory hook is the "best ten" endings). Note that in normal verbs, such as spielen and machen, ihr-form and er/sie/es-form are the same and the wir-form, sie (pl)-form and the formal are all the same as the infinitive.













er / sie / es









spielen - to play












er / sie / es









machen - to make/do












er / sie / es









Conjugating Irregular Verbs edit

Ich habe keine Zeit.       I have no time.
Gib mir das Buch!          Give me the book.
Sie wandert gern.          She likes to hike.
Er liest einen Roman.      He is reading a novel.

In each of these sentences, we use an irregular verb. Irregularity occurs in the ich-form or the du-form and er/sie/es-forms. There are three types of irregularity.

E in the first syllable edit

One form of irregularity occurs sometimes when the verb contains an 'e' in the first syllable. The change is simple: the du-form and er/sie/es forms both change the 'e' to an 'i.e.' or an 'i'. Two common examples are shown. Note that the er/sie/es-form and ihr-form are no longer the same.

sehen - to see












er / sie / es









geben - to give












er / sie / es









Haben edit

A similar, yet different, change occurs in the verb "haben". As in the irregularity above, the du-form and er/sie/es-form change.

haben - to have












er / sie / es









Verbs ending in Consonant-N edit

Some verbs change the ich-form for obvious reasons. "Wandern" and "basteln" are two examples. Both drop the first e in the ich-form. wandern - to hike












er / sie / es









basteln - to build












er / sie / es









Conjugating Modals edit

Ich will ins Kino gehen.   I want to go to the movies.
Dürfen wir hier essen?     May we eat here?
Was kann ich für dich tun? What can I do for you?
Er mag Romane lesen.       He likes to read books.

Modals are a new kind of verb. They are the equivalent to helping verbs in English. There are seven basic modals: können (can), mögen (like), dürfen (may), wollen (want), sollen (should), müssen (must), and möchten (would like). Möchten isn't technically a modal, but it acts like one in most aspects.

Modals are conjugated very differently. The ich-form and er/sie/es-form are always alike and singular has a different verb in the first syllable (except in sollen and möchten). Below are the conjugations of the six basic modals and möchten.

können - can












er / sie / es









mögen - like












er / sie / es









dürfen - may












er / sie / es









wollen - want












er / sie / es









sollen - should












er / sie / es









müssen - must












er / sie / es









möchten - would like












er / sie / es









Separable Verbs edit

Du siehst schön aus!       You look good!
Ich muss mein Zimmer aufräumen.
                           I have to clean my room.
Komm mit!                  Come with!
Probier diese Jeans an!    Try these jeans on.

Some verbs in German are separable: they have a prefix that can be separated from the base. When the verb is used with a modal, it regains the prefix at the end of the sentence. When it is the main verb of the sentence, the prefix is moved to the end of the sentence.

An "example" in English would be the word "intake". When it is used as a verb, it becomes "take ... in". When it is used as an adjective or a noun, it becomes "intake" again.

Two easy examples of separable verbs are aussehen and mitkommen. Note that aussehen is also irregular.

aussehen - to appear



sehe aus


sehen aus



siehst aus


seht aus


er / sie / es

sieht aus


sehen aus



sehen aus


sehen aus

mitkommen - to come along/with



komme mit


kommen mit



kommst mit


kommt mit


er / sie / es

kommt mit


kommen mit



kommen mit


kommen mit

A.05 - Webseiten and other resources edit

Appendix 3 ~ Online Resources for German Language Students

Lists and directories to online resources edit

Über die deutsche Sprache - about German edit

Online Wörterbücher - Dictionary edit

Deutsch-Englisch (German-English) edit

Nur Deutsch - German only edit

Slideshows with pictures and pronunciations edit

Language courses German at the time of insertion there is only one file about fruit - I will try to add new ones every week-end.

Deutsche Grammatik und Rechtschreibung- German Grammar and Spelling edit

Aussprache - Pronunciation edit

Blogs edit

  • Deutschlernblog Tips for learning German. Site entirely in German.
  • DaF-Blog On German language and how to learn it. Parts of the Site are in English, but most of it in German.
  • Deutsch-Happen small, bite-sized snaps of German language for the advancing learner

Podcasts edit

from learners edit

for learners edit

Tandem edit

Tandem by E-Mail

The Mixxer Tandem via Skype

A.07 - Namen edit

Names edit

This is a list of common, modern German names. Please add to it.

First Names edit

German names have undergone a drastic change in the last 60 years. Older, "typical" German names like Hans, Fritz, Heinrich, Karl or Wilhelm are now uncommon in contemporary Germany. Today many parents give their children names like (ten most popular names 2005):


  1. Alexander
  2. Maximilian
  3. Leon
  4. Lukas/Lucas
  5. Luca
  6. Paul
  7. Jonas
  8. Felix
  9. Tim
  10. David


  1. Marie
  2. Sophie/Sofie
  3. Maria
  4. Anna, Anne
  5. Leonie
  6. Lena
  7. Emily
  8. Lea/Leah
  9. Julia
  10. Laura

(Source: Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache)

Boys' Names edit

Typical for young people edit

Boy's names pet names
Alexander Alex
André, Andreas Andi
Axel -
Christian, Christoph Chris
Dennis, Denis
Edvin Eddy
Fabian Fabi
Finn, Fynn
Florian Flo, Flori
Julian, Julius Juli, Jule
Leo, Leon
Luka, Luca, Lucas, Lukas Luki
Manuel Manu, Mani
Matthias Matt, Matti, Mats
Max, Maximilian Max, Maxi
Michael Micha, Michi
Moritz Mo
Niko, Nick, Nikolas, Niklas, Nicolas Nik, Niko
Patrick Pat
Philipp Phil
Sebastian Sebi, Seb, Sebbe, Basti
Simon Simi
Stefan, Stephan, Steffen Steff
Sven Svenni
Tim Timmi
Tobias Tobi
Tom Tommi
Yannick, Yannik

older names:

  • Alfi, Alfred
  • Adolf (Historically a common name in aristocratic circles; rarely given to newborn boys today due to negative associations with Nazi figures such as Hitler and Eichmann.)
  • Albert, Bert, Kunibert
  • Anton
  • Achim, Joachim
  • Adam
  • Aaron
  • Armin
  • Björn
  • Bernard
  • Bennedikt
  • Bruno
  • Bodo
  • Boris
  • Berthold
  • Benjamin
  • Clemens
  • Carlo, Karlo, Karl
  • Carsten
  • Dieter, Dietrich
  • Daniel
  • Domian, Damian
  • Detlev
  • Dirk
  • Erik
  • Erwin
  • Emil
  • Eberhard
  • Eckart
  • Edmund
  • Ernst
  • Ewald
  • Franz, Frank
  • Fritz
  • Fridolin
  • Fred, Frederik
  • Friedrich, Friedhelm
  • Falko
  • Gustav
  • Gerhardt
  • Gert
  • Günther
  • Gregor
  • Gunnar
  • Hans, Hans-Jürgen, Hannes
  • Harald
  • Heinz
  • Heinrich, Heiner
  • Hugo
  • Hektor
  • Helge
  • Heiko
  • Hartmut
  • Herbert
  • Holger
  • Ingo, Ingolf
  • Jürgen, Jörg
  • Jens
  • Janosch
  • Jakob
  • Johann
  • Karl
  • Klaus
  • Knut
  • Kurt
  • Konrad
  • Kaspar
  • Ludwig
  • Leif
  • Manfred
  • Malte
  • Norbert
  • Nils
  • Olaf
  • Oliver
  • Otto, Ottfried
  • Paul
  • Peter
  • Rudi, Rüdiger, Rudolph
  • Roman
  • Robert
  • Rex
  • Reinhard, Rainer, Reiner
  • Sören
  • Siegfried
  • Sönke
  • Thomas
  • Till
  • Torsten
  • Ulf
  • Ulli
  • Uwe
  • Udo
  • Viktor
  • Werner
  • Wolfgang, Wolf, Welf
  • Wilhelm, Willi

Girls' Names edit

young ones:

  • Anna, Anne, Annika
  • Amelie
  • Angelina
  • Bianca
  • Christina, Christine
  • Daniela
  • Elea
  • Eva
  • Elisa
  • Emma
  • Emely, Emily
  • Franziska
  • Finja
  • Hannah, Hanna
  • Isabell, Isabelle
  • Julia, Jule, Juliane
  • Jana
  • Janine, Janina
  • Johanna
  • Jasmin
  • Klara
  • Katharina
  • Kim
  • Kira
  • Lena
  • Lara
  • Luise, Luisa
  • Lea
  • Lina
  • Larissa
  • Lisa
  • Lina
  • Leonie
  • Liv
  • Maike, Meike, Mareike
  • Melissa
  • Merle
  • Mercedes
  • Marie
  • Maja
  • Marlene, Marleen
  • Martina
  • Nina
  • Nicole
  • Nora
  • Petra
  • Paula
  • Pia
  • Ronja
  • Svenja
  • Sarah
  • Sofie, Sophie, Sophia
  • Samantha
  • Stella
  • Susie
  • Tabea
  • Tamara
  • Vivien
  • Vanessa

older ones:

  • Angela
  • Anita
  • Andschana
  • Antonia
  • Birgit
  • Brigitte
  • Berta
  • Christa, Christel
  • Doris
  • Diana
  • Fanny
  • Frieda
  • Gerta
  • Gisela
  • Gutrun
  • Hannelore
  • Helga
  • Heidi, Heide
  • Inga, Inge
  • Iris
  • Ilse
  • Ingrid
  • Josephine
  • Karin, Karen
  • Linda
  • Lydia
  • Marta
  • Monika
  • Nadja
  • Olivia
  • Roswitha
  • Renate
  • Susanne
  • Sabine
  • Sissi
  • Simone
  • Silke
  • Tina, Tine
  • Ursula
  • Ulla
  • Vera
  • Veronika
  • Winnifried
  • Wanda
  • Wilhelma

Last Names edit

The 51. most popular last names in Germany:

  1. Müller
  2. Schmidt
  3. Schneider
  4. Fischer
  5. Meyer
  6. Weber
  7. Wagner
  8. Becker
  9. Schulz
  10. Hoffmann
  11. Schäfer
  12. Koch
  13. Bauer
  14. Richter
  15. Klein
  16. Wolf
  17. Schröder
  18. Neumann
  19. Schwarz
  20. Zimmermann
  21. Braun
  22. Krüger
  23. Hofmann
  24. Hartmann
  25. Lange
  26. Schmitt
  27. Werner
  28. Schmitz
  29. Krause
  30. Meier
  31. Lehmann
  32. Schmid
  33. Schulze
  34. Maier
  35. Köhler
  36. Herrmann
  37. König
  38. Walter
  39. Mayer
  40. Huber
  41. Kaiser
  42. Fuchs
  43. Peters
  44. Lang
  45. Scholz
  46. Möller
  47. Weiß
  48. Jung
  49. Hahn
  50. Schubert
  51. Zächer

A.08 - False Friends edit

There are some words which are spelled the same in English and in German, but have completely different meanings. Even though the words are spelled the same, they are usually pronounced completely differently. It can sometimes be dangerous to use these words (for both native English speakers and native German speakers.) Think of that, next time someone wants to give you a " Gift" or opens a door and says " After you!"

Note: This list contains some items of etymological interest. For example, the transformation of the consonant 't' in German to 'd' in English in word pairs like Bart->Beard, Bett->Bed, Gut->Good, Hart->Hard, Rot->Red, and Not->Need.

German meaning (in English)
Englische Bedeutung (auf Deutsch)
Später, Nachher
Fishing Rod
Abgesondert, Abseits
Kind, sort, species
Kunst, Künstlichkeit
Esel, Dumpfbacke, Knallkopf, Arsch (vulg.)
Schlecht, Schlimm
Angesteller im Supermarkt der die Einkäufe in Tüten packt
Unbehaart, Kahlköpfig
Knall, Krach, Schall
in Cash, Pure
Stab (see also: Stab), Kneipe
Name eines Mannes
asked politely, requested (past tense)
Flower bed
Zuckerrübe, rote Rübe
to ask politely, request
Shiny, Shining
Unbeschriftet, Unausgefüllt
Sheet metal
Ausdruck des Ekels
to Twist, Form, Bend (past tense)
Sumpf, Torfmoor
Brilliant, brillant
Diamond, prächtig, herrlich
Blendend, Geistvoll
Front of a boat or plane
Laus, Insekt, Störung
Schnüffler, Schwanz, der steife Penis
Eleven, (coll. soccer team)
Elfe, Kobold
If, in case
Fang, fang
Catch, to catch, to capture (imperative)
Verhängnisvoll, Unheilvoll, Tödlich
Almost, Nearly
Preise, Gebühr
Coat (animal)
Far away, Distant
Peitschen, Auspeitschen
Away, Off, Gone
Festung, Kastell
Drückeberger, Musik von 1970's
Walk, Gait, Way
Gruppe, Bande, Trupp
Gabe, Geschenk
Aufgreifen, Ergreifen
Degree (temperature)
einen akademischen Grad erlangen
dug (past tense)
Darm (Schnecke und Kette)
ground meal, hash
Heib, Kerbe, Zerhacken
Helped (past tense)
Cell Phone
Praktisch, Passend, Handlich
Slope, Inclination
Hängen, Henken
Bit, Morsel
Zufällig Geschehen, Vorkommen, Passieren
Back of a car, boat or plane
Was zum Teufel? (What the Heck?)
Cooker, Oven, Range
Hub, hub
Throw, Lob, Swing (see also: Lob), (past tense of) to lift
Wickelkern, Nabe
Jemand der summt
Art, Sorte
Knappheit, Mangel
zurueckbleiben, zoegern
Load, Burden, Weight
Verknüpfung, Verbindungen
Werf, Hub (see also: Hub)
Block, Klotz
Plumb (line)
Pazille, die Menge, die Masse
To feel like doing something, desire (this can has the English meaning, depending on the situation)
Sinnliche Begierde
Hergestellt, Gemacht
Mouth (animal)
der Schlegel, Beschädigen, Durchprügeln
Manure, Trash
leichter Nebel
distress, need
Grade (in school), musical note
bemerken, aufschreiben, kleiner Brief
die Schwester (im Kloster), Nonne
Geklingelt, Geklungen
Ausdruck der Bewunderung (wie Geil)
die Ratte
Majestätisch, Königlich, Hoheitsvoll
Beef, Cattle
Schwarte, Schale
Stein, Fels
der Römer
Verrotten, Verwesung
History, Myth
Weise, Klug, Gescheit
Wahrnehmung, Bedeutung, Verstand, Sinn
New Year's Eve
Name eines Mannes
Trace, Tracks, Lane
Schiffsschnabel, Sporn, Ansporn (see also: Spore)
Rod, Pole, Baton, Bar (see also: Bar)
Völlig, Gänzlich
Ernst, das Heck
Markierstelle, Kennzeichnung
Amerikanisches Orangengetränk
Key (as in keyboard)
Kostprobe, Geschmackssinn
Great! Super!
Zollabgabe, Straßenbenutzungsgebühr
Death, Dead
Name eines Mannes
Clay, a Sound
die Tonne
kleines Kind, kleiner Knirps
calf (of the leg)
der Zauberstab
Was (see also: Was)
wurde/war (see also: War)
Quaddel, Beule
Against, Contrary to
Weiter, Breiter

Although not spelled identically in both languages, beginners are often confused by the similarity of the German "bekommen" and English "to become".

bekommen => to receive, to get

werden => to become

A.09 - Level I Vocabulary edit

<< Beginning German | Basic German | Intermediate German

Appendix 9 ~ Vocabulary for Level One

Wie heißt du? edit

Subject Pronouns in color edit

I             Ich
We            Wir
You           Du
              Sie (formal) 
You All       Ihr
              Sie (formal)
He            Er
She           Sie
It            Es
They          Sie

Verbs edit

To Have edit

Have          Habe (1st Person, Singular)
              Hast (2nd Person, Singular)
              Haben (1st & 3rd Person, Plural)
              Habt (2nd Person, Plural)
Has           Hat

To Be edit

Am            Bin
Are           Bist (1st Person, Singular)
              Sind (1st & 3rd Person, Plural)
              Seid (2nd Person, Plural)
Is            Ist

Greeting & Goodbyes edit

Hello!        Hallo!
              Servus! (used in Bavaria and Austria)
              Moin! or Moin Moin! (used in northern Germany)                    
              Grüezi! (used in Switzerland)
Good morning! Guten Morgen! or Morgen!
Good day!     Guten Tag! or Tag!
Good evening! Guten Abend! or N'Abend!
              Grüß Gott! (used in southern Germany, Austria and South Tyrol)
Goodbye!      Auf Wiedersehen! or Wiedersehen 
Bye!          Tschüss! or Tschau!
              Servus! (used in Bavaria, Austria)
Later!        Bis später! or Bis dann!
Good night!   Gute Nacht!

How You Are edit

Good          Gut
Super!        Spitze!
Great!        Prima!
Very good!    Sehr gut!
Bad           Schlecht
Miserable     Miserabel

Interrogative Adverbs edit

Who           Wer
What          Was
Where         Wo
When          Wann
Why           Warum
How           Wie

Genders edit

Boy           Der Junge
Girl          Das Mädchen
Man           Der Herr
Woman         Die Frau
Boys          Die Jungen
Girls         Die Mädchen
Men           Die Männer
Women         Die Frauen

Freizeit edit

Sports & Activities edit

Sport(s)      Sport
Interests     Hobbys/Interessant
Soccer        Fußball
USA Football  Amerikan Football
Volleyball    Volleyball
Basketball    Basketball
Tennis        Tennis
Baseball      Baseball
9-pin Bowling Kegeln
Chess         Schach
Board Game    Das Brettspiel
Game          Das Spiel
Homework      Hausaufgaben
Television    Fernsehen
Movie         Der Film, Filme

Conjunctions edit

And           Und
But           Aber
Or            Oder

Verbs edit

To Have       haben
To Be         sein
To Be Called  heißen
To Play       spielen
To Do/Make    machen
To Read       lesen
To Watch      schauen
To See        sehen
To Work       arbeiten
To Write      schreiben
To Swim       schwimmen

Numbers edit

One           Eins
Two           Zwei
Three         Drei
Four          Vier
Five          Fünf
Six           Sechs
Seven         Sieben
Eight         Acht 
Nine          Neun
Ten           Zehn
Eleven        Elf
Twelve        Zwölf
Thirteen      Dreizehn
Fourteen      Vierzehn
Fifteen       Fünfzehn
Sixteen       Sechzehn
Seventeen     Siebzehn
Eighteen      Achtzehn
Nineteen      Neunzehn
Twenty        Zwanzig
Thirty        Dreißig
Forty         Vierzig
Fifty         Fünfzig
Sixty         Sechzig
Seventy       Siebzig
Eighty        Achtzig
Ninety        Neunzig
Hundred       Hundert
Thousand      Tausend

How to Read Time edit

After         Nach
Till          Vor
Quarter       Viertel
Half Before   Halb

Times in the Day edit

Day           Tag
Today         Heute
Tomorrow      Morgen
Yesterday     Gestern
Early Morning Morgen (use morgen früh for tomorrow morning)
Morning       Vormittag
Afternoon     Nachmittag
Evening       Abend
Night         Nacht
Noon          Mittag
Midnight      Mitternacht

Days edit

Monday        Montag
Tuesday       Dienstag
Wednesday     Mittwoch
Thursday      Donnerstag
Friday        Freitag
Saturday      Samstag or Sonnabend
Sunday        Sonntag

Months edit

January       Januar 
             Jänner (used in Austria)
February      Februar
March         März
April         April
May           Mai
June          Juni 
             Juno (in spoken word only)
July          Juli 
             Julei (in spoken word only)
August        August
September     September
October       Oktober
November      November
December      Dezember

Seasons edit

Spring        Frühling
Summer        Sommer
Autumn        Herbst
Winter        Winter

Time edit

Time          Die Zeit
Free Time     Die Freizeit
Always        Immer
Often         Oft
Sometimes     Manchmal
Seldom        Selten
Never         Nie
Only          Nur

Essen edit

Subject Pronouns in the Accusative Case edit

Me            Mich
Us            Uns
You           Dich
You All       Euch
Him           Ihn
Her           Sie
It            Es
Them          Sie

Food edit

Appetizers    Vorspeisen
Salad         Der Salat
Bread         Das Brot
Breadstick    Die Scheibe Brot
Main Dishes   Hauptgerichte
Sausage       Die Wurst
Sausages      Die Würste
Bratwurst     Die Bratwurst
Hot Dog       Das Hot Dog
Pizza         Die Pizza
Pizzas        Die Pizzen
Hamburger     Der Hamburger
Hamburgers    Die Hamburger
With          Mit (ignore article)
Without       Ohne (ignore article)
Tomatoes      Tomaten
Lettuce       Der Salat
Cheese        Der Käse
Pickles       Die Gewürzgurken
Onions        Die Zwiebeln
Ketchup       Der Ketchup
Mustard       Der Senf
Chicken       Das Hähnchen
Chickens      Die Hähnchen
Seafood       Die Meeresfrüchte (plural)
Fish          Der Fisch 
Sides         Die Beilage (singular), die Beilagen (plural)
Soup          Die Suppe
Soups         Die Suppen
Noodle Soup   Die Nudelsuppe
French Fries  Die Pommes frites (plural)
Fries         Die Fritten (Informal and plural)
Pasta         Die Pasta or Die Nudeln
Potato        Die Kartoffel
Potatoes      Die Kartoffeln
Corn          Mais
Bean          Die Bohne
Beans         Die Bohnen
Desserts      Nachspeisen
Gâteau        Die (Sahne-)Torte
Strudel       Der Strudel
Apple strudel Apfelstrudel
Cake          Der Kuchen
Piece of Cake Das Stück Kuchen
Pie           Die Pastete
Piece of Pie  Das Stück Pastete
Apple Pie     Die Apfelpastete
Ice Cream     Das Eis
Pudding       Der Pudding
Cookie        Der Keks
Cookies       Die Kekse
Fruit         Das Obst
The Meal      Das Essen
Lunch         Mittagessen
Dinner        Abendessen
Hunger        Der Hunger 
Thirst        Der Durst

Verbs edit

To Eat        Essen
To Drink      Trinken
To Receive    Bekommen
To Want       Wollen
Would Like    Möchten

Polite Conversation edit

Danke         Thank you
Bitte         Please & You're Welcome
Dankeschön    Thank you very much
Danke sehr    Thanks a lot
Kein Problem! No problem

Regional Foods edit

Chinese Food  Chinesisch Essen
Japanese Food Japanisch Essen
American Food Amerikanisch Essen
Mexican Food  Mexikanisch Essen
Arabic Food   Arabisch Essen
Italian Food  Italienisch Essen
Indian Food   Indisch Essen
French Food   Französich Essen
Greek Food    Griechisch Essen

Prepositions in the Accusative Case edit

Durch         Through
Für           For
Gegen         Against
Ohne          Without
Um            At, Around

Tastes edit

Delicious     Lecker
Tasty         Schmackhaft
Juicy         Saftig
Crunchy       Knackig
Crispy        Knusprig
Spicy         Würzig
Stale         Fade 
              Fad (used in Austria)
Salty         Salzig
Sweet         Süß
Bitter        Bitter
Sour          Sauer
Creamy        Cremig     
Hot           Heiß
Burnt         Angebrannt
Cold          Kalt
Disgusting    Schrecklich

Paying at a Restaurant edit

To Pay        Zahlen
The Bill      Die Rechnung
Waiter        Der Ober

Kleidung edit

Shopping edit

Babywear 	                  Die Babyartikel (plural)    
Children's Wear 	     Die Kinderbekleidung 
Clearance Sale 	             Der Räumungsverkauf 
Closed 	                     Geschlossen
Clothing 	             Die Kleidung
Computer Section 	     Der Computershop 
Cosmetics 	             Die Kosmetik
Customer 	             Der Kunde
Customer Service 	     Der Kundendienst 
Electrical Appliance 	     Das Elektrogerät
Escalator 	             Die Rolltreppe   
Fashion 	             Die Mode 
Furniture 	             Das Möbel (no plural)
Gift 	                     Der Geschenkartikel 
Good Value (Adj.) 	     Preiswert
Groceries 	             Die Lebensmittel (plural)
Jewellery 	             Damenschuhe (plural) 
Leather Goods 	             Die Lederwaren (plural) 
Open 	                     Geöffnet 
Opening Hours 	             Die Öffnungszeiten (plural) 
Present 	             Das Geschenk
Reduced 	             Reduziert
Sales Receipt 	             Der Kassenbon 
Souvenir 	             Das Andenken 
Special Offer 	             Das Sonderangebot 
Sports Goods 	             Sportartikel (plural)
Stationery 	             Schreibwaren (plural)
Summer Sale 	             Der Sommerschlussverkauf (abbr. SSV)  
Video Store 	             Die Videothek 
Winter Sale 	             Der Winterschlussverkauf (abbr. WSV) 

Shopping 2 edit

Department Store             Warenhaus
Retail Store                 Einzelhandelsgeschäft
The Mall                     Einkaufszentrum
Boutique                     Boutique
Store                        Geschäft
Manager                      Manager
Employee                     Angestellter
Sales Clerk                  Verkäufer               
Cashier                      Kassierer
Dressing Room                Umkleidekabine
Men's Section                Männerabteilung
Women's Section              Frauenabteilung
First Floor                  Erstes Stockwerk
Menswear                     Männerkleidung
Second Floor                 Zweiter Stock
Womenswear                   Frauenkleidung
Third Floor                  Dritte Stock
Kids Section                 Kinderabteilung
Fourth Floor                 Vierter Stock
Electronics                  Elektronik
Kitchenware                  Küchenbedarf
Fifth Floor                  Fünfter Stock
Lighting                     Beleuchtung           
Bedding                      Bettwäsche
Toys                         Spielwaren
Six Floor                    Sechster Stock
Food                         Lebensmittel

Items to Buy edit

Electronics                  Elektronik           
Television                   Fernsehen
Digital Camera               Digitalkamera
Telephone                    Telefon
Cell phone                   Mobiltelefon, Handy
Computer                     Computer, Rechner
Speakers                     Lautsprecher
DVDs                         DVD
CDs                          CD
DVD Player                   DVD-Player
CD Player                    CD-Player
Bedding                      Bettwäsche
Blankets                     Decken
Pillow                       Kopfkissen
Pillow Case                  Kopfkissenbezug
Sheets                       Blätter
Bed Skirt                    Bett-Rock

Money edit

Price                        Preis
Note                         Der Schein
Coin                         Die Münze
1 Euro Coin                  Das Eurostück
2 Euro Coin                  Das Zweieurostück
5 Euro Note                  Der Fünfeuroschein
10 Euro Note                 Der Zehneuroschein
100 Euro Note                Der Hunderteuroschein
1 Cent Coin                  Das Centstück
2 Cent Coin                  Das Zweicentstück
5 Cent Coin                  Das Fünfcentstück
10 Cent Coin                 Das Zehncentstück
20 Cent Coin                 Das Zwanzigcentstück
50 Cent Coin                 Das Fünfcentstück

Clothes edit

Skirt                        Der Rock
Pullover                     Der Pullover
Scarf                        Das Tuch
Coat                         Der Mantel
Shirt                        Das Hemd
Sweater                      Der Pullover
Necktie                      Der Schlips
Jacket                       Die Jacke
Pants                        Die Hose
Hat                          Der Hut
Shoe                         Der Schuh
Sock                         Die Socke
Glove                        Der Handschuh
Blouse                       Die Bluse

Sizes edit

Size                         Die Größe
Color                        Die Farbe
Cotton                       Die Baumwolle
Leather                      Das Leder
Rayon                        Die Kuntseide
Small                        Klein
Medium                       Mittel
Large                        Groß
Extra-Large                  Extragroß

Words That Describe edit

Cheap                        Billig                               
Expensive                    Teuer
Pretty                       Schön
Ugly                         Hässlich
Soft                         Weich
New                          Neu
Broad                        Breit 
Wide                         Weit 
Tight                        Eng
Comfortable                  Bequem

Colors edit

Red                          Rot     
Blue                         Blau
Green                        Grün  
Orange                       Orange
Violet                       Veilchen
Yellow                       Gelb
Brown                        Braun
Indigo                       Indigo
Gray                         Grau
Black                        Schwarz
White                        Weiß

Verbs edit

To Look                      Aussehen
To Try On                    Anprobieren
To Put On                    Anziehen
To Take                      Nehmen
To Buy                       Kaufen
To Have On/Wear              Anhaben or Tragen

Volk und Familie edit

Family edit

Sohn                         Son
Tochter                      Daughter
Vater                        Father
Mutter                       Mother
Großvater                    Grandfather
Großmutter                   Grandmother
Opa                          Grandpa  
Oma                          Grandma
Schwester                    Sister
Bruder                       Brother
Geschwister                  Brothers & Sisters
Enkel                        Grandson
Enkelin                      Granddaughter  
Frau                         Wife
Mann                         Husband
Schwiegervater               Father-in-Law
Schwiegertochter             Daughter-in-Law
Schwager                     Brother-in-Law
Schwägerin                   Sister-in-Law
Schwiegermutter              Mother-in-Law
Schwiegersohn                Son-in-Law
Onkel                        Uncle
Tante                        Aunt
Geschenk                     Present

Schule edit

Verbs edit

Nimmt                        To Take Away
Lesen                        To Read
Schreiben                    To Write
Studieren                    To Study
Lernen                       To Learn
Zeichnen                     To Paint

Classes edit

Deutsch                      German
Englisch                     English
Russisch                     Russian
Französisch                  French
Latein                       Latin
Mathematik                   Mathematics
Sport                        PE or Gym
Kunst or Zeichnen            Arts
Musik                        Music
Geschichte                   History
Biologie                     Biology
Geografie                    Geography
Religion                     RE or Religion
Chemie                       Chemistry