German Vocab

Not sure of the correct German word to use? Want another example of how to use an German expression in context? Perhaps you would like to know more about regional differences. This is the place for you! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new topic at the bottom. Don’t be shy!

So, what does “sehenswürdigkeiten” really mean?

In lesson 2.1, the word “Sehenswürdigkeiten” was introduced.  Nik took great pains to break down the word and explained the various parts.  The definition was “attractions”; sights worthy of being seen.  When the word reappears in lesson 4.3, it is define...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - January 13, 2020

Use of hören / anhören / zuhören

Hallo PaulS108 and sfpugh,    The three verbs hören, anhören and zuhören all mean to listen but cannot be used interchangeably, so it depends on the context which word is more appropriate to use. I can totally understand that this can be confusing for a...

4 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - December 18, 2019

Use of the word Salat

I am currently learning new vocabulary regarding foods, and the word Salat is confusing to me. The words salad and lettuce in English appear to be the same in German, i.e. Salat. So how would I order in a restaurant "a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and l...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - November 19, 2019

Why should I use fahren instead of gehen?

The last lesson I completed translated the sentence "I have to get to the conference room" as "Ich muss zum Konferenzraum fahren". It's not clear to me why the word "fahren" is used instead of "gehen". Is it OK to also use "gehen"? Does substituting one w...

4 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - November 11, 2019

Wie lange wird es Ihrer Meinung nach dauern

Hallo RexV und sfpugh,  The word nach is a preposition. Prepositions are usually placed before the word(s) they modify and determine their case (accusative, dative or genitive). When prepositions are placed after the word(s) they modify, they are called ...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 29, 2019

Keine Ursache = You're welcome

Hi RexV und sfpugh, Your translations “you’re welcome“, “never mind“, “no problem“, and “not at all“ can all be used to describe keine Ursache. Bitte schön however, is more commonly used when giving or offering something to someone, like saying “here yo...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 24, 2019

Ich habe mir eine schlimme Erkältung eingefangen

Hi RexV and sfpugh,  “I have / I’ve caught a bad cold“ is probably the closest translation to Ich habe mir eine schlimme Erkältung eingefangen.  The thing with learning a new language is that you usually can’t translate a sentence word for word from one...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 24, 2019

Tatsächlich

Hallo RexV und sfpugh, Tatsächlich can be translated as “indeed“, “actually“ or “in fact“. Translations  often depend on the context as well as personal preferences of the translator.  Hope this helps. Tschüss Julia

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 24, 2019

Heurigen

Hallo RexV und sfpugh, You are right sfpugh, when an adjective is placed before a noun (which is the case in the sentence above), its ending needs to be changed to match the gender, number and case of the noun, e.g. das neue Auto - “the new car“.  When ...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 24, 2019

Warum "mit" hier"?

Hallo RexV und sfpugh, The full verb in the above sentence is actually mitentscheiden which means “to co-decide“. It is a separable-prefix verb which means the verb entscheiden “to decide“ and the prefix mit “with“ are split up. The prefix alters the mea...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Denk vs Denken

Hi RexV and sfpugh, Sfpugh is quite right, leaving out the “e“ can be quite common in informal and colloquial speech depending on the situation and region.  It is best to always learn the correct conjugation of a verb which is denke in this case, everyt...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Finden

Hallo RexV, Yes, you can use finden when you agree or disagree with someone or something, such as: Das finde ich auch. - “I agree with that.”  Finden in your sentence however, is just the verb being used to show they have an opinion, like saying “they f...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Kriegen

Hi RexV, You are right, kriegen and bekommen are interchangeable. Depending on the region, you might hear one more than the other. Personally, I would recommend using bekommen as it is just a slightly more polite way of saying to get or receive. Tschüss...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Lieber vs Eher

Hi RexV, Lieber expresses a preference whereas eher indicates if something is more likely.  A couple of examples would be: Er würde lieber den Bus nehmen, als mit dem Zug zu reisen. - “He would rather take the bus than travel by train.” Or in short ver...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

kümmern sich

Hallo RexV, Unfortunately there is currently no section which focuses on the word sich kümmern. Your translations are all correct. Like most German words, the meaning depends on the context of the sentence. Most commonly it is referred to as caring for...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Deshalb and deswegen

Hallo RexV, Deshalb and deswegen are essentially interchangeable. Their difference in meaning is very slight: you can think of deswegen as being more literally "because of that" and deshalb as being more like "therefore." Generally, you can choose to us...

6 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - October 22, 2019

Es steht mir nicht vs Es passt mir nicht

Damm you are right!

2 replies - Last post by RexV - October 17, 2019

“Sehr geerhte” vs “Sehr verehrten”

Hi RexV,  Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren is the German go-to greeting in a formal letter, sort of like "Dear Sir or Madam" in English. Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren is a phrase that you would use as a formal greeting in a public speech. I hope t...

1 reply - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - September 24, 2019

Gute Nacht. Träum was Schönes

Hi RexV,  The literal translation of the sentence is the following: Gute Nacht. Träum was Schönes. - "Goodnight. Sweet dreams." I hope this helps! Grüße,  Leah von Rocket German

1 reply - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - September 24, 2019

Gut aus“ vs “prima aus”

Hallo RexV, Prima is a more colloquial adjective meaning "super" or "great" and gut is simply "good," so it depends on how strongly you'd like to compliment someone as to whether you'd tell someone Das sieht gut aus or Das sieht prima aus. Also, just ke...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - September 24, 2019

Nehmen vs vornehmen vs einnehmen vs annehmen vs Übernehmen

Hallo RexV,  That sounds correct to me.  Just one thing: Vornehmen is not interchangeable with machen. Vornehmen means "to undertake" or "to plan", whereas machen means "to make". Liebe Grüße,  Leah von Rocket German

5 replies - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - September 10, 2019

usage of 'auf'

Hi .  'auf' is used as 'for' as in 'auf ein Taxi '.  As well as 'on' as in 'auf dem Weg' .  How do we know when to use it correctly in the sentence? Thanks !

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - September 4, 2019

Jawohl

I understand this word means the following: 1. Yes, sir 2. Yes, I will do 3. Understood 4. Affirmative 5. Yup 6. Yes Questions Is this used even used in practice or is it mainly used in military circles?

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 21, 2019

Einige vs Manche

Hi there, I have been studying the words plus “Etwas”. I think I have a good understanding of the words, but I would like to be 100% sure. Manche: As a pronoun it only exists in plural form Can be used for both countable and uncountable things Used when ...

5 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 21, 2019

Absagen vs stornieren vs annulieren vs aufheben vs kündigen

Hallo RexV,  Everything sounds correct to me.  Good work! Liebe Grüße,  Leah von Rocket German

3 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 21, 2019

Warum gehst du nicht ans Telefon

Hallo RexV, In German, the natural phrasing for "to answer the phone" is ans Telefon gehen and not "dein Telefon antworten" - even though it sounds weird when you translate it back to English. When learning a new language, it's important to remember tha...

6 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 8, 2019

Nachprüfen vs überprüfen vs prüfen vs check

Hallo RexV,  Yes, you understood that correctly. Everything sounds right to me :)  Liebe Grüße,  Leah von Rocket German

1 reply - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - August 7, 2019

Der Typ ist komisch

Hallo RexV und Peter--252, Yes, Kumpel is colloquial too. One good way to check if a word is colloquial is to pop over to a dictionary like Leo (www.leo.org) and see if "[coll.]" is added after a word - it is usually included to warn dictionary users th...

6 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 7, 2019

Vielen dank

Hallo RexV, Vielen Dank (don't forget to capitalize Dank, since it's a noun) does translate to "many thanks" in English, but Dank isn't actually plural here, like "thanks" is in English. If you look up the word Dank in the Leo dictionary (www.leo.org), ...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 7, 2019

Ich möchte mich an den Strand legen und einfach nichts tune

Hallo RexV und sfpugh! You've got it right, sfpugh! Note that there's a slight misspelling here, RexV: it's actually tun "to do," and not "tune." Bis zum nächsten Mal, Liss

2 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - August 7, 2019

Etwa and ungefähr

Hi Lisa, Any comments to my question ? Wish you a nice weekend and thank you for the course update :-) Best, ​Rex

3 replies - Last post by RexV - August 2, 2019

Das Treffen vs Das Meeting

Hallo RexV,  Sitzung is often used for meetings of city councils or other government facilities. It can also be used in the context of business meetings. But the anglicism Meeting is a lot more common nowadays (see above).  Besprechung is used for short...

4 replies - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - July 30, 2019

Die Minister arbeiten zusammen an diesem Entwurf

Hallo Rex, The word Baustelle "construction site" is feminine and is in the dative case in this sentence (since there is no motion - see the new Lesson 4.9 for an explanation of when prepositions like auf take the accusative: https://members.rocketlangua...

3 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 30, 2019

Lebe wohl?

Hallo RexV, To say how common a particular phrase is in Germany is quite difficult, as it depends on so many factors. Region, in particular, is a big one: what is said daily in some parts of Germany is sometimes never said in other parts.  So I'm afraid...

3 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 30, 2019

Da ist schon Butter drauf

Hallo RexV und sfpugh! You are right, sfpugh: drauf is only used with non-living things. If you were to use auf ihm (which should indeed be dative in this sentence), then you could only be referring to a living being.  I would also note that drauf is ju...

2 replies - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 30, 2019

Dieser Hut steht dir wirklich gut

Hallo RexV,  There is a slight difference between these two expressions.  "Dieser Hut steht dir wirklich sehr gut" means more like "This hat really looks very good on you" - as in it suits your style/your looks. Whereas, "Dieser Hut passt dir sehr gut" ...

2 replies - Last post by RexV - July 17, 2019

Der Schluss war ziemlich unerwartet

Hallo RexV, Ende and Schluss are sometimes interchangeable, but each also has set situations or phrases in which only it can be used. The most general difference between them is that you can only use Ende to refer to physical ends, like am Ende der Stra...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 15, 2019

“Das ist wahr” vs “Das stimmt” vs “Das ist korrekt”

Hallo RexV, The thing to do here is to look at what is different about these three phrases, and then pop over to a dictionary like www.leo.org to see the most direct meanings of these different parts. That way, we can try to see how they might be used di...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 15, 2019

Zum glück

Hallo RexV, Careful with your capitals here: Glück is a noun, so it always has to have that capital in front. This is going to be one of those times where if we start to pull expressions apart and look at their bare bones, they don't necessarily make a ...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - July 15, 2019

Du hast ein echtes Talent zum Tanzen

Hallo RexV, When a talent is for doing something - i.e. it is followed by a (nominalized) infinitive verb, as in the example sentence above - then you use zum and not für. If the talent is for a thing - i.e. it is followed by a regular noun - then you wo...

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh - June 27, 2019

“Auf” instead of “zu”

Hallo RexV, Auf is used with languages - auf Englisch, auf Deutsch, auf Französisch, etc. This could be translated as either "in English / German / French," or "to English / German / French," depending on the context. Bis bald, Liss

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Haben sie ein neues?

Hallo RexV, Yes, that is exactly right! Tschüss, Liss

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Der Mord kommt überall in den Nachrichten

Hallo RexV,  Yes, you could say Der Mord war überall in den Nachrichten. Although, this sentence is not interchangeable with Der Mord kommt überall in den Nachrichten. The difference is that the former sentence talks about an event in the past, whereas ...

1 reply - Last post by Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Es ist mir egal wann wir losfahren

Hallo RexV, Es ist mir egal is a set phrase meaning "It is all the same to me" or, more naturally in English, "I don't care." You could very well also say Es ist mir gleich (note: without the -e) for "It is all the same to me," but Es ist mir egal is sti...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

“Mehr” vs “Weiter”

Hallo RexV, In their core meanings, we could say that weiter means "further" and mehr means "more." So while you might be able to use them in the same sentences sometimes (e.g. "Are there any further questions?" and "Are there any more questions?" are ve...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Ich habe ihn eben angerufen

Hallo RexV, Eben and gerade are interchangeable as words for "just." Tschüss! Liss

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Ich denke, dass die Jungs noch Fußball schauen

Hallo RexV, The difference between these verbs is similar to the difference between their English counterparts: schauen means "to watch" while sehen means "to see." (As we have seen in a previous thread, however, they can both be used to mean "look" - a...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Das ist doch völlig verrucht

Hallo RexV, Vollständig and völlig are interchangeable. Note, though, that verrucht and verrückt are two different words: verrucht means "wicked" and verrückt means "crazy." Tschüss! Liss

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 25, 2019

Schau mal, guch mal, sieh mal

Hallo RexV, These phrases all mean the same thing; however, they are at slightly different levels of formality. This list ranks them from most formal to least formal: schau mal guck mal sieh mal (Note that the spelling is guck rather than "guch.") Tsc...

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 24, 2019

Um = In order to..

Hallo RexV, The construction um ... zu is used to mean "in order to." An infinitive (unconjugated) verb will always follow the zu, as in your example above. Tschüss! Liss

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 24, 2019

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