Step 4 – How to say “What do you want?” – “Was willst du?”

A very basic aspect of knowing a language is being able to say if you want something.

The following tables include phrases and words that can help you fulfill this task.

Deutsch: English:
Willst du…?
Wollen Sie…?
Do you want..?
Ich will… I want…
Ich will nicht… I don’t want…
Ja Yes
Nein No
Niemals! Never!
Vielleicht Perhaps
Ich weiß nicht. I don’t know.
Keine Ahnung! No idea!

 

Some examples:

1.Was willst du?  – What do you want?

Ich will Frieden. I want peace.
Ich will nicht Krieg.
Ich will keinen Krieg.
I don’t want war.

2.Willst du ein Haustier? – Do you want a pet?

Ich will eine Katze I want a cat.
Ich will nicht einen Hund.
Ich will keinen Hund.
I don’t want a dog.

3.Wollen Sie Wein? – Do you want wine?

Ja, ich will Wein. Yes, I want wine.
Nein, ich will nicht Wein.
Ich will keinen Wein.
No, I don’t want wine.

4.Willst du gehen? – Do you want to go?

Vielleicht,… .Ja, ja ich will gehen. Perhaps,…  . Yes, yes I want to go.
Nein, ich will noch nicht gehen. No, I don’t want to go yet.

5.Willst du fernsehen? – Do you want to watch TV?

Gute Idee! Ja, ich will fernsehen. Good idea! Yes, I want to watch TV.
Nein! Ich will nicht fernsehen. No! I don’t want to watch TV.

As you can see, the expressions “Ich will…/Ich will nicht..” are used to say, if you want something or not. This something can be an object, an idea, an activity or perhaps something completely different.

 

daffodils (Narzissen)
                            Me (wintertime): “I want sun, blooming daffodils, spring,…!”                                     Me (springtime): “It’s too sunny! Where are my sunglasses!”

  — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

 The crucial point is that you need to be able to understand, if someone gives you an affirmative or a negative answer.

The most important keywords are, as you probably already guessed, Ja and “Nein /Nicht“.

As the best way of learning is learning by doing, try some of these exercises, experience saying what you want in German and write down your answers, perhaps in your exercise book:

 A ) Be affirmative!

  1. Im Restaurant  – in the restaurant

Wollen Sie etwas zu trinken?  (Do you want something to drink?)

Nein, danke. (No, thank you.)

Ja, ich will …. (Yes, I want…)

Wasser, Tee, Saft, Limonade, Kaffee, Cappucino, Milch.

(water, tea, juice, lemonade, coffee, cappucino, milk,…)

 

2. Im Restaurant II

Wollen Sie etwas bestellen?   (Do you want to order something?)

Nein, danke. (No, thank you.)

Ja, ich will…

etwas bestellen, Salat, noch ein Getränk, die Spezialität des Hauses, Dessert / Nachtisch.

(to order something, salad, another beverage/drink, the house specialty /signature dish, dessert)

 

3. Beim Tanzen – Dancing

Willst du tanzen? (Do you want to dance?)

Nein, danke.   (No, thank you.)

Ja, ich will…

tanzen, Walzer tanzen, mit dir tanzen, die ganze Nacht tanzen.

(to dance, to waltz, to dance with you, to dance the night away)

 

B) Be negative!

Please note:

If you want to say that you don’t want a certain thing or a certain object, you use “Ich will nicht…” or “Ich will kein/e/n…”.

(…kein... – the following noun is neutral; …keine… – the following noun is female; …keinen… – the following noun is male.)

If you have to negate wanting an activity (usually expressed by using a verb) you use just “Ich will nicht…”

 

a) Ich will nicht…

gehen, rennen, schlafen, essen, trinken, aufhören, Bus fahren.

(to go, to run, to sleep, to eat, to drink, to stop, to take the bus)

 

b) Ich will kein..

Getränk, Dessert, Haustier, Kleid, Naturschauspiel.

(drink, dessert, pet, dress, natural spectacle)

 

c) Ich will keine…

Hilfe, Nachhilfe, Blume, Unterrichtsstunde, Lehrerin.

(help, private lessons, flower, lesson, teacher)

 

d) Ich will keinen..

Alkohol, Nachtisch, Kuchen, Sprachunterricht, Strafzettel.

(alcohol, dessert, cake, instruction in a language, parking ticket)

 

C) conjugation of “wollen”

wollen to want
ich will I want
du willst you want
er/sie/es will he/she/it wants
wir wollen we want
ihr wollt you want
sie wollen they want

By conjugating the verb “wollen”, you can build even more sentences:

Some examples:

  • I want cheese -> Ich will Käse. Du willst Käse. Er will Käse. Sie will Käse. Er will Käse. Wir wollen Käse. Ihr wollt Käse. Sie wollen Käse.
  • I don’t want cake-> Ich will keinen Kuchen. Du willst keinen Kuchen. Er will keinen Kuchen. Sie will keinen Kuchen. Er will keinen Kuchen. Wir wollen keinen Kuchen. Ihr wollt keinen Kuchen. Sie wollen keinen Kuchen.
  • I want to dance -> Ich will tanzen. Du willst tanzen. Er will tanzen. Sie will tanzen. Es will tanzen. Wir wollen tanzen. Ihr wollt tanzen. Sie wollen tanzen.
  • I don’t want to sleep -> Ich will nicht schlafen. Du willst nicht schlafen. Er will nicht schlafen. Sie will nicht schlafen. Es will nicht schlafen. Wir wollen nicht schlafen. Ihr wollt nicht schlafen. Sie wollen nicht schlafen.

Exercise: Try this conjugation on some of the sentences you wrote down in the previous exercises.

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Spelling in German – Buchstabieren auf Deutsch

It’s often necessary to spell something. Possibly, because you don’t know how a word should be written, or someone asks you how they should write a word.

To do this efficiently in German, you need to know how the  letters are pronounced separately.

Alphabet: Pronunciation:
A  aa
B  be
C  tse
D  de
E  ee
F  ef
G  ge
H  ha
I  ii
J  iot
K  ka
L  el
M  em
N  en
O  oo
P  pe
Q  ku
R  er
S  es
T  te
U  uu
V  fau/fao
W  we
X  iks
Y  üpselon
Z  tset

Exercise: Try pronouncing the letters. Please repeat this exercise as often as necessary.

magnolia
Why don’t you try spelling magnolia? A magnolia (en) = eine Magnolie (dt)
lilac coloured flowers

Counting from 1 to 100 – von 1 bis 100 zählen

Whether you’re talking about your family or about groceries or simply about the time, you always need numbers. Well, at least if you’re talking about something that’s countable.

This overview shows you in detail the numbers 1 to 100 in German.

Exercise: Read the numbers out loud.

Number Deutsch:
1 eins
2 zwei
3 drei
4 vier
5 fünf
6 sechs
7 sieben
8 acht
9 neun
10 zehn
11 elf
12 zwölf
13 dreizehn
14 vierzehn
15 fünfzehn
16 sechzehn
17 siebzehn
18 achtzehn
19 neunzehn
20 zwanzig
21 einundzwanzig
22 zweiundzwanzig
23 dreiundzwanzig
24 vierundzwanzig
25 fünfundzwanzig
26 sechsundzwanzig
27 siebenundzwanzig
28 achtundzwanzig
29 neunundzwanzig
30 dreißig
31 einunddreißig
32 zweiunddreißig
33 dreiunddreißig
34 vierunddreißig
35 fünfunddreißig
36 sechsunddreißig
37 siebenunddreißig
38 achtunddreißig
39 neununddreißig
40 vierzig
41 einundvierzig
42 zweiundvierzig
43 dreiundvierzig
44 vierundvierzig
45 fünfundvierzig
46 sechsundvierzig
47 siebenundvierzig
48 achtundvierzig
49 neunundvierzig
50 fünfzig
51 einundfünfzig
52 zweiundfünfzig
53 dreiundfünfzig
54 vierundfünfzig
55 fünfundfünzig
56 sechsundfünfzig
57 siebenundfünfzig
58 achtundfünfzig
59 neunundfünfzig
60 sechzig
61 einundsechzig
62 zweiundsechzig
63 dreiundsechzig
64 vierundsechzig
65 fünfundsechzig
66 sechsundsechzig
67 siebenundsechzig
68 achtundsechzig
69 neunundsechzig
70 siebzig
71 einundsiebzig
72 zweiundsiebzig
73 dreiundsiebzig
74 vierundsiebzig
75 fünfundsiebzig
76 sechsundsiebzig
77 siebenundsiebzig
78 achtundsiebzig
79 neunundsiebzig
80 achtzig
81 einundachtzig
82 zweiundachtzig
83 dreiundachtzig
84 vierundachtzig
85 fünfundachtzig
86 sechsundachtzig
87 siebenundachtzig
88 achtundachtzig
89 neunundachtzig
90 neunzig
91 einundneunzig
92 zweiundneunzig
93 dreiundneunzig
94 vierundneunzig
95 fünfundneunzig
96 sechsundneunzig
97 siebenundneunzig
98 achtundneunzig
99 neunundneunzig
100 hundert /
einhundert

 

spider plant (Grünlilie)
Can you count the leaves?

Step 3 – Talking about family / Über Familie reden

Getting to know someone, sooner or later, leads to talking about family. After all, everyone wants to know at least a litte bit about the family background of close acquaintances or friends.

Of course, it’s noteworthy that “family (die Familie)” can be defined very differently. Some say family and mean the “nuclear family (die Kernfamilie)”  – a father, a mother and their children.

But family can be more! What about the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles. Are they not family? I do believe that family has a broader range than the so-called nuclear family. It definitely  has to include the relatives (die Verwandten / die Verwandtschaft), because what would we be without our grandparents and other relatives (cousins,… ).

If we want to, we can even include others in our personal concept of family. Best friends or significant others of our relatives are often included.

Since everyone has a different idea of family, it’s probably advisable to talk about family, at least sometimes.

≈≈≈

Some of these words may be of use to you, if you want to talk about family:

Deutsch: English:
Familie (f) family
Kernfamilie (f) nuclear family
Verwandtschaft (f) relatives
Bruder (m) brother
Cousin (m) cousin
Cousine (f) cousin
Cousin zweiten Grades second cousin
Cousine zweiten Grades second cousin
Ehefrau (f) wife,
spouse
Ehemann (m) husband,
spouse
Eltern (pl) parents
Elternteil (m) parent
Freund (m) friend
Freundin (f) friend
Großcousin (m) great cousin
Großcousine (f) great cousin
Großeltern (pl) grandparents (pl)
Großmutter (f) grandmother
Großonkel (m) grandfather
Großtante (f) great-aunt,
grandaunt
Großvater (m) great-uncle,
granduncle
Kind (n) child
Kinder (pl) children
Lebensgefährte (m),
Lebenspartner (m),
Partner (m)
companion,
partner,
life partner,
partner in life,
significant other,
spouse,
common-law spouse
Lebensgefährtin (f),
Lebenspartnerin (f),
Partnerin (f)
companion,
partner,
life partner,
partner in life,
significant other,
spouse,
common-law spouse
Mama (f) mum (AE),
mom (BE),
mama,
momma,
mommy
Mutter (f) mother
Oma (f) grandma,
grandmother,
granny,
gran,
nana
Opa (m) grandpa,
grandfather,
grandad,
granddad,
gramps
Papa (m) dad,
daddy,
papa,
pa,
pop,
poppa
Schwester (f) sister
Sohn (m) son
Tochter (f) daughter

≈≈≈

If you’ve just started learning German, you might find the following quite useful:

Ich habe… I have…
Ich liebe… I love…
Ich mag… I like…
Meine Familie ist… My family is…
Meine Mutter ist… My mother is…
Mein Vater ist… My father is…
Meine Großeltern leben… My grandparents live…

Some (fictional) examples, starting with “I have.. / Ich habe…”:

Ich habe einen Ehemann. I have a husband.
Ich habe eine Ehefrau. I have a wife.
Ich habe Kinder. I have children.
Ich habe keine Kinder. I don’t have children.
Ich habe eine Tochter und einen Sohn. I have a daughter and a son
Ich habe zehn Tanten und zwei Onkel. I have ten aunts and two uncles.
Ich habe zwei Kinder und meinen Ehemann / meine Ehefrau. Ich have two children and my husband / my wife.

As you can see, “Ich habe..” can be used to tell others about your family, the number of family members and of course also about the degree of relationship between you and them.

“Ich habe” is the first person singular of “haben”. Please note that you can conjugate this verb and use it in the same manner as “Ich habe”. An example:

  • Ich habe eine Familie. (1.Pers.Sing.)
  • Du hast eine Familie. (2.Pers. Sing.)
  • Er hat eine Familie./Sie hat eine Familie./Es hat eine Familie. (3. Pers. Sing.)
  • Wir haben eine Familie.(1. Pers. Plur.)
  • Ihr habt eine Familie.(2. Pers. Plur.)
  • Sie haben eine Familie. (3. Pers. Plur.)

 

Ich liebe meinen Ehemann. I love my husband.
Ich liebe meine Ehefrau. I love my wife.
Ich liebe meine Kinder. I love my children.
Ich liebe meine Freundin. I love my friend.
Ich liebe meinen Freund. I love my friend.

The conjugation of the German verb “lieben”:

  • Ich liebe meine Kinder.
  • Du liebst meine Kinder.
  • Er liebt meine Kinder./Sie liebt meine Kinder./Es liebt meine Kinder.
  • Wir lieben meine Kinder.
  • Ihr liebt meine Kinder.
  • Sie lieben meine Kinder.

 

Meine Familie ist ziemlich groß. My family is quite large.
Ich habe mehrere Kinder, viele Tanten und Onkel und sehr viele Cousinen und Cousins. I have several children, many aunts and uncles and a great number of cousins.
Meine Familie ist eher klein. My family is rather small.

The word “meine” is a possessive pronoun (besitzanzeigendes Fürwort / Possessivpronomen). At a later point in time, I’ll write more about possessive pronouns.

They’re truly quite fascinating, at least if you know more about them. As they are declinable, it’s necessary to know about them.  One example:

  • Meine Familie ist eher klein.
  • Deine Familie ist eher klein.
  • Seine Familie ist eher klein. /Ihre Familie ist eher klein. / Seine Familie ist eher klein.
  • Unsere Familie ist eher klein.
  • Eure Familie ist eher klein.
  • Ihre Familie ist eher klein.

 

Meine Großeltern leben in meinem Geburtsort. My grandparents live in my place of birth.
Meine Großeltern leben in Amsterdam. My grandparents live in Amsterdam.

The conjugation of the German verb “leben”:

  • ich lebe
  • du lebst
  • er lebt / sie lebt / es lebt
  • wir leben
  • ihr lebt
  • sie leben

 

Meine Mutter ist Kellnerin. My mother is a waitress.
Meine Mutter ist Polizistin. My mother is a policewoman
Meine Mutter ist krank. My mother is ill.
Meine Mutter ist gesund. My mother is healthy.
My mother is well.
Mein Vater ist Rentner. My father is a pensioner.
Mein Vater ist Lehrer. My father is a teacher.
Mein Vater ist hier. My father is here.
Mein Vater ist zuhause. My father is at home.

The conjugation of the German verb “sein”:

  • ich bin
  • du bist
  • er ist / sie ist / es ist
  • wir sind
  • ihr seid
  • sie sind

≈≈≈

At this point you should know enough to do this exercise:

 

Imagine you’re sitting at a table, perhaps with a steaming cup of tea or coffee in front of you, and a good friend just asked you “What about your family? You never told me anything about them.”

What would you say, if you’d have to answer him in German?

Write it down on a piece of paper or in your exercise book.

Step 2 – Filling out forms / das Ausfüllen von Formularen

Being able to fill out forms, is very important in the daily grind. Although it’s an annoying task, we have to know how to do it. At least it’s relatively easy…

You just have to know what information has to be inserted into which form field. Some words that could help you, are these:

TOPICS

 – personal information –

Deutsch: English:
Adresse (f) address
aktuelle Adresse (f) current address
Name (m) name
Vorname (m) first name
Mittelname (m) middle name
Nachname (m) surname,
family name
Straße (f) street,
road
Hausnummer (f) house number
Postleitzahl (f) postal code
Stadt (f) city
Bundesland (n) state,
federal state
Land (n) country
Geburtsort (m) place of birth,
birthplace
Geburtsland (n) country of birth
Geburtsjahr (n) year of birth
Geburtsdatum (n) date of birth
Telefonnummer (f) telephone number,
phone number
Faxnummer (f) facsimile number,
fax number
E-Mail-Adresse (f),
E-Mail Adresse
e-mail address,
email address
Staatsangehörigkeit (f) nationality
Religion (f) religion
Geschlecht (n) sex
Parteizugehörigkeit (f) party affiliation,
political affiliation,
party membership
Familienstand (m) marital status
Kinder (pl),
Kind (n)
children (pl),
child
Alter (n) age
Sozialversicherungsnummer (f) social security number
Personalausweisnummer (f) identity card number
Versichertennummer (f) insurance number
Steueridentifikationsnummer (f),
Steuer-ID (f)
tax identification number

 

-career path-

Ausbildung (f) training,
education
Berufsausbildung (f) vocational training
Berufserfahrung (f) professional experience,
work experience
Berufstätigkeit (f) professional activity,
occupation,
job
Berufsweg (m) career path,
career,
occupational history
Fortbildung (f) training,
further training,
advanced training
Praktikum (n) internship,
traineeship
Sabbatjahr (n) sabbatical,
sabbatical year
Schulausbildung (f) school education,
schooling
Studium (n) studies (pl)
Qualifikation (f) qualification,
skill
Weiterbildung (f) training,
continuing education,
further training

-skills-

EDV-Kenntnisse (pl) computer skills,
computer literacy
Beratungskompetenz (f) advisory skills,
advisory expertise,
consulting skills,
consulting expertise
Fachkenntnisse (pl) expertise,
expert knowledge,
specialist knowledge,
specialized knowledge,
technical knowledge,
know-how
interkulturelle Kompetenz (f) intercultural competence,
intercultural skills,
cross-cultural competence
kommunikative Kompetenz (f) communicative competence,
communicative skills
Sozialkompetenz (f) social competence,
social skills,
soft skills,
interpersonal skills
Sprachkenntnisse (pl) language skills (pl)
strategische Kompetenz (f) strategic competence

-medical information-

Allergie (f) allergy
Anamnese (f),
Krankengeschichte (f)
anamnesis,
medical history
Arzt (m),
Doktor (m)
doctor,
physician
Blutdruck (m) blood pressure
Blutgruppe (f) blood group,
blood type
Bluthochdruck (m) high blood pressure,
hypertension
Blutkrankheit (f) blood disease,
blood disorder
BMI,
Body-Mass-Index (m)
body mass index,
BMI
Diabetes (n) diabetes
Diagnose (f) diagnosis
Facharzt (m) specialist,
medical specialist,
specialist physician
Hausarzt (m) family doctor,
physician,
GP,
general practitioner
Krankheit (f) illness,
disease,
sickness
Krankenhaus (n) hospital,
clinic
Krankenhausaufenthalt (m) hospital stay,
hospitalisation,
hospitalization
niedriger Blutdruck (m) low blood pressure,
hypotension
Schwangerschaft (f) pregnancy
Übergewicht (n) overweight
übertragbare Krankheit (f) communicable disease,
infectious disease
Untergewicht (n) underweight

– additional information –

allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen
AGB (f)
terms and conditions
Datenschutz (m) data protection
Kündigung (f) termination,
cancellation
Widerruf (m) revocation,
withdrawal
Widerrufsrecht (n) right of revocation,
right of withdrawal

 

Please note:

You do not necessarily have to fill in every field.

If in doubt, ask the person who told you to fill out the form.

They are probably getting paid to answer your questions.

“Du” or “Sie” – What’s the difference?

“Du” and “Sie” are both translations of “you” and are used to address someone.

 

du/Du

If  you know a person well and  you  are in some way familiar with them,  or you’re maybe talking to a pet or to god, use “du” to address them.

If you’re writing to them, use “du” or “Du”, both is possible.

“Du” is generally seen as an informal way to address friends, family and people you have a close personal relationship with.

 

Sie

If you’re addressing someone you don’t know well, perhaps a business partner, your teacher, a doctor or any other acquaintance, use the formal “Sie”.

And if you’re not sure whether you should use “Sie” or “du”, use “Sie” to address the person and ask them whether you may use “du”. Please don’t be offended, if they decline your request.

People generally have very different opinions on whether or not they should be addressed with “du” or “Sie”.  As a different address can mean a shift in the relationship dynamics of a work or personal relationship, many people tend to carefully consider such a change.

 

 – Examples –

  • heißen:

Wie heißt du? (second person singular of “heißen”: [du] heißt)

Wie heißen Sie? (third person plural of “heißen”: [sie] heißen;

Beware: “Sie” can be used to address a single person or several persons)

  • sein:

Wo bist du? (second person singular of “sein”: [du] bist)

Wo sind Sie? (third person plural of “sein”: [sie] sind)

  • in den Zoo gehen – going to the zoo

Du gehst in den Zoo?  – You’re going to the zoo?

Sie gehen in den Zoo? – You’re going to the zoo?

  • zum Arzt gehen – going to the doctor

Du gehst zum Arzt?  – You’re going to the doctor?

Sie gehen zum Arzt? – You’re going to the doctor?

Question words – Fragewörter

Learning German includes learning about questions words, the so-called “Fragewörter”. To my mind, that’s a good reason to take a closer look at some  question words:

Fragewort: Equivalent English words:
Wann… ? When… ?
Warum… ? Why… ?
Was… ? What… ?
Welcher… ?
Welche… ?
Welches… ?
Which… ?
What… ?
Wem… ? Whom…?
Who…to..?
To whom..?
Wen… ? Who… ?
Whom… ?
Wer.. ? Who… ?
Wessen… ? Whose… ?
Wie… ? How… ?
Wo… ? Where… ?
Woher… ? From where… ?
Wohin… ? Where…  ?
Whereto… ?

Conjugation of verbs: sein, heißen, kommen, herkommen

An important part of knowing the basics of German is knowing the conjugation of common verbs, here demonstrated in the present indicative tense (in German: Indikativ Präsens).

If you’re using this verb mode (Indikativ Präsens), you’re stating a fact and you’re talking about something that’s happening right now, in the present tense.

grammatical person sein heißen kommen herkommen
1. Pers. Sing.
ich
bin heiße komme komme her
2. Pers. Sing.
du
bist heißt kommst kommst her
3. Pers. Sing.
er/sie/es
ist heißt kommt kommt her
1. Pers. Plur.
wir
sind heißen kommen kommen her
2. Pers. Plur.
ihr
seid heißt kommt kommt her
3. Pers. Plur.
sie
sind heißen kommen kommen her

 

 

Personal pronouns (nominative) -Personalpronomen (im Nominativ)

Personal pronouns are, in German, called “Personalpronomen” or “persönliche Fürwörter”, meaning they can be used in a sentence construction to represent a person or a thing.

In German, these pronouns are declinable, this means they have a different form depending on whether you are using the nominative, genitive, dative or accusative.

For our step 1 (personal information – talking about yourself), you need to know more about the nominative. This means, if you ask questions concerning  “Who…?” (Wer…?) or “What..?” (Was…?), you can use one of these pronouns instead of using the name of a person or a thing in your answering sentence.

 

Some fictional examples:

-on a road-

Dennis asks a random person he doesn’t recognise:  “Who are you?”

The person answers: “I am your lawyer. You should know me by now!”

 

– in the zoo –

Anne asks her mother, while pointing at a big snake: “What is that?”

Her mother replies: ” She is an anaconda.”

 

In German this is called “der Nominativ”.

The question words are “Wer…?” or “Was…?”.

and these are the relevant personal pronouns (“persönliche Fürwörter /Pronomen”):

1. person singular 2. person singular 3. person singular
ich du er (male),
sie (female),
es (neutral)
1. person plural 2. person plural 3. person plural
wir ihr sie

This means, if someone asks  you : “Wer sind Sie?” Your answer will be: “Ich bin…”

And if you don’t remember who you are, and ask someone who should know about it: “Wer bin ich?” He or she will answer you: “Du bist… .” (or “Sie sind…. .” , if the person doesn’t know you well and wants to be polite.)

You see where I’m going with this…

If you ask someone about a third person the answer will be: “Er ist… .” or “Sie ist… .” or even “Es ist…”

 

The same pattern applies to plural forms:

You ask ” Wer… ?” or ” Was..?”

And the answers will start with

Wir sind… .”, (if the speaker is part of the group he/she is talking about)

Ihr seid…” or (if you are a part of the group the speaker is talking about)

Sie sind… “.  (if neither you nor the speaker are part of the group)

 

 

Step 1: Personal Information – Talking about yourself

As a first step, you should start small: Talk about yourself!

If you want to introduce yourself, or  ask someone else about themselves, you should be able to pose and answer the following questions:

  • What’s your name?
  • Who are you?
  • How old are you?
  • Where are you from?

– German version –

  • Wie heißt Du? / Wie heißen Sie?
  • Wer bist Du?/ Wer sind Sie?
  • Wie alt bist Du? / Wie alt sind Sie?
  • Woher kommst Du? /Woher kommen Sie?

 

In English you’d answer like this:

  • What’s your name? ->  My name is…
  • Who are you? ->  I’m…
  • How old are you? ->  I’m …. years old.
  • Where are you from? ->  I’m from…

 

And in German you’d pose or answer these questions like this (of course while you’re differentiating between “Du” and “Sie”) :

“Du-Form”

  • Wie heißt Du? -> Ich heiße… / Mein Name ist …
    (insert your name)
  • Wer bist Du? -> Ich bin…
    (insert your name or any other description of yourself)

  • Wie alt bist Du? – >Ich bin … Jahre alt.
    (insert your age in years)

  • Wo kommst Du her? / Woher kommst Du? -> Ich komme aus… 
    (insert your town or region or country of origin, depending on your preferences and the specific circumstances of your personal situation)

 

“Sie-Form”
(Works almost exactly like “Du-Form”. The main difference is that you’re using the polite form of address when you’re using “Sie” instead of “Du”.)

  • Wie heißen Sie? – >Ich heiße… / Mein Name ist…
  • Wer sind Sie? -> Ich bin…
  • Wie alt sind Sie? – > Ich bin… Jahre alt.
  • Wo kommen Sie her? / Woher kommen Sie? -> Ich bin aus…

 

Summary:

To talk about basic personal information (your name, age and point of origin), you need to know question words and you should know how to conjugate the verbs “heißen”, “sein”, “kommen” and “herkommen”.

To do this correctly, you have to know more about the personal pronouns (ich, du, er, sie, wir, ihr, sie).

 

Relevant words:

English: Deutsch:
question word Fragewort
How?  Wie?
What?  Was?
Who?  Wer?
Where? Wo?
Woher?
verbs Verben
to be called heißen
to come from herkommen
to come kommen
to be sein
to be old alt sein
to be 20 years old 20 Jahre alt sein
nouns Nomen
years Jahre
German
(the German language)
Deutsch
(die deutsche Sprache)