Step 6 – Buying groceries (Lebensmittel einkaufen) – a necessary part of our day-to-day life

Groceries can usually be bought at a supermarket or a weekly market (farmers’ market). German cities and villages do usually have at least one supermarket and often a farmers’ market every Wednesday and/or every Saturday, depending on the size and need of the city.

English: German:
groceries Lebensmittel (pl)
Saturday Samstag (m)
supermarket Supermarkt (m)
Wednesday Mittwoch (m)
weekly market,
farmers’ market
Wochenmarkt (m)

If you’re interested in visiting a weekly market (you’ll need the location!), read the local newspaper or ask someone in the city hall, there’s usually at least one person whose job it is  to answer questions of citizens and visitors. This person can easily be found by using the internet, just enter the name of your city and “tourist information” in your preferred search engine.

Alternatively you can also use the name of your city and the word “Wochenmarkt” to search for the weekly market on the internet. Location and time can often be found on the website of the city.

For buying groceries, you definitely need to know what to buy! This means that you need to know your vocabulary:


Baked goods – Backwaren

Try baking your own pastries! You might even have fun 🙂
baked goods,
bakery products,
Backwaren (pl)
additives Zusatzstoffe (pl)
Kekse (pl)
Gebäck (n)
bread Brot (n)
cake Kuchen (m)
flour Mehl (n)
gluten Gluten (n)
nuts Nüsse (pl)
bread roll
Semmel (f),
Brötchen (n)
sugar Zucker (m)
white bread Weißbrot (n)
white flour Weißmehl (n)
wholegrain bread,
wholemeal bread
Vollkornbrot (n)
wholemeal flour
Vollkornmehl (n)


Beverages -Getränke

Balm (Zitronenmelisse [f]) is often used for adding flavor to cocktails (Cocktail [m]) or salads (Salat [m]).- It’s useful, healthy  and can also be used for making tea.
apple juice Apfelsaft (m)
beverages Getränke (pl)
cappuccino Cappuccino (m)
drinking chocolate
Schokolade (f),
Trinkschokolade (f)
coffee Kaffee (m)
coffee beans Kaffeebohnen (pl)
coffee powder Kaffeepulver (n)
lemonade Zitronenlimonade (f)
soft drink,
Limonade (f)
orangeade Orangenlimonade (f)
orange juice Orangensaft (m)
red wine Rotwein (m)
juice Saft (m)
water Wasser (n)
carbonated water,
sparkling water
Wasser mit Kohlensäure
still water,
noncarbonated water
Wasser ohne Kohlensäure
wine Wein (m)
white wine Weißwein (m)


 Vegetables -Gemüse

Rhubarb – Rhabarber
aubergine (BE),
eggplant (AE)
Aubergine (f)
asparagus Spargel (m)
bean Bohne (f)
red beet,
Rote Bete (f)
broccoli Brokkoli (m),
Broccoli (m)
white cabbage
Weißkohl (m)
carrot Karotte (f)
chicory Chicoree (m)
chillies Peperoni (f)
cauliflower Blumenkohl (f)
cucumber Gurke (f)
Kürbis (m)
garlic Knoblauch (m)
iceberg lettuce Eisbergsalat (m)
kohlrabi Kohlrabi (m)
leek Lauch (m)
lettuce Salat(m)
onion Zwiebel (f)
sweet corn
Mais (m)
mushroom Champignon (m)
pea Erbse (f)
Paprika (m)
potato Kartoffel (f)
radish Radieschen (n)
red cabbage Rotkohl (m)
Rhabarber (m)
tomato Tomate (f)
zucchini (AE) ,
courgette (BE)
Zucchini (f)


 Fruit – Obst

apple tree
An apple tree – Ein Apfelbaum
apple Apfel (m)
banana Banane (f)
blackberry Brombeere (f)
blueberry Heidelbeere (f)
cherry Kirsche (f)
lowbush cranberry
Preiselbeere (f)
cranberry Cranberry (f)
currant Johannisbeere (f)
dragon fruit Drachenfrucht (f)
Litschi (f)
mandarin orange
Mandarine (f)
mango Mango(f)
orange Apfelsine (f),
Orange (f)
passion fruit,
Maracuja (f)
peach Pfirsich (m)
pear Birne (f)
pineapple Ananas (f)
raspberry Himbeere (f)
strawberry Erdbeere (f)


Don’t let yourself be discouraged! Many people understand enough English to help you with your shopping. Even if you don’t remember instantly how something is called, you can always ask  an employee or another customer. They might be able to help you out.



What’s up with grammatical gender (grammatikalisches Geschlecht)?

What’s “grammatical gender” (das grammatikalische Geschlecht)?

Grammatical gender is an essential problem for every learner of German as a foreign language, and sometimes even for the Germans themselves.

The basics:

  1. If we talk about grammatical gender, we mean the gender of the word itself. This characteristic of German nouns has repercussions on how the noun has to be adapted during sentence formation.
  2. There are three different genders: male (männlich), feminine (weiblich) and neuter (neutral).
  3. We have to choose the correct definite (bestimmter Artikel) or indefinite article (unbestimmter Artikel) for each gender.
  4. We can use definite articles  – “der“(male),”die “(female) and “das” (neuter”) –  or
  5.  indefinite articles  – “ein” (male), “eine” (female) and “ein” (neuter).
  6. Articles are declinable. For more (free) information on the declension of German articles:

Unfortunately there’s no way around learning the gender along with the meaning of a noun. Why? Because the grammatical gender is not always logical.


en: lamp – dt: die Lampe -> feminine! One could now think: Why is it femine? It’s a thing! So, shouldn’t a lamp be neuter?

en: house – dt: das Haus-> neuter! BUT

en: church – dt. die Kirche -> female!

Tränendes Herz
This flower is known as “Tränendes Herz”. It’s called  “ein Tränendes Herz” (neuter), but can also be addressed as “eine Pflanze” (plant) and “eine Blume” (flower) – both are female nouns.

Do Germans automatically know the grammatical gender of nouns?

Well, no. Although it’s often logical and you just know the gender, because you learned it along with the noun, there are some debatable cases.

One such case is butter, officially “die Butter”. Colloquially it’s sometimes called “der Butter” or “die Butter”. It all depends on whom you ask in which region of Germany.

Where do I get more information?

If you’re interested you can find more information about the grammatical gender of German nouns on the internet. I found (free) information on this topic on these websites:


Step 5 – Going to the doctor (Zum Arzt gehen)- What’s to know about that?

In principle, going to the doctor works the same way in every country:

  • you fall ill
  • you look for a doctor
  • you find a doctor
  • you call the doctor
  • you go to the doctor

So, what’s to know about going to the doctor in Germany? It’s all in the details. You need the necessary vocabulary to tell the doctor about your symptoms, that’s obvious.

But before you even get there, you need to sort out these formalities:

  1. Are you insured? You need health insurance.
  2. You need to call and make an  appointment. In case of a medical emergency, you might get one on the same day, but you need to call the doctor’s practice anyway. The receptionist will arrange an appointment for you.  – By the way, the same is true if you need an appointment in a hospital.

Once you have your appointment, you’ll have to be there on time. Expect a certain waiting period that you’ll have to spend in the waiting room. The waiting time can range from several minutes to several hours, depending on the number of patients needing an appointment.

apples (Äpfel)
An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

Let’s learn some words you’ll probably need to know in German:

English: Deutsch:
appointment Termin (m)
I need an appointment, please. Ich brauche bitte einen Termin.
consultation hour,
consultation hours
Sprechstunde (f)
Doktor (m),
Arzt (m),
Ärztin (f)
doctor’s practice Arztpraxis (f)
family doctor,
family physician
Hausarzt (m)
general practitioner,
Allgemeinarzt (m),
Allgemeinmediziner (m),
Allgemeinärztin (f),
Allgemeinmediziner (f)
health insurance card Krankenversicherungskarte (f)
health insurance,
sickness insurance
Versicherung (f),
Krankenversicherung (f)
to be insured versichert sein
medical history,
Krankengeschichte (f),
Vorgeschichte (f),
Anamnese (f)
medicine Medizin (f)
to take medicine Medizin einnehmen
Medikamente (f)
nurse Schwester (f),
Krankenschwester (f),
Pfleger (m),
Krankenpfleger (m)
pain Schmerz (m)
to be in pain Schmerzen haben
patient Patient (m),
Patientin (f)
pre-existing condition,
previous illness
Vorerkrankung (f)
doctor’s assistant
Arzthelfer (m),
Arzthelferin (f)
medical specialist
Facharzt (m),
Fachärztin (f)
symptom Symptom (n)

If you don’t have any  prior knowledge of German, visiting a German doctor might be quite difficult. But don’t despair, many German doctors know at least a little bit English 😉 So it’ll probably not be as difficult as you think.

If you want to prepare, make a list of your symptoms and then, while you’re talking with your doctor, use English, German and sign language, to get your point across.