Learning German vocabulary can be tough — there are literally thousands upon thousands of German words that make up the German language! What kind of vocabulary should you start with? We’ve made this basic German vocabulary guide to help you with exactly that! We will cover:
- Common German phrases and words used in everyday life;
- German numbers and how to pronounce them;
- German words for colors and shades;
- Greetings in German;
- Days of the week in German;
- Months of the year in German;
- A list of German clothing vocabulary;
- German vocabulary for music and music genres;
- How to learn German vocabulary online with Global General.
If you’re interested in expanding your German vocabulary to immediately improve your German communication, keep on reading!
Let’s dive right in.
#1: Common German Phrases and Words Used in Daily Life
Learning basic German phrases is certainly one of the best ways to learn German. You can start practicing it immediately in very basic German conversations, even without having studied any grammar or topic-based German vocabulary. The list of basic German phrases can also be quite long, but you only need a few essential words to take the first step in learning basic German. We’ve made a list of the most useful German phrases for you below, including German phrases for when you travel to a German-speaking country. Keep in mind that you must learn the basic rules of German pronunciation so that whenever you learn a new word, you also learn its pronunciation at the same time. This is a key secret to remembering words better and speaking fluently.
Basic German phrases for everyday life
|Thank you kindly|
|How are you?||
Wie geht es dir? (informal)
I'm not doing well.
I'm doing better.
Es geht mir schlecht.
Es geht mir besser.
|Nice to meet you.||
Nett, Sie kennen zu lernen
Basic German phrases for traveling to a German-speaking country
|Table for two, please|
|Where is the bathroom?|
|Where can I find an ATM?|
|How can I get to …?|
|Is there a restaurant nearby?|
|How much is this …?|
|Sorry, I don’t understand|
|Could you let me pass please?|
|When does the next bus leave?|
#2: German Numbers: How to Write and Pronounce Them?
Numbers are an essential part of German vocabulary — and vocabulary in any language, for that matter! You use them to give phone numbers, ask for addresses, talk about the price of products, dates of future or past events, and many more practical things in daily life. For that reason, they’re one of the first words that German learners study, and you should make sure you’re very comfortable with this part of German vocabulary. Misunderstandings can easily happen with numbers, so make sure you know the correct German pronunciation.
|Number||Number in German||German pronunciation|
|1||eins||“eyns” (long “i” sound, like in “pie” or “fly”)|
|2||zwei||“tsvy” (long “i” sound)|
#3: Complete List of All the Colors and Shades in German
When you begin describing things in German, many of the words you’ll use will probably be colors. They’re one of the first things we notice when we look at anything, and so we often use color vocabulary to identify and talk about objects around us. You’ve probably learned the most basic words for colors already, but you can study the list below to learn a couple more German color words so that you can express yourself accurately no matter what you are describing.
|Color in English||Color in German|
Shades of colors in German
|Color in English||Color in German|
|bright red||leuchtend rot|
|bright yellow||leuchtend gelb|
|bright blue||leuchtend grün|
#4: Learn the Basic and Most Common Greetings in German
Greetings are one of the first German words you will need to use in nearly every real-life situation. Before you ask a stranger for directions, a shop assistant about the price of a product, or your German host where the bathroom is, you will always greet the person first. There are many ways to greet people in German, with formal words and informal words depending on the kind of situation you are in. Below is a list that summarizes some of the most useful words for German greetings.
Saying hello in German
|Hello (lit. Good day)||Guten Tag|
|Good morning||Guten Morgen|
|Good evening||Guten Abend|
|Good day!||Grüß Gott!|
Saying goodbye in German
|Goodbye! (formal)||Auf Wiedersehen!|
|Bye on the telephone.||Auf Wiederhören|
|See you soon!||Bis bald!|
|See you later!||Bis später!|
#5: Days of the Week and Months of the Year in German
German words for days of the week and months of the year are another very useful part of German vocabulary. You’ll need these words for making plans with friends, booking flight tickets or making hotel reservations, talking about your school, work, or last vacation, or even just talking about what you did last week. There are not too many words to learn here, so focus on achieving the best possible pronunciation as you review them.
|Day of the week in English||Day of the week in German||German pronunciation|
|Month of the year in English||Month of the year in German||German pronunciation|
#6: Learn Comprehensive German Vocabulary for Clothing
German words for clothing will be very useful for describing both yourself and the people around you. We all wear clothes, but the words you can use to describe your own clothes and the words you can use to describe someone else’s clothes will undoubtedly be quite different. We’ve made several lists with clothing words down below so that you are able to describe every possible outfit in German.
German vocabulary for clothing tops
|jacket||die Jacke (n)|
|blouse||die Bluse (n)|
|shirt||das Hemd (en)|
|T-shirt||das T-Shirt (s)|
|dress||das Kleid (er)|
|sweater||der Pullover (-)|
|pullover||der Pulli (s)|
|sports jacket||das Sakko (s)|
|raincoat||der Regenmantel (ä)|
|coat||der Mantel (ä)|
|tank top||das Trägerhemd/das Tanktop|
|sweater||der Pulli, der Pullover|
German vocabulary for clothing bottoms
|pants||die Hose (n)|
|skirt||der Rock (ö, e)|
|shorts||die kurze Hose/die Shorts|
German vocabulary for footwear
|sock||die Socke (n)|
|shoe||der Schuh (e)|
|boot||der Stiefel (-)|
|sandal||die Sandale (n)|
|tennis shoe||der Tenisschuh|
German vocabulary for other clothing and accessories
|purse||die Handtasche (n)|
|belt||der Gürtel (-)|
|scarf||der Schal (s)|
|swimsuit||der Badeanzug (ü, e)|
|tie||die Krawatte (n)|
|ring||der Ring (e)|
|necklace||die Halskette (n)|
|bracelet||das Armband (ä, er)|
|earring||der Ohrring (e)|
|glove||der Handschuh (e)|
|watch||die Armbanduhr (en)|
|man's suit||der Anzug (ü, e)|
|woman's suit||das Kostüm (e)|
|bag, pocket||die Tasche (n)|
|bra||der BH — Büstenhalter|
#7: Learn German Words Related to Music and the Different Genres
If you’d like to make some German friends, then German vocabulary related to hobbies and people’s interests is what you need. That’s exactly what this vocabulary section is about — giving you the German words needed to ask other people about their taste in music, as well as describe your own. Below, you’ll find German words for describing different music genres, as well as vocabulary for musical instruments.
German vocabulary for music genres
|Classical music||die Klassische Musik|
|Popular music||die Popmusik|
|rock music||die Rockmusik|
|folk music||die Folkmusik|
|hip hop||Hip Hop|
|heavy metal||Heavy Metal|
|jazz music||die Jazzmusik|
|electronic music||die Elektronische Musik|
German vocabulary for instruments
|the musicians||die Musiker|
|the singer (male)||der Sänger|
|the singer (female)||die Sängerin|
|the piano||das Klavier|
|the drums||das Schlagzeug|
|the bass guitar||der Bass|
|the electric guitar||die elektrische Gitarre|
|the keyboard||das Keyboard|
|the trumpet||die Trompete|
Become a Perfect German Speaker With Global General
If you’d like to improve your basic German vocabulary, along with gaining a solid understanding of the basic rules of German grammar and speaking with excellent German pronunciation, then Global General is the perfect program for you. This is an e-learning method developed by GlobalExam to help beginners and intermediate students learn German (as well as English, Spanish, French, and Italian) easily and online.
Each language taught is divided into levels based on the CEFR standards and takes a minimum of 12 hours of studying to complete (except for English, which takes 25).
Global General will have you speaking confidently and with ease in no time. Here is what we can offer you:
- Dozens of flashcards to help you train your memory and learn useful German words ;
- Simulations to practice your German skills in real context, for all four competencies: reading, listening, speaking, and writing;
- A “did you know” section with tips and fun facts to dive deeper into the German language and culture;
- 5000 detailed corrections;
- Personalised feedback from our expert language coaches;
- Validation of your competencies after every 5 simulations;
- 150 hours of unique content;
- 500 audio tracks.
Here’s Why You Should Choose Global General for Learning German
Have you ever asked yourself “Why learn German?”. Take a look at Global General and you will get the answer to this question in no time! For instance, learning basic German vocabulary is not just about memorizing long lists of words, but about using those words correctly and effectively in German conversations. Global General will make sure that the vocabulary you are learning is practical and taught in a way that stimulates long-term retention in your memory. Our simulations based on real-life situations will let you practice your German vocabulary immediately so that you remember all the new words you’ve learned and know how to use the words correctly. Moreover, our detailed corrections will make sure that you’re not repeating any mistakes that could lead to misunderstandings in your German communication. The best part is, you get all of this from the comfort of your home, where you can study at your own pace and whenever you like.
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