Valentinstag | Valentine’s Day ❤️

Post published by Roslyn Green in February 2023

About Love and Friendship: A German Class with a Valentine’s Day Theme

  • Nouns | Nomen
    • der Kuss → kiss
    • die Liebe → love
    • das Küsschen → little kiss, peck
    • der Valentinstag Valentine’s Day
  • Verbs | Verben
    • lieben → to love
    • mögen → to like
    • küssen → to kiss

A Story of Unexpressed Love

Imagine that, when you eventually go to a German-speaking land, you meet someone you really like. You want to say, “Hey, you’re really cool. Would you like to go to a movie with me? I like you.”

But when you open your mouth to speak, you turn into a gaping, lovestruck fool. Your mouth opens and shuts as though you were an exotic fish at the aquarium.

In the end, you say in desperation: “Du trägst eine Jeans und ein Hemd.”

Then you melt quietly into the floor.

Don’t worry, this is never going to happen to you, because in this post you can learn some vocabulary for saying sweet, affirming things to other people and understanding them when they say something similar in return.

To say “I like you“, “Do you love me?” or “He likes her, don’t you reckon?”, you will need to master the direct object pronouns.

Direct Object Pronouns and Example Sentences

you (singular)dich (singular)
him ihn

More Examples

  • Sie mag ihn. → She likes him.
  • Er mag ihn. → He likes him.
  • Wir mögen sie. → We like her (or them).
  • Ich mag euch. → I like you (talking to more than one familiar).
  • Sie mögen uns. → They like us.
  • Sie mag uns. → She likes us.

Two Essential Verbs for Expressing Affection

The verb lieben (to love) is utterly and reassuringly regular. That’s why you can use it not just to express your true feelings but also to revise the regular verb endings:

Verb Conjugationlieben
– to love
1st personich liebewir lieben
2nd persondu liebstihr liebt
3rd personer/sie/es liebtsie lieben
Formal Address:Sie lieben

The verb mögen (to like) also has a role as a modal verb, so it is important enough to be irregular. The first, second and third person singular are all unpredictable, with a rogue vowel that is different from the infinitive stem. There is also no t ending on the third person singular, which is a pattern common to all modal verbs, including müssen (must, to have to) and können (can, to be able to).

Verb Conjugationmögen
– to like
1st personich magwir mögen
2nd persondu magstihr mögt
3rd personer/sie/es magsie mögen
Formal Address:Sie mögen

Putting the Building Blocks Together

Armed with the subject pronouns, object pronouns and verbs as building blocks, you can now make up sentences at will.

  • Ich liebe dich. Liebst du mich? → I love you. Do you love me?
  • Liebst du ihn? Nein, noch nicht, aber ich mag ihn schon sehr. → Do you love him? No, not yet, but I already like him very much.
  • Ich mag sie nicht. → I don’t like her.
  • Warum magst du ihn nicht? → Why don’t you like him?

The verb lieben is normally reserved exclusively for romantic liaisons rather than friendly relationships. This distinction is possibly less strong now than it once was. There is a set of idiomatic phrases, however, that are more commonly used in family relationships and friendships:

  • Ich habe dich gern. A friendly, affectionate phrase meaning “I like you”.
  • Ich habe dich lieb. → An affectionate phrase meaning “I love you”; you can also write hdl (hab dich lieb) in a text message.
  • You can strengthen the last phrase with additional emphasis words: Ich habe dich wirklich total lieb. → I really love you, I adore you.
B: You look good. G: Do you really think so? B: Sure! G: Honestly? B: Of course!

Speaking with Friends

If you are the type who prefers a quiet, restrained beginning to a promising friendship, here are some nice things to say…

To a Man or Boy:

  • Du bist mein bester Freund. You are my best friend.
  • Du bist ein guter Freund. You are a good friend.
  • Du siehst cool aus. You look cool.

To a Woman or Girl:

  • Du bist eine gute Freundin. You are a good friend.
  • Du bist meine beste Freundin. You are my best friend.
  • Du siehst cool / schön / schick aus. You look cool / beautiful / elegant.

To Anyone:

  • Du bist nett / lieb. You are nice / kind.
  • Das ist nett / lieb von dir. That’s nice /kind of you.
  • Möchtest du mit mir ins Kino gehen? Would you like to go to the movies with me?
  • Hast du heute Abend frei? Are you free this evening?
  • Kann ich dich wieder sehen? Can I see you again?
  • Kannst du mir deine Handynummer geben? – Can you give me your mobile number?
  • Danke für das Kompliment. – Thank you for the compliment.


Quiz: Subject and Object Pronouns in Sentences about Love and Friendship

Practise using the subject and object pronouns by filling blanks and dragging and dropping words into the right order.

Downloadable Handout: Valentinstag | Valentine’s Day

This is a worksheet in PDF form.

Warning: This post is summarised in the handout with an extra dollop of pink, sugary sentiment. There are several exercises and some extra sentences about how to express missing someone you love.

A Second Unit for German Beginners

Published by Roslyn Green in January 2023

Über mich 🖤❤️💛 ⇢ About me 🧒🏽

This unit guides learners towards introducing themselves and describing their origins in German. It covers regular verb conjugation in a simple way and provides practice with verbs such as wohnen (to live) and kommen (to come). There are also exercises related to the irregular verb haben (to have).

In addition to a downloadable booklet (embedded below), there are speaking flashcards, quizzes and a simple audio recording.

For a more challenging version of this unit, intended for fast learners, an alternative booklet as well as additional but related activities are available on this page.

Bildlexikon – Picture Dictionary: haben and sein

haben – to have: Ich habe heute Geburtstag. → Today is my birthday.

sein – to be: Ich bin zwölf Jahre alt. → I am 12 years old.

haben – to have: Wir haben eine Katze. We have a cat.

sein – to be: Sie ist süß. She is sweet.

haben – to have: Wir haben beide Laptops. → We both have laptops.

sein – to be: Wir sind Freunde. → We are friends.

haben – to have: Mein Bruder hat ein neues Handy. → My brother has a new mobile phone.

sein – to be: Es ist fantastisch. → It is fantastic.

Useful Links

Online Activities


These are question and answer flashcards. The first side has a greeting or question and the second side has an appropriate answer. The flashcards will “speak” if you click on the tiny microphone above the cards. A printout of this conversation is also provided below.

A Fill the Gap Quiz: Using Three Verbs – kommen, wohnen and sprechen

Revise your knowledge of these three key verbs.

A Jumble Kahoot: Place the words in the right order to answer the questions

Play with your class or with a small group of friends.

Audio text from page 7 of the unit booklet

Hallo! Mein Name ist Phoebe.

This audio was kindly recorded by Linda Manteuffel.

Read the text while you listen:

Hallo! Mein Name ist Phoebe und ich komme aus Neuseeland. Meine Eltern kommen aus England. Natürlich spreche ich Englisch, genau wie die Kinder in Australien. Meine beste Freundin heißt Sophie. Sie kommt aus China. Woher kommst du?

Ich wohne auf dem Land. Das finde ich super, denn ich liebe Tiere. Ich habe mein eigenes Pferd!

English Translation: Hello! My name is Phoebe and I come from New Zealand. My parents come from England. Of course I speak English, just like the children in Australia. My best friend is called Sophie. She comes from China. Where do you come from?

I live in the country. I think that’s wonderful, because I love animals. I have my own horse!

A Fill the Gap Quiz: Conjugating haben – the verb to have

Learn the conjugation of this crucial verb and practise using it correctly in sentences.

Die Wechselpräpositionen

Published by Roslyn Green in January 2023

The Case of the “Changing” Prepositions

The prepositions in the middle of this diagram are the trickiest ones in German, since they are followed by either the accusative case or the dative case, depending on the context of the situation.

Sentence Examples

1 Wo ist mein Handy?

  • Movement: Du hast es in deine Schultasche gesteckt. You put it into your schoolbag. (accusative ending after in)
  • Position: Es ist in deiner Schultasche. It’s in your schoolbag. (dative ending after in)

2 Wo ist die Katze?

  • Movement: Sie ist unter das Haus gegangen. She went under the house. (accusative article after unter)
  • Position: Sie ist unter dem Haus. She is under the house. (dative article after unter)

3 Es gibt in dieser Stadt einen Weihnachtsmarkt!

  • Movement: Wir möchten auf den Weihnachtsmarkt fahren. We’d like to go/drive to the Christmas market. (accusative article after auf)
  • Position: Wir kaufen immer Geschenke auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt. We always buy presents at the Christmas market. (dative article after auf)

The Accusative and Dative Articles

Examples with Possessive Pronouns:
Accusative: Sie hat ihre Gartengeräte in meinen Garten gebracht.
Dative: Ihre Gartengeräte sind in meinem Garten.
Accusative: Er hat sein Fahrrad in meine Garage gestellt.
Dative: Sein Fahrrad ist in meiner Garage.
Accusative: Er geht in sein Zimmer, um sich zu entspannen.
Dative: Er entspannt sich in seinem Zimmer.

When the context refers to movement into a particular area, the preposition is followed by the accusative case.

When the context refers to remaining, existing or being within an area, however, the preposition must be followed by the dative case.

These rules also apply to the endings on possessive pronouns.

Meaning Check

Online Activities and Materials

Quiz: Verbs That Trigger the Accusative Case in German

This quiz identifies and clarifies the meaning of key movement verbs in German and provides practice with using the accusative articles in sentences.

This quiz as a printable PDF

Kahoot: More Practice with the Changing Prepositions

This is a fairly challenging Kahoot for students who feel confident about using the “changing prepositions”.

Handout | Arbeitsblatt

This double-sided handout provides a summary of the information on this page, along with exercises similar to those in the online quizzes.

The Dative Prepositions

Published by Roslyn Green in January 2023

Nine German Prepositions that Trigger the Dative Case

These nine essential prepositions are always followed by the dative case. The example sentences below clarify their meaning and illustrate their usage. Click on each preposition in the list to jump to its description:

bei | aus | mit | zu | von | außer | nach | gegenüber | seit

KEY: Masculine Nouns Feminine NounsNeuter Nouns Plural Nouns PrepositionsDative Pronouns

bei ➡️ near, at, with, during, at a specific time, in a specific place, in particular conditions

Note: There are 18 uses of bei given in the Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache. The examples on the right are a mere introduction to the power of this little word.


Die Familie hat ein kleines Haus bei Berlin. ⇢ The family has a small house near Berlin.

Ich habe die Schokolade bei Woolworth gekauft. ⇢ I bought the chocolates at Woolworths.

Sie wohnt noch bei ihrer Familie, weil die Mietkosten sehr hoch sind. ⇢ She still lives with her family because the cost of renting is so high.

Bei Sonnenaufgang bin ich aufgewacht und spazieren gegangen. ⇢ I woke up at sunrise and went for a walk.

Bei uns in Australien ist es üblich, andere Menschen mit dem Vornamen anzusprechen. ⇢ It is commonly accepted in Australia to address one another by first names.

Bei schönem Wetter gehen wir oft zum Strand. When the weather is fine, we often go to the beach.

Er arbeitet bei der Post. He works for the postal service.


Die Kinder stammen aus armen Familien. ⇢ The children originate from poor families.

Ich habe mein Handy aus meiner Tasche genommen. ⇢ I took my phone out of my pocket.

Deine Mutter kommt aus Kambodscha, nicht wahr? ⇢ Your mother comes from Cambodia, doesn’t she?

Der Pulli ist aus Wolle. ⇢ The jumper is made of wool.

Der Junge hat nur aus Angst gelogen. Sei nicht zu streng mit ihm. ⇢ The boy only lied because he was afraid. Don’t be too hard on him.


Sie hat es nur mit Mühe geschafft. ⇢ She managed it only with difficulty.

Ich gehe gern mit meinen Freunden* aus. ⇢ I like going out with my friends.

Hast du Lust, mit uns ins Kino zu gehen? ⇢ Do you feel like coming with us to the movies?

Sie fahren mit der Straßenbahn ins Stadtzentrum. ⇢ They are going into the city centre by tram.

Mit zwanzig Jahren* ist er aus China ausgewandert. ⇢ At the age of 20, he emigrated from China.

*Note the dative -n ending on plural nouns.


Heute Abend gehen wir zu einer Freundin. Vielleicht werden wir bei ihr übernachten. ⇢ This evening we are going to a girlfriend’s place. Perhaps we’ll sleep over at her place.

Der Frosch ist zu einem Prinzen geworden. ⇢ The frog turned into a prince.

•Wollen wir zu Fuß hingehen? •Nein, wir nehmen das Auto. ⇢ •Shall we go on foot? •No, we’ll take the car.

Zu Weihnachten haben wir immer ein großes Familienfest. ⇢ We always have a big family party at Christmas.

Meine Mutter ist nicht zu Hause. ⇢ My mother is not (at) home.


Das ist lieb / nett von dir. ⇢ That’s kind / nice of you.

Der Krimi ist von Andrea Camilleri, einem italienischen Autor. ⇢ The crime novel is by Andrea Camilleri, an Italian writer.

Der Zug kommt von Paris. ⇢ The train is coming from Paris.

Von jetzt an müssen wir Energie sparen, um die Umwelt zu schützen. From now on we need to save energy to protect the environment.

Ich habe viel von dir gehört. ⇢ I’ve heard a lot about you.

Du darfst niemandem von dieser Situation erzählen! ⇢ You mustn’t tell anyone about this situation.


  • außer Atem – out of breath
  • außer Gefahrout of danger
  • außer Hörweiteout of hearing range
  • außer Dienstout of or not in service, off duty
  • außer Betrieb out of order

Außer ein paar blauen Flecken ist sie unverletzt. Except for a few bruises she’s uninjured.

Außer dir habe ich niemanden, dem ich vertrauen kann. Apart from you I have no one I can trust.

Außer Englisch spricht die Lehrerin Russisch und Deutsch. As well as English, the teacher speaks Russian and German.

Das Schuljahr ist zu Ende. Ich bin außer mir vor Freude. ⇢ The school year is over. I’m beside myself with joy.

nach ➡️ to, past, after

An excellent summary of going to the countries with articles:


Going home: Ich bin erschöpft. Ich gehe nach Hause. ⇢ I’m exhausted. I’m going home.

Going to a continent: Nächste Woche fliegen wir nach Europa. We’re flying to Europe next week.

Going to cities or towns: Der Zug nach Paris hat Verspätung. ⇢ The train to Paris is running late.

Going to countries without articles: Wir reisen morgen nach Neuseeland ab. ⇢ We are leaving tomorrow for New Zealand.

After the hour: Es ist Viertel nach fünf. ⇢ It is quarter past five.

After an event: Nach der Schule spielen wir Fußball im Park. After school we play football in the park.

In a direction: Wir fahren nach Süden. ⇢ We are heading south.


Unser Haus steht gegenüber einem Park. – Our house is opposite a park.

Der Grundschule gegenüber steht das Feuerwehrhaus. – Opposite the primary school is the fire station.

Auf der Party hat er sich uns gegenüber gesetzt. – He sat down across from us at the party.

Er ist mir gegenüber immer sehr höflich. Towards/with me, he is always very courteous.

seit ➡️ for, since

*Note the German use of the present tense with seit whenever the action continues into the present. In English, the perfect tense is required in such cases.


Wir kennen uns seit ewig. ⇢ We’ve known each other for ages / for ever.

Seit zwei Jahren habe ich ihn nicht mehr gesehen. ⇢ I haven’t seen him for two years.

Ich lerne schon seit zehn Jahren Deutsch. ⇢ I have been learning German for ten years.

Muslime tragen seit dem Mittelalter zur europäischen Kultur und Wissenschaft bei. ⇢ Muslims have contributed to European culture and science since the Middle Ages.

Seit ihrer Kindheit sind die Mädchen enge Freundinnen. ⇢ The girls have been close friends since their childhood.


Quiz created at LearnClick: The Dative Prepositions

This quiz provides practice with all the prepositions above and especially focuses on “bei” in the final question.

Quiz created at LearningApps: 9 Dative Prepositions, 2 Life Stories

Each snippet of a life story contains all 9 of the dative prepositions described above.

The Accusative Prepositions

Published by Roslyn Green in January 2023

Seven German Prepositions that Trigger the Accusative Case ➡️ ⏸️ ⬅️

Mnemonic*: DOGFUBE

Below are seven essential prepositions that are followed by the accusative case. The example sentences clarify their meaning and illustrate their usage.

* The everyday word for mnemonic in German is Eselsbrücke, literally donkey’s bridge.

Präpositionen und Beispielssätze

KEY: Masculine Nouns Feminine NounsNeuter Nouns Plural Nouns PrepositionsAccusative Pronouns















durch ➡️ through; because of


Der Radfahrer fährt durch den Tunnel. – The cyclist is riding through the tunnel.

Ich kann deine Musik durch die Wand hören. Kannst du sie bitte leiser stellen? – I can hear your music through the wall. Can you please turn it down?

Durch deine Hilfe habe ich mich in Mathe wirklich verbessert. – I have really improved in maths because of / through your help.

ohne ➡️ without


Ich gehe nirgendwohin ohne mein Handy. I don’t go anywhere without my mobile.

Ohne dich hätte ich die Deutschprüfung nie bestanden. – Without you, I never would have passed the German exam.

Die Kinder stammen aus armen Familien, deshalb kommen sie ohne Schuhe zur Schule. – The children originate from poor families; that’s why they come to school without shoes.

gegen ➡️ against, towards


Junge Chinesen protestieren gegen die Corona-Politik ihrer Regierung, auch wenn sie dafür im Gefängnis landen könnten. – Young Chinese people are protesting against the Corona policy of their government, even though they could land in prison as a result.

In einer Apotheke: Haben Sie etwas gegen Kopfschmerzen? – In a pharmacy: Do you have something for headache? In German, you say “against headache”.

Der Schreiner lehnte die Leiter gegen die Mauer. – The carpenter leaned the ladder against the wall.

für ➡️ for


Die Schokolade ist für dich. – The chocolate is for you.

Wir fahren für zwei Wochen in den Urlaub. – We are going on holiday for a fortnight.

Der Computerkurs ist für ältere Menschen. – The computer course is (intended) for older people.

Ich schäme mich für mein Verhalten. – I am ashamed of my behaviour. In German: “ashamed for my behaviour”.

um ➡️ about, around, at


Letztes Jahr haben meine Eltern eine Reise um die Welt gemacht. – Last year, my parents took a trip around the world.

Die Kleinen gehen um acht (Uhr) ins Bett. – The little ones go to bed at 8 (o’clock).

Der Roman geht um eine irische Familie während der Kartoffelkrankheit im 19. Jahrhundert. – The novel is about an Irish family during the potato blight in the 19th century.

Mein Freund kommt gerade um die Ecke. – My friend is just coming round the corner.

bis ➡️ until


Bis nächste Woche! – See you next week. (Literally: Until next week.)

Die Bibliothek ist von neun Uhr morgens bis acht Uhr abends geöffnet. – The library is open from nine in the morning till eight in the evening.

Bis dahin müssen wir versuchen, allein zurechtzukommen. – Until then we must try to cope on our own.

Wir sind bis spät in die Nacht aufgeblieben. – We stayed up till late in the night.

Note: When bis is used before another preposition, such as in (above) or zu, the second preposition determines the case that follows: for example, in bis zum nächsten Wochenende, the preposition zu triggers the dative case.

entlang ➡️ along


Wir gehen die Straße entlang und gucken in die Schaufenster. – We are walking down / along the street and looking in the display windows.

Auf dem Elbe-Radweg kann man den Fluss entlang fahren. Dort sieht man kleine Dörfer, große Felder, Kühe und Schafe mit schwarzen Gesichtern. – You can cycle along the river on the Elbe bike path. You’ll see small villages, large fields, cows, and sheep with black faces.


Quiz: The Accusative Prepositions

In this quiz, learners can practise choosing the correct preposition and accusative article or pronoun in example sentences.

Corresponding Worksheet: A version of the online quiz as a downloadable PDF