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.

Trennbare Verben und Gegenteile

Published in December 2022 by Roslyn Green

Learning Separable Verbs as Opposites

Many of the verbs below have multiple meanings. The examples focus only on the meaning that represents a precise opposite of the other verb. This list includes some commonly used and practical choices, but it is far from comprehensive.

Bildlexikon und Beispiele | Picture Dictionary and Examples

aufwachen → to wake up

Am Wochenende wache ich früh auf, obwohl ich gern länger schlafen würde. – I wake up early at the weekend, although I’d like to sleep longer.

einschlafen → to fall asleep

Mein Mann schläft sehr schnell ein, während ich wach bleibe und über alles nachdenke. – My husband falls asleep very quickly while I stay awake thinking about everything.

sich anziehen → to get dressed

Sie zieht sich immer elegant an. – She always dresses elegantly.

(sich) ausziehen → to get undressed

Zieh dir die Stiefel aus, die sind voller Schlamm. – Take off your boots, they’re covered with mud.

anmachen → to turn on

Kannst du die Lampe💡 anmachen? Ich brauche mehr Licht zum Lesen. – Can you turn on the lamp? I need more light to read.

anschalten → to switch on

ausmachen → to turn off

Sie machte den Fernseher 📺 aus, weil sie die Reality-Show langweilig fand. – She turned off the TV because she found the reality show dull.

ausschalten → to switch off

Image by RD Law from Pixabay

aufmachen → to open

Ich habe das Fenster aufgemacht, denn wir brauchen frische Luft in diesem muffigen Raum. – I’ve opened the window because we need fresh air in this musty room.

zumachen → to close

Mach bitte die Tür 🚪 zu, mir ist kalt. – Please close the door, I feel cold.

Image by Kristijan Puljek from Pixabay

anfangen → to begin

Vor zehn Jahren habe ich angefangen, Deutsch zu lernen. – Ten years ago, I began to learn German.

aufhören → to stop

Ein Freund von mir versucht, mit dem Rauchen aufzuhören. – A friend of mine is trying to stop smoking.

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

einziehen → to move in

Unsere Tochter möchte bei ihren Freundinnen einziehen. – Our daughter would like to move in with her girlfriends.

ausziehen → to move out

Er will aus diesem Haus ausziehen. He wants to move out of this house.

Image by Chu Viết Đôn from Pixabay

aufsteigen → to mount, get on

Die Frauen werden bald auf ihre Fahrräder aufsteigen und nach Hause fahren. – The women will soon get on their bikes and ride home.

absteigen → to dismount, get off

Steig von deinem Fahrrad ab. Auf dieser Brücke darfst du nicht fahren. Get off your bike. You’re not allowed to ride on this bridge.

herkommen → to come (towards the speaker)

Komm mal her zu mir! – Come here!

Also used to ask about origins: Wo kommst du her? – Where do you come from?

weggehen → to go away (from the speaker)

Geh weg, lass mich in Ruhe! – Go away, leave me alone / in peace.

zunehmen to put on weight

Während des Lockdowns habe ich drei Kilogramm zugenommen. – During the lockdown I gained three kilograms.

abnehmen → to lose weight

Jetzt möchte ich ein paar Kilo abnehmen und fit werden. – Now I’d like to lose a few kilos and get fit.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

glattgehen → to go smoothly

Die ganze Reise ist glattgegangen. Der Reiseführer war einfach genial. – The whole trip went smoothly. The guide was simply brilliant.

schiefgehen → to go wrong

Bei uns ist alles schiefgegangen. Nichts ist ausgegangen, wie wir es geplant hatten. – Everything went wrong for us. Nothing turned out as we had planned.

Image by AC works Co., Ltd. from Pixabay

absagen → to cancel, call off or turn down

Zuerst wollte sie auf die Feier kommen, aber dann hat sie abgesagt. – At first she wanted to come to the party, but then she cancelled.

zusagen → to accept an invitation or offer

Ich habe fünf Freunde eingeladen und vier haben schon zugesagt. – I have invited five friends and four have already accepted.

Image by victoraf from Pixabay

einsteigen to board, get on

Es war schwierig, mit so viel Gepäck einzusteigen. – It was difficult to board with so much luggage.

aussteigen → to get out or off, disembark

Das ist die Haltestelle, wo ich aussteige. – This is the stop where I get off.

Note: The verb aussteigen can also mean “to opt out” of something or to reject mainstream society and try something new.

Image by bhossfeld from Pixabay

aufbauen → to set up, build or assemble

Die Teenager können das Zelt in zwölf Minuten aufbauen.

abbauen → to dismantle, take down

Früh am Morgen haben sie das Zelt abgebaut. – Early in the morning, they dismantled the tent.

Note: This verb also has important figurative meanings: Stress abbauen – to relieve stress; Vorurteile abbauen – to break down prejudices, etc.

aufsetzen → to put on (a hat, glasses, etc.)

Die junge Frau setzt immer einen Strohhut und eine Sonnenbrille auf, bevor sie am Strand spazieren geht. – The young woman always puts on a straw hat and sunglasses before going for a walk at the beach.

absetzen → to take off (a hat, glasses, etc.)

Der alte Mann vergaß vor dem Einschlafen, seine Brille abzusetzen*. – The old man forgot to take off his glasses before falling asleep.

*The verb abnehmen is also possible in this context.

Image by n-kukova from Pixabay

sich einmischen → to interfere, to meddle, butt in

Mein Stiefvater hat sich in unseren Streit eingemischt, was mich genervt hat. – My stepfather got involved in our argument, which annoyed me.

sich raushalten → to stay out of something, avoid interfering

Ich wollte ihm sagen: „Es geht dich nicht an, halt dich da raus!” – I wanted to say to him, “It’s none of your business, stay out of it!”

Image by n-kukova from Pixabay

losfahren → to drive off, away

Meine Schwester ist gerade losgefahren. – My sister has just driven off / left.

anhalten → to pull up (in a car), stop

Der Autofahrer musste an der Ampel anhalten. – The driver had to stop at the light.


Quiz: Separable Verbs as Opposites

Choose the correct verb or prefix in a range of sentences based on the examples above. Fix these pesky separable verbs in your memory for ever.

Quiz: Trennbare Verben und Gegenteile

Type the missing words in sentences that include 8 pairs of the verbs above. Click on the help lightbulb to read the vocabulary list.

A Day of Separable Verbs 🌅

Published in December 2022 by Roslyn Green

Separable Verbs in the Present Tense

☀️ From Waking Up to Falling Asleep🌜

💙 Send this part to the end of the sentence | 🧡 Conjugate this part

aufwachen – to wake up

→ Ich wache auf. – I wake up.

aufstehen – to get up, stand up

→ Ich stehe auf. – I get up.

Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

sich anziehen

→ Ich ziehe mich an. – I dress myself.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

einkaufen – to shop

→ Ich kaufe im Supermarkt ein. – I go shopping in the supermarket.

Image by Dhanesh Damodaran from Pixabay

anrufen – to ring up, call

→ Ein Freund ruft mich an. – A friend rings me.

Image by Manish Dhawan from Pixabay

einladen – to invite

→ Er lädt mich zum Mittagessen ein. Wie schön! – He invites me to lunch. How lovely!

Image by ravadosa from Pixabay

abholen – to pick up

→ Er holt mich vom Bahnhof ab. – He picks me up from the railway station.

Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

  • sich ausruhen – to rest, take it easy

→ Nach dem Essen ruhen wir uns aus. – After lunch we have a rest.

Image bImage by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

vorschlagen – to suggest

→ Dann schlage ich einen Spaziergang vor. – Then I suggest a walk.

Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

mitkommen – to come along

→ Der Hund kommt mit. – The dog comes too.

Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

absetzten – to drop off

→ Mein Freund setzt mich am Bahnhof ab. – My friend drops me off at the railway station.

Image by erge from Pixabay

ankommen – to arrive

→ Ich komme zu Hause an. – I arrive home.

Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

zubereiten – to prepare (food)

→ Ich bereite das Abendessen zu. – I prepare dinner

Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

vorlesen – to read aloud

→ Meine Tochter liest mir eine Geschichte vor. – My daughter reads me a story.

Image by Petra from Pixabay

ausmachen – to turn off

→ Ich mache die Lampe aus. – I turn off the lamp.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Two Quizzes

Drag and Drop Quiz: Separable Verbs in Present Tense Sentences

Construct present tense sentences with separable verbs by dragging and dropping the words provided into the right spaces.

This quiz is based on the examples above.

This Quiz as a PDF Worksheet: A Day of Separable Verbs

Quiz: Using Separable Verbs in Sentences About Appearance and Personality

Practise using separable verbs in present tense and perfect tense sentences as well as in sentences containing a modal verb.

Separable Verbs ✂️

Detachable Verbs: A Gentle Introduction

Published by Roslyn Green in December 2022

One Entity or Two

Just like a cup and saucer, the two parts of a German separable verb can appear as one entity or they can be detached and work as two separate parts. The dictionary entry is under the whole verb.

  • Tee zubereiten – prepare tea
  • die Kerzen ausblasen – blow out the candles
  • den Kuchen aufessen – eat up the whole cake
  • die Tasse und Untertasse abwaschen – wash up the cup and saucer

Separable Verbs in the Present Tense

In a present tense sentence, the base verb is conjugated and placed second, while the detachable prefix is sent to the end of the sentence.

Sentence Patterns

Key: conjugated base verbdetachable prefix

  • mitkommen – to come along: Ich komme gern mit. – I’d like to come along.
  • aufmachen – to open: Er macht die Tür auf. – He is opening the door.
  • aussehen – to look, appear: Du siehst hübsch aus. – You look lovely / pretty.
  • anfangen – to begin: Im Januar fängt sie ein neues Studium an. – In January she is starting a new course.

Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay

Four Types of Sentences

vorlesen to read aloud, read out

Present: Die Großmutter liest die Geschichte vor. The grandmother reads out the story.

Future: Die Großmutter wird die Geschichte vorlesen. The grandmother will read the story.

Add a Modal Verb: Die Großmutter möchte die Geschichte vorlesen. The grandmother would like to read out the story.

Perfect Tense: Die Großmutter hat die Geschichte vorgelesen. The grandmother (has) read out the story.

Image by Daniel Hannah from Pixabay

One Base Verb, Many Meanings

Base Verb: sehen – to see

The same base verb can have many separable prefixes. Here are just a few examples with sehen:

  • ansehen → to look at
  • aussehen → to look/appear
  • absehen → to foresee
  • fernsehen → to watch TV
  • hochsehen → to look up

Image by Petra from Pixabay

One Prefix, Many Meanings

Prefix: durch – through

The same prefix can be used to create many detachable verbs:

  • durchblättern – to leaf through, turn over pages  
  • durcharbeiten – to work through something, go through it thoroughly
  • durchdenken – to think something through, think something over
  • durchhalten – to hold on, stick it out, persevere

A Highly Recommended Video

Video: Trennbare Verben | Separable Verbs

Inap from Deutsch mit Inap provides a very clear introduction to separable verbs, working through many useful examples.

Thirty Useful Separable Verbs: A Shortlist

abfahren – to depart
wegfahren – to go, drive away
aufmachen – to open
zumachen – to close
Bilbo macht die Tür zu.
ausgehen – to go out
mitkommen – to come along
anmachen – to turn on
ausmachen – to turn off
  • abfahren – to depart (vowel-changer: Der Bus fährt bald up)
  • abholen – to fetch, to pick up
  • absetzen – to drop off
  • anfangen – to begin (vowel-changer: Du fängst mit dem Essen an; er/sie/es fängt an)
  • ankommen – to arrive
  • anmachen – to turn on
  • anrufen – to ring up
  • (sich) anziehen – to get dressed
  • aufhören – to stop
  • aufmachen – to open
  • aufräumen – to tidy up
  • aufstehen – to get up, to stand up
  • ausgehen – to go out
  • ausmachen – to turn off
  • aussehen – to look like, appear (vowel-changer: du siehst toll aus)
  • (sich) ausziehen – to undress
  • einkaufen – to shop, go shopping
  • einladen – to invite (vowel-changer: Wen lädst du zu deiner Party ein?)
  • glattgehen – to got smoothly, to go off without a hitch
  • mitbringen – to bring along
  • mitkommen – to come along
  • mitmachen – to take part, to participate, work together
  • schiefgehen – to go wrong (literally: to go crooked)
  • vorbereiten – to prepare
  • vorschlagen – to suggest (vowel-changer: Was schlägst du vor?)
  • wegfahren – to go away, drive away (vowel-changer: Fährst du in den Ferien weg?)
  • zubereiten – to prepare food
  • zumachen – to close
  • zurückbringen – to bring back
  • zurückkommen – to come back, to return


Drag and Drop Quiz: Separable Verbs in Present Tense Sentences

Construct present tense sentences by dragging and dropping words into the right spaces.

This quiz is based on the examples on the page titled A Day of Separable Verbs.

This Quiz as a PDF Worksheet: A Day of Separable Verbs

Quiz: Using Separable Verbs in Sentences About Appearance and Personality

Practise using separable verbs in present tense and perfect tense sentences as well as in sentences containing a modal verb.

Quiz: Trennbare Verben: Ein kurzer Überblick | Separable Verbs: A Brief Overview

This is a simple multiple choice quiz with examples to clarify how separable verbs work in various types of sentences.

Page Picture Acknowledgements: