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

Flashcards

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.

Quizzes

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

Quizzes

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:

Umweltschutz: Verben A-Z 🌳

Verbs for Discussing Environmental Issues

This post was published by Roslyn Green in October 2022.

The Conjugated Verb as Sentence Anchor

German word order is delightfully fluid. The only immovable part is the conjugated verb, which is reassuringly anchored in the second position. In the examples below, the conjugated verb is a modal verb. Other elements can move around, as illustrated by the floating subject, which is usually placed first or third. In sentences with modal verbs, the other verb in the infinitive form generally goes to the end.


Sentence Patterns

Key: subjectmodal verbinfinitive verb


  • Wir müssen sofort handeln. [act, take action]
  • Im Haushalt kann man den Müll leicht trennen. [separate, sort]
  • Im Supermarkt können wir immer Stofftüten benutzen. [use]
  • Bei uns zu Hause könnten wir sicher weniger heizen. [heat]
  • Morgen musst du deine alten Kleider aussortieren. [sort out]
  • Dann können wir sie zum Secondhandladen bringen. [take]
  • Die Regierung sollte bedrohte Tierarten schützen. [protect]
  • Wir müssen die Vielfalt der Natur für kommende Generationen bewahren. [preserve]
  • Die Politiker sollten erneuerbare Energien fördern. [promote]

Bildlexikon: Verben A-Z

It’s useful to focus on the verbs required to give advice and make suggestions about protecting the environment. Here’s a handy list.

das Licht ausmachen oder ausschalten – to turn out the light

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Stoff- oder Jutetaschen benutzen – to use cloth or jute bags

Image by Artur Konik from Pixabay

erneuerbare Energien erzeugen – to generate renewable energies

Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay

das Umweltbewusstsein fördern – to promote environmental awareness

Image by Dorothe from Pixabay

zu Fuß gehen statt mit dem Auto fahren – to walk instead of drive

Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay

andere Menschen inspirieren – to inspire other people

David Attenborough from John CairnsCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

gegen die Klimakrise kämpfen – to fight against the climate crisis

Image by cubicroot from Pixabay

umweltfreundliche Produkte kaufen – to buy environmentally friendly products

Image by rodgersm222 from Pixabay

nachhaltiger leben – to live more sustainably

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

einen Becher oder eine Trinkflasche mitbringen – to take a cup or water bottle with you

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Bäume pflanzen – to plant trees

Image by Nico Wall from Pixabay

Papier und Karton recyceln – to recycle paper and cardboard

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

den CO2-Fußabdruck reduzieren – to reduce your carbon footprint

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

die Natur und die Umwelt respektieren – to respect nature and the environment

Image by homecare119 from Pixabay

Energie / Strom sparen – to save energy / electricity

Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

Plastik vermeiden – to avoid plastic

Image by G J Whitby from Pixabay

Haushaltssachen wiederverwenden – to reuse household items

Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

Fenster und Türen zumachen – to close windows and doors

Image by yeshimss from Pixabay

Quizzes and Activities

Quiz: Verbs for Discussing Environmental Issues

Practise using the verbs listed above, including in sentences with modal verbs.

Become more and more familiar with the pattern shown on the left.


Match Pins and Labels: Umweltschutz: Haushalt, Stadt, Welt | Protecting the Environment: Household, City, World

This quiz is quite difficult even though it is full of pictures. Click on the for translations of all the phrasing. Each picture must be matched with a phrase about taking environmentally friendly action.


Kahoot: Die Umwelt

Players are asked to choose between options that are friendly to the environment and actions that might lead to harm. The vocabulary includes the wording summarised on this page, some modal verbs, and the use of denn to give explanations.