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.

Umwelt: Besuch aus der Zukunft 🔮

Visit from the Future

Posted by Roslyn Green and Jana Kühn in October 2022

Besuch aus der Zukunft

This is a story by Jana Kühn about an imaginary teenager whose everyday life involves careless energy consumption.

Could this be you? Click here to listen to the audio and read the transcript at the same time or click on the link in the podcast episode embedded below.

Image by Petra from Pixabay

Besuch aus der Zukunft | Visit from the Future

After a typical day of reckless energy consumption, a teenager has a strange and disturbing dream.

Related Blog Pages:

Umwelt A-Z | Umweltschutz: Verben A-Z

These pages offer more vocabulary about the environment as well as extra quizzes to practise the new wording.

Fragen zum Hörtext | Questions About the Audio Text

  • Warum ist das Kind im Traum böse?
  • Welche Umweltprobleme produzieren die Erzählerin und ihre Familie?
  • Wie kann die Erzählerin diese Umweltprobleme vermeiden? Schreibe Sätze mit Modalverben.
  • (Diese Seite über Modalverben kann dir helfen.)

Audio Quiz on LearnClick: Besuch aus der Zukunft

At the end of a long day filled with poor environmental choices, a teenager dreams that a future grandchild reproaches her.

The worksheet below is a paper version of this quiz.

Audio Quiz on LearningApps: Besuch aus der Zukunft

This quiz is a slightly different task. It provides extra practice with the vocabulary, which is quite challenging.

Worksheet: Besuch aus der Zukunft

This worksheet is based on the audio and text titled Besuch aus der Zukunft, written by Jana Kühn. It provides guided questions for working through the vocabulary in the text, in particular vocabulary relating to environmental choices and separable verbs.

At the end, there is a simple task providing support with developing sentences containing müssen.

The audio quiz above is an online version of this worksheet.

Umwelt A-Z ♻️

Umweltprobleme und Umweltschutz A-Z

Posted by Roslyn Green in October 2022

Bildlexikon | Picture Dictionary

Colour Coding of Nouns: Masculine | Feminine | Neuter | Plural

  • die Abholzung – deforestation
  • Bäume abholzen – cut down or clear trees

Image by Picography from Pixabay

  • Bäume pflanzen und schützen – plant and protect trees
  • Bodenerosion verursachen / vermeiden – cause / avoid soil erosion

Image by Nicole from Pixabay

  • die CO2-Konzentration in der Atmosphäre reduzieren – reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere

Image by Pixource from Pixabay

  • die Dürre
  • Dürren nehmen zu – droughts become worse or occur more often

Image by Luis Iranzo Navarro-Olivares from Pixabay

  • Energie sparen – save energy
  • den Energieverbrauch reduzieren
  • erneuerbare Energien fördern – foster / promote renewable energies
  • die globale Erwärmung – global warming

Image by PIRO from Pixabay

  • das Fleisch
  • kein / weniger Fleisch essen – eat no meat / less meat

Image by Uwe Ruhrmann from Pixabay

  • die Gefahr
  • Der Klimawandel ist eine Gefahr für die Menschheit. – Climate change is a danger for humanity.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

  • die Heizung
  • das Haus so effizient wie möglich heizen – heat the house as efficiently as possible

Image by Etadly from Pixabay

  • der Jutebeutel – jute bag (the picture above shows a 40-year-old slogan to reduce plastic use)
  • die Jutetasche, Stofftasche – jute or cloth bag

Adrian MichaelCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • der Klimawandel oder die Klimaveränderung – climate change
  • gegen den Klimawandel kämpfen – fight against climate change

Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

  • die Luftverschmutzung air pollution
  • die Luft mit Abgasen verschmutzen – pollute the air with waste or exhaust gases

Image by alvpics from Pixabay

  • die Mülltrennung – waste separation / sorting
  • den Müll trennen – separate or sort waste
  • mehr / weniger Müll produzieren – produce more / less rubbish

Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

  • Naturkatastrophen vorbeugen – prevent or take precautions against natural catastrophes
  • die Nachhaltigkeit – sustainability

Image by Hans from Pixabay

  • das Ozonloch – hole in the ozone layer
  • Ökosysteme schützen/zerstören – protect/destroy ecosystems

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

  • die Plastikflasche – plastic bottle
  • die Plastiktüteplastic bag
  • Plastik vermeiden – avoid plastic

Image by 💙♡🌼♡💙 Julita 💙♡🌼♡💙 from Pixabay

  • die Regenwälder schützen – protect the rainforests
  • Die Regenwälder produzieren eine Menge Sauerstoff. – The rainforests produce a great deal of oxygen.

Image by stokpic from Pixabay

  • Strom sparen – save electricity
  • der Sauerstoff
  • Sauerstoff ist lebensnotwendig. – Oxygen is essential to life.

Image by PIRO from Pixabay

  • bedrohte Tierarten schützen – protect endangered species
  • Treibhausgase emittieren / reduzieren – emit / reduce greenhouse gases

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

  • die Überschwemmung – flood
  • die Überbevölkerung – over-population

Image by sweetreilly0 from Pixabay

  • die Vielfalt der Natur für kommende Generationen bewahren – preserve the diversity of nature for future generations
  • die Verpackung – packaging

Image by Myléne from Pixabay

  • die Wiederverwendung, die Wiederverwertung – reusing and recycling
  • der Welthunger – world hunger
  • die Wüstenbildung – desertification

Image by Wälz from Pixabay

  • Die Zeit ist knapp. Wir müssen handeln. – The time is short. We must act.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Quizzes and Activities

Puzzle: Umweltfreundlich oder umweltfeindlich? | Protective or harmful to the environment?

Classify each action according to its likely impact on the environment. Reveal the picture under the puzzle.

Quiz: Umweltfreundlich oder nicht? | Environmentally friendly or not?

Learn important verbs for talking about the environment and determine which actions are environmentally friendly and which might lead to negative impacts in the long term.

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.