German: 75 Core Words

Updated: May 31, 2021


drawer full of papers with mandarin chinese characters


Use these core words to create your first simple sentences in German. Read the word, the translation and see the example sentences to see how the words are used. Have fun!


Hint: German uses feminine, masculine and neutral, requiring different articles (“the” = der/die/das). German also has a formal “you” (Sie) and a less formal “you” (du) as well as plural formal “you” (sie) and plural informal “you” (ihr). Don’t forget that verbs are conjugated differently for I/you/we/they/he/she/you formal, but we’ll just cover the verb endings for “I” (ich) here, in present form and give you the infinitive in ( ). German grammar is pretty complicated, so we’ll just keep things simple here for this exercise.



Social Words

yes - ja

no/not - nein/nicht

thank you - danke

please - bitte

hello - hallo

good-bye - auf Wiedersehen


Pronouns

I/me - ich/mich/mir

my - mein/meine

you - Sie/du/sie/ihr

it - es

he - er

she - sie

we - wir

they - sie


Question Words

what - was

when - wanna

where - wo

who - wer

why - warum

how - wie


Verbs

I am - (sein) ich bin

I do/make - (machen) ich mache

I can - (können) ich kann

I have - (haben) ich habe

I go - (gehen) ich gehe

I stop - (stoppen/anhalten) ich halte... an

I look - (gucken/schauen) ich gucke/ich schaue

I open - (öffnen) ich öffne

I close - (schließen) ich schließe

I eat - (essen) ich esse

I drink - (trinken) ich trinke

I help - (helfen) ich helfe

I would like - (mögen) ich möchte

I need - (brauchen) ich brauche

I say - (sagen) ich sage

I know - (wissen) ich weiß

I come - (kommen) ich komme

I read - (lesen) ich lese

I think - (denken) ich denke

I work - (arbeiten) ich arbeite

I play - (spielen) ich spiele

I give - (geben) ich gebe

I wait - (warten) ich warte


Descriptive words

more - mehr

one - ein/eine

two - zwo/zwei

three - dreier/drei

big - groß

little - wenig

fast - schnell

slow - langsam

same - gleich

different - anders

pretty - hübsch

red - rot

blue - blau

yellow - gelb

good - gut

new - neu

old - alt

happy - glücklich

sad - traurig

very - sehr


Prepositions

at - bei

on - auf

under - unter


Determiners

this - diese

that - jene

some - etwas

all - alle


Conjunctions

and - und

but - aber


Adverbs

now - jetzt

here - hier

there - dort



Sentences:


Ich möchte spielen. I want to play.


Wo ist er? Where is he?

Er ist dort. He is there.


Wer bist du? Who are you?


Wann werden wir essen? When are we going to eat?


Was möchtest du trinken? What do you want to drink?


Gib mir das bitte. Give me that please.


Ich gehe jetzt dorthin. I’m going there now.


Alle sind rot. All are red.


Ich weiß es nicht. I don’t know.

Danke! Auf Wiedersehen! Thank you! Goodbye!



Have fun making your first German sentences and share your sentences with us on Instagram! Tag us @languagetvclub. Or send us an email at info@polyglotstation.com.


If you're way past the core words phase, think about joining us for German TV Club. I'd love to see you there! (Don't worry, I'm not hosting this one!)

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