Home » Learn Languages » Learn Basic German Language – German Language Basics Guide

Learn Basic German Language – German Language Basics Guide

German Language Beginners Guide

This guide was written for German beginners that don’t know where to start learning the German language. Take the time to learn with this German language guide and let these points soak in, then build on them as you continue your German studies.

Good luck, and have fun learning German.

Why Learn the German Language?

The German language is known by an estimated 140 Million across Europe and around the world.

German is tied with French as the most learned second language in the European Union.

The importance of German as playing a crucial role for centuries in Europe and on the world stage.


German Language Beginners Outline


German Dialect Map

German Dialets Map
German Dialets Map

Within any language or language group, there may be significant changes in speech, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The term used to describe these changes is called a dialect.

Some words or phrases that exist in one dialect may exist or be absent from different German dialects. A Few German Dialects exist today because of various German dialects merging together through German history. German Dialects

  • Low German
  • Frisian German
  • Middle German
  • Frankish German
  • Alemannic German
  • Bavarian-Austrian German

Different German dialects of the German language are spoken in many different nations and regions around the world, most commonly throughout Europe.


German Language Alphabet

Learning to read the German Alphabet should be the first stop for German beginners.

The German Alphabet has four more letters than the English Alphabet and different pronunciation too.

The German alphabet is part of Germanic language that’s origins trace back to early 700s. German contains the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet and adds the extra letters ä, ö, ü and ß. All German letter have upper and lowercase version except for ß. The letter ß will never be at the start of a word.

German is sometime viewed by non-native German speakers as a harsh sounding language. The German language is a more consistent phonetically language than English.

Learn German Alphabet Pronunciation
Some German Letters are pronounce way different then their English counterparts. For example, the German W sounds like English V, and German V sounds like the English F. Most of the time the S in German sounds like Z in English when placed at the beginning of a word followed by a vowel. Learn German Alphabet letters g, ch, and r are pronounce mostly in the back of the throat. The pronunciation of some of these German letters does not have an English counterpart (Like “ü” for example”).

German Alphabet Table
German Alphabet Table

German Number System

German numbers are easy to understand because they are written exactly like English Numbers but are pronounced differently. Understanding how to write German numbers should take very little time and effort to learn.

It’s actually pretty straightforward when it comes to learning how to use the German number system. Pronouncing German numbers on the other hands get a little bit tricky. German numbers 1 to 10 should be your primary focus when you begin. German numbers after gain a suffix added to the base number. To illustrate what I mean, here are German numbers 1 to 100.

German Numbers 1 to 100
German Numbers 1 to 100 Table

German Numbers 1 to 100

German Vocabulary for Numbers
Zero Null
One ein
Two zwei
Three drei
Four vier
Five fünf
Six sechs
Seven sieben
Eight acht
Nine neun
Ten zehn
German Numbers
German Numbers Table

German Numbers beginning at ten through nineteen gain the suffix “zehn” added to the base number. German numbers from 13-19 work like this. However, the number twenty adds und- to the mix. So it goes base number + und + the appropriate suffix. Example of how to write the pronunciation of German numbers below.

German Numbers
Pronunciation of German Numbers

Understanding how to write German numbers is really that simple to learn. Only takes an hour or two to fully memorizes the German number system.

German numbers are just alike English numbers except for different pronunciation


German Vocabulary and Phrases

Logical next step for German beginners after learning the German Alphabet would be to start developing your German vocabulary with German words and phrases.

Learning German grammar rules can be considered the cornerstone of the language and will take some time to learn but creates a sturdy foundation to help you completely learn German in no time.

German Grammar

The German grammar rules you must follow and understand to properly speak the German language.

German Grammer Rules:

  • German sentence structure follows a Subject-Verb-Object pattern.
  • German Nouns can be either masculine, feminine, and neuter.
  • German Nouns and Pronouns are always capitalized.
  • German Verbs have different endings to the words depending on which tense of the word is used.
  • German Adjectives vary depending on which gender and case of the noun they are describing.

More German Grammar Rules

The fun part of learning any language.. learning Grammar!

German Grammar Rules: Sentence Structure

German Sentence structure as 4 distinct cases that can potentially follow.

  • Nominative case
    Identifies the subject (who or what is doing the action).
  • Accusative case
    Identifies the direct object (whom or what the subject “verbs”).
  • Genitive case
    Indicates that this noun belongs to someone or something.
  • Dative case
    identifies the indirect object (the receiver of the object or an action.)

German Grammar Rules: Nouns and Pronouns

German Masculine Feminine Examples
German Masculine Feminine Examples

• German Nouns can be either masculine, feminine, and neuter. German Nouns and Pronouns are always capitalizes.
• Masculine and Feminine don’t always apply to how “manly” or how “female” the subject is.
• Masculine nouns usually include male people and animals, the seasons, and months of the year.


German Grammar Rules: Verbs

• German Verbs have different endings to the words depending on which tense of the word is used.

Examples of German Verbs
Examples of German Verbs

German Grammar Rules: Adjectives

• German Adjectives vary depending on which gender and case of the noun they are describing.

German Adjective Example
German Adjective Example

Learn Common German Phrases

Help you Around German Countries

If you ever play to visit a country where the primary spoken language is German, then knowing and being able to use common German phrases. Even though English is gradually becoming the most used language in international business in some situations. Speaking the language of the locals and talking to the people. It shows respect and an effort to their culture by just knowing a few common German phrases.

In any language, you should be able to greet people and introduce yourself or simply ask for help or directions. German greeting and phrases to start or end conversations. Being able to introduce yourself in German. Being able to say your “Sorry” or ask politely for someone to repeat themselves. Common German words and phrases like saying “yes’ and “no”

Most of the sentences below can be used for travel and daily life conversations. So they might come handy if you memorize and practice then. The following is a list of common German phrases that you may need to know in the German language:

Common German phases
Common German phases
German Compliments Flirting Phases
German Compliments Flirting Phases
German Compliments/Flirting
You’re so handsome! Du bist so schön!
You’re very beautiful. Du bist sehr schön.
I love your smile. Ich liebe dein Lächeln.
You have beautiful eyes. Du hast schöne Augen.

Learn Common German Words

I hope you find this page of common German phrases useful in your travels. Memorizes them and try to incorporate them into your daily conversation

German Vocabulary Words for Weather
RainRegen
SnowSchnee
FogNebel
Cloudybewölkt
SunshineSonnenschein
ColdKälte
Warmwarm
Windywindig
German Words for Weather
German words for Weather

German Vocabular Words for Vehieles
CarAuto
TruckLKW
PlaneFlugzeug
BoatBoot
VanLieferwagen
German Words for Vehicles
German Words for Vehicles

German Vocabulary for Tmes/Day
Todayheute
Tomorrowmorgen
Vesterdaygestern
Tonightheute Abend
MorningMorgen
AfternoonNachmittag
German Words for Times & Day
German Words for Times & Day

German Vocabulary for Seasons/Year
SpringFrühjahr
SummerSommer
AutumnHerbst
WinterWinter
German words for Seasons Year
German words for Seasons Year

German Vocabulary for Professions
DoctorArzt
LawyerAnwalt
DentistZahnarzt
WriterSchriftsteller
BankerBanker
SecretarySekretär
EngineerIngenieur
FarmerBauer
CarpenterZimmermann
ArchitectArchitekt
PostmanBriefträger
PilotPilot
TeacherLehrer
Cookkochen
MechanicMechaniker
BartenderBarmann
German words for Professions
German words for Professions

German Vocabulary for Months/Year
JanuaryJanuar
FebruaryFebruar
MarchMärz
AprilApril
MayMai
June Juni
JulyJuli
AugustAugust
SeptemberSeptember
OctoberOktober
NovemberNovember
DecemberDezember
German words for Months Years
German words for Months Years

German Vocabulary for Meal times/Food
BreakfastFrühstück
LunchMittagessen
binnerAbendessen
CoffeeKaffee
FishFisch
MilkMilch
OnionZwiebel
5aladSalat
BeverageGetränk
TeaTee
CakeKuchen
SausageWurst
CheeseKäse
German words for Meal times Food
German words for Meal times Food

German Vocabulary Words for Anatomy
HeadKopf
HeartHerz
BrainGehirn
LungsLunge
HandsHände
LegsLegs
ArmsWaffen
ChestBrust
FingersFingers
ToesToes
EyesBlick
German words for Anatomy
German words for Anatomy

German Vocabulary for Animals
DogHund
CatKatze
FishFisch
BirdVogel
PigSchwein
CowKuh
MonkeyAffe
DeerHirsch
German words for Animals
German words for Animals

German Vocabulary for Colors
Blackschwarz
Whiteweiß
Yellowgelb
Orangeorange
Blueblau
Brownbraun
Greengrün
Purplelila
Violetviolett
Redrot
Graygrau
German words for Colors
German words for Colors

German Vocabulary Nords for Continents
AfticaAfrika
AntarcticaAntarktika
AsiaAsien
AustraliaAustralien
EurasiaEurasien
EuropeEuropa
North AmericaNordamerika
South AmericaSüdamerika
German words for Continents
German words for Continents

German Vocabulary Nords for Countries
ChinaChina
FranceFrankreich
ItalyItalien
North KoreaNordkorea
South KoreaSüdkorea
USAVereinigte Staaten
BritainGroßbritannien
RussiaRussland
JapanJapan
CanadaKanada
IraqIrak
EgyptÄgypten
GermanyDeutschland
IndiaIndien
SpainSpanien
MexicoMexiko
German Words for Countries
German Words for Countries

German Vocabulary for Emotions/Feelings
Lovelieben
Worriedbesorgt
Angrywütend
sadtraurig
Embarassedpeinlich
Afraidängstlich
KindArt
Happyglücklich
Impoliteunhöflich
Painfulempfindlich
Boredgelangweilt
Tiredmüde
Sensitiveschmerzhaft
Beautifulschön
Delightederfreut
Amazederstaunt
Hatehassen
German words for Emotions Feelings
German words for Emotions Feelings

German Vocabulary for Family Members
FamilyFamilie
FatherVater
MotherMutter
GrandfatherGroßvater
GrandmotherGroßmutter
GrandsonEnkel
GranddaughterEnkelin
GrandparentsGroßeltern
GrandchildrenEnkelkinder
BrotherBruder
SisterSchwester
SonSohn
DaughterTochter
UncleOnkel
AuntTante
NephewNeffe
NieceNichte
German words for Family Members
German words for Family Members

GermanVocabularyWords for Homes/Rooms
HomeZuhause
HouseHaus
ApartmentWohnung
Dining RoomDining Room
BedroomSchlafzimmer
BathroomBad
BasementKeller
Living RoomWohnzimmer
AtticDachboden
KitchenKüche
German words for Homes & Rooms
German words for Homes & Rooms

German Vocabulary for Days/ Week
SundaySonntag
MondayMontag
TuesdayDienstag
WednesdayMittwoch
ThursdayDonnerstag
FridayFreitag
SaturdaySamstag
German words Days Week
German words Days Week

Consider Using an Online German Language Course

Language Software
Try Language Software

If you are really serious about learning German and want to maximize your time then you should consider using a German language course to further aid you in your quest to learn German. There are several great programs out there that deliver a great language learning experience. The advantages of a language learning program are the organization and having a next step already lined up.

Most break down the lessons into 30-minute intervals that can fit into any type of schedule. Flexible to retry a lesson to make sure you understand what you are learning and give you confidence in succeeding.

Examples of great Online German language programs can be found below.

About Sally Morgan

My name is Sally Morgan, I'm American and currently a Language Teacher in New York State Schools for French and Spanish. I have studied Foreign Languages, translation and teaching at the Columbia University in New York. I lived for 3 years in Europe including France, UK and Italy.

I am a passionate linguist and love how speaking another language opens the doors of communication and therefore a whole world.

Please ask me any questions below

4 thoughts on “Learn Basic German Language – German Language Basics Guide”

Leave a Comment