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5.9: Core vocabulary list

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    Using the list


    Listen carefully to the pronunciation of each word or phrase in the vocabulary list.


    Repeat each word or phrase OUT LOUD several times until you remember it well and can recognize it as well as produce it. Make a list of the words in this chapter which you find difficult to pronounce. Your teacher may ask you to compare your list with other students in your class. Make sure to learn nouns with their correct gender! Beispiel: die Sprache fünf

    C. WRITE

    Write key words from the vocabulary list so that you can spell them correctly (remember that it makes a big difference whether you cross the Atlantic by ship or by sheep). You may want to listen to the vocabulary list again and write the words as they are spoken for extra practice.


    Learn the English translation of each word or phrase. Cover the German column and practice giving the German equivalent for each English word or phrase. Next cover the English column and give the translation of each.


    Think of word associations for each category of vocabulary. (What words, both English and German, do you associate with each word or phrase on the list?) Write down ten (10) associations with the vocabulary from the chapter. Beispiel: der Student/die Universität das Flugticket/das Flugzeug


    Which words are cognates? (Cognates are words which look or sound like English words.) Watch out for false friends!!! Write down several cognates and all the false friends from the chapter, create fun sentences that illustrate similarities and differences between the English and German meanings of these words. Beispiel: Nacht/night grün/green False Friends: hell = light, bright vs. Hölle = hell


    Which words come from word families in German that you recognize (noun, adjective, verb, adverb)? Write down as many as you find in the chapter. Beispiel: das Studium (noun; studies) der Student (noun; person) studieren (verb)


    Write out three (3) „Was passt nicht?” (‘Odd one out’) exercises. List four words, three of which are related and one that does not fit the same category. Categories can be linked to meaning, grammar, gender, parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective)



    These ideas are suggestions only. Different learners have different preferences and needs for learning and reviewing vocabulary. Try several of these suggestions until you find ones that work for you. Keep in mind, though, that knowing many words – and knowing them well, both to recognize and to produce – makes you a more effective user of the new language.


    Core Vocabulary

    The following presents a list of core vocabulary. Consider this list as the absolute minimum to focus on. As you work through the chapter you will need more vocabulary to help you talk about your own experience. To that end, a more complete vocabulary list can be found at the end of the chapter. Likewise, knowing your numbers, colors and fields of study will greatly aid your achievement of Chapter 1’s objectives.


    Die Familie (Familien)                                                   The family

    der Bruder (Brüder)                                                          brother

    das Einzelkind (no plural)                                                  only child

    die Eltern (only plural)                                                      parents

    das Enkelkind (Enkelkinder)                                               grandchild

    das Familienmitglied (Familienmitglieder)                              family member

    die Frau                                                                         wife (also: woman)

    die Geschwister (plural only)                                              siblings

    die Großmutter (Großmütter), die Oma                                 grandmother

    der Großvater (Großväter) , der Opa                                    grandfather

    das Kind (Kinder)                                                             child

    Mama und Papa                                                              Mom and Dad

    der Mann                                                                       husband (also: man)

    die Mutter (Mütter)                                                           mother

    mütterlicherseits                                                              on my mother’s side

    der Onkel (Onkel)                                                            uncle

    die Schwester (Schwestern)                                               sister

    der Sohn (Söhne)                                                             son

    die Tante (Tanten)                                                           aunt

    die Tochter (Töchter)                                                        daughter

    der Vater (Väter)                                                             father

    väterlicherseits                                                                on my father’s side

    der / die Verwandte (Verwandten)                                       male / female relative


    Wie ist meine Familie?                                                  What is my family like?

    blöd                                                                              dumb

    doof                                                                              dumb

    dumm                                                                            stupid

    frech                                                                             bold/fresh

    intelligent                                                                       intelligent

    langweilig                                                                       boring

    lustig                                                                             funny

    schwerhörig                                                                    hard of hearing

    schüchtern                                                                      shy

    sympathisch                                                                    likeable

    verrückt                                                                         crazy


    Feiertage & Feste                                                          Holidays & Celebrations

    die Ferien (only plural)                                                      holidays/vacation

    der Geburtstag (Geburtstage)                                             birthday

    (das) Neujahr                                                                  New Year’s Day

    (der) Silvester                                                                             New Year’s Eve

    (der) Tag der deutschen Einheit (3. Oktober)                        Unification Day (Oct. 3rd)

    (die) Weihnachten                                                            Christmas


    Feiern & Beziehungen                                                   Celebrating & Relationships

    anrufen                                                                          call

    besuchen                                                                       visit

    das Datum                                                                      date (as in day)

    einladen                                                                         to invite

    die Einladung                                                                  the invitation

    feiern                                                                            to celebrate

    der Freund (Freunde)                                                       male friend, boyfriend

    die Freundin (Freundinnen)                                                female friend, girlfriend

    das Geburtstagskind                                                         the birthday boy/girl

    gern haben                                                                     to like

    das Geschenk (die Geschenke)                                           gift, present

    gratulieren                                                                      congratulations

    die Grußkarte                                                                  greeting card

    schreiben                                                                       write

    stattfinden                                                                     to take place

    die Tradition (Traditionen)                                                 tradition

    vermissen                                                                       to miss

    verstehen                                                                       to understand

    This page titled 5.9: Core vocabulary list is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Zsuzsanna Abrams and co-workers (Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning) .

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