A-Level
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"A-Level"

This category gathers all the articles that should be easily understandable at a beginner’s level once you’ve learned the absolute essentials.

In this episode:

The difference between "antworten" and "beantworten" is: grammar. Hooray! Today, we'll find out when to use which. Including a little quiz for you.

Vocabulary:

antworten, beantworten, die Antwort

art vs. die Art

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of the German words "die Art" and "die Kunst" and why only the second one actually means art.

Vocabulary:

die Art, die Tonart, die Tierart, artgerecht, artig, eigenartig, die Kunst, künstlich, der Künstler

aufhören - A practical guide
aufnehmen

In this episode:

A fun look at the various meanings of "aufnehmen" and what a recording has to do with giving asylum to refugees and entry exams.

Vocabulary:

aufnehmen, die Aufnahme, die Notaufnahme, die Aufnahmeprüfung, raufnehmen

ausfallen

In this episode:

A quick look at the meanings of "ausfallen" and what cancelled meetings have to do with extraordinary dresses and electricity blackouts.

Vocabulary:

ausfallen, ausgefallen, der Ausfall, der Stromausfall, rausfallen

aussetzen

In this episode:

Aussetzen has an eclectic set of translations: Expose, suspend, plant, criticize, maroon, skip. Placing "outside" in some way is the core idea, though.

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

bald vs. bald

In this episode:

A quick look at the reason why German 'bald' and English 'bald' look alike but have NOTHING in common meaning wise. And a few words for balding men in German :)

Vocabulary:

bald, kahl, glatt, die Glatze

der Bescheid

In this episode:

A quick look at the meaning of "Bescheid", how to use "Bescheid sagen" in daily life and what it has to do with being humble.

Vocabulary:

der Bescheid, Bescheid sagen, bescheiden, die Bescheidenheit

das Bild

In this episode:

A fun look at the word "das Bild" and how its core idea formed (hint, hint) all the cool, useful related words - more than just a picture :)

Vocabulary:

das Bild, bilden, sich bilden, ausbilden, die Bildung, die Ausbildung, sich einbilden

das Blatt

In this episode:

A fun look at the word "das Blatt" and its CRAZY family which ranges from blood to flowers.

Vocabulary:

das Blatt, blättern, der Blätterteig, die Blüte, blühen, die Blume

dabei

In this episode:

Dabei is not only a common da-word, it's part of some really cool and useful phrasings like "dabei haben" or "dabei sein". Today, we'll find out all about it.

Vocabulary:

dabei, dabei haben, dabei sein, wobei

dauern

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "dauern" and how to use it as a translation for "to take time" . Also: some cardio. Condolences :).

Vocabulary:

dauern, die Dauer, dauernd, andauern, die Ausdauer, während, bedauern,...

dienen

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "dienen", its origin and what earning money has to do with a user manuel and a buttler.

Vocabulary:

dienen, der Dienst, der Diener, bedienen, die Bedienung, die Bedienungsanleitung, verdienen, der Verdienst,

einfach

In this episode:

A quick and easy look at the real meaning of "einfach" and how to use it as "easy" and "just". Special guests: a few other fach-words.

Vocabulary:

einfach, mehrfach, vielfach, vervielfachen, vereinfachen

fabric vs. Fabrik

In this episode:

A fun look at why fabric and die Fabrik are false friends and how to translate them. We'll also talk about der Stoff, and learn some word history.

Vocabulary:

die Fabrik, der Stoff, Sauerstoff, Wasserstoff, Rohstoff, Ballaststoff

fangen

In this episode:

The difference between "anfangen" and "beginnen". Preceeded by a lot of cool info about "fangen" and its prefix versions and what WIFI has to do with girth.

Vocabulary:

fangen, der Fänger, das Gefängnis, auffangen, einfangen, abfangen, empfangen, der Empfang, anfangen, der Anfang, beginnen

finden - phrasings
gegen

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "gegen" and why its many useful related words sometimes seem to have contradictory meanings.

Vocabulary:

gegen, entgegen, dagegen, gegenseitig, der Gegner, begegnen, der Gegenstand, gegenüber, die Gegend, entgegnen

German Noun Gender - A learner's story
graben

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "graben" and how it relates to ditch and rumination. And another English word that you would NEVER expect to be related to grave.

Vocabulary:

graben, vergraben, begraben, angraben, das Grab, die Gruft, die Grube, grübeln, ...

der Hammer

In this episode:

A Hammer is a tool. And in German it's an adjective that'll help you ... ahem... nail the slang :). Today, we’ll find out what hammer means and how to use it.

Vocabulary:

hammer-, Schere, Zange, hammergut, hammerteuer

kacken

In this episode:

A po-etic look at the German word "kacken" and how to harness the full colloquial potential of it and its brothers. With audio examples and visuals.

Vocabulary:

kacken, die Kacke, verkacken, ankacken, abkacken

die Laune

In this episode:

A quick, fun look at the meaning of "die Laune" and how to say you're in a good mood in German. Also: the difference to "die Stimmung" and a surprise connection

Vocabulary:

die Laune, gute Laune, die Partylaune, launisch, gelaunt, die Stimmung, die Stimmungsschwankung

man

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "man" and how to use it. And a weird way native speakers use it more and more often, that is kind of coy and apologetic.

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

Missing "zu" with "gehen"
nutzen, benutzen
paar

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "paar" and it's brother with a captital P and how to use them as translations for "pair" and "couple". Oh and "few".

Vocabulary:

paar, das Paar, das Pärchen, Pärchenabend

Speaking Past Tense - Verbs with "sein"
Past Tense with "sein" - Speaking Practice
Practice Speaking - A New Type Of Exercise
ruhig

In this episode:

A fun look at the origin and meaning of "ruhig" and why the sentence "Sei ruhig laut." actually makes sense. Also: die Ruhe and German for "Leave me alone!"

Vocabulary:

ruhig, die Ruhe, still, leise

schade

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of schade and how to use it like a German. Also: some interesting family members and relations to English. And some Schadenfreude :)

Vocabulary:

schade, schaden, schädlich, Schadenfreude, beschädigen

schenken

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "schenken" and its rather odd family that connects ham, presents and drinks. Absolute must have.

Vocabulary:

schenken, das Geschenk, der Schinken, einschenken, verschenken

Schild

In this episode:

A fun look at the two meanings of "Schild" and its two genders and plurals.

Vocabulary:

der Schild, das Schild, schildern, ausschildern, die Drüse, die Schilddrüse, der Schirm, abschirmen

die Schuld

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "die Schuld" and its family, a nice theory why Germans don’t like having debt and a super surprising connection to English. #OMG

Vocabulary:

die Schuld, schuldig, die Entschuldigung, (sich) entschuldigen, Schulden

der Schwarm

In this episode:

A quick, fun look at the meaning of "der Schwarm" and what a flock of birds has to do with your crush. Yup, YOUR cursh.

Vocabulary:

der Schwarm, der Vogelschwarm, der Frauenschwarm, schwärmen

spitz

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "spitz" and the various related words like "die Spitze" and "der Spitzname". A spitzen-way to build vocabulary :)

Vocabulary:

spitz, die Spitze, die Spitzenidee, anspitzen, der Spitzname, Ohren spitzen, der Spitzel, bespitzeln, die Speiche

der Stamm

In this episode:

A quick look at the various uses of "der Stamm" in German and the mysteries meanings of "Stammtisch" and "Stammbar".

Vocabulary:

der Stamm, der Stammtisch, der Stammbaum, der Baumstamm, der Stammkunde, stammen, stemmen

stehen auf

In this episode:

"stehen auf" is a pretty common colloquial phrasing in German. Today, we'll learn what it means and how to use it properly to express liking.

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

Time Prepositions - An Exercise

In this episode:

Let's practice time prepositions in German... ago, before, after, since and so on. With 10% more tricky examples than other exercises :)

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

trauen

In this episode:

A fun look at the German verb "trauen", the difference to "sich trauen" and what confidence has to do with marriage and fidelity. #datingadvice #kidding

Vocabulary:

trauen, sich trauen, vertrauen, treu, heiraten,

überlegen

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "überlegen", the surprising logic behind the meaning and the difference to "nachdenken".

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

unbedingt

In this episode:

A quick look at the meaning of "unbedingt" and how to use it and what it has to do with the Vikings.

Vocabulary:

unbedingt, die Bedingung, bedingen,

vielleicht

In this episode:

A quick look at "vielleicht", the German word for "maybe". We'll learn why it means what it means, how to use it and what side use it has.

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

von... aus

In this episode:

A quick fun look at the meaning of the combination "von... aus" and the very useful phrase "von mir aus".

Vocabulary:

von mir aus, von da aus, von sich aus

der Wahnsinn

In this episode:

A quick look at the meaning of "der Wahnsinn" and how to use it and its relatives in conversation. Special mention: erwähnen :)

Vocabulary:

der Wahnsinn, der Wahn, wahnsinnig, der Verfolgungswahn, wähnen, erwähnen

wann vs. wenn

In this episode:

A quick and easy hack for the difference between "wenn" or "wann" in German. And then: a detailed look at what's actually going on - for the nerds :).

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)

wischen

In this episode:

A fun look at the German verb "wischen" and its sometimes not so obvious prefix versions. Also, we'll learn the proper word for wiping one's butt and listen to classical music.

Vocabulary:

wischen, verwischen, erwischen, entwischen, jemandem eins auswischen

das Ziel

In this episode:

"Ziel" is the German word for "goal". We'll learn where it comes from and what nice related words we can add to our vocabulary.

Vocabulary:

das Ziel, zielen, ziellos, die Zielgruppe, erzielen

zugeben

In this episode:

A quick, fun look at the meaning of "zugeben" and the noun "die Zugabe" that'll make you go like "Encore!" :)

Vocabulary:

no vocab snippet (yet)