Verbs with Prepositions – An Exercise

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to our epic GRMN S2MR BTCMP. That’s “hipster” for German Summer Bootcamp, the summer course you never expected. Today is round number three and after we did some serious muscle flexing for cases last time, we’ll deal with an entirely different thing today…

Verbs and their prepositions

If you don’t know what I mean by that, just take the English to wait for you absolutely need this for there. You can’t say “I wait the bus.” or “I wait to the bus.”. Nope, it needs to be for.
German and English are full of these combinations, but sadly the prepositions used don’t line up.
It’s to wait for, but warten auf.
And learning this stuff takes a lot of time and exposure to the language.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no point in practicing.
So today, we’ll practice some of the most common verb-preposition combos in everyday contexts… and not only that!

We’ll also get to practice our da-wordsand wo-wordsa bit. The wo-wordsare what we need if the verb is used in a question…

  • Whatare you waiting for?
  • Woraufwartest du?
    (“auf was” is also “ok” but the wo-word is much better. )

And the da-wordsare what we need if we have a pronoun…

  • I’m waiting for it.
  • Ich warte darauf.

or if we just need a placeholder that represents a sentence…

  • I’m waiting for [the bus to come].
  • Ich warte [darauf, dass der Bus kommt].

This example is quite tricky actually in so far as that it’ll really throw you off if you still more or less think in English (or your language) and then translate. English has a bunch of lean phrasings that just don’t translate directly to German but instead you need to rephrase it into a boring standard sentence.
But actually, I don’t want to get into that too much now. You’ll see it in the exercise and you’ll get a feeling for it.
If you want to know more about the da-words and wo-words or you want to freshen up your memory, you can check out my articles here:

But I’d almost recommend you give it a shot first and see how you do without too much theory in your head. And then, you can read up on the stuff and then do it again.

The Exercise

I’ll give you a statement or dialogue in English containing one or more of these fixed verb preposition combos and your job is to translate it to German.
Sometimes, I put “the fact that” or “the question if” into the English version even though it’s not the most idiomatic phrasing. That’s a hint then, that you absolutely need a da-word in German.

Now translating is very very very difficult, so if you feel like not going there, you can just click the “?” and you’ll get the German version with a gap to fill.
I’ll actually change this setup so you can just select which version you want to see with one switch for all, but I have to code that first.
Anyway, you can put your solution into the text field so you can compare it, but the text field doesn’t automatically check it.
The solutionis in the audio and you can show it when you click the circle O.

As usual, the goal ISN’T to get everything right. The goal is to learn some really common combos, and also to get a bit of a feeling how da-words and wo-words are used in daily talk and how common English phrasings translate to German.

One quick word about translating… often there is more than one way to phrase something in German. So if your translation is different than my solution, that DOESN’T mean it’s wrong. If you’re not sure just leave a comment and I’ll give you feedback.

As for level… I think this is once again a B1 exercise (the gaps, not the translation). But I’d encourage you to also try it if you’re just A2.
Oh and just a little warning.. some of the examples are quite silly this time, my apologies , I just couldn’t resist :).
Viel Spaß!!


I was thinking ofmy after work beer the whole day.
Ich habe den ganzen Tag ____ mein Feierabendbier gedacht.
Ich habe den ganzen Tag an mein Feierabendbier gedacht.

Maria is always a bit angryat Thomas.
Maria ist immer ein bisschen sauer____ Thomas.
Maria ist immer ein bisschen sauerauf Thomas.

Marrying you – that’s a difficult question. I’ll have to think about it.
Dich heiraten?! Oh, das ist eine schwierige Frage. Ich muss ____ nachdenken.
Dich heiraten – das ist eine schwierige Frage. Ich muss darübernachdenken.

“The WIFI is not working.”
“Oh… I’ll take careof it in a moment.”
“Das W-Lan geht nicht.”
“Oh… Ich kümmer mich gleich ____.”
“Das W-Lan geht nicht.”
“Oh… Ich kümmermich gleich darum.”

“What do soccer and my feelings have in common?”
“No idea!”
“You’re not interestedin them.”
“Was haben Fußball und meine Gefühle gemeinsam?”
“Keine Ahnung.”
“Du interessierst dich nicht ____.”
“Was haben Fußball und meine Gefühle gemeinsam?”
“Keine Ahnung.”
“Du interessierst dich nicht dafür.”

“What are you proudof?”
“Hmm… of my golden surfer locks.”
____bist du stolz?”
“Hmmm… ____meine goldenen Surferlocken.”
Woraufbistdu stolz?”
“Hmmm… aufmeine goldenen Surferlocken.”

“Live your dream! what are you waiting for?”
“Erm… (for) the bus.”
“Lebe deinen Traum! ____wartestdu?”
“Äh… ____den Bus.”
“Lebe deinen Traum! Woraufwartest du?”
“Äh… aufden Bus.”

“Do you want to watch a movie?”
“That depends on what kind of movie.” (use “ankommen“)
“Willst du einen Film gucken?”
“Das kommt ____ an, was für einen Film.”
“Willst du einen Film gucken?”
“Das kommtdraufan, was für einen Film.”

I’m often dreamingabout/of zebras. What does that signify?
Ich träume oft ____ Zebras. Was bedeutet das?
Ich träume oft von Zebras. Was bedeutet das?

I’m really happyabout the fact that it’s raining today.
Ich freue mich sehr ____, dass es heute regnet.
Ich freue mich sehr darüber, dass es heute regnet.

Maria is dreamingof becoming a musical singer.
Maria träumt____, eine Musical-Sängerin zu werden.
Maria träumt davon, eine Musical-Sängerin zu werden.

“Are you looking forwardtoyour dentist appointment?”
Freustdu dich ____ deinen Zahnarzttermin?”
Freust du dich aufdeinen Zahnarzttermin?”

“Excuse me, what’s the fly doing in my whisky?”
“No idea, maybe it is searchingfor answers.”
“Entschuldigung, was macht die Fliege in meinem Whisky?”
“Keine Ahnung, vielleicht sucht sie ____ Antworten.”
“Entschuldigung, was macht die Fliege in meinem Whisky?”
“Keine Ahnung, vielleicht sucht sie nach Antworten.”

“I don’t know if I’ll come.”
“What does it dependon?” (use: “abhängen”)
On whether Maria is there or not.”
“Ich weiß nicht, ob ich komme.”
____hängt es ab?”
____ ob Maria da ist oder nicht.”
“Ich weiß nicht, ob ich komme.”
Wovonhängt es ab?”
Davon ob Maria da ist oder nicht.”

“This cow always reminds me ofmy ex-boyfriend.”
“Mooooohhhh… hey, thinkofyour ex-boyfriend…. Mooooohhhh”
“There, it just did it again.”
“Diese Kuh erinnert mich immer ____ meinen Ex-Freund.”
“Mooooohhhh… hey, denk ____ deinen Ex-Freund.. moooooh.”
“Da, sie hat es grad wieder gemacht.”
“Diese Kuh erinnertmich immer an meinen Ex-Freund.”
“Mooooohhhh… hey, denk an deinen Ex-Freund.. moooooh.”
“Da, sie hat es grad wieder gemacht.”

Maria asks the guy at the bus stop forhis phone number.
Maria fragt den Mann an der Bushaltestelle ____ seiner Telefonnummer.
Maria fragt den Mann an der Bushaltestelle nach seiner Telefonnummer.

The meeting is about the new project, and about [the question] if vodka is allowed in the office kitchen.
In dem Meeting geht es____das neue Projekt und ____, ob Wodka im Büro-Kühlschrank erlaubt ist.
In dem Meeting geht esumdas neue Projekt und darum, ob Wodka im Büro-Kühlschrank erlaubt ist.

Sorry, could you watch/(pay attention to) my laptop for a few minutes?
Sorry, könntest du kurz ____ meinen Laptop aufpassen?
Sorry, könntest du kurz auf meinen Laptop aufpassen?

“How old are you?”
“One doesn’t aska lady about that.”
“Ok… tell me your age!!”
“Wie alt bist du?”
____fragtman eine Dame nicht.”
“Ok… sag dein Alter!!”
“Wie alt bist du?”
Danachfragt man eine Dame nicht.”
“Ok… sag dein Alter!!”

I’m very disappointedin you.
Ich bin sehr enttäuscht ____ dir.
Ich binsehr enttäuschtvon dir.

I was very disappointed bythe movie.
Ich war ____ dem Film sehr enttäuscht.
Ich war vondem Film sehr enttäuscht.

“I’m hungry.”
“Me too. What do you feel like eating?” (use: “Appetit haben”)
“I feel like pizza.”
“Ich habe Hunger.”
“Ich auch. ____ hastdu Appetit?”
“Ich habe Appetit ____Pizza.”
“Ich habe Hunger.”
“Ich auch. Woraufhast du Appetit?”
“Ich habe AppetitaufPizza.”

“What are you thinkingabout?”
Aboutwhether I drink another beer or not.”
____denkst du nach?”
“____, ob ich noch ein Bier trinke oder nicht.”
Worüberdenkst du nach?”
Darüber, ob ich noch ein Bier trinke oder nicht.”

I hope you’re not boredby this exercise.
Ich hoffe, du bist____ der Übung noch gelangweilt.
Ich hoffe, du bistvon der Übung nicht gelangweilt.



And, how did it go :)? Was it difficult for you? How many did you get right? Do you have any questions?
And do you like this type of exercise?
Let me know all your feedback and questions in the comments. Hope you had a bit of fun.
Have a great week and see you next time.

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