Word of the Day

“One word says more then 1.000 grammars”

Uh…. I’m not 100%  sure about this quote but what I am sure about is that words are THE key.

And here you get lots of them. Like … a LOT!!!

There are like 300+ articles here, and an article is usually not about just one word, but a whole family. Like… verbs, noun, adjectives.

We look at where they come from, why they mean what they mean and of course how to use them. All that with lots of (audio) examples and fun.
If you read all articles here, I think you’ll be familiar with like 1.500 words or so, and the most important ones, too. So jump right in :).

As I said,there’s quite a big archive so I offer different ways to go about it.
The categories gives you an impression of what to expect in terms of style and level. 

Looking at it by word type is probably the fastest way to find a particular word. And since some people have said they’d like to read it in sequence, I also have them ordered by date. Have fun :)

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 (note that many posts fit into more than one category)


a-levelThis category gathers all the articles that should be easily understandable at a beginner’s level once you’ve learned the absolute essentials.
You might find that a certain article is too advanced for you. Don’t feel bad or stupid then… I just put it in the wrong category then. It’s not always easy to tell. If you think one really doesn’t belong here… just leave me a comment.


b-levelAll the posts in this category are best if you’re already at an intermediate level. They’re not all super advanced but they usually contain at least some stuff that’ll sound intimidating if you’re really just a fledgling. Still, you can give a go of course :).
Also, all the stuff in here (words and grammar) is stuff you should know well at the end of a B level course.

Quick Reads

If you need a German quickie then these are the right articles for you. Quick, fun and all around a 1000 words. Perfect for a train ride to work or the morning number 2.

Audio Examples


If you want to have all examples read out – here are all the posts that have audio (I’m adding more bit by bit)

Must Have Words

This category compiles all the words that you absolutely, totally, undeniably, 100%edly haaaaave to know because they’re so useful and important.

Spoken German


These posts focus on the things that people use in their every day language. Colloquial expressions, slang, weird grammar, idioms… if you’re interested in this stuff, then this category is perfect for you.



The infamous particles – doch, noch, schon, eben and plenty more of these short little words that Germans throw in all the time but that are hard to translate.

Prefix Verbs

Learning German without prefix verbs is like drawing with only lines… pointless. Wow, that was bad. But the stuff in this category is awesome. All about prefix verbs and prefixes, what they mean, how they work and the differences between aufmachen and raufmachen and all the others…



“Verschieden vs. anders”, “wenn vs. falls”, “kennen vs wissen” – these and other pairs make almost every learner at some point wonder “What the hell is the difference.”
This category collects them all.

Broad Vocab

broad-vocabThis category gathers all the articles that are about generally useful words or words with interesting families and back stories but that aren’t really essential. If you want to be all efficient and get the stuff that really matters, then this is not the category to pick from. But it’s a rainy day and you need a fun read that broadens your vocabulary – then these articles are perfect. And hey… you can have the essentials down all you want. Having a broad, divers Wortschatz really makes all the difference.

/b/ Random

Random stuff you won’t find anywhere else.
Now headlines 14% more random – guaranteed ;)
But … I think it’s worth a look ;).

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Hey Emanuel, any chance you could a word of the day on Sachen some time?

Karl Cassle
Karl Cassle

I am seeing a german joke that shows usually 4 frames with pictures and subtitles. Schlecht fur die knocken, Schlecht furs Fahrrad.Schlecht furs die image, The last frame usually says Doch Leider Heil. I know Schlecht is bad for the subject. But at the end it seems to say Nevertheless we Heil, Kyle,Steil, or something that rhymes with it. Can you help me understand these jokes?
Linguist student


Are there any that say “Leider geil?” then it would sound like this awesome Deichkind song…


zugeben, aufgeben, angeben please :)

Cornilus Pumber nickel
Cornilus Pumber nickel

I guess German is hard for a 12 year old………..


If you could explain the differences between deshalb/deswegen/daher that would be awesome. I asked one of my German friends yesterday, and she replied with “There are not the same…but it is difficult to explain.”


I look forward to the “daher” WotD. I really dig your “molecular” explanatory approach!


How about “unheimlich”? I kinda struggled when I tried to explain it to some friends in the U.S.


This is probably very basic but what is the difference between auf, in and an?


Maybe you could do one on the particles (or adverbs, whatever you would call it) da and wo… like how they modify prepositions, like dabei, davon, wozu, etc. Do they go in the normal spot of a preposition? I understand the basic concept of these but find it hard when using them in speech!! I don’t like them.


Hey Emanuel,

Great blog! All your posts are really entertaining and educational (Wow! Who knew that was possible?) :)

Macht’s gut!
– Michael

tony martin
tony martin

Hi Emmanuel, thanks so much for your cracking blog. What a great job! Funny and informative educashun for all.
You have done doch as a wotd. What about its counterpart Eben?
thanks, Tony


Hi Emmanuel,
Your posts really clarify things that learners of the language find confusing. Could you please explain the many uses of ‘werden’? Also the so called particles – doch, mal, etc. That would be real helpful.


Vielen Dank :-)

Ankit Khandelwal
Ankit Khandelwal

What confuse me all the time is some words like ‘eigentlich, endlich’ . May be you can have a look on it :)


Hello, Emanuel

I’ve been following your blog for the last three months, and I would like to thank you for being so precise in your explanations.
I would like to make a request for you, it’s about the verb bleiben. I always confuse bleiben with liegen (by the way, the explanation of liegen that you did was pretty good) and I can’t find a good place where I can find how to differenciate them.

Therefore, I would appreciate if you get some free time to talk about “bleiben”.

Vielen Dank :)


Hello, again

My mother tongue is Portuguese. I’ve created a thread in the wordreference forum asking for an explanation about this subject, if you would like to see it in order to understand better my problem, this is the link: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2471976
As you can see, the people who posted just said that it was wrong, but didn’t explain me why. It’s completely clear to me that I should (must) use liegen, but I don’t understand why I can’t use bleiben too. In short, I don’t know how to use bleiben…

Thank you :)


can you explain everything regarding adjectives !! i have been facing many problems in this particular topic.there are some subdivisions under adjectives , like , adjective ending of the nouns without articles , and then there is, adjectives as nouns !! i was doing some exercises on these topics !! but have encountered many doubts !! so could you please explain with the help of sentences on how to apply the rules especially for genetive and dative ??

Doug Schultz
Doug Schultz

I would like a lesson on the various ways to say “it” in a sentence once we have established what It is. Also the several choices for the word “stop” I know them when I read them, but never seem to know which one one is best when I’m on my own.


Could you do a word of the day post about the word “denn?” I thought it just meant because/for, but I’ve been seeing it in some readings where it seems to be used more like a particle (like doch) so I’ve been having a hard time translating its exact meaning in some sentences. Your explanations have helped me quite a bit so I figured I’d throw out a request.

Brittany Deitz
Brittany Deitz

I have alot of ideas for German words of the day :) but I will just give a small list (source- Very eager German student)
der Arzt- The doctor
das Kind- The child
die Freunde- The friends
das Volk- The people (citizens), Singular
die Menschen- people
die Frau- The woman
Es geht mir schlecht- I am very bad
Es geht mir nicht so gut- I am bad
Sehr gut- Very well
Ich wohne in- I live in
Es geht mir okay- I am okay
Woher kommen sie?- Where are you from?
Wie Heiben sie?- What is your name?
Danke- Thank you
Tschau- Ciao
Tschub- Bye
Bis bald- See you soon
Ich komme aus- I am from
Auf Wiedersehen- Good-bye (formal)
Bis spater- See you later
Guten Morgen- Good morning
Guten Tag- Good afternoon, Good day
Guten abend- Good evening
Und du?- And you?
Ich Heibe- My name is
Hallo- Hi (used any time of the day to say a casual “hi”)
Es freut mich!- Nice to meet you!


could you do “schon”? “ich bin schon wieder zu spät” “es ist schon 22 Uhr” “sie ist schon nett” “ich bin ganz sicher schon mal hier gewesen” “schon allein deswegen bin ich dagegen” “findest du ihn süß? -schon” “er hat den pokal schon drei mal gewonnen” “nicht den hier und schon gar nicht den dort” “was hat sie schon damit erreicht” “was kann der denn schon?” “hast du schon deine hausaufgaben gemacht?” i’m native german, but still i like your blog and i think this needs some clarification for our foreign friends :)


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE teach us how to use “tun” and “machen.” Thank you!


I just have to say, I really appreciate all the work you put into this site. Your post on the “da-words” is the only reason why I no longer get into the fetal position and start crying whenever I come across them.

I realize it’s asking a lot, but I would really love to see a post on ‘lassen’. It’s one verb that trips me up almost every time. It just seems to have too many uses.