German Lessons | German Grammar

Lesson 4: Kleidung

Hello from Berlin!

In every Lesson from 4 – 12 there is going to be a featured German-Speaking city, which be the theme of the lesson. For 4 – 6 it is Berlin. There will be famous locations in Berlin, like for this lession it’s Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe, the shopping area of Berlin. Also in each lesson there will be facts, so if you ever travel to a German-Speaking country it’ll be like you are a native!

It’s Time to Change Time

Berlin’s time is UTC+1. That means that they are 6 hours ahead of E.S.T. If it’s 2:00pm in New York City, it’s 8:00pm (or 20:00) locally. Please note that Germany changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U.S., so time differences still vary in March and October.

Tip, Tip, and More Tip

Tipping. A service charge is always included on restaurant checks, but it is usual and polite to round up the amount. For a cup of coffee costing about 2.00 EUR, you would round up to 2.50 EUR. At a restaurant, you should give a tip of at least five percent. Giving no tip at all is considered extremely rude. Tip when paying, don’t leave money on the table. Tip the hat check or coat check attendant. Add about 2 Euros to taxi fares. Tipping is very important.

Shopping Locations

There are two major shopping locations. The Kurfürstendamm in the old west is lined with boutiques and department stores. It continues eastwards for about three hundred yards where you can visit KaDeWe, the biggest department store in Europe. On the newly-developed Friedrichstraße in the old east, the famous French store Galleries Lafayette is to be found together with a maze of underground shopping malls. Shops are generally open 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday. In the outskirts most shops close at 4pm on Saturdays.

Dialogue

German Dialogue • Kleidung
Going Shopping Einkaufen gehen
HelgaGuten Morgen, Maria.
MariaMorgen. Wie geht’s dir?
HelgaMir geht’s gut. Ich gehe zum Kurfürstendamm, möchtest du mitkommen?
MariaJa, gerne. Ich hole vorher noch Geld.
HelgaIch sehe dich dann am Kurfürstendamm.
am Kurfürstendamm
HelgaHallo Maria!
MariaHallo!
HelgaWohin gehen wir als erstes?
MariaLass uns zu dieser Boutique gehen.
HelgaO.K.
in der Boutique
Angestellter ThomasHallo meine Damen!
Maria und HelgaHallo, guten Tag.
Angestellter ThomasBenötigen Sie Hilfe?
MariaJa, können Sie mir helfen, diesen Rock in meiner Größe zu finden?
Angestellter ThomasNatürlich.
Angestellter ThomasHier ist der Rock in Ihrer Größe.
MariaDanke. Wo ist die Umkleidekabine?
Angestellter ThomasDort.

Shopping

There is a lot to say to shopping, places to shop at, money and items to buy. In this lesson we will cover most of it. There are two big shopping locations in Berlin. They are Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Shopping Einkaufen
EnglishGerman
Babyweardie Babyartikel (plural)
Children’s Weardie Kinderbekleidung
Clearance Saleder Räumungsverkauf
ClosedGeschlossen
Clothingdie Kleidung
Computer Sectiondie Computerabteilung
Cosmeticsdie Kosmetik
Customerder Kunde
Customer Serviceder Kundendienst
Electrical Appliancedas Elektrogerät
Escalatordie Rolltreppe
Fashiondie Mode
Furnituredas Möbelstück (singular), die Möbel (plural)
Giftder Geschenkartikel
Good Value (Adj.)Preiswert
Groceriesdie Lebensmittel (plural)
Jeweleryder Schmuck (no plural)
Lady’s Shoesdie Damenschuhe (plural)
Leather Goodsdie Lederwaren (plural)
OpenGeöffnet
Opening Hoursdie Öffnungszeiten (plural)
Presentdas Geschenk
ReducedReduziert
Sales Receiptder Kassenbon
Souvenirdas Andenken
Special Offerdas Sonderangebot
Sporting Goodsdie Sportartikel (plural)
Stationerydie Schreibwaren (plural)
Summer Saleder Sommerschlussverkauf (abbr. SSV)
Video Storedie Videothek
Winter Saleder Winterschlussverkauf (abbr. WSV)

Kurfürstendamm

Tauentzienstraße
Fasanenstraße

The Kurfürstendamm has many boutiques, department stores, etc., which are on Tauentzienstraße and Fasanenstraße, two streets in Kurfürstendamm. Tauentzienstraße has a lot of the department stores, including KaDeWe, which we will get into greater detail later. Fasanenstraße has a lot of the boutiques.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Ku’damm Kurfürstendamm
EnglishGerman
Department Storedas Warenhaus
Retail Storedas Einzelhandelsgeschäft
The Malldas Einkaufszentrum
Boutiquedie Boutique
Storedas Geschäft

And some of the things you might say or ask while in a Clothing store…

  • Können Sie mir helfen, meine Größe zu finden (für dieses ____)?
Can you help me find my size (for this ____)?
  • Wo ist die Umkleidekabine?
Where is the dressing room?
German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Ku’damm Kurfürstendamm
EnglishGerman
Managerder Manager
Employeeder/die Angestellte
Sales Clerkder Verkäufer
Cashierder Kassierer
Dressing Roomdie Umkleidekabine
Men’s Sectiondie Männerabteilung
Women’s Sectiondie Frauenabteilung

KaDeWe

Another shopping location is das KaDeWe, an upscale department store in Germany. It has six floors, and Is also called “The department store of the west” (Kaufhaus des Westens) because it is the largest and most magnificent department store on continental Europe.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
KaDeWe Kaufhaus des Westens
EnglishGerman
First FloorErstes Stockwerk
MenswearMännerkleidung
Second FloorZweiter Stock
WomenswearFrauenkleidung
Third FloorDritte Stock
Kids SectionKinderabteilung
Fourth FloorVierter Stock
ElectronicsElektronik
KitchenwareKüchenbedarf
Fifth FloorFünfter Stock
LightingBeleuchtung
BeddingBettwäsche
ToysSpielwaren
Sixth FloorSechster Stock
FoodLebensmittel

Since we already have most of the general shopping phrases and vocabulary down, we are going to get into more detail in the next few sections.

Electronics

First is electronics: it might seem a little sparse, but electronics and much other stuff will be featured in Lesson 12.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
KaDeWe Kaufhaus des Westens
EnglishGerman
Electronicsdie Elektronik
Televisiondas Fernsehen, der Fernseher
Digital Cameradie Digitalkamera
Telephonedas Telefon
Cell phonedas Mobiltelefon, das Handy
Computerder Computer, der Rechner
Speakersder Lautsprecher
DVDsdie DVDs (singular: die DVD)
CDsdie CDs (singular: die CD)
DVD Playerder DVD-Player
CD Playerder CD-Player

Spielt der DVD-Player auch CDs?

Does the DVD player also play CDs?

Hat das Mobiltelefon eine Digitalkamera?

Does the cell phone have a digital camera?

If you look at the word order of this sentence, you will see that you’ve already learned everything you need to make these sentences, and you, yourself can customize these sentences if you want.

Bedding
German Vocabulary • Kleidung
KaDeWe Kaufhaus des Westens
EnglishGerman
Beddingdie Bettwäsche
Blanketdie Decke
Pillowdas Kopfkissen
Pillow Caseder Kopfkissenbezug
Sheetdas Blatt
Bed Skirtder Bett-Rock

And like always here are some of the things you might say that are related to bedding.

  • Passen die Kopfkissenbezüge auf das Kopfkissen?
Does the pillow case fit the pillow?

And with that question there are other variations of it you can ask, like…

  • Passt die Decke auf das Bett?
Does the blanket fit the bed?

Money

Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Belgium and Südtirol – in other words: all German speaking regions except Switzerland and Liechtenstein– have given up their former currencies and adopted the Euro as of 1999. Because they are not members of the European Union, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have kept the Swiss Francs. Currently 1 EUR is 1.34 USD.

Now if you were at a shopping center in German like Kurfürstendamm, and you were shopping at a boutique here is some vocabulary you might want to know.

  • Was macht das?

Was kostet das?

How much does it cost?
  • Das Hemd kostet 120 Euro.
The shirt costs 120 euros.
  • Das kostet 690 Euro.
That costs 690 euros (all together).
German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Money Geld
EnglishGerman
Priceder Preis
Noteder Schein
Coindie Münze
1 Euro coindas Eurostück, das Ein-Euro-Stück
2 Euro coindas Zweieurostück
5 Euro noteder Fünfeuroschein
10 Euro noteder Zehneuroschein
100 Euro noteder Hunderteuroschein

Note: The word coin (Münze) mostly turns to Stück when a word or number is put together with it.

Even though in the vocabulary we list the 1, 2, 5, 10, 100 Euro there are more Euro notes. The twenty, fifty, two hundred, and five hundred Euro notes are the ones we didn’t list, also there are cent coins.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Money Geld
EnglishGerman
1 Cent Coindas Centstück
2 Cent Coindas Zweicentstück
5 Cent Coindas Fünfcentstück
10 Cent Coindas Zehncentstück
20 Cent Coindas Zwanzigcentstück
50 Cent Coindas Fünfzigcentstück

German Math

In written German, a comma is used (e. g. in prices) where we would put a decimal point in English. Thus € 5,49 (or 5,49 €) means five euros and fourty-nine cents. When a price ends in a round number of euros, it is most commonly written as € 5,- etc. The reverse is also true. Where as English uses a comma to split up large numbers, German uses a dot. So “€ 6.945″ means sechs tausend neunhundertfünfundvierzig (six thousand nine hundred and forty-five) euros – not six point nine four five euros.

Clothing

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Clothes Kleidung
EnglishGerman
Skirtder Rock
Pulloverder Pullover
Scarfdas Tuch
Coatder Mantel
Shirtdas Hemd
Sweaterder Pullover
Necktieder Schlips
Jacketdie Jacke
Pantsdie Hose
Hatder Hut
Shoeder Schuh
Sockdie Socke
Gloveder Handschuh
Blousedie Bluse
German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Clothes Kleidung
EnglishGerman
Sizedie Größe
Colordie Farbe
Cottondie Baumwolle
Leatherdas Leder
Rayondie Kunstseide
German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Sizes Die Größen
EnglishGerman
SmallKlein
MediumMittel
LargeGroß
Extra-LargeExtragroß

Describing Clothes

Here are some of the words you can use when you are describing clothes:

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Sizes Adjektive für Kleidung
EnglishGerman
CheapGünstig
ExpensiveTeuer
PrettySchön
UglyHässlich
SoftWeich
NewNeu
BroadBreit
WideWeit
TightEng
ComfortableBequem

To say I like something or not, for clothing, it’s…

I like it!

Er/Sie/Es gefällt mir!

I don’t like it!

Er/Sie/Es gefällt mir nicht!

Now if you try something on or you’re looking for a soft shirt with a tight fit, you find it, feel it, try it on, but it’s fairly expensive you might say this…

In English: The shirt looks great! The shirt feels soft, fits tight. The shirt is very comfortable. How much does it cost? Oh no! The shirt is expensive! 55 euros is a little too much for me.

In German: Das Hemd sieht prima aus! Das Hemd fühlt sich weich an, es sitzt eng. Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. Wieviel kostet es? Oh nein! Das Hemd ist teuer! 55 Euro sind mir ein bisschen zuviel.

The phrases to describe the shirt were…

The shirt looks great.

Das Hemd sieht prima aus.

The shirt feels soft.

Das Hemd fühlt sich weich an.

The shirt fits tight.

Der Hemd sitzt eng.

Now, the bold words are verbs that are one part in describing how the shirt is. The other half of describing it is the adjectives like soft, tight, great, etc. And as you can see the verb “looks” is separable, but we will get into that later.

Clothing-Related Verbs

And now getting into verbs – here are some of the verbs, and also some of these are Separable-Prefix Verbs, like aussehen, anprobieren, and anhaben. But we will study those in more detail later. Also we will be learning about “tragen”.

German Vocabulary • Kleidung
Sizes Prefix-Verben
EnglishGerman
to lookaussehen
He looksEr sieht aus
to try onanprobieren
He tries onEr probiert an
to put onanziehen
He puts onEr zieht an
To takenehmen
To buykaufen
To have on/wearanhaben, tragen
He has on/wearsEr hat an

Separable Prefix Verbs

Many German verbs change their meaning by adding prefixs, which are often preposition such as ab-, an-, auf-, aus-, bei-, ein-, mit-, vor-, or zu-.The verbs anhaben (to wear) and aussehen (to look) are both verbs with separable (trennbar) prefixes. That is, when used next to the subject pronoun, the prefix is separated from the verb and put at the end of the sentence or clause. Or, better put, In the present tense and imperative, the prefix is separated from the infinitive stem.

Examples:

“Ich habe einen Mantel an.” (“I’m wearing a coat.” Or, more literally translated, “I have a coat on.”)

“Was hast du an?” (“What are you wearing?” or “What do you have on?”)

However, when the separable-prefix verb is put at the end of the sentence, such as when used with a modal verb, the verb in question and its prefix are not separated.

Examples:

“Du willst einen Mantel anhaben.” (“You want to wear a coat.”)

“Willst du eine Bluse anhaben?” (“Do you want to wear a blouse?”)

Tragen

Instead of “anhaben” the verb “tragen” is often used. The sentences from above would then be:

“Ich trage einen Mantel.” (“I’m wearing a coat.” )
“Was trägst du?” (“What are you wearing?”)
“Du willst einen Mantel tragen.” (“You want to wear a coat.”)
“Willst du eine Bluse tragen?” (“Do you want to wear a blouse?”)

The verb “tragen” has two meanings: “to wear” and “to carry”. So if someone says “Ich trage Schuhe” only the context will tell you whether the person is carrying the shoes in his hands or actually wearing them. Tragen is a different kind of irregular verb — one that not only changes at the end of the word, but also changes internally. Notice that the vowel in tragen’s second and third-person forms changes from an a into an ä. Other verbs with similar conjugation patterns include fahren, graben, schaffen, and waschen.

PersonSingularPlural
1stichtragewirtragen
2ndduträgstihrtragt
3rder/sie/esträgtsietragen

Colors

Color are also another great way to describe clothes like Das rote Hemd passt gut.which means The red shirt fits well.

Read the following paragraph, try to find the words described to have a color.

Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald. Ich habe ein grünes Hemd getragen. Die Reise war lang. Es begann kälter zu werden und abzukühlen. Ich hörte Musik auf meinem braunen iPod. Ich bin schließlich eingeschlafen. Als ich aufwachte, sah ich den blauen Himmel und den weißen Schnee.

If you found 5 words you are right.

Schwarz which means black (the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) is a wooded mountain range)

Grünes Hemd which is a green shirt.

Brauner iPod which is a brown iPod.

Blauer Himmel which is blue sky.

And weißer Schnee which is white snow.

And now for the actual colors…

Red                "Rot"
Blue               "Blau"
Green              "Grün"
Orange             "Orange"
Violet             "Violett"
Yellow             "Gelb"
Brown              "Braun"
Indigo             "Indigo"
Gray               "Grau"
Black              "Schwarz"
White              "Weiß"

1 Comment

  • #1 by Susan Gee on June 26 - 3:49 pm

    Quote

    I have had German lessons already ,but these course helps me to refresh my memory. What I would like is help with building sentences as I get tongued tied and confused sometimes.

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