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Lesson Transcript

Gabriella:Hi everyone! Welcome back to GermanPod101.com. You’re listening to Absolute Beginner Season 3, Lesson 3, Have You Lost Your Way in Germany? I’m Gabriella.
Frank:Hi, my name is Frank. What are we learning in this lesson, Gabriella?
Gabriella:In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask for directions in German.
Frank:That’s going to be essential for you listeners, especially in a German speaking country! So, first, we're going to listen to a conversation that takes place on a street in Germany.
Gabriella:The conversation is between Jens and a passerby.
Frank:So, they'll be using formal German.
Jens: Entschuldigung!
Passant: Ja?
Jens: Wir suchen die Goethe-Schule. Kennen Sie die?
Passant: Lernt ihr Deutsch?
Jens : Ich nicht. Ich bin Deutscher, aber meine Bekannte Kate lernt Deutsch. Wo liegt die Goethe-Schule?
Passant: Ja... Das ist das Gebäude da.
Jens: Da links?
Passant: Nein, rechts.
Gina: Let's hear the conversation one time slowly.
Jens: Entschuldigung!
Passant: Ja?
Jens: Wir suchen die Goethe-Schule. Kennen Sie die?
Passant: Lernt ihr Deutsch?
Jens : Ich nicht. Ich bin Deutscher, aber meine Bekannte Kate lernt Deutsch. Wo liegt die Goethe-Schule?
Passant: Ja... Das ist das Gebäude da.
Jens: Da links?
Passant: Nein, rechts.
Gina: Now, let's hear it with English translation.
Jens: Entschuldigung!
Gabriella: Excuse me!
Passant: Ja?
Gabriella: Yes?
Jens: Wir suchen die Goethe-Schule. Kennen Sie die?
Gabriella: We are looking for the Goethe School. Do you know it?
Passant: Lernt ihr Deutsch?
Gabriella: Are you learning German?
Jens : Ich nicht. Ich bin Deutscher, aber meine Bekannte Kate lernt Deutsch. Wo liegt die Goethe-Schule?
Gabriella: I'm not. I'm German, but my acquaintance Kate is learning German. Where is the Goethe School?
Passant: Ja... Das ist das Gebäude da.
Gabriella: Yes, it's that building there.
Jens: Da links?
Gabriella: On the left?
Passant: Nein, rechts.
Gabriella: No, on the right.
Frank:Okay. I think it’s time to talk about politeness in Germany! In this lesson we saw the other two ways of saying “you” in German. ihr is used when you’re talking to a group of people.
Gabriella:And apart from this plural form of “you”, German has two ways of addressing one person as “you”, which are du and Sie, informal and formal respectively.
Frank:That’s right. So altogether there are three forms-du, Sie, and ihr, but their usage is pretty straight forward.
Gabriella:Okay, Frank, let’s talk a little bit about how you'd use the informal du as opposed to the formal Sie to address someone.
Frank:Your default should be to address all Germans you meet as Sie. Older people especially are very sensitive when it comes to how you address them. So, using the formal Sie is the easiest way of saying “I respect you” in German.
Gabriella:That’s why even some people who’ve known each other for quite a while still use the formal language with each other. Generally, you should only use informal language with a new acquaintance when...
Frank:...you’re talking to someone under eighteen...
Gabriella:...you and the person you’re conversing with are both young, around the age of a student...
Frank:...or if you and the person you’re talking with are related.
Gabriella:In all other cases you should wait for your senior to switch to informal language.
Frank:Yes. It all depends on how long you've known someone too. But if you just start by addressing a stranger informally, he may feel offended thinking that you’re treating him like a child.
Gabriella:That being said, as a foreigner you certainly have some leeway in case you should forget. Alright!
Frank: rechts [natural native speed]
Gabriella: right
Frank: rechts [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: rechts [natural native speed]
Frank: nicht [natural native speed]
Gabriella: not
Frank: nicht [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: nicht [natural native speed]
Frank: ihr [natural native speed]
Gabriella: you (plural)
Frank: ihr [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: ihr [natural native speed]
Frank : links [natural native speed]
Gabriella : left
Frank: links [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank : links [natural native speed]
Frank: aber [natural native speed]
Gabriella: but
Frank: aber [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: aber [natural native speed]
Frank: kennen [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to know something or someone
Frank: kennen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: kennen [natural native speed]
Frank: Sie [natural native speed]
Gabriella: you (formal)
Frank: Sie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Sie [natural native speed]
Frank: da [natural native speed]
Gabriella: there
Frank: da [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: da [natural native speed]
Frank: wir [natural native speed]
Gabriella: we
Frank: wir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: wir [natural native speed]
Frank: Gebäude [natural native speed]
Gabriella: building
Frank: Gebäude [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Gebäude [natural native speed]
Gabriella:Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Frank:The first word we shall look at is the all-important word, nicht.
Gabriella:Yes! nicht is a negative particle in German. When negating a verb, it’s placed before the verb it's negating.
Frank:For example, Ich gehe nicht schwimmen, which means “I’m not going swimming.” The same is true when negating an adverb. For example, Er ist nicht da, meaning “He's not there.” Next up is the word aber, which is the conjunction "but." You'll soon see that Germans abuse the word aber.
Gabriella:They use it much more often than an English speaker would. Watch out for this, and adopt your own usage of the word when speaking German.
Frank:Next is the German word for “building”, which is Gebäude. The passerby in our conversation used it when he was pointing at the Goethe-Schule.
Gebäude is the first neutral word we learn. So keep in mind that it’s das Gebäude but die Schule.
Gabriella:And the noun Schule is feminine, isn’t it Frank?
Frank:That’s right, Gabriella, so feminine nouns use the determiner die for “the” in their standard form. As sentences get more complex, these determiners can change, but we’ll tell you more about that at a later stage.
Gabriella:Ok, now, let's move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Gabriella:In this lesson, you’ll learn how to conjugate regular verbs in the present tense, and negate sentences.
Frank:In this lesson, we’ve looked at some of the endings that regular German verbs take in the present tense. Here’s an overview. Let’s take lernen as an example. lernen
Gabriella:“to learn”
Frank:ich lern-e
Gabriella:“I learn”
Frank:du lern-st
Gabriella:“you learn,” informal
Frank:er lern-t
Gabriella:“he learns”
Frank:sie lern-t
Gabriella:“she learns”
Frank:es lern-t
Gabriella:“it learns”
Frank:wir lern-en
Gabriella:“we learn”
Frank:ihr lern-t
Gabriella:“you learn”, addressing more than one person.
Frank:sie lern-en
Gabriella:“they learn” or “you learn,” formal. When using it formally, capitalize the “S” in “Sie”.
Frank:With the verbs suchen and trinken this is slightly more difficult than the English present tense. However, the German is easier than the English in that there's no difference between “I drink” and “I'm drinking”; both are ich trinke.
Gabriella:And the same goes for “he learns” and “he's learning”. There's only one translation; Ich lerne. “You search” and “you're searching” are both Ich suche. There’s a big difference in English but no difference in German.
Frank:Another thing that’s easier in German is negation. To make a sentence negative, just add nicht as we touched upon earlier. For example, Ich suche nicht.
Gabriella:“I’m not searching” or “I don’t search”.
Frank:Ich lerne nicht.
Gabriella:“I’m not studying” or “I don’t study”.
Frank:Ich trinke nicht.
Gabriella:“I’m not drinking” or “I don’t drink”.


Gabriella:Okay! That’s all for this lesson. We hope you had fun, listeners!
Frank:By the way, Spass is the word for “fun”.
Gabriella:Remember you can check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson, and leave us a post at GermanPod101.com if you have any questions or comments.
Frank:Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
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GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners!

Let's practice the present tense and the negation together!

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:14 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Chris,

Thank you for a good question.

First things first: you can't use "sind" because the main

noun - Schule - is singular.😉

As to the use of "liegen" to describe the location of something,

it is correct. However, there may be local differences within Germany just as

there are a lot of dialects. I personally use liegen more for large places like

cities or countries.

Example: Wo genau liegt eigentlich Albanien? Where exactly is Albania?

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Chris Holets
Tuesday at 01:42 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Quick question. Is there any difference between "Wo liegt die Goethe-Schule?" and "Wo ist die Goethe-Schule?" and is it incorrect to use "sind" in this sentence or are they just interchangeable? This is the first time I've come across liegen (?) and I just want to make sure I'm using it correctly.

Laura Scott
Thursday at 10:34 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Why does "nicht" come before the verb in, "Ich gehe nicht schwimmen.", but it comes after the verb in, "Ich trinke nicht."?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:40 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Tim,

Thank you very much for your question! :thumbsup:

The word "nicht" is an adverb, and because of that you will always find it either before or after a verb, adjective or fellow adverb. It usually precedes an adverb or an adjective, for example in "Die Blume ist nicht schön" (for "The flower is not beautiful", but likes to settle after conjugated verbs, as you correctly pointed out.

But on the other hand, depending on the type of verb, the word "nicht" can also appear before a verb. This is always the case when you want to negate an infinitive or infinitives that is part of a verbal combination. For example in "Du solltst nicht trinken" (for "You should not drink") or "Wir sollten nicht schlafen gehen" (for "We should not go to sleep").

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any questions!:smile:

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:15 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


When would you use 'nicht' before the verb? In these cases the 'nicht' comes after the verb but is there a rule as to when it would come before the verb in a sentence?

Vielen dank!

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:00 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Brian,

Thanks for posting.

You can add the lesson vocabulary to your word bank where the noun gender is shown.

In Lesson Materials -> Vocabulary List, you’ll find the vocabulary of the lesson. You can select the words you want to add to your bank (click with the left mouse on the box next to the word; it’ll be marked/selected) and then click on “Add to Word Bank” .

To access your Word Bank, please select it in the upper menu: Vocabulary> Word bank or use the link:


There's also the German Dictionary that allows searching the word and in case it's a noun, the gender will be informed:


If you have any problems, please contact us at contactus@germanPod101.com


Team GermanPod101.com

Monday at 04:09 AM
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Why do I have to constantly hunt own the noun gender on this site? I am really regreting this premium memberrship.

Thursday at 08:04 PM
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@Vanitha: Thank you!:thumbsup:


Team Germanpod

Sunday at 12:53 AM
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