Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here, Absolute Beginner, Season 2, Lesson 22, An Outing With German Plurals.
Judith: Hello, everyone. I’m Judith and welcome to GermanPod101.com.
Chuck: With us, you’ll learn to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make plans in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at the Schneider family home.
Chuck: The conversation is between Mrs. Schneider and Paul Martins.
Judith: The speakers are adults. Therefore, they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to this conversation.
Judith: Guten Tag, Herr Martens!
Chuck: Guten Tag!
Judith: Wie war der Unterricht?
Chuck: Good, Wir lernen wirklich viel.
Judith: Toll. Möchten Sie jetzt in die Stadt fahren, oder erst etwas essen?
Chuck: Wie spät ist es?
Judith: Es ist zwölf Uhr fünfundzwanzig.
Chuck: Und wie lange dauert die Fahrt?
Judith: Die Fahrt dauert nicht lange, nur etwa eine Viertelstunde.
Chuck: Ich habe noch keinen Hunger. Lassen Sie uns in der Stadt etwas essen.
Judith: Okay, das machen wir. Was genau suchen Sie in der Stadt?
Chuck: Ich möchte schöne Gebäude sehen, Denkmäler und so. Außerdem möchte ich Bücher kaufen.
Judith: Was für Bücher?
Chuck: Egal. Einfach Bücher auf Deutsch. Ich möchte versuchen, etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen.
Judith: Ah, ich kenne einen guten Buchladen. Da finden Sie auch einfache Bücher mit nicht so vielen Vokabeln.
Chuck: Klingt gut. Gehen wir!
Judith: Now, with the translation.
Judith: Guten Tag, Herr Martens!
Chuck: Good day, Mr. Martins.
Judith: Guten Tag!
Chuck: Good day.
Judith: Wie war der Unterricht?
Chuck: How was class?
Judith: Good, Wir lernen wirklich viel.
Chuck: Good, we really learned a lot.
Judith: Toll. Möchten Sie jetzt in die Stadt fahren, oder erst etwas essen?
Chuck: Great. Would you like to go into the city or eat something first?
Judith: Wie spät ist es?
Chuck: What time is it?
Judith: Es ist zwölf Uhr fünfundzwanzig.
Chuck: It’s 12:25.
Judith: Und wie lange dauert die Fahrt?
Chuck: And how long does the drive last?
Judith: Die Fahrt dauert nicht lange, nur etwa eine Viertelstunde.
Chuck: The drive doesn’t take long. Only about a quarter of an hour.
Judith: Ich habe noch keinen Hunger. Lassen Sie uns in der Stadt etwas essen.
Chuck: I’m still not hungry. Let’s see something in the city.
Judith: Okay, das machen wir. Was genau suchen Sie in der Stadt?
Chuck: Okay, we’ll do that. What exactly are you looking for in the city?
Judith: Ich möchte schöne Gebäude sehen, Denkmäler und so.
Chuck: I’d like to see beautiful buildings, memorials and stuff like that.
Judith: Außerdem möchte ich Bücher kaufen.
Chuck: Besides that, I’d like to buy books.
Judith: Was für Bücher?
Chuck: What sort of books?
Judith: Egal. Einfach Bücher auf Deutsch.
Chuck: Whatever, just books in German.
Judith: Ich möchte versuchen, etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen.
Chuck: I would like to try to read something in German.
Judith: Ah, ich kenne einen guten Buchladen.
Chuck: Ah, I know a good bookstore.
Judith: Da finden Sie auch einfache Bücher mit nicht so vielen Vokabeln.
Chuck: We’ll find simple books there with not so many vocabulary words.
Judith: Klingt gut. Gehen wir!
Chuck: Sounds good. Let’s go.
Judith: All right, maybe it’s time to talk about shopping.
Chuck: Sounds good.
Judith: In Germany, the shops are not necessarily open all day or every day because it’s a very recent thing and only available in the bigger cities. A lot of Germans are totally not expecting that.
Chuck: Let’s say typical shops are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., or if you’re in a smaller town, maybe even until 6. Also you’ll notice that some family-owned business take lunch breaks.
Judith: Yes, and on Saturday, opening hours may also be reduced. Some shops are only closing at 2 p.m. or something and no shops are allowed to be open on Sundays except gas stations and shops inside train stations.
Chuck: These won’t stock much food or household items though. And what little they have is seriously overpriced. That means that on Saturday many people rush to the shops to get supplies for Sunday. It’s worse before a long weekend.
Judith: If you absolutely need to buy something after hours or on Sundays, there are kiosks in some regions. These stocks sweets, cigarettes and booze, also a limited supply of emergency household items and maybe some fast foods and rolls or the like. These kiosks are not bound to regular opening hours, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always open. It’s simply up to the owner’s discretion and sometimes the owner is the only worker there, so you can imagine that it’s not going to be 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Chuck: Restaurants are open on Sundays but typically close on Mondays or another day of the week. Also restaurants typically aren’t open in the mornings and may not be open for lunch, or if they are, they may close between 2 and 5 p.m. and only reopen for dinner afterwards. Since most Germans typically stick to regular lunch hours, it’s pretty much only a problem for foreigners and workaholics.
Judith: Okay, maybe one more thing. It’s very rare to eat breakfast out unless you’re meeting with a business partner. Also keep in mind that German breakfast usually isn’t warm and that you can’t get pancakes for breakfast. If you do want to eat out for breakfast, a bakery or a cafe is your best bet.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is...
Judith: toll
Chuck: Great.
Judith: toll
Chuck: Next.
Judith: erst
Chuck: First or only then.
Judith: erst
Chuck: Next.
Judith: dauern
Chuck: To last or to take as in a certain amount of time.
Judith: dauern
Chuck: Next.
Judith: Fahrt
Chuck: Drive or ride as in a vehicle.
Judith: Fahrt and the plural is Fahrten
Chuck: Next.
Judith: etwa
Chuck: Approximately or in questions, surely not.
Judith: etwa
Chuck: Next.
Judith: Stunde
Chuck: Hour.
Judith: Stunde and the plural is Stunden
Chuck: Next.
Judith: lassen
Chuck: Not do, leave or let.
Judith: lassen and this is a vowel-changing verb.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: genau
Chuck: Exactly or exactly.
Judith: genau
Chuck: Next.
Judith: Denkmal
Chuck: Monument.
Judith: Denkmal and the plural is Denkmäler
Chuck: Next.
Judith: außerdem
Chuck: Besides.
Judith: außerdem
Chuck: Next.
Judith: kaufen.
Chuck: To buy.
Judith: kaufen.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: was für
Chuck: What kind of.
Judith: was für
Chuck: Next.
Judith: versuchen
Chuck: To try.
Judith: versuchen
Chuck: Next.
Judith: lesen
Chuck: To read.
Judith: lesen and this is another vowel-changing verb, the E changes to IE.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: Laden
Chuck: Shop.
Judith: Laden and the plural is Läden
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase we look at is „Wie spät ist es?“.
Chuck: How late is it?
Judith: „Wie spät ist es?“ is a standard phrase for asking for the time. And then there’s a „eine Viertelstunde“.
Chuck: A quarter hour.
Judith: Is a compound noun. It consists of „Viertel“.
Chuck: Quarter.
Judith: And „Stunde“.
Chuck: Hour.
Judith: It means a quarter hour and „eine Viertelstunde“. Then the phrase „Lassen Sie uns“. It’s the German equivalent of “let’s” for when you’re talking formally. When you’re addressing someone informally, the expression is just „Lass uns“. This was the imperative of the verb „Lassen.“ Then the expression „und so“.
Chuck: Basically, the German equivalent of “and the like”.
Judith: Don’t confuse it with and so on because that’s „und so weiter“ in German. „Laden“ means shop. There are a lot of compound nouns with this. For example, „Buchladen“.
Chuck: Book shop.
Judith: „Teeladen“.
Chuck: Tea shop.
Judith: „Geschenkladen“
Chuck: Gift shop.
Judith: „Uhrenladen“.
Chuck: A shop for watches and clocks.
Judith: Beware of „Saftladen“ though.
Chuck: Literally would be a juice shop, but in German slang, it actually means a dump or an unorganized place.

Lesson focus

The focus of this lesson is the plural in German Part 2.
Judith: So far we’ve already talked about foreign nouns that add S for a plural, masculine words that add E for plural and feminine words that add N or EN for plural.
Chuck: That leaves neuter nouns. Neuter nouns often add ER for plural and unfortunately, that usually also involves changing the vowel. Have you seen examples of this lately?
Judith: Yeah, a few. We have seen „das Haus with the plural die Häuser“.
Chuck: Houses.
Judith: „das Buch – die Bücher“
Chuck: Books.
Judith: das Denkmal, die Denkmäler
Chuck: Monuments.
Judith: Surprisingly, the very masculine word man also works the same way „Mann“.
Chuck: Men, that actually almost changed the same as English.
Judith: Because of the vowel change, yeah. Now, there’s just one word group of plurals that is missing. There are some words that don’t change at all or only change the vowel.
Chuck: This usually happens if the word already ends and with the typical plural endings.
Judith: For example, „Gebäude“ doesn’t change, „Tochter“ becomes „Töchter“.
Chuck: Daughters.
Judith: And „Engländer“ stays entirely the same.
Chuck: There’s even a rule for it, all words that end in ER in singular are masculine and will not change for plural. It’s an incredibly useful rule because there are hundreds of these words. Almost all names for professions of nationalities fall under this rule.
Judith: Okay. Additionally, there are words that end in EL and that it always neuter and also never change. So far, we’ve only seen „das Viertel“.
Chuck: Quarter.
Judith: And the last big group that doesn’t add any ending are the words that end in chen, C-H-E-N, is the German in diminutive that means it makes something smaller or cuter like house becomes „Häus-chen“.
Chuck: Little house.
Judith: „Tochter“ becomes „Töchterchen“.
Chuck: Little daughter.
Judith: „Karte“ becomes „Kärtchen“.
Chuck: Little guard.
Judith: And beer becomes „Bierchen“.
Chuck: Little beer. We already mentioned that the article for plural nouns is always D. there’s no more worrying about dear, dear does. Also I only tell you that mine, dine, kind, unser and so on will almost always end in E for plural while adjectives overwhelmingly end in EN.


Judith: All right, that just about does it for today.
Chuck: Attention perfectionist, you’re about to learn how to perfect your pronunciation.
Judith: Lesson review audio tracks.
Chuck: Increase fluency and vocabulary fast with the short effective audio tracks.
Judith: It’s super simple to use, listen to the German word or phrase.
Chuck: They’re repeated out loud in a loud, clear voice.
Judith: You will speak with confidence, knowing that you speak in German like the locals.
Chuck: Go to GermanPod101.com and download the review audio tracks right on the lesson’s page today.
Chuck:So, see you next week!
Judith:Also, bis nächste Woche!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

Thursday at 07:41 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Тарык,

Thank you. Every day hard at work.😉

Ich bin jetzt in der Arbeit. Gleich werde ich nach Hause gehen. Ich arbeite 8 Stunden jeden Abend, bis Mitternacht. Fast jeden Tag frühstücke ich um 8 Uhr. Es dauert 20 Minuten. Ich versuche es in kurzer Zeit zu tun. Säftchen und Käse sind sehr lecker hier.

If you have any further questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Friday at 01:11 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Ich bin jetzt bei der Arbeite. Gleich werde ich zu Hause gehen. Ich arbeite 8 Stunden jeder Mitternacht. Etwa jeder Tag mache ich Frühstück um 8 Uhr. Es dauert 20 Minuten. Ich versuche es in der mehr kurze Zeit zu machen. Saftchen und Käsechen sind sehr lecker in hier.

Wednesday at 01:20 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

To T J Wilson,

Thank you for the great shortcuts on NOUN ENDINGS for making the German language easier to learn.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:17 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Julian,

Thank you for commenting!

"ich möchte nach Hause gehen, um zu Essen, weil ich Hunger habe" - well done!



Team GermanPod101.com

Thursday at 08:17 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo GermanPod101.com,

Ich möchte gehen, nach Hause zu essen,weil ich hunger haben.

Das is gut ?

Viele Grüße,


GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:37 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Robert from Texas,

The correct sentence is:

Ich möchte versuchen, etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen.

I /want /to try /something /in German /to read (would be an exact translation)

If you write:

Ich möchte etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen versuchen

I /want/ something /in German /to read /try (doesn't make much sense, does it?This is not a correct sentence)

In the first case you have "Ich möchte versuchen"... I want to try.

What do you want to try? "Etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen"!... something in German to read!

"Möchte" is the auxiliary verb, so it goes together with an infinitive (versuchen). I want to try. You cannot seperate it when the zu+infinitive (zu lesen) is next. Only when you don't have it ex. Ich möchte ein gutes Buch lesen.

That's when you separate it.

When you have the zu+infinitive, that goes by itself in the end.

Look at this next sentence:

Ich versuche schon seit Stunden seine Schrift zu enträtseln.

You have the verb in 2nd position like always and at the end, you use the zu+Infinitive.

However, if you want to connect two verbs with zu (ex. to read and study), then the first sentence would be:

Ich möchte versuchen, etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen und lernen.

I hope this makes clear some things!

Let me know if you need any more help.


Robert from Texas
Wednesday at 05:38 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Am I getting TOO Germanized or am I misunderstanding something?

The dialog contained "Ich möchte versuchen, etwas auf Deutsch zu lesen." from what I've been pounding into my head, It would seem "Ich möchte etwas auf

Deutsch zu lesen versuchen." is more correct.

Am I missing something in the lesson on "versuchen" ?

TJ Wilson
Sunday at 06:39 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In the course of explaining how German words are made plural, the lesson notes contain this comment, which I think is misleading: "Additionally, words that end -el are always neuter and also never change." This makes it seem like all nouns that end in el are neuter, but this is not true.

Words that end in -el that come to mind which are masculine or feminine are Der Vogel (bird), der Spargel (asparagus), der Engel (angel), der Himmel (sky or heaven), der Löffel (spoon), der Zweifel (doubt) die Gabel (fork) und die Zwiebel (onion). There are probably many more masculine and neuter words that end in -el that don't immediately occur to me.

I would like to offer a rule that I think is better and more helpful, one that I happened upon years ago when I first started to learn German. It has two parts:

Part 1: All masculine or neuter nouns that end in -el, -er and -en are made plural in German with no ending at all . . .

Part 2. BUT many masculine and neuter nouns change in the plural by adding an umlaut to those vowels that can take an umlaut (a --> ä, o --> ö or u --> ü).

EXAMPLES: ein Vater zwei Väter (father, fathers); ein Buch zwei Bücher (book, books); ein Vogel, zwei Vögel (bird, birds); ein Boden zwei Böden (soil, soils).

The lesson makes an interesting point about -chen words, but this is the place the lesson could have pointed out that all -chen words are ALWAYS neuter: Every word ending in -chen is neuter, zero exceptions.

I found this amazing when I first started German. Since ALL words ending in -chen are neuter, even words that are for female persons or animals, or male persons or animals are neuter. The example that startled me into this realization was the word Mädchen (girl, what became in English "maiden"). This word is neuter, not feminine! Thus, the German correctly says in his own language, "Ich sehe das Mädchen und es ist schön." Literally, "I see the girl and IT is pretty" Why? Because in German, the word for girl is neuter, even though everyone knows that girls are female persons, because the word ends in -chen.

This also holds true even if -chen is added to a word that was previously masculine or feminine. The lesson gave this excellent example, das Töchterchen - the little daughter. Thus, even though the word Tochter in German is feminine, when the -chen ending is added to make her a "töchterchen" the word becomes neuter.

So compare these two sentences a German would say: "Ich sehe deine Tochter gesehen, und sie is schön", literally, "I seen your daughter and SHE is pretty," but "Ich sehe dein Töchterchen und es ist schön." "I see your little daughter and IT is pretty.

What I took from this years ago - and I have become more and more convinced over the years - is that endings in German are VERY powerful. Endings even control over natural gender of persons or animals. When I realized this, I started to pay a lot of attention to endings, and that turned out to have been a very lucky thing to have done. Endings are a big part of the German language. When the lessons give you these hints about endings, pay attention.

I think people turn off when somebody says "grammar," for forget that it might be "grammar," and think of it as the great little shortcuts for learning the language.