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Lesson Transcript

Hallo, ich heiße Laura. Hi everybody! I’m Laura.
Welcome to GermanPod101.com’s “Deutsch in 3 Minuten”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn German.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "What" questions in German
This time, we are going to ask "where" questions.
Imagine you're calling your friend and want to know where he is now. You will ask him Wo bist du?
[slowly] Wo bist du?
So let’s break down this question:
First we had-
Wo, which is the basic translation of "Where" in German.
Bist, which is "are", the 2nd person form of the verb sein which we have already learned.
Finally du, which is the informal for "you"
So, altogether it is Wo bist du?, "Where are you?"
So in German, "Where" is mainly translated as Wo
For example, if you want to ask "Where do you live?" You will say Wo lebst du?
As in English, the question word is here placed in the 1st position, then the verb, and then the subject.
But be careful, because several variations of Wo are possible in German. For example, if you want to ask "Where do you come *from*?" you will use Woher instead of just wo
So that question in German is Woher kommst du?
The word Wo also changes if you are asking about an arrival point, or destination. If you say, Wohin gehst du? this literally means "Where are you going to?" This question formula Wohin is often used when asking about, for example, the final train station or highway exit.
You can also hear wonach which literally means "where after." In German it is used the way "what for" is used in the English sentence "What are you looking for?" Wonach suchst du? [slowly]Wonach suchst du?
The grammatical rule for Wo, Woher, and Wohin remains the same -- they all have to be followed by a verb.
Wo bist du? - here the verb is sein, "to be".
Woher kommst du? here the verb is kommen, "to come".
Wohin gehst du? Here the verb is gehen, "to go".
Now it’s time for Laura’s Insights.
If you ask about a stranger’s country of origin, the exact translation of "Where do you come from", Woher kommen Sie?, can sound a bit too direct in German.
So my advice would be asking Woher sind Sie ursprünglich? That can be translated as "From where are you native?" [slowly] Woher sind Sie ursprünglich?
Before ending this lesson, Let’s look back at all the variations of "Where" in German-
- Wo is the basic "Where" as in "Where do you live?" Wo wohnst du?
- Woher is for talking about the origin or the starting point, as in "Where do you come from?" Woher kommst du?
- Wohin is for talking about the destination or arrival point, as in "Where are you going to?"
Wohin gehst du?
- Wonach is asking "for what", as in "What are you looking for?" Wonach suchst du?
In this lesson, we learned how to use the German word for "Where", Wo, and also its different variations.
Now you can avoid getting lost!
In the next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions, this time using "When" in German.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Deutsch in 3 Minuten lesson.
Bis bald!

13 Comments

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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 11:40 am
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Hi Lavictoire,


It is and that makes learning German so interesting.😉


Thank you.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Lavictoire
Wednesday at 3:02 pm
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Funny how you can say "wo wohnst du" or "wo lebst du" for "where do you live?"

GermanPod101.com
Friday at 9:50 am
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Hi Timothy,


Thank you for your query.👍

I see what you mean and I will forward your message

to our team. The literal translation of the German "wonach"

is causing the confusion, I believe.


The German word for "to look for" is "suchen". A slightly different version

but with the same meaning, is "suchen nach".

The sample sentence "Wonach suchst Du?" really means "what are you looking for".

The "wonach" is a combination of the "nach" and "wo", as in "where" are you looking, everywhere.

"Wonach" is to my knowledge not used in any other context.


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Timothy
Wednesday at 1:14 am
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Hello!

I am confused about the usage of 'Wonach' after seeing both the video and the comments.

Could you please explain a little bit more about 'Wonach'?

Thank you for your attention!


Danke!

GermanPod101.comVerified
Monday at 9:12 am
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Hello Bob,


Thank you very much for posting! ?

Yes you are absolutely right, "Wo lebst du?" and "Wo wohnst du?" are similar ways to say "Where do you live?". Literally "Wo wohnst du?" means "Where are you residing?". I hope this helps!


Sincerely,


Albert

Team GermanPod101.com

Bob
Thursday at 6:36 am
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At the beginning, she used "Wo lebst du ?" for Where do you live ?. At the end, for the review, she used "Wo wohnst du?" for Where do you live ?. Just two different ways to say that ?


Danke !

GermanPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 3:00 pm
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Hi Jolyn,


Thank you for your comment.

Wonach can be used as follows:

Es kommt darauf an, wonach du dich richtest! It depends on where your priorities are. OR Wonach schmeckt es?

Therefore as you said correctly wonach is used like the English after which and after what.


Best

Jennifer

Team GermanPod101.com

GermanPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 2:44 pm
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Hi Jolyn,


Danke für deinen Kommentar! Sehr gut gemacht! Kleine Korrekturen:

Wie alt bist du? Wie alt sind Sie?

Ich bin vierundvierzig.

Welcher Jahrgang bist du?

Ich bin Jahrgang zweiundsiebzig.


Weiter so! Keep up the good work!:thumbsup:


Cheers,

Jennifer

Team GermanPod101.com

Jolyn
Thursday at 12:52 am
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Hi, there!

Is it true that Wonach means both where for and where after?

Danke!

Jolyn
Wednesday at 10:18 pm
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Wie alt bist du? or Wie alt sein Sie?

Ich bin vierundvierzig.

Welcher Jahrgang bist du?

Ich bin Jahrgang zweiundsiebenzig.