Vocabulary (Review)

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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!