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Lesson Transcript

Hallo, ich bin 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 "Where" questions in German.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "When?"
Let’s go! Los geht’s!
Imagine you want to ask when your roommate is coming back home. You will ask him Wann kommst du nach Hause zurück?
[slowly] Wann kommst du nach Hause zurück?
So let’s break down this answer.
First we had-
Wann, which is the basic translation of "When" in German.
Kommst is the verb "to come back", then zurückkommen in German is in the 2nd person present indicative. The first part zurück means “back” and comes at the end of the sentence.
Then du, which is the informal for "you".
And finally nach Hause which is literally "to home."
So, all together it is Wann kommst du nach Hause zurück?
"When will you come back home?"
So in German, "When" is generally translated as the word Wann. For example, if you want to ask "When were you born?" you will say Wann bist du geboren?
As in English, the interrogative word is placed in the 1st position, then the verb, and then the subject.
So let’s have a look at another example.
How can you say "When did you arrive?"
It is really simple since it is exactly the same pattern - Wann bist du angekommen?
First we have Wann, which is "When".
The second word is bist which is the verb sein in 2nd person present indicative tense.
Du is "you" in informal form.
And finally angekommen which is the past participle of the verb ankommen, "to arrive".
Have you noticed a difference between the sentences Wann kommst du nach Hause? and Wann bist du angekommen?
The first one is talking about a future action – "When are you coming back home?" Whereas the 2nd one is referring to the past "When did you arrive?"
The conclusion is that you can use the interrogative word Wann to talk about any moment, whether past or present.
If you want to ask a question about duration as in "Since when have you been a teacher?" Then you will have to say Seit wann bist du Lehrer?
Here you also use the present tense if the person is still a teacher but then it’s exactly the same as in English, because "since" is seit. So Seit wann means "Since when?"
Let’s see how to ask "Until when?" in German. It becomes-
So for example, if you want to ask a friend "Until when are you going to stay here?" It will be Bis wann wirst du hierbleiben?
But of course there are other ways to ask about time. You can be even more specific by asking about the year, the date or the hour.
For example, you can ask:
- "Which year did you start working?" will be
In welchem Jahr hast du angefangen zu arbeiten?
- "Which day is better for you?" will be Welcher Tag ist besser für dich?
- "What hour can we meet?" Um wieviel Uhr können wir uns treffen?
Now it’s time for Laura’s Insights.
To ask how long an action has been taking place in German, we could say Seit wann, but there is another very simple way to do it!
You just have to use the pattern Wie lange? As in Wie lange hast du gewartet? That is "How long have you been waiting?"
Ok, so in this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the interrogative German word for "When", Wann, but also its different variations.
Next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions with "Who" in German.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Deutsch in 3 Minuten.
Bis bald!

16 Comments

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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 7:23 am
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Hi Sneha,


Thank you for a very good question.👍


"to be born" or "geboren sein" is a form of passive voice since you

don't actually give birth yourself. You therefore cannot use "hast" instead of

bist.

To make it a bit clearer, here an example using "hast":

You could say "Wann hast du dein Kind geboren?", which translates to

"When did you give birth to your baby?" or "When did you have your baby?"


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com



Sneha
Monday at 11:54 pm
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the question 'Wann bist du geboren?' translates to when were you born. can we not ask wann hast du geboren instead?


Jonathan
Friday at 9:10 am
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“Freddie wird das bis später schaffen.“ is kind of confusing. Is “nicht” supposed to be at the end of the sentence? It would make it correct in English, as in, “Freddie will not make it until later.”, because “Freddie will make it until later.”, doesn’t make sense, and when I translate the German sentence with google, it comes out differently, such as, “Freddie will do that later.” I know google isn’t reliable oftentimes, just wondering.

GermanPod101.comVerified
Sunday at 11:50 pm
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Hello Ron,


Thank you for the feedback. We're very happy that you like Laura's videos ?.


Sincerely,

Anne

Team GermanPod101.com

Ron
Tuesday at 10:56 pm
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Hallo Laura

Just want you to know that your videos are great.They are very helpful to me.Thank you so much!!!!

Ron

GermanPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 1:59 pm
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Hello Mark,


Thank you very much for your questions! ?

We have to apologize for the late response.

"Seit wann bist ein Lehrer gewesen" sounds a bit unnatural to Germans because the "gewesen" is not necessary in this case. A better example for "have been" would be "Wo bist du heute früh gewesen?" for "Where have you been this morning?".


An answer to this question could be "Ich bin seit 2010 Lehrer" or "Ich arbeite seit 2010 als Lehrer". I hope this helps!


Have a great day!


Sincerely,


Albert

Team GermanPod101.com

Mark Bauer
Monday at 12:02 pm
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I missed the answer to my previous questions:

Mark Bauer


MONDAY AT 2:24 AM

Seit wann bist du Lehrer.


Could this be “Seit wann bist du ein Lehrer gewesen?, i.e., “have been” vs “are you”


“im Jahre” or “im Jahr”?

Mark Bauer
Monday at 2:24 am
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Seit wann bist du Lehrer.


Could this be "Seit wann bist du ein Lehrer gewesen?, i.e., "have been" vs "are you"


"im Jahre" or "im Jahr"?

Team Germanpod101.com
Saturday at 1:33 pm
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Hi Chris,


Thanks for the comment. Well, rather say: Wie lange haben Sie geöffnet?

Oder: Wann schließen Sie? (When are you going to close?)


Cheers,

Jennifer

Team Germanpod101.com

Chris
Wednesday at 3:52 am
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If I wanted to ask how much longer a store was going to be open. Could I ask:


Wie lange werden Sie geöffnet?