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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 the most common forms of greetings in German. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in German, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's the informal way to say it.
Sprichst Du Englisch?
[slowly] Sprichst Du Englisch?
In German, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. Please notice the word “Du” in the middle of the sentence. Remember that this is the informal way to say “you?” The first word is the verb, sprichst, which means to speak. Because it is referring to “du,” it is conjugated to du sprichst.
If You ask a question in German, you change the the pronoun du and the verb sprichst from du sprichst to the interrogative form sprichst du. And you probably recognize “Englisch” to be “English.”
Sprichst du Englisch?
To learn how to properly conjugate verbs, like sprechen, please look at our Absolute Beginner series on GermanPod101.com. You can find very detailed grammar lessons and resources there!
We’re now going to make this sentence formal. First, we need to use the formal version of “you,” which is Sie. If we change the word for “you,” we will conjugate the verb differently. It becomes sprechen instead of sprichst like in the informal version. Everything else stays the same:
Sprechen Sie Englisch?
[slowly] Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Adding Entschuldigen Sie, "excuse-me", the sentence becomes even more polite:
Entschuldigen Sie, sprechen Sie Englisch?
[slowly] Entschuldigen Sie, sprechen Sie Englisch?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Ja. "Yes."
[slowly] Ja.
Ein bischen. "A little."
[slowly] ein bischen.
Nein, ich spreche nicht Englisch. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Nein, ich spreche nicht Englisch.
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say nicht after the verb sprechen. Notice also that the verb, spreche is slightly different than sprechen. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about ich, German for "I," Thus “I do not speak” is:
Ich spreche nicht.
Now it’s time for Laura’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. German people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute Englisch with...
Italienisch for Italian.
Russisch for Russian.
Spanisch for Spanish.
Französisch for French.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression Entschuldigen Sie. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in German. It’s never too late to show your good manners with German people!
I'll see you in our next Deutsch in 3 Minuten lesson.
Bis bald!

81 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:20 AM
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Hi Кенжебай,


Thank you for your feedback.


😄 You have come to the right place.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Кенжебай
Monday at 10:09 PM
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Ich will Deutsch

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:05 AM
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Hello Min Wang,


Thank you for a good question.


The example sentences are there to give you a better feeling for

the use of the vocabulary, but of course, if you can remember the

sentence as a whole, it will greatly help you learn German faster.😉


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Min Wang
Wednesday at 05:20 AM
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Should we also know and master the pronunciations and meaning of examples?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:39 AM
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Hi Vladimir,


Thank you for posting.


You can use "Entschuldigung" on its own, but

"Entschuldigen..." needs the "Sie":

Entschuldigen Sie, bitte.

Casual would be "Entschuldige bitte." That's

the "du" version and here you don't use the du. 😉


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Vladimir
Saturday at 04:47 AM
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Danke sehr!


Could you explain, can I use "Entschuldigen" without a subject as we do in English "Excuse me"?


Danke schön!!!

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:35 AM
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Hello Amal,


Thank you for your feedback.


You are most welcome! 😉


If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Amal
Monday at 03:01 AM
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Danke sehr

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:44 AM
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Hi Mellideia,


Thank you for your feedback.


You are right in that 'Nein, ich spreche kein Englisch.' is the more

commonly used phrase, but 'Nein, ich spreche nicht Englisch.' is

perfectly good German and you will hear it too quite frequently. It

is a bit more formal. If you were asked in a job interview whether you

speak English, you could use this one, for instance. Preferable is the

first one though. 😉


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Mellideia
Thursday at 04:25 PM
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Hallo! In the assessment for this lesson there's a strange "correct" choice - 'Nein, ich spreche nicht Englisch.' Shouldn't it be -'Nein, ich spreche kein Englisch.'?