German Vocabulary
1000 Common Words

This list contains the important short words (here, at, the, then, this, etc) and frequent words like mother, short, high, teacher, strong, speak, etc.

Editor's Note: This is a partial first draft, ready for web comment, showing a tentative design and content for the vocabulary page(s). This is an international cooperative effort by the members of You are invited to join us. The final pages may look quite different than this. Most of this list was compiled by the German Teachers of Chicago after World War I.

Please comment on this page . Do you prefer single or double spacing between the lines? Is (-") acceptable for indicating umlauts in plurals? Are there any errors? Are these correct ==> aussehen, aussprechen (my source is in Gothic font and it has two different characters for the letter "s" plus two types of ß. Should I put a link to a dictionary (German to English) at the bottom of each page to help users understand the German? Do Germans call the old font used before WWII Gothic font? Should I put a space after the accent mark ( Ame'rika = America  vs  Ame' rika = America)? Is there any need for this page of 1000 words? Few have written that it helps them.

Should I put all 1000 words on a single page? If so, the page will be only 80K which is smaller than some commercial pages having graphics. Unlike those pages, you will be able to begin reading this page immediately before it is all downloaded. Numbers, days, months, etc will be placed in Section 400. If you know other important words that should be added, I can do so.

I only have time to add the words for one letter per week. If students spend one week on the words for each letter, they will know 1000 German words in half a year.

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1. German words are accented on the first syllable unless otherwise indicated: gehen, ausgehen; but gegan'gen, gekom'mem, Student'.

2. The inflection of the noun is given as follows: der Baum, -es, -"e; die Schwester, -, -n.
    for example: das Dorf, Dorfes, Dörfer = singular, genetive (possessive), plural = village
    Das Dorf is im Tal = the village is in the valley.
    Das-- Dorfes Kirche ist verbrannt. The village's church is burned.
    eins Dorf = one village;   zwei Dörfer = two villages.

3. The principal parts of strong verbs and their irregularity in the present tense are indicated: lesen, las, gele'sen,er liest.

4. Verbs conjugated with sein are marked: bleiben, blieb, ist geblie'ben.

5. For pronunciation of German letters and phonetic groups see Chapter 400

6. The following abbreviations are used in this vocabulary:

acc. accusative masc. masculine
adj. adjective neut. neuter
adv. adverb nom. nominative
aux. auxiliary pers. personal
cf. compare plur. plural
comp. comparative poss. possessive
conj. conjunction p.p. past participle
dat. dative prep. prposition
dem. demonstrative pron. pronoun
fem. feminine refl. reflexive
gen. genitive rel. relative
impers. impersonal sep. separable
indecl. indeclinable superl. superlative
indef. indefinite trans. transitive
inter. interrogative vb. verb
intr. intransitive

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z <= Click to jump to location

The FIND button is very useful for jumping to the word you want.

" means umlaut

Notice that the listing for a noun contains 3 words in abbreviated form:
  der Ausdruck, -s, "e = expression
     Ausdruck   = singular
     Ausdrucks = genitive (possessive)
     Ausdrücke = plural.

A  = ah or ay sound

ab (adv and sep prefix) = off, away

der Abend, -s, -e = evening

aber = but, however

die Absicht, -, -en = intention, purpose

achten = regard, heed, esteem

allein (adj) alone; (adj) however

aller = (fem) alle, (neut) alles = all, every;
  (indeclinable when followd by the def. art. or a possessive) all mein Geld = all my money

als = when, as, than;
  als ob (als wenn) = as if

also = thus, in this way, consequently, accordingly

alt = old

Ame'rika = America
  der Amerika'ner = the American
  amerika'nisch = American

das Amt, -es, -"er = office; cf. der Beam' te
an (prep. dat or acc. and sep. prefix = on, at to, close by, against
ander = other, different
der Anfang, -s, -"e, beginning, start
anfangen, fing an, angefangen, er fängt an = begin, start
anangenehm = agreeable, pleasing
die Angst, -, -"e = fear, anxiety
anhalten, hielt an, angehalten, er hält an = stop, hold on, hold up
ankommen, kam an, ist angekommen = arrive
die Antwort, -, -en = answer ; (vb.) antworten
anziehen, zog an, angezogen (refk,) = dress, put on; (tr.) puton, draw on
der Apfel, -s, -" = apple
die Arbeit, -, -en = work
arbeiten = work
der Arbeiter, -s, -, = worker, workman
arm = poor
die Armee', -, -n = army
die Art, -, -en = kind, sort; way, manner; species
der Arzt, -es, -"e = physician
auch = also, too
auf (prep. dat. or acc. and sep. prefix) = on, upon
die auffassung, -, -en = conception, point of view
die Aufgabe, -, -n = lesson, task
aufgeben, gab auf, aufgegeben, er gibt auf = give up; assign
aufgehen, ging auf, ist aufgegangen = rise; open
aufheben, hob auf, aufgehoben = lift, pick up
aufhören = stop, cease
aufmachen, machte auf, aufgemacht = open
aufmerksam = attentive
aufstehen, stand auf, ist aufgestanden = rise, get up

aufwachen, wachte auf, ist aufgewacht = awake, wake up

das Auge, -sm -n = eye
  der Augenblick, -s, -e = moment

der August' = August

aus (prep. dat. and sep. prefix) = out, out of, from

der Ausdruck, -s, -"e = expression

die Ausführung, -, -en = execution, finish

aussehen, sah aus, ausgesehen, er sieht aus = look, appear, seem

außer (prep. dat.) = outside of, out of, besides, except

außerdem' = besides

aussprechen, sprach aus, ausgesprochen, er spricht aus = pronounce

auswendig = outside; by heart

ausziehen (tr.), zog aus, ausgezogen = draw out, pull off; (intr.) move (out)

B = bay

der Bach, -es, -"e = brook, creek

baden = bathe

bald = soon
  balb ... balb = now ... now

die Bank, -, -"e = bench;
  die Bank, -, -en = bank

bauen = build

der Bauer, -s, -n = peasant, farmer

der Beam'te, -n, -n = official

beden'ken, bedach'te, bedacht' = think over, consider

bedeu'ten = mean, signify
  die Bedu'tung, -, -en = meaning, significance

der Befehl', -s, -e = order, command
  befeh'len = order, command

befin'den, befand', befun'den = (refl.) be, find one's self

begeg'nen = (aux. fein) meet, befall; happen

begin'nen, begann', begon'nen = begin

beglei'ten = accompany

behal'ten, behielt, behal'ten, er behält = keep

bei (prep. dat.) = by, at, with, near, on, in

beide = both

das Bein, -es, -e = leg

beinah'e = almost, nearly

das Beispiel, -s, -e = example
  zum Beispiel = for example

beißen, biß, gebis'sen = bite

bekannt' = acquainted, well known

bekom'mem, bekam', bekom'men = get, obtain, receive

bequem' = comfortable

bereit' = ready
  berei'ten = prepare; cause, give

der Berg, -es, -e = mountain

berich'ten report

berühmt' = famous, celebrated

beschäf'tigt = busy; occupied, employed

beschrei'ben, beschrieb', beschrie'ben = describe, depict

besi'tzen, befaß', beses'sen = possess, own

beson'ders = especially, particularly

beste'hen, bestand, bestan'den = (tr.) endure, pass; (intr.) exist, be

bestimmt' = definite, sure, certain
  die Bestim'mung, -, -en = statement (of terms); destination; definition

der Besuch' -es, -e = visit
  besu'chen = visit, go to see

das Bett, -es, -en = bed

bewe'gen = move, stir

bewei'sen, bewies', bewie'sen = prove

bezah'len = pay

die Bezie'hung, -, -en = relation(ship)

die Bibliothek', -, -en = library

das Bild, -es, -er = picture

bilden = for, shape; cultivate, educate
  die Bildung, -, -en = formation, education

billig = cheap, at a bargain

binden, band, gegun'den = bind, tie

bis = until, as far as

bisher' = hitherto

bitten, bat, gebe'ten = ask, beg, request
  bitte = please
  die Bitte, -, -n = request

blasen, blies, gebla'sen = blow

Blatt, -es, -"er = leaf, page, thinly sliced

blau = blue

bleiben, blieb, ist geblie'ben = stay, remain

der Bleistift, -es, -e = pencil

der Blick, -es, -e = glance, look

blißen = lighten; glisten, shine

blühen = bloom; flourish

die Blume, -, -n = flower

das Blut, -es = blood

der boden, -s, -" = ground, floor, bottom

böse = evil, bad; naughty; angry

brauchen = use, need, want

braun = brown

brechen, brach, gebro'chen = break

breit = broad, wide

brennen, brannte, gebrannt' = burn

der Brief, -es, -e = letter

bringen, brachte, gebracht' = bring, fetch, take

das Brot, -es, -e = bread

die Brücke, -, -n = bridge

der Bruder, -s, -" = brother

das Buch, -es, -"er = book

der Bürger, -s, - = citizen

die Butter, - = butter

C = tsay

der Charak'ter, -s, die Charakte're = character

Notice the letter "c" is used in German only in the "ch, ck, tsch " phonetic characters, except in foregin words. German uses "s" for the soft "c" and "k" for the hard "c"

D = day

da = (adv.) then, there, at that time or place; (conj.) since, as, because

dabei' = with that, at that, at the same time; besides

das Dach, Daches, Dächer = roof, shelter

dadurch = thereby, through (by means of that)

dafür = therefore, for it/them/that; instead

daher' = (adv. and sep. prefix) this way, hither
  da' her = accordingly, therefore

dahin = (adv. and sep. prefix) to that place, thither; past away, along

damit = (adv.) therewith, with it/that/them
  damit' = (conj.) in order that, so that

danken = thank
  dankbar = thankful

darauf = thereupon; upon or on it/them/that

daraus = therefrom, from it/that

daß = (conj.) that, so that, in order that

dazu = thereto, to that, for that, in addition

denken, dachte, gedacht' = think

dennoch = yet, nevertheless

dersel'be, (fem.) diesel'be, (neut.) dassel'be = the same; he/she/it

deshalb = therefore, for this reason

desto, je ... desto = the ... the

deutlich = plain, clear, distinct

deutsch = German

Deutschland = (neut) Germany

der Dezem'ber, Dezem'bers = December

dicht = close, tight, dense

der Dichter, Dichters, Dichter = poet

dick = thick, big

dienen = serve
  der Diener, Dieners, Diener = servant
  der Dienst, Dienstes, Dienste = service

der Dienstag, Dienstags, Dienstage = Tuesday

dieser, (fem.) diese, (neut.) dieses = this (one); the latter

das Ding, Dinges, Dinge = thing

doch = (adv. or conj.) but, however, though, yet; after all, through, yet; after all, just, at any rate; surely, only, you know

der Doktor, Doktors, Doktoren = doctor

donnern = thunder

der Donnerstag, Donnerstags, Donnerstage = Thursday

das Dorf, Dorfes, Dörfer = village

dort = there, yonder, in that place

draußen = outside, out-of-doors

drinnen = within, indoors

der Druck, Druckes, Drucke = print; pressure
  drucken = print
  drücken = press, oppress

dumm = stupid, dull

dunkel = dark

durch = (prep. acc.) through, by means of, during

durchaus' = thoroughly, by all means

Dürfen, durfte, gedurft' = be permitted, be allowed; may, might

der Durst, Durstes = thirst

das Dußend, Dußends, Dußende = dozen


eben = (adj.) evenm level, smooth; (adv.) just (now), exactly

evenso = just as, in the same way

die Ecke, Ecke, Ecken= corner

edel = noble, of noble birth

ehe = (conj.) before, ere

die Ehre, Ehre, Ehren = honor

das Ei, Eis, Eier = egg, egg's, eggs

eigen = to own ??????

eigentlich = really, in truth

eilen = to hasten

einan'der = one another, each other

einfach = simple, onefold

einige = some, a few

einladen, lub ein, eingeladen = to invite

einmal = once (upon a time)

einsam = solitary, lonely

einschlafen, schlief ein, ist eingeschlafen = to fall asleep

einst = once (upon a time), some day

der Einwohner, Einwohners, Einwohner = inhabitant

einzeln = single

einzig = only, single, sole

das Eis, Eises = ice

das Eisen, Eisens, Eisen = iron

die Eisenbahn, Eisenbahn, Eisenbahnen = railroad

die Eltern = (plur.) parents

empfan'gen, empfing', empfan'gen = to receive

empfin'den, empfand', empfun'den = feel, preceive

das Ende, Endes, Enden = the end, end's, ends

endlich = in the end, at last, finally

end(e) = narrow, tight

England = England
  der Engländer, Engländers, Engländer = Englishman
  english = English

die Entfer'nung, Entfernung, Entfernungen = distance
  entfernt' = distant

entge'gen = (prep. or adv.) against, toward, opposite to; contrary, counter

enthal'ten, enthielt', enthal'ten er enthält' = to contain

entlang' = along

entschei'den, entschied', entschie'den = to decide
  die Entschei'dung, Entscheidung, Entscheidungen = decision

entschul'digen = to excuse, to pardon

entste'hen, entstand',ist entstan'den = arise, grow
  die Entste'hung, Entste'gung, Enste'hungen = evolution, development

entwe'der ... oder = either ... or

erben = to inherit

die Erde, Erde, Erden = the earth

erfah'ren, erfuhr' erfah'ren = experience, find out, learn by experience

erhal'ten, erhielt', erhal'ten = receive, get; keep, preserve

erin'nern (refl. with gen.) = to remember;
  -- an, (with acc.) = to remind of

erken'nen, erkann'te, erkannt' = to recognize

erklä'ren = to explain
  die Erklä'rung, Erklärung, Erklärungen = explanation

erlau'ben= to allow, to permit

errei'chen = to reach, to arrive at, to attain

erschei'nen, erfchien', ist erschie'nen = to appear

erschre'cken, erschrak', erschro'cken = (intr.) be frightened; (tr, and weak) terrify, frighten

erst = (numeral adj.) first, foremost; (adv.) first, only, not until

erstau'nen = be astonished

erwa'chen = (aux. sein) to awake

erwar'ten = to await, to eapect

erwi'dern = to answer, to reply

erzäh'len = to tell, to relate

erzei'hen = to educate, to bring up

der Esel, Esels, two Esel = ass, donkey

essen, aß, geges'sen = to eat

etwa = (adv.) about

etwas = something, anything; some, any; somewhat

ewig = eternal


das Fach, Faches, Fächer = branch, subject

fahren, fuhr, ist gefah'ren er fährt = to go, to ride, to travel
  die Fahrt, Fahrt, Fahrten = the journey, the voyage

der Fall, Falles, Fälle = case, the event, the instance???

falsch = false, wrong

die fami'lie, familie, Familien = the family

fangen, fing, gefan'gen fängt = catch, capture

die Farbe, Farbe, Farben = the color

fassen = to grasp, to take hold of, to seize
  die Fassung, Fassung, Fassungen = conception, poise

fast = almost, nearly

faul= lazy

der Februar, Februars = February

die Feder, Feder, Federn = the feather, per????broken type cant read it

fehlen = (intr. with dat.) to lack, to be wanting,to ail, to be the matter; (tr.) to miss
  der Fehler, Fehlers, Fehler = the mistake, the fault, the error

feiern = to celebrate

fein = fine, dainty

der Feind, Feindes,Feinde = enemy

das Feld, Feldes, Felder = the field

das Fenster, Fensters, Fenster = the window

die Ferien = (plur.) vacation, holidays

fern = distant, far
  ferner = (adj.) farther, further; (adv.) furthermore, moreover

fertig = ready, finished

fest = firm, solid

das Feuer Feuers, Feuer = fire

finden, fand, gefun'deb = to find; deem, think

der Finger, Fingers, Finger = finger

der Fisch, Fisches, Fische = the fish

die Fläche, Fläche, Flächen = flat, level, plain

die Flasche, Flasche, Flaschen = the bottle, flask

das Fleish, Fleisches = flesh, meat

Fleißig = diligent, industrious

fliegen, floh, ist geflo'gen = to fly

fließen, floß, ist geflos'sen = to flow

der Flügel, Flügels, Flügel = the wing

der Fluß, Flußes, Flüße = the river

continue here
  der Fegkerm Fehlers, Fehl//////?????????

To be continued

What would you change in the above?  

Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164

Suggestions, corrections, and comments are appreciated: Contact Harold Eddleman