Olly Richards
I Will Teach You A Language
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I asked German learners from the Language Learning Foundations course to tell me the most useful
German phrases they have learned in recent months. Not just any old phrases, but phrases that
they found themselves using in conversation over and over, and that have contributed directly to
their fluency.
From all the phrases contributed by members, I chose 66 of the best and classified them into 7
different categories. By learning these phrases and introducing them into your German, you will
notice an immediate improvement your fluency, and in your ability to hold a conversation in
The phrases are suitable for intermediate learners, and ideal for improving your conversation skills.
Talking about German
Language exchanges
Connecting phrases
Making conversation
Phrases for responding
Making arrangements
Daily life
Guidance for using these Phrases
When you are at an intermediate level in German, you need to be able to respond to native
speakers quickly, and keep a conversation going.
Learning set phrases is a great way to do this! The phrases you’ll learn here will help you to connect
your ideas, respond naturally and ask engaging questions.
Here is a quick 6-step guide for how to use these phrases in your German practice:
Think about what kind of situations you find yourself in most commonly.
Look through this guide and select the phrases that are most useful for you.
Write them down on a piece of paper, in a notebook or on some flashcards that you will
carry around with you.
Listen to the recordings and practice pronouncing the phrases out loud.
Try “shadowing” or copying the recording so that you get the intonation right for each
Try to use them in your German conversations as much as possible. Remember, the
more you use them, the easier it will be to remember them!
1. Talking About German
#1 Ich lerne seit ….. (einem Jahr/zwei Jahren) Deutsch.
I've been studying German for ... (1 year/2 years).
#2 Wie lange lernst du schon Deutsch?
How long have you been studying German?
#3 Für mich ist die Aussprache/Grammatik/ etc. am schwierigsten.
Pronunciation/Grammar/etc. is the most difficult part for me.
#4 Wie sagt man „...“ auf Deutsch?
How do you say in German?
#5 Ich habe vergessen, wie man das Verb „....“ konjugiert …
I have forgotten the conjugation for the verb …
#6 Ich erinnere mich nicht. Mir fällt das Wort nicht ein.
I cannot remember …
#7 Ich würde gern nur auf Deutsch sprechen, bitte.
I prefer to speak only in German, please.
#8 Verstehst du, was ich sage?
Do you understand what I'm saying?
#9 Ich habe Schwierigkeiten dich zu verstehen, wenn du so schnell sprichst.
It's difficult for me to understand when you speak very fast.
#10 Ich habe den Eindruck, dass mein Deutsch jeden Tag besser wird.
I feel like I'm improving every day.
2. Language Exchanges
#11 Kannst du mir erklären, wie man das Wort … in einem Satz benutzt?
Can you explain to me how to use the word ... in a sentence?
#12 Kannst du das bitte wiederholen?
Can you repeat that please?
#13 Kannst du bitte ein bisschen langsamer sprechen?
Can you speak a little more slowly please?
#14 Was bedeutet „...“?
What does ... mean?
#15 Kannst du das bitte aufschreiben?
Can you write it please?
#16 Können wir über „...“ sprechen?
Can we speak about ...?
#17 Kannst du mir ein anderes Beispiel geben?
Can you give me another example?
#18 Ich spreche nicht gern über dieses Thema. Können wir über was anderes sprechen?
I don't feel comfortable talking about this topic. Can we discuss something else?
#19 Entschuldigung, ich verstehe das nicht.
Sorry, I don't understand
#20 Habe ich das richtig gesagt?
Did I say it correctly?/Does that make sense?
#21 Können wir die Frage/ dieses Gespräch noch einmal üben?
Can we practice that question/conversation again?
#22 Macht das Sinn? (language purists would say „ergibt das Sinn“, but it sounds kind of formal and weird for
a beginner)
Does it make sense?
#23 Worum geht es?
What is it about?
3. Connecting Phrases
#24 Wie auch immer.
Be that as it may.
#25 Ich bezweifle, dass das passiert
I doubt that would happen
#26 Also, es ist Folgendes passiert...
So, what happened was …
#27 Man muss kein Experte sein, aber...
You don't need to be an expert but …
#28 Es dauert nur…
It only lasts …
#29 Ich habe vergessen, (noun) zu ( verb infinitive).
I forgot to …
#30 Ich bekomme Probleme, wenn....
I'm going to have problems if …
#31 Letztendlich...
At the end of the day/In the end, …
#32 So schnell wie möglich.
As soon as possible.
#33 Das habe ich mir gedacht.
That's what I thought.
4. Making Conversation
#34 Was für Musik hörst du gern?
What type of music do you like?
#35 Wie findest du das?
How does it sound to you?/How does it seem to you?
#36 Was hast du letztes Wochenende gemacht?
What did you do last weekend?
#37 Kannst du mir helfen?
Can you help me?
#38 Kannst du mir ein paar Lieder empfehlen?
Can you recommend some songs to me?
#39 Was machst du gern in deiner Freizeit?
What do you like to do in your free time?
#40 Was arbeitest du?
What do you do? (What do you work at?)
#41 Warst du hier/da schon mal?
Have you been here/there before?
5. Phrases for Responding
#42 Oh, das ist toll!
Oh, that's awesome!
#43 Das ist alles, was ich zu sagen habe. / Mehr habe ich nicht zu sagen.
That is all there is to say …
#44 Sag mir, was du denkst.
Tell me what you think.
#45 Ist mir egal.
I don't care
#46 Echt? / Wirklich?/ Ernsthaft?
Really, is that so?
#47 Was auch immer./ Ist mir egal
Whatever/It's all the same to me.
#48 Auf keinen Fall! / Überhaupt nicht!
No way!
6. Making Arrangements
#49 Ich habe es eilig.
I'm in a hurry.
#50 Entschuldigung, ich komme zu spät.
I'm sorry, I'm arriving late.
#51 Ich habe noch eine Verabredung.
I have another engagement/appointment.
#52 Heute kann ich nicht, an einem anderen Tag wäre es besser.
Today I can't, another day would be better.
#53 Wo soll ich dich absetzen?
Where do you want me to drop you off?
#54 Was machst du heute?
What are you going to do today?
#55 Wann musst du losgehen?
What time do you have to go at?
#56 Wir gehen ein paar Bier trinken.
We're going to go out for a few beers.
7. Daily Life
#57 Wir sehen uns! / Man sieht sich!
See you!
#58 Dieses Wochenende war nicht lang genug.
This weekend was not long enough.
#59 Bis bald!
See you later!
#60 Sie haben sich verwählt.
You called the wrong number.
#61 Es ist total heiß heute!
It's very hot today!
#62 Es hat heute wirklich Spaß gemacht.
I had a fun time.
#63 Wie weit weg ist es? (more formal: wie weit entfernt ist es)
How far is it?
#64 Ich hätte besser aufpassen müssen.
I should have looked more carefully.
#65 Die Kosten betragen... (formal)
Der zu zahlende Betrag beläuft sich auf...(extremely formal)
Es kostet... (normal)
The balance to pay is …
#66 Ich muss mich entschuldigen.
I have to apologize.
Hi, I’m Olly Richards from the UK. I speak 8 languages, and I give practical guidance for learning foreign
languages on my website: I Will Teach You A Language.
I’m also the creator of Language Learning Foundations, a course for learners of all languages and levels
who want to learn a new language and start speaking fluently.
I have produced a series of short stories in many languages, including German, which are international
bestsellers. These books provide simplified, accessible, and fun reading material in German for students
who enjoy reading. Accompanying audiobooks are also available on Audible.
German Short Stories Volume 1
If you have any questions about learning German, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @Olly_IWTYAL
Best of luck with your language learning!
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