Episode 13 – Stress Free German

Full Episode Audio (download link is to the right of the volume icon)

Listening Comp. Audio (download link is to the right of the volume icon)

Welcome to Lesson #13 of Stress Free German. Our goal today is to get comfortable with the many verbs we’ve learned thus far in the course. That means a minimal amount of new vocabulary, and a whole lot of prompting. Let’s jump right to it. Tell your friend:

I’m giving you a big present.

Ich gebe dir ein großes Geschenk.

But hold on. You’ve got to visualize these phrases first. With each prompt, try to see the scenario in your head…as if watching it play out on TV. Then say the German phrase. And that means keeping a finger on the pause button. Let’s try again…

We’re giving you a big present.

Wir geben dir ein großes Geschenk.

A new co-worker enters the breakroom. Let’s ask him politely what his name is.

Wie heißen Sie?

Then your manager walks in. It’s 9 AM so greet him appropriately and ask how’re things.

Guten Morgen. Wie geht es Ihnen?

There’s a company outing in Hamburg later in the day, so ask him:

Are you going to Hamburg?

Gehen Sie nach Hamburg?

Your manager, though, is actually on the phone with someone else. Your new co-worker tells you:

No. He is going to Vienna.

Nein. Er geht nach Wien.

Then he adds: Er nimmt den Zug.

Hmm. Er nimmt. I wonder how that translates. Any idea? Maybe another example will help. So, his secretary pokes her head into the breakroom. “Nein. Er nimmt den Bus.”

She said, “No…He is taking the bus.”

Suddenly your boss pokes his head into the ever more crowded breakroom. He waves a pair of old glasses and informs his secretary.

I’m taking my old glasses.

Ich nehme meine alte Brille.

She nods and passes the news on to us:

He’s taking his old glasses.

Er nimmt seine alte Brille.

This is called reported speech…when you’re basically passing along what someone has said. And it’s great practice, if a bit challenging. So let’s try a different scenario. You’re in an appliance store. Tell the salesperson:

I’m looking for a new refrigerator.

Ich suche einen neuen Kühlschrank.

He reports to his assistant:

She is looking for a new refrigerator.

Sie sucht einen neuen Kühlschrank.

That might be a new word for many of you. The word for “she.” Let’s try it in a new scenario.

Tell your rooommate: I love your new table.

Ich liebe deinen neuen Tisch.

He didn’t hear you, so his friend tells him: She loves your new table.

Sie liebt deinen neuen Tisch.

Tell your boss: I love your new chair.
Ich liebe Ihren neuen Stuhl.

His secretary repeats: He loves your new chair.

Er liebt Ihren neuen Stuhl.


Imagine Lisa and Max are roommates. When Max’s obnoxious friend finally leaves, Lisa rolls her eyes and says…

I hate his friend.

Ich hasse seinen Freund.

How might we report that? That is, how to say: She hates his friend.

Sie hasst seinen Freund.

I hate, she hates

Ich hasse, sie hasst

Back to the office, it’s Friday and there’s a party at work. (SFX: beer can) As you open a beer for your boss, ask her: Do you need a glass?

Brauchen Sie ein Glas?

Her assistant, though, steps in and answers for her:

Yes, she needs a glass.

Ja, sie braucht ein Glas.

But wait…hold on. Who does this word Sie refer to? Right? Is it “You, sir,” or is it “She?” Well, it depends on the conjugation of the verb. I mean, listen to these two phrases and you tell me…

Gehen Sie nach Frankfurt?

Geht sie nach Hamburg?

Gehen Sie is Are you going, sir? Whereas Geht sie means Is she going

Try those again. Ask:

Are you going, sir, to Frankfurt?

Gehen Sie nach Frankfurt?

Is she going to Hamburg?

Geht sie nach Hamburg?

Next scenario: A friend calls, searching for you along the beach. What’s the word for beach, by the way? Der Strand. Good. Anyway, you rode your bike to the beach so ask your friend:

Do you see my bicycle?

Siehst du mein Fahrrad?

No, but I see your dog.

Nein, aber ich sehe deinen Hund.

Let’s report his speech. Say: He sees my dog.

Er sieht meinen Hund.

Imagine you and your brother are repairmen in Germany. You’ve finished working on a woman’s home, and she is now looking for her key. From inside the van, your brother informs you:

I have the key.

Ich habe den Schlüssel.

So you pass that news along to the woman:

My brother has your key.

Mein Bruder hat Ihren Schlüssel.

This kind of quick reported speech is tricky, but it’s also very realistic practice. So let’s try another scenario. I’m with my grandmother in an electronics store. She tells me…

I want a new cellphone.

Ich will ein neues Handy.

So I tell the salesperson:

She wants a new cellphone. For now, just listen…

Sie will ein neues Handy.

These he/she forms are tough. They’re all over the map. Sometimes it’s like the Du form, sometimes like the ich. Sometimes it’s own thing. But no big deal. Step by step, we’ll get all the fundamental forms. Meantime, let’s try that one again….

I want a new computer.

Ich will einen neuen Computer..

She wants a new computer.

Sie will einen neuen Computer.

Then grandma turns to you:

Want my old computer?

Willst du meinen alten Computer?

You guys are dong great!


So, here’s a new word for you today. Listen and repeat: kein

Again? Kein

Imagine, as you open your door, a St. Bernard comes barreling into your apartment. Grabbing its collar, you haul it out of your home and across the landing to your neighbor’s door. You knock…

Ist das Ihr Hund?

She shakes her head.

Nein. Ich habe keinen Hund.

She shrugs and closes her door again.

Maybe, instead of a dog, you discover that someone has parked their bicycle in your parking space. You knock on your neighbor’s window this time….Ist das Ihr Fahrrad?

Nein. Ich habe kein Fahrrad.

How would you translate that? She’s saying: No, I have no bicycle.

Or in more natural English: I don’t have a bicycle.

And we notice that kein acts like any other supporting word. If describing a masculine noun, it adds that “en” ending when we do something to it.

In the hotel lobby, ask the bag clerk:

Do you have my suitcase?

Haben Sie meinen Koffer?

The manager suddenly steps in and informs you:

He has no suitcase.

Er hat keinen Koffer.

So let’s work that new word into our ongoing verb review. Tell your friend:

I’m giving you a small coffee.

Ich gebe dir einen kleinen Kaffee.

Did you see that transaction in your head first, before speaking? Good!

New conjugation here. See if you can guess the verb. Listen?

Er gibt mir einen Stuhl.

He is giving me a chair. So you try it. How about:

My brother is giving me his computer.

Mein Bruder gibt mir seinen Computer.

I’m taking his old watch.

Ich nehme seine alte Uhr.

He has no watch.

Er hat keine Uhr.

We’re taking the bus.

Wir nehmen den Bus.


(ringing bell)
Ah! That bell means someone just left us a review over at Trustpilot, which is greatly appreciated. But as I read this woman’s review, she says, “I just wish there were more lessons available.” Umm…there are. We have four more volumes of the course over on our site, StressFreeGerman.com. That’s over hundred new lessons waiting for you, with more in production. So please go to the site and click where it says Volume II. That out of the way, let’s get back to work. So….

For today’s tip, we’re going to work with something called Minimal Pairs. That’s a fancy term for two words that differ by one tiny sound So, the words are going to sound very similar…and yet they have totally different meanings. Think of the words ship and sheep in English.

We are not going to burden you with the meaning of these words. We just want to listen, see if we hear the difference, and then echo it back. That’s all. Ready?

schon — schön


schon — schön

We’ll do each pair twice like that.

losen — lösen

Bogen — Bögen

kennen — können

konnte — könnte

Frosch — Frösche

Hut — Hüte

Blut — Blüte

Gut — Güte

It’s best to do this sort of thing in small chunks, so we’ll do some more in a minute. For now, back to the lesson and one final round of verb review. These are going to be basically random, unrelated phrases. Tell your friend:

He is giving you a small present.

Er gibt dir ein kleines Geschenk.

Remember: Finger on the pause button. See each scenario in your head…

We are taking an old table.

Wir nehmen einen alten Tisch.

Imagine that my mom is taking photos of some huge tree in my boss’s garden. I tell him:

She loves your old tree.

Sie liebt Ihren alten Baum.

At a party, ask a friend: Do you have my glass?

Hast du mein Glas?

He’s looking for his beer.

Er sucht sein Bier.

I’m looking for the bus stop.

Ich suche die Haltestelle.

Ask a friend: Do you see the garbage bin?

Siehst du die Mülltonne?

Tell him: I see no garbage bin.

Ich sehe keine Mülltonne.

An old lady has asked you for directions. First ask her…

Do you see the museum?

Sehen Sie das Museum?

No, I don’t see a museum.

Nein, ich sehe kein Museum.

I’m going to Dresden.

Ich gehe nach Dresden.

I’m taking the train.

Ich nehme den Zug.

Try that as reported speech.

She is going to Dresden. She is taking the train.

Sie geht nach Dresden. Sie nimmt den Zug.

Finally, let’s end with a second round of Minimal Pairs. Remember, it’s two totally different words that sound very similar. Each pair twice…

Biene — Bühne

Kiel — kühl

liegen — lügen

Liste — Lüste

Kiste — Küste

Lifte — Lüfte

Kunst — Künste

Mutter — Mütter

Busch — Büsche

That was a heck of a workout today. I hope you’re enjoying this and are doing well. Keep practicing and we’ll see you in the next lesson.

Lesson PDF Download – Right click on PDF Icon – Save Link As…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top