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Common German Words

A list of the most common German words ordered by their frequency of use. You can use this list to learn words efficiently, ensuring you cover the basic vocabulary of German.

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Rank Word Root Meanings
 
1 die 1. art. The; declined form of der
     die Frau — “the woman”
     die Männer — “the men”
2. pron. (in a subordinate clause as a relative pronoun) That; which; who; whom; whose.
     Ich kenne eine Frau, die das kann. — “I know a woman who can do that.”
der 1. art. the; definite article for several declensions:
2. pron. who; that; which
3. pron. (attributive stressed) that
2 und 1. conj. (co-ordinating) and
     Kaffee und Kuchen - coffee and cake
     Ich kam, sah und siegte. - I came, saw, and conquered.
2. interj. so?, now?
     Und? Wie ist es gelaufen? - So? How did it go?
3 ich 1. pron. I
4 der 1. art. the; definite article for several declensions:
2. pron. who; that; which
     Ich kenne einen Mann, der das kann. — “I know a man who can do that.”
3. pron. (attributive stressed) that
     Der Mann war es! — “It was that man!”
5 das 1. art. the; nominative singular neuter of der
2. art. the; accusative singular neuter of der
3. pron. who, that, which (relative) (In a subordinate clause, indicates a person or thing referenced in the main clause. Used with neuter singular referents).
     Ich kenne ein Mädchen, das das kann.
       I know a girl who can do that.
der 1. art. the; definite article for several declensions:
2. pron. who; that; which
3. pron. (attributive stressed) that
6 nicht 1. adv. not
     Bitte nicht stören!
       Please do not disturb!
     Das ist nicht wahr.
       That is not true.
7 ist 1. v. third-person singular present of sein
sein 1. v. of ist
2. v. (with a predicate adjective or predicate nominative) to be
3. v. (with a predicate adjective and an indirect object) to be
8 sie 1. pron. she
2. pron. it (when the object/article/thing/animal etc., referred to, is feminine (die))
3. pron. they
9 in 1. prep. (in + dative) in; within; at; contained by
     Es ist im Haus. - It is in the house..
2. prep. (in + dative) pertaining to
3. prep. (in + accusative) into
     Er geht ins Haus. - He goes into the house..
10 zu 1. prep. to, towards
     zum Bahnhof - to the train station.
2. prep. along with; with
     Wasser zum Essen trinken - to drink water with one's meal
3. prep. at, by, on
11 es 1. pron. it (when the object/article/thing/animal etc., referred to, is neuter (das)).
2. pron. (for impersonal verbs) it
     Es regnet. - It’s raining.
3. art. (regional colloquial) alternative form of das
     Soll ich es Fenster zumachen?
12 den 1. art. the; accusative masculine singular of der
2. art. the; dative plural for all genders of der
3. pron. that; whom; accusative of der
13 er 1. pron. (personal) he.
     Wo ist Klaus? Wo ist er? — Where is Klaus? Where is he? (audio, De-wo ist klaus.ogg)
2. pron. (personal) it (when the grammatical gender of the object/article/thing/animal etc., being referred to, is masculine (der)).
     Dies ist mein Hund. Er heißt Waldi. — This is my dog. Its name is Waldi. (audio, De-Dies ist mein hund.ogg)
     Dort steht ein Baum. Er ist über einhundert Jahre alt. — There stands a tree. It is more than 100 years old. (audio, De-Dort_steht_ein_baum.ogg)
14 du 1. pron. thou, you (singular familiar)
15 ein 1. num. one
     Ich hatte nur ein Bier bestellt.
       I had ordered just one beer.
2. art. a, an
     ein Mann - a man
16 sich 1. pron. (reflexive) Reflexive pronoun of the third person singular: herself, himself, itself, oneself (direct or indirect object).
2. pron. (reflexive) Reflexive pronoun of the third person plural: themselves (direct or indirect object).
17 mit 1. prep. with (a, expressing attendance, company)
     Ich spiele mit meinen Freunden.
       I'm playing with my friends.
2. prep. with, by (instrumental)
     Ich schreibe mit einem Bleistift.
18 auf 1. prep. (with dative) on
     Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch.
       The book is lying on the table.
2. prep. (with accusative) on, onto
     Leg das Buch auf den Tisch!
19 so 1. adv. so, that
     Die Leute sind so nett. - People are so nice.
     Dieser Hammer ist nicht so gut. - This hammer is not that good.
2. adv. as (followed by an adjective or adverb plus (m, de, wie) in a statement of equality)
     Er rennt so schnell wie der Blitz. - He runs as fast as lightning.
20 was 1. pron. (interrogative) what
     Was machst du heute?
       What are you doing today?
2. pron. (relative) which (referring to the entire preceding clause)
     Sie tanzte gut, was er bewunderte.
21 von 1. prep. from
     Ich fahre von Köln nach Hamburg.
       I'm travelling from Cologne to Hamburg.
     Ich hab’s von meiner Schwester gehört.
       I heard it from my sister.
22 aber 1. adv. again (mostly used in abermals, yet another time)
2. conj. but, however, though
23 eine 1. Cardinal number. one
2. art. a, an
3. pron. feminine nominative of indefinite article: one
4. pron. feminine accusative of indefinite article: one
24 auch 1. adv. also, too
2. adv. even
     auch wenn — even if
3. adv. really
25 doch 1. conj. though; yet; but; however; nevertheless
2. conj. for all that; after all; but
3. adv. after all; yet; however; nevertheless
4. adv. really; just
5. adv. (in response to a negative question or statement) yes; surely; really; on the contrary
26 wie 1. adv. how
     Wie groß bist du?
       How tall are you?
     Ich weiß nicht, wie die Katze hereingekommen ist.
       I don't know how the cat got in.
27 wir 1. pron. we
28 noch 1. adv. still
     Du magst mich noch. - You still like me.
2. adv. (with weder) nor
     Ich mag weder ihn, noch dich. - I like neither him nor you.
3. adv. yet
29 dem 1. art. the; dative singular masculine of der
2. art. the; dative singular neuter of das
3. pron. dative singular masculine of der
4. pron. dative singular neuter of das
30 an 1. prep. (with a location in the dative case) on; upon; at; in; against
     Das Bild hängt an der Wand. - The picture hangs on the wall.
2. prep. (with a time in the dative case) on; in
3. prep. (with a dative case object) by; near; close to; next to
4. prep. (with a dative case object) by means of; by
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary