German Vocabulary chapter 1

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 German Vocabulary : Family and friends

Die Familie

Th e German extended family consists of a variety of people, both young and old, just like any other family. Naturally, the basic family unit is made up of parents and their children. But beyond that small circle is a large group of relatives who aff ect family life to some degree: the extended family. Let’s look at the German vocabulary that describes a typical family. First, we’ll meet the oldest members of the family

Die Freunde

Friends are an important part of one’s life. People share signifi cant moments with friends and

rely on friends in times of diffi culty. But there are diff erent kinds of friends and diff erent levels of

words for these various kinds of friends as English does.

Remember that German has three pronouns that stand for you. Th ey are du, ihr, and Sie. Use du with family members, children, and close friends, as well as in informal situations. Ihr is the plural of du. Use Sie in formal situations and with adults who are strangers to you.

Don’t forget that Sie is used both with a single person and with two or more persons in a formal situation. Th ese pronouns are the clue that German diff erentiates close friendships and new acquaintances.

If you have just met someone, you will probably use the pronoun Sie with that person. Th ere is a verb to describe this: siezen (to address someone with Sie). Although in English you might refer to a person you met recently as a friend, that would not be the case in German. Freund is not the appropriate word for someone you just met. Use these words instead:


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