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"zu Hause" vs. "nach Hause"

zu Hause vs nach Hause

The difference between "zu Hause" vs. "nach Hause" easily trips up German learners, but it doesn't have to trip you up if you use the tips below.

1. "zu Hause" = (at) home

"zu" is usually used as a preposition, so it would stand by itself and you might think that "zu Hause" means "to home." This is an exception. When you say "zu Hause," you're really using it as one block of language.

Think of the sentence "Ich bin zu Hause" and picture it like two wooden blocks:

[Ich]    [bin]    [zu Hause…

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Wiederholen Sie, bitte!

Wiederholen Sie bitte

5 Ways to Re-Use Your German & Learn More in the Process

There is one key ingredient to students who learn the most in their German lessons:  they repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.

My first German teacher was (and surely still is) an excellent instructor. She told me if I wanted to learn a new word in German, I'd have to use it 28 times.

28 times!! That's a lot of repetition. (If that's an average, sometimes it goes faster--say 20 repetitions, and sometimes it takes longer, say 40 repet…

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wohnen vs. leben

wohnen vs. leben

IKEA Germany advertises with a catchy slogan:

Wohnst du noch, oder lebst du schon?

Are you still living, or are you already living?

Sehr lustig.

This works in German since wohnen ≠ leben. But the difference is significant. Here's how to tell the difference between wohnen and leben and which one to use when.

wohnen

"wohnen" is used for short-term situations.

"Ich wohne bei meinen Eltern" ...because I'm at home for the summer.

"Ich wohne bei einer Freundin" ...because I'm waiting for m…

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kennen vs. wissen

kennen vs wissen which one to use when

"Kennen" is not the same as "wissen" and it can be very confusing trying to tell the two apart.

Here you will learn what "kennen" means, what "wissen" means, and finally how to tell the difference.

There are example sentences, too, and I highly recommend you grab your German notebook and write them down so you can refer back to them later.

kennen

Ich kenne... is for things you can get to know. You might not have always known your German friend Marius, however you got to know him once, which …

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It's OK to Cry When You Don't Understand: 3 Ways to Bust Through

Students of foreign languages sometimes get upset when they get frustrated. They get really frustrated and really upset because what they want most is to speak a foreign language, they've done their homework, they've studied, and somehow the pieces just don't fit together or the pieces they want don't come together when they speak.

It's a hard-core experience.

Some students think I learned German easily because I learned it quickly--it was not easy and my German skills were and are hard-won with…

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Jein = ja + nein

ja nein jein

"Jein" is definitely one of the best words in the German language. It's one word for both yes and no.

ja + nein = jein

Knowing the word "jein" in German opens up a whole new world for German learners and their eyes get really big and their ears perk the first time they hear the word. "Jein" also has several uses; for starters, "jein" allows you to give two simultaneous answers to one question.

This is perfect for difficult questions and for difficult answers.

When it's impossible to give a s…

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How to Create the Weil Sentence Structure

How to Create the Weil Sentence Structure

The Weil sentence structure is a tough one for English speakers. We say "because I said so," but the Germans say "weil ich es gesagt habe," or (translated directly) "Because I so said!"

It's the exact opposite way in German. The verbs go all the way at the end.

Although Germans are, at least in the media, losing this construction faster than the ice caps are melting, there is one almost-guaranteed compliment you will receive when you can say this properly. A German will hear it and say to you,…

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How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German

How to Pronounce Ich-Laut German Instructional Video

Use this Instructional Video to Learn How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German!

The Ich-Laut can be tough for English speakers to pronounce because it's not a part of English...or is it?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we *do* have the Ich-Laut in English--it's just hidden!

In this video on how to pronounce the Ich-Laut, I show you where to find that hidden "ch" sound in English and then I guide you through a couple of exercises to help you pronounce this sound in German.

The most important factor is…

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How to Write an "Elfchen" (German Cinquain Poem)

How to Write an Elfchen German Cinquain Poem

An "Elfchen" is similar to a Haiku in that it has a set form, however it is unique in that it has 11 words, the lines having 1-2-3-4-1 words, respectively.

It always has this form (replace each number with a word):

one

one two

one two three

one two three four

one

The first word is the topic and the final word is often a commentary or a summary word. Here’s one I wrote for my student’s Valentine’s Day (Valentinstag!) lesson last night:

Liebe

bewegsam

grosse Gefühle

veraendert das Her…

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