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Why I Loathe Trick Questions in German Learning Books

Why I Loathe Trick Questions in German Learning Books

Heads-up: this is a rant post.

A long time ago I used a German book for both classes and lessons that wasn’t a good fit for either population. I didn’t like the layout, I didn’t like the cartoons, the instructions weren’t always clear, and sometimes the workbook exercises differed from what was in the chapter.

That made teaching with this book difficult, and it created an excessive amount of prep work, which caused me a lot of stress, because it also didn’t answer my students’ many questions. …

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When do I use "geheiratet" and "verheiratet"?

When do I use _geheiratet_ and _verheiratet__

"Geheiratet." Nein. "Verheiratet." Ich weiss es nicht!

I know how it goes, these two can be really tricky, however they are similar enough to English that you can learn a couple of associations to help you keep them apart in your mind.

Sometimes you simply need rote memorization, and sometimes you need a way of remembering which one is which. Sometimes this is an Eselsbrücke (a "donkey-bridge" or a mnemonic device), sometimes you need an association, and sometimes you need a picture in your mi…

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What's the Difference Between "Verkehr" and "Stau"?

What's the Difference Between _Verkehr_ and _Stau__

When you're at the A1 level, "Verkehr" and "Stau" can be tough to differentiate. Most people say "It has something to do with cars!!" If you said that, you're correct! But what's the difference?

The difference is essentially the same as in English, but one use of "Verkehr" might trip you up.

Read on to learn the difference and how not to get tripped up by the one use of "Verkehr"!

Whats the Difference Between Verkehr Stau.png


volkswagen beetle mdWas bedeutet "Verkehr"?

 Verkehr is simply the word for traffic. You can have multiple types of Verkehr:

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6 Jahre! 6 Years of GermanWithNicole.com

6 Jahre 6 Years of GermanWithNicole.com

I've never forgotten important dates like my best friend's birthday, but this year I started forgetting a few things.

One of those things I forgot? The 6-year anniversary of this business. July 1, 2019 was the SIXTH year anniversary of GermanWithNicole.com!


When I began, I had no idea what this might turn into. I started teaching one client online and then within a relatively short period of time, I had enough clients that it turned into a real, part-time job (and I was working…

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"wohin" vs. "woher"

wohin vs woher which one to use when

If you learned German in college, chances are you learned both “woher” and “wohin” at the same time.

Do you ever drive in reverse and forwards at the same time?

I didn't think so.

Why so many US textbook authors think this is a good idea is beyond me.

In drivers education, first you learn to drive forwards, you get a feel for the car, and then you learn to drive in reverse.

It's not that hard, textbook authors!


*Nicole facepalms and sighs with exasperation.*


That's a really good way…

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"zu" vs. "nach"

zu vs nach which one to use when

"Zu..." no. "Nach..."

Wait! Which one do I use? GAH!

Have you said that before? I bet you have, as I’ve heard it from every beginning German learner I’ve worked with. And a lot of intermediate level speakers, too.

The difference is: with “zu” and “nach,” size makes a difference. But not how you might think.

 When do I use “zu”?

“Zu” is used for places like

  • die Bäckerei
  • die Post
  • your friend Michael’s house
  • die Arbeit
  • die Bushaltestelle

These are, in fact, all smaller places. A …

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"wann" vs. "wenn"

wann oder wenn which one to use when

This is a source of frustration for so many German learners. "Wann" and "wenn" are too similar and as a result, lots of people mix them up. They both mean when, however when you use them is completely different.

Are you ready to learn which word to use when? And do you want to remember how to use it in the future?

Ja, super!

Fertig? Los geht’s!

Which “when” is “when”?

First you need to clearly differentiate the two words “wann” and “wenn.”

wann wenn
  • benutzt man in Fragen (u…

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Recap: German, the Language of Love

Recap German The Language of Love

Dienstag Abend war es so weit! Und es hat so viel Spaß gemacht.

Tuesday evening was it! And it was so fun!

This was the first Sprechseminar (speaking seminar) and it was a blast! If you're thinking about joining us for a future Sprechseminar, this will give you a behind-the-scenes look that I hope will inspire you to join us in the future.

First we talked about the vocab we already know for "die Liebe." Words like die Rose, Süßer, das Herz and schmusen came up.

Then we got to the Kosenamen, …

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3 Ways to Say You're in Love in German ♥

3 Ways to Say You're in Love in German

"Alte Liebe rostet nicht" say the Germans.

Old love doesn't rust.

Neither does new love!

So how do you say you're in love in German?

There's the classic, direct way:

Ich liebe dich.

Yeah, that's a good one.

And it's a big one.

If you don't want to jump in at the deep end of the pool, here are a few suggestions for you to talk about it.

There are a few standard ways of saying you're in love with someone as well as a couple of slang ways to say it.

If you're on the look-out for "like" ra…

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First "Sprechseminar" is "German: The Language of Love"

Sprechseminar German The Language of Love

Love is French, right?


Love is every language, every culture, every country.

Even German.

On February 12th you can attend my very first Sprechseminar (speaking seminar) entitled "German: The Language of Love" and you can learn that German has its own, wonderful ways of expressing love.

I'm putting in a few pet names you definitely won't hear in other German courses. This is the real stuff.

You will learn pet names that Germans use for their spouses, their partners, and even their kid…

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