Asking questions in German ...

Imagine that you are on a date... on a date with Marlene Dietrich.

@IMAGE - of marlene dietrich ?

You wonder if she could be your soulmate. You want to get to know her. You want to ask her some ... questions!

But how?

In this lesson, we'll learn how to interrogate somebody on a date, with important question words and phrases.

Let's start!

German Question Words

Take a look at the vocabulary table below:


These are the important w-question German words. You will often need them, to ask questions. But how to use them?

Forming Questions

1. Basic Questions

To learn how to use these words in a question, we have to turn our attention to some German Grammar rules. Usually, a basic w-question uses this sentence construction:


Here are some example questions:

Wo arbeitest du?

Where do you work?
Warum lachst du?

Why are you laughing?
Was isst du?

What are you eating?
Wie siehst du aus?

How do you look like?

These questions are pretty simple and straightforward.

Now, let's add a direct object to the sentence.

2. Advanced Questions

Usually, a w-question that includes an object uses this sentence construction:


Here are some example questions:

Was für einen Beruf hast du?

What job do you have?
Wie viele Geschwister hast du?

How many siblings do you have?
Wo in Berlin wohnst du?

Where do you live in Berlin?
Was ist deine Meinung?

What is your opinion?

Use the word picker to build sensical sentences using the sentence structure we have just learned

No Mistakes


3. Yes / No Questions

How about questions that do not begin the a w-word? Such as: 'Do you have siblings?', or 'Do you enjoy watching films?'. These questions are called yes-no questions. The sentence construction needed to form such questions is pretty straightforward.

We have covered this particular sentence construction in the lesson on German sentence structure

To form a yes-no, we can just take the default sentence structure and swap the positions of the subject and verb around, so that the verb is at position 1 and the subject is at position 2.


Here is an example of a sentence using the default sentence structure:

das Essen

And here is the same sentence as a question:

das Essen
Du möchtest eine Nachspeise essen.

Möchtest du eine Nachspeise essen?
Dir gefällt das Restaurant.

Gefällt dir das Restaurant?
Du spielst ein Instrument.

Spielst du ein Instrument?

Well done! 🎉

You are forming questions in German!

Now, with these two important sentence constructions and the w-words we have learned so far, let's go on a date with Marlene Dietrich!

@IMAGE - date with marlene dietrich, rose in vase?

Forming Questions Exercise

Let's now practice how to ask questions in German with a short example dialogue.

Go through the dialogue and examine each sentence. Once you are sure to understand what's being said, read the whole dialogue again, and then listen to the audio recording without looking at the text. Are you able to follow it?

If you need some help, click on the blurred lines to show english translations of the questions and answers.

Hallo Marlene! Schön, dich kennenzulernen. Wollen wir uns setzen?
Ja gerne. Möchtest du etwas trinken?
Gute Idee. Trinkst du Alkohol?
Ja, ich trinke Alkohol. Entschuldigen Sie, Herr Kellner! Könnten wir bitte zwei Gläser Champagner haben?
Perfekt, vielen Dank. Erzähl mir ein bisschen von dir. Wie lange bleibst du in Berlin?
Ich bleibe eine Woche lang in Berlin. Kennst du das Hotel Adlon? Da wohne ich zur Zeit.
Oh, schön! Was machst du denn in Berlin?
Ich bin zu Besuch bei der Familie. Wohnt deine Familie auch hier?
Nein, meine Familie wohnt in Hamburg. Ich bin aber vor sechs Jahren nach Berlin gezogen.

The conversation continues ...

Warum hast du dich für Berlin entschieden?
Ich mag die Techno-Szene, das Bier und die schönen Seen hier. Wo lebst du denn eigentlich?
Ich wohne in Amerika.
Oh interessant! Was für Hobbys hast du?
Ich schwimme gerne, tanze und spiele Karten. Und du?
Ich singe auch gerne, schaue Filme und reise gerne.

Well done! 🎉

You have completed this lesson, and your date with Marlene Dietrich!

When you are ready, head over to the next lesson here.