Asking QuestionsIn German

Let's learn how to ask why, when, where, how, etc. questions, in German.

lessonsgerman questionsasking questions in german

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

You want to get to know her, and would like to ask her some questions!

But how?

In this lesson, we'll learn some 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 can we use them?

Forming Questions

1. Basic Questions

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

Subject Noun

Here are some example questions, using this construction:

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:

Object Noun
Subject Noun

Here are some example questions, using this construction:

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?

Use the word picker below to build full sentences, with the sentence constructions we have just learned:

3. Yes / No Questions

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


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

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

Conjugated Verb
Subject Noun
Object Noun

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

Have a look at the sentences below. Try to reformulate them as questions.

Click the grey bars to reveal the answers.

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!

Exercise: Forming Questions

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

First, read through the dialogue. Take your time. Next, listen to the audio recording, without looking at the text. Are you able to understand 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?
Hello Marlene! Nice to meet you. Shall we sit down?
Ja gerne. Möchtest du etwas trinken?
I'm glad to meet you too. Would you like something to drink?
Gute Idee. Trinkst du Alkohol?
Good idea. Do you drink alcohol?
Ja, ich trinke Alkohol. Entschuldigen Sie, Herr Kellner! Könnten wir bitte zwei Gläser Champagner haben?
Yes, I drink alcohol. Excuse me, waiter! Could we please have two glasses of champagne?
Perfekt, vielen Dank. Erzähl mir ein bisschen von dir. Wie lange bleibst du in Berlin?
Perfect, thank you very much. Tell me a bit about yourself. How long are you staying in Berlin?
Ich bleibe eine Woche lang in Berlin. Kennst du das Hotel Adlon? Dort habe ich ein zimmer reserviert.
I'm staying in Berlin for a week. Do you know the Hotel Adlon? I have reserved a room there.
Oh, schön! Was machst du denn in Berlin?
Oh, lovely! What are you doing in Berlin?
Ich bin zu Besuch bei der Familie. Wohnt deine Familie auch hier?
I'm visiting family. Do your family also live here?
Nein, meine Familie wohnt in Hamburg. Ich bin aber vor sechs Jahren nach Berlin gezogen.
No, my family lives in Hamburge. I moved to Berlin six years ago.
Warum hast du dich für Berlin entschieden?
Why did you choose Berlin?
Ich mag die Techno-Szene, das Bier und die schönen Seen hier. Wo wohnst du?
I like the techno scene, the beer, and the beautiful lakes here. Where do you live?
Ich wohne in Amerika.
I live in America.
Oh, interessant! Was für Hobbys hast du?
Oh, interesting! What hobbies do you have?
Ich schwimme gerne, tanze und spiele Karten. Und du?
I enjoy swimming, dancing, and playing cards. And you?
Ich singe gerne, schaue Filme und reise gerne.
I enjoy singing, watching movies and travelling.

Tap on the gray bars to reveal the English translations, if needed.

Well done! 🎉

You have completed this lesson! When you are ready, head over to the next one: At The Zoo.

If you'd like to support our free content, consider sharing our material & following on YouTube and Spotify.

You can also always get in touch, if you have criticism or feedback. If you're a German teacher yourself, ask us about free learning resources! 😊

B1 Immersion Course

Explore diverse articles on German culture, supported by grammar lessons, audio recordings, and interactive exercises.


Sloeful German is a language learning platform focused on immersive learning. We help intermediate German learners achieve fluency through content that is interesting but at the right level.


Join Us


german questionsasking questions in german