At The ZooLesson 15

In this lesson, we will write some short, descriptive paragraphs of animals at the zoo.

Before we begin, you may find it helpful to refresh your knowledge of some of the rules and vocabulary we have learned so far:

Okay, are you ready to continue? Let's go!

At the Zoo

Imagine that you are at the zoo.

der Zoo

@IMAGE - illustration of the zoo

Johann Sebastian Bach is with you. He's blind. Look it up; he really did go blind at the end of his life.

@IMAGE - Bach as old man, blind, at the zoo

Because Bach is blind, it is your responsibility to describe to him what the animals look like, and what they are doing.

Animals at the Zoo

At the zoo, we encounter some wild animals.

das Tier

Here are the ones you come across:

der Elefant
der Löwe
das Zebra
die Schlange

For a more comprehensive list of animal names, you may check out this page dedicated to German animal names.

Now, let's begin describing:

  • what these animals look like,
  • what these animals are doing

... in German.

An Example Description

Bach is wondering what you see in the elephant enclosure.

"IMAGE - illustration of elephant

His questions are:

Wie viele Elefanten gibt es in dem Gehege?

How many Elephants are there in the enclosure?
Wie sehen die Elefanten aus?

How do the elephants look?
Welche Farbe haben ihre Häute?

What color are their skins?
Wie sehen ihre Stoßzähne aus?

How do their tusks look?
Was machen die Elefanten?

What are the elephants doing?

Here is an example response:

Es gibt zwei Elefanten. Sie sehen wunderschön aus. Ihre Häute sind grau. Die Elefanten haben scharfe Stoßzähne. Sie fressen Äpfel und Gras.

There are two elephants. They look beautiful. Their skins are grey. The elephants have sharp tusks. They are eating apples and grass.

Do you understand how the elephants are being described? Fill in the gaps in this english translation of the text. Click finish to reveal the correct answers.

☝️Essen vs. Fressen
The verb essen means to eat. The verb fressen, however, has two meanings: 1) to devour, or 2) to describe an animal eating

An important verb to learn here is aussehen, which means 'to look' (seem, appear). This word is often used to describe something's appearance:

Die Elefanten sehen wunderschön aus.

The elephants look beautiful.
Der Pfau sieht bunt aus.

The peacock looks colorful.
Die Schildkröte sieht freundlich aus.

The turtle looks friendly.

Notice that in the example description, we are using: numbers, colors, the nominative and accusative cases, pronouns and adjective declension.

Now is your turn to try.

Writing Descriptions, In German

Der Löwe

Bach is wondering what is going on in the lion enclose. Why don't you have a go at putting together some answers to his questions.

@image of ONE LION, with caption - der Löwe


No Mistakes
Wie viele Löwen gibt es in dem Gehege?

Es gibt einen Löwen im Gehege.
Es gibt zwei Löwen im Gehege.

Well done! 🎉

You have put together a short paragraph of the animal's appearance and action, in German!

Now let's do the same exercise, but with the rest of the animals at the zoo:

Das Zebra

@Image of ONE ZEBRA, with caption - das Zebra


No Mistakes
Wie viele Zebras gibt es in dem Gehege?

Es gibt ein Zebra.
Es gibt zwei Zebras.

Die Schlangen

Image of TEN SNAKES, with caption - die Schlange

No Mistakes
Wie viele Schlangen sind im Käfig?

Es gibt zehn Schlangen.
Es gibt fünf Schlangen.

Well done! 🎉

You are putting together short paragraphs, using the grammar rules and vocabulary that you have learned so far in this free course!

Continue on with the next lesson on Connectors, when you are ready.