At The Zoo

How many descriptive words have you learned on the course so far? Let's test your knowledge.

In this lesson, we'll learn to describe the 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:

Ready to continue? Let's go!

At the Zoo

For this lesson, let's imagine that you are at the zoo.

der Zoo

Johann Sebastian Bach is with you. He's blind.

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 on German animal names.

Now, let's begin describing:

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

... in German.

Example Description

Bach is wondering what can be seen in the elephant enclosure.

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.

Take your time to read the text slowly. How much of it can you understand?

The verb essen means to eat. The verb fressen, however, has two meanings: to devour, and to describe an animal eating

An important verb to learn from this paragraph is aussehen, which means 'to look'. 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 describe the animals.

Writing Descriptions, In German

Der Löwe

Bach would like to visit the lion enclose. Why don't you have a go at choosing the correct answers to his questions about it.

Wie viele Löwen gibt es in dem Gehege?
Wie sieht der Löwe aus?
Welche Farbe hat sein Fell?
Wie sehen seine Zähne aus?
Was macht der Löwe?

Well done! 🎉

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

Das Zebra

Bach asks:

Wie viele Zebras gibt es in dem Gehege?
Wie sieht der Zebra aus?
Welche Farbe hat sein Fell?
Wie sieht sein Bein aus?
Was macht das Zebra?

Die Schlangen

Bach asks:

Wie viele Schlangen sind im Käfig?
Wie sehen die Schlangen aus?
Welche Farben haben ihre Schuppen?
Was machen die Schlangen?

Well done! 🎉

You have described the animals at the zoo to Bach.

Continue this course, with our next lesson on German Sentence Structure, when you are ready.

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