Conversations, in any language, are never one-way, so learning to ask basic questions, in German in this case, will help to communicate more effectively with others and develop language skills.
In this post we will learn to formulate questions using the main question words (die Fregewörte):
- Wo – where
- Woher – where from
- Wohin – where to
- Wann – when
- Was – what
- Wer – who
- Wie – how
- Warum – why
All question words in German begin with the letter “W.” The pronunciation is similar to the letter “V” in English.
How to Form Sentences with German Question Words?
To structure a question in German, you must start with the question word first, next you’ll add the conjugated verb in the second position, and then the subject:
Q-word + conjugated verb + subject
If there is anything else in the question, then it will follow the subject.
For example: Wohin gehst du? Where are you going?
In this sentence, Wohin (where to) is the question word, gehst (go) is the conjugated verb and du (you) is the subject.
Another example: Warum wohnt er jetzt in Deutschland? Why does he live in Germany now?
Here, Warum (why) is the question word, wohnt (live) is the conjugated verb, er (he) is the subjec, jetzt in Deutschland (now in Germany) is the rest of the information, which will always go last.
Basic questions in German
Here are some basic questions in German that every beginner should know about:
- Wie geht es dir? How are you?
- Woher kommst du? Where are you from?
- Wie spät ist es? What time is it?
- Wie ist das Wetter? How is the weather?
- Wie weit ist es? How far is it?
- Wo sind die Toiletten? Where are the restrooms?
- Wo kann ich Busfahrkarten kaufen? Where can I buy bus tickets?
- Was kostet das? How much is it?
- Wo finde ich ein Geldautomat? Where do I find an ATM?
- Wann fährt den Zug/das Flugzeug ab? When does the train/plane depart?
In this next video Anja, Learn German with Anja, explains how to use the questions words. In addition to that, she also provides some very useful grammar notes: