Online German Lessons: Do not mix up these words

Every language has some words that can easily be confused with one another. We have some examples for you, to help you avoid these mistakes in the German language.

Online Deutsch lernen

Same sound, different spelling, different meaning

„Ja, es ist wahr! Ich war gestern im Kino.“ („Yes, it is true! I was in the cinema yesterday.”) – These words can be a potential source for mistakes. Both words wahr and war sound the same, but their spelling is different. Of course, their meaning is different too. Wahr means that something is true. War however, is the past tense first/third person singular of sein (to be).

Here are a few more examples:

  • bellen (bark) vs. Bällen (balls): „Der Hund bellt.“, „Die Kinder spielen mit den Bällen.“
    („The dog barks.“, „The children are playing with balls.“)
  • Meer (sea) vs. mehr (more): „Sandra macht Urlaub am Meer.“, „Peter hat viel Geld. Er möchte aber noch mehr haben.“
    („Sandra spends her holiday by the sea.“, „Peter has a lot of money, but he wants to have more.”)
  • fällt (fall) vs. Feld (field): „Er fällt in das Wasser.“ , „Die Hasen laufen über das Feld.“
    („He falls into the water.“, „The rabbits run across the field.“)

Same sound, same spelling, different meaning

Some words have the same sound and spelling. Nevertheless, their meaning is different. For example: the word weiß (white/know). The word means a colour or the present tense first/third person singular of wissen (to know): „Die Hose ist weiß.” („The trousers are white.”) or  „Ich weiß, dass ich noch viel lernen muss, und auch Peter weiß, dass er noch die Hausübung machen muss.“ („I know I still have to study a lot and Peter also knows that he must do his homework.”)


Other examples are:

  • Bank (bench) vs. Bank (bank): „Ich sitze mit meinen Freunden auf der Bank im Park.“, „Ich gehe auf die Bank, um Geld abzuheben.“
    („I am sitting on a bench in the park with my friends.“, „I am going to the bank to get some money.”)
  • Rasen (grass) vs. rasen (rush): „Die Kinder spielen auf dem Rasen.“, „Die Frau rast mit ihrem Auto zum Arzt.“
    („The children are playing on the grass.“, „The woman rushes to the doctor in her car.“)

Just a small difference

There are words that differ by one letter only, for example Kiste (box) and Küste (coast):  „Martin kauft eine Kiste Obst.“ (Martin buys a box of  fruits.“), „Sie fahren mit dem Boot entlang der Küste.“ („They head along the coast by boat.“)

Here are a few more examples:

  • Kirche (church) vs. Kirsche (cherry): „Ich gehe jeden Sonntag in die Kirche.“, „Ich esse eine Kirsche.“
    („I go to church every Sunday“, „I eat a cherry.“)
  • Ofen (oven) vs. offen (open): „Das Brot wird im Ofen gebacken.“, „Das Geschäft ist heute offen.“
    („Bread is baked in an oven.“, „The business is open today.“)

Do you know other words that can be confused easily?

2017-07-24T15:09:59+00:00 September 30th, 2015|Tags: |