ier habe ich eine Liste
von Aufgaben für Sie zusammengestellt, welche auf üblichen
„Sprachenfällen“ basieren und die Ihr Englisch
deutlich verbessern werden, wenn Sie besonders darauf achten bzw.
die Aufgaben in Ihr Alltagsleben einbinden.
Watch your pronunciation of such words as:
-ies and ser-i
-ous. Pay close attention to syllable
divisions – check the dictionary if you’re not sure.
Bridge idea: take a part of the word to help you remember
what it means.
Ex. New York is an exciting city. Ted was excited
to visit it.
A thing is exciting. A person (Ted) is
When an English speaker says “You’re welcome!”,
it doesn’t necessarily mean “Sie sind willkommen!”
– it most commonly means “Bitte schön! Gern
geschehen!” Some alternatives: “(It’s) My
pleasure!” “No problem!” “Not at all
Check pronunciations if you’re not sure; sometimes
words rhyme although they are spelled completely differently:
bow/bough; dough/throw; through/few, etc.
Look into phrases like: I used to do that.
I am used to doing that.
I must get used to (doing) that.
We don’t “visit” a trade fair. We
“visit” people and geographical locations.
We attend a trade fair
a training program
a lecture, course, seminar
a conference, a meeting
You can also participate in/take part in a meeting,
a course, a conference, etc.
von can mean “from” or “of”
– be sure to check which is correct.
Ex. I have heard of him. (I don’t know her personally,
just her name.)
I have heard from him. (I know him and I have recieved
a letter/email/phone call, etc. from him.
To meet can mean either “treffen”
It’s not: “I stand up every morning
at 6 a.m.”
It’s: “I get up every morning at 6 a.m.”
Idiomatic expression: “We are even.” =
“Wir sind quit.”
Get the standard right:
I look forward/am looking forward to seeing you.
hearing from you.
We do not say: I look /am looking forward to see you.
To suit = passen: That suits me. (Das paßt
mir (von der Zeit her, usw.).
suitable = passend: That is a suitable time for me. (Die
ist eine passende Zeit für mich.)
a suit = ein Anzug: That suit is suitable for the funeral.
(Der Anzug ist paßend für die Beerdigung.)
to suit = stehen: That suit suits you. (Der Anzug steht
Sleep terms: einschlafen = to fall asleep
ausschlafen = to sleep in
lang schlafen = to sleep late
angeblich = supposed
I am supposed to be there. (Ich sollte angeblich da sein.)
the supposed husband (der angebliche Ehemann)
This wine supposedly tastes good. (Dieser Wein schmeckt angeblich
I suppose we could do that. (Ich nehme an, wir können das
Be careful when you want to say machen; sometimes it
means make and sometimes it means do.
Not: It stands in this book that...
But: It says in this book that....
Eine dicke Person is not a thick person,
but a heavy/fat person.
A thick person is not very intelligent, as in thick-headed.
Careful! There is a difference between
he is out at lunch and he is out to lunch; the
first sentence means “Er ist zu Tisch”; the second
one means, “Er hat nicht alle Tassen im Schrank.”
Remember to always capitalize the W in Whom in: “To
Whom it may concern;”
Ich habe heute frei. = I have off today.
Es ist doch selbstverständlich, dass...
It goes without saying that….
Man nimmt es für selbstverständlich hin.
One takes it for granted.
Aufwand = expense of: time
zeitintensiv = time-consuming
Careful with take and bring:
take-> take me home; take that away
bring<-bring that here; bring me a glass of water
Once, twice, three times, four times
One time, two times, etc.
We don’t say: more bigger; try: even
bigger or much bigger.
Let me look at my calendar. Not: into
To prove = beweisen
The proof = das Beweis
To proof, to proofread = korrekturlesen
überprüfen = to check, to test
eine Prüfung = a check of, a test
Heute abend is not today evening, but this evening or
tonight. You could, however, say today in the evening.
This, these are used for here and now, that, those
are used for there and then.
We explain something to someone.
I searched him. (Ich habe ihn durchsucht.)
I searched for him. (Ich habe ihn gesucht.) Also: I looked for
I searched the whole house for my keys. (Ich habe das ganze
Haus nach meinen Schlüssel durchsucht.)
They searched for survivors. (Sie haben nach Überlebenden
Davor does not mean therefore, it means before that.
Some words serve many functions, so it’s worthwhile
to learn your parts of speech (noun, verb, advective, adverb,
etc.). For example, a word like grant can be used both as an
action (verb – The government grants money for certain
projects.) and a thing (noun – Our company received a
grant to do research in the field of fiber optics.). Learning
word families, related words like this can help you increase
your vocabulary quickly.
Other examples: fund, project, help, etc.
For some words, the pronunciation changes when the word is
Examples: appropriate (adj.), to appropriate (v.)
an estimate (n.), to estimate (v.)
And then, there are the word families:
to exhaust (v.), exhaust (n.), exhaustion (n.),
to be exhuasted (adj.)
And let’s not forget those gerunds! Nouns which are formed
by adding –ing to verbs.
to exhaust -> exhausting
to see -> seeing
to shop -> shopping
to ski -> skiing
to swim -> swimming
Adverbs are very important! They describe how we do
things. Slowly but surely, you’ll be able to speak fluently!
Beware of false friends! You may want to collect them
in a list in your own notebook.
Examples: to spend – (v.) Geld ausgeben, Zeit verbringen
spenden, spendieren – donate time or money; treat someone
to something, for example: to buy s.o. a drink.
For pronunciation, try to find the easiest way –
don’t make it harder than it has to be!
Example: “clothes” and “close” sound
very similar; don’t say “clo-thes” –
this word does not exist! The word “clothes” has
only one syllable.
Do you have “Hemmungen” when you speak
English? How do you say “Hemmungen” in English?
The word is “inhibitions” – and it’s
quite easy to remember if you think in terms of opposites: the
word “exhibitionist”, known also in the German language,
is used to describe someone with no “inhibitions”
about how many (or rather, how few) clothes they have on! It
is often possible to build memory bridges by using opposites.
In English, we mostly put the place expression before
the time expression in our sentences. So remember PLACE before
TIME. (ORT vor Zeit).
Ex. I was in the Alps last week.
(Ich war letzte Woche in den Alpen.)