Monday, April 17, 2017

10 000 German Words Sorted by Frequency of Use

The full thing can be downloaded, for free, as a .docx file:

Credits to Wiktionary.


1a. ich

From Middle High German ich, from Old High German ih, from Proto-Germanic *ek, *ik, from Proto-Indo-European *éǵh₂.


1.          I

1b. Ich


Ich n ‎(genitive Ichs, plural Ichs or Ich)
1.          (psychology) ego, the Ich
2.          self, me, him, etc.
               das wahre Ich
               the real me

2a. sie


sie f
1.          she
2.          it (when the object/article/thing/animal etc., referred to, is feminine (die))

Usage notes

             In the colloquial speech of some areas, this pronoun is used only enclitically after a verb, as an ending /zə/. E.g. hamse, könnse. Stressed instances are replaced with the demonstrative pronoun die. This reflects a similar development for es/das.
             While the genitive of personal pronouns does express ownership, it must not be confused with possessive pronouns. While possessive pronouns such as ihr are put in front of the noun they relate to and follow the inflection rules of adjectives, the genitive form of a personal pronoun has only one form, which is not further inflected. Additionally, personal pronouns in the genitive can be put after the word they relate to.

2b. Sie


1.          you (polite; singular and plural)
               Was möchten Sie, Frau Wagner?
               What would you like to have, Mrs. Wagner?

Usage notes

             The German Sie expresses distance in the relation between two persons. It is not perfectly correct to say that it expresses respect; gods and saints have always been addressed as du, as have been parents (except formerly among the upper class). Even royal highnesses used to be addressed as du, not personally but in songs and poems.
             Sie is identical in form to the third person plural pronoun sie ‎(“they”) and takes the same verb form. The ""polite"" Sie is distinguished in writing by capitalization. When addressing a person with Sie, one generally needs to replace the third person plural pronoun with the demonstrative die to avoid confusion: Wissen Sie, was die zu mir gesagt haben? − “Do you know what they said to me?”

3. das

From Old High German daz, from Proto-Germanic *þat. Compare Dutch dat, English that.


1.          who, that, which (relative) (In a subordinate clause, indicates a person or thing referenced in the main clause. Used with neuter singular referents).
               Ich kenne ein Mädchen, das das kann.
               I know a girl who can do that.
2.          this, that (demonstrative)
               Das ist mein Haus.
               This is my house.
3.          (colloquial) it
               Ich hab' das nich.
               I don't have it.


das n ‎(definite, nominative)
1.          the; nominative singular neuter of der
2.          the; accusative singular neuter of der

4. ist


1.          Third-person singular present of sein.

5a. du

From Old High German du (akin to Old Saxon thu and English thou), itself from Proto-Germanic *þū, from Proto-Indo-European *túh₂.


1.          thou, you (singular familiar)

Usage notes

             As a simplified rule one can say that du is used among friends, relatives, and young people up to 25~30 years. Du is always used to address children up to 14~16 years, as well as gods, animals, and other creatures.
             Usage also depends a lot on the setting in which people meet: two unacquainted, middle-aged persons are quite likely to use du when they meet, for example, in a pub, but much less so when they meet in the street.
             Native English-speakers often use Sie too much. It is nevertheless advisable to use Sie in any case of doubt, because it may be rude to use du when the dialogue partner expects Sie.

5b. Du


Du n
1.          literally: the thou, the you (singular)  [quotations ▼]
            jemandem das Du anbieten
               literally: to offer somebody the thou; means: to offer somebody to address each other with the pronoun du/Du


1.          Alternative letter-case form of du (you (singular)) (especially when used as a direct address in letters)

Usage notes

             As of 1996 and 2004, the forms Du, Dein etc. were deprecated by the German official spelling rules;[1][2] as of 2006 and 2011, they are permitted (as variants of du, dein etc.) only in letters.[3][4]

6. nicht

From Middle High German niwiht, niweht, niht, a contracted form of Old High German niowiht, from nio ‎(“never”) + wiht ‎(“being, creature”), derived from Proto-Germanic *ne ‎(“not”) + *aiw- ‎(“ever”) + *wiht- ‎(“thing”). Akin to Dutch niet, West Frisian net, English not where similar developments took place.


1.          not
               Bitte nicht stören!
               Please do not disturb!
               Das ist nicht wahr.
               That is not true.

Usage notes

             The adverb nicht cannot freely be used in combination with indefinite nouns. Instead the negative adjective kein ‎(“no”) is used.
Ich sehe keine andere Möglichkeit. – “I don't see any other possibility.”
Er hat keine Äpfel mitgebracht. – “He hasn't brought apples.”
             Nicht can be used with indefinite nouns under certain circumstances, for example if the noun precedes the adverb, or if it is contrasted with another noun.
Äpfel hat er nicht mitgebracht. – “Apples he hasn't brought.”
Es kam heraus, dass er nicht einen Hahn sondern ein Huhn gekauft hatte. – “It turned out that he hadn't bought a rooster but a hen.”

7. die


die ‎(relative or demonstrative)
1.          (in a subordinate clause as a relative pronoun) That; which; who; whom; whose.
               Ich kenne eine Frau, die das kann. — “I know a woman who can do that.”
2.          (as a demonstrative pronoun) This one; that one; these ones; those ones; she; her; it; they; them
               die da — “that one (or she or they) there”


die ‎(definite, feminine and plural form of der)
1.          The; declined form of der
               die Frau — “the woman”
               die Männer — “the men”

Usage notes

The definite article die is the form of der ‎(“the”) used with the following types of noun phrases:
             nominative singular feminine
             accusative singular feminine
             nominative plural for all genders
             accusative plural for all genders

8. und

From Old High German unti, from Proto-Germanic *andi, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂énti. Compare Dutch en, English and, Danish end.


1.          (co-ordinating) and  [quotations ▼]
               Kaffee und Kuchen
               coffee and cake
               Ich kam, sah und siegte.
               I came, saw, and conquered.
            1904, Rudolf Eisler, Wörterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe, Berlin, volume 1, sub verbo Ich, page 446-457:
               ""Das »Ich = Ich« ist die ursprünglichste Erkenntnis, die Urquelle alles Denkens [..], es bedeutet »erstens die rein logische Identität von Subject und Object im Acte des reinen Selbstbewußtseins, zweitens die reale metaphysische Identität des setzenden absoluten Ich und des gesetzten begrenzten Ich, und drittens die zeitliche Identität des Ich in zwei rasch aufeinander folgenden Zeitpunkten« [...].""

Usage notes

As seen in the second example, commas are never used before und in (short) enumerations, even where English punctuation requires this. However, commas are used before und in certain complex sentence constructions.

9a. es


es n
1.          it (referring to things)
2.          he (with reference to male creatures, people etc. that are grammatically neuter)
3.          she (with reference to female creatures, people etc. that are grammatically neuter)  [quotations ▼]
            1952, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, ‘Das Dicke Kind’:
               Das Kind sagte nichts und sah mich mit seinen kühlen Augen an. Dann war es fort.
               The child said nothing and looked at me with her cold eyes. Then she was gone.
4.          (for impersonal verbs) it
               Es regnet.
               It’s raining.


es n
1.          (regional, colloquial) Alternative form of das
               Soll ich es Fenster zumachen?
               Should I close the window?

Usage notes

             In the colloquial speech of some areas, this pronoun is fully replaced with the demonstrative pronoun das, with which it shares the unstressed reduction /s/. This reflects a similar development for sie/die, but predates it.

9b. Es


Es n ‎(genitive Es, plural Es)
1.          (psychology) id

10. der

From Old High German ther, der, replacing the original masculine and feminine nominative forms from Proto-Germanic *sa, by analogy with the adjective inflection. Compare also Old Dutch thie where the same process occurred.


der m ‎(relative)
1.          who; that; which
               Ich kenne einen Mann, der das kann.‎ ― I know a man who can do that.


der ‎(definite)
1.          the; definite article for several declensions:
1.          Nominative singular masculine
2.          Genitive singular feminine
3.          Dative singular feminine
4.          Genitive plural for all genders.

Usage notes

In a subordinate clause, indicates a person or thing referenced in the main clause. Used with masculine singular referents.

11. was

From Middle High German waz, from Old High German waz, hwaz, from Proto-Germanic *hwat, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷod. Cognate with Dutch wat, English what, Danish hvad. More at what.


1.          (colloquial) a little, somewhat
               Ich komm' was später.
               I'll arrive a little later.


1.          (interrogative) what
               Was machst du heute?
               What are you doing today?
2.          (relative) which (referring to the entire preceding clause)
               Sie tanzte gut, was er bewunderte.
               She was a good dancer, which he admired.
3.          (relative) that, which (referring to das, alles, etwas, nichts, and neuter substantival adjectives)
               Das ist alles, was ich will.
               That's all that I want.
               Das ist das Beste, was mir passieren konnte.
               That's the best that could have happened to me.
4.          (relative, colloquial) that, which (referring to neuter singular nouns, instead of standard das)
               Siehst du das weiße Haus, was renoviert wird?
               Do you see that white house, which is being renovated?
5.          (indefinite, colloquial) something, anything (instead of standard etwas)
               Ich hab was gefunden.
               I've found something.

Usage notes

             The genitive case, and the dative case if necessary for clearness, can be paraphrased by means of welcher Sache ‎(“what thing”). Possessive genitives are more commonly paraphrased with wovon ‎(“of what”).
             The colloquial was meaning ""something"" can only be the first word in a sentence if followed by an adjective: Was Wichtiges fehlt noch. ‎(“Something important is missing.”) Otherwise the full form etwas must be used: Etwas fehlt noch. ‎(“Something is missing.”) The reason for this is that the latter sentence could be misinterpreted as a question if was were used.
             Was is not commonly used with prepositions, but replaced with pronominal adverbs containing wo-. Hence: Womit hast du das gemacht? ‎(“With what did you do that?”), instead of Mit was hast du das gemacht?.
             Was was also used attributively, as in auf was Weise, zu was Ende, was Volck, was Volcks, was Raths, but Gottsched and Adelung criticised this usage. In the genitive and dative before feminine nouns there was also the form waser as in Aus waser Macht tust du das?.
            1718, Johann Caspar Schwartz, Johann Caspar Schwartzens Fünfftes Dutzend Wund-artzneyischer Anmerckungen von vielerley Arten der Geschwülste und Geschwüre, Hamburg, page 97:
               [...] denen Thieren und Gewächsen aber, von was Arten und Geschlechten selbige auch nur immer seyn mögen, [...]
            1742, Johann Christoph Gottsched, Versuch einer Critischen Dichtkunst, Leipzig, page 442:
               Held August, du kühner Krieger! / Du bist der beglückte Sieger, / Vor, und in, und nach dem Fall. / Auf was Arten, auf was Weisen, / Soll man deine Thaten preisen / Hier und da, und überall?
            1786, Johann Michael Schosulan, Gründlicher Unterricht für das Landvolk: Wie und auf was Weise jedermann seinen etrunkenen, erhängten, erstickten, erfrornen, von Hitze verschmachteten und von Blitz berührten unglücklichen Nebenmenschen Hülfe leisten, der Retter aber für sein eigenes Leben sich selbst sicher stellen solle., Wien, title:
               Wie und auf was Weise jedermann seinen [...] Nebenmenschen Hülfe leisten [...] solle.

12. wir

From Middle High German wir, from Old High German wir, from Proto-Germanic *wīz, *wiz, from Proto-Indo-European *wéy-, plural of *éǵh₂. Compare Low German wi, Dutch wij, English we, Danish vi, Icelandic vér, Gothic 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐍃 ‎(weis).


1.          we

13. er

From Old High German er, from Proto-Germanic *iz. Displaced the northern Old High German forms with h-, e.g. , her (see he).


1.          (personal) he.
               Wo ist Klaus? Wo ist er? — Where is Klaus? Where is he?
2.          (personal) it (when the grammatical gender of the object/article/thing/animal etc., being referred to, is masculine (der)).
               Dies ist mein Hund. Er heißt Waldi. — This is my dog. Its name is Waldi.
               Dort steht ein Baum. Er ist über hundert Jahre alt. — There stands a tree. It is more than 100 years old.

14. zu

From Old High German zuo, from Proto-Germanic *tō. Cognate to Old Saxon ; Dutch toe, tot, and te; English to.


1.          to, towards
2.          closed, shut
               Das Geschäft war zu.
               The shop was closed.
3.          too; excessively
               zu schnell - ""too fast""
4.          (informal, slang) hammered; very drunk


1.          for; in order to; Used with infinitive of verbs.
               etwas zu essen - ""something to eat""


zu ‎(+ dative)
1.          to, towards
               zum Bahnhof - ""to the train station""
2.          along with; with
               Wasser zum Essen trinken - ""to drink water with [one's] meal
3.          at, by, on
               zu Hause - ""at home""
4.          with respect to
               zu Punkt 1 bemerke ich - ""with respect to item 1 let me remark""

15. ein

From Old High German ein, from Proto-Germanic *ainaz, from Proto-Indo-European *óynos. Compare German Low German en, ein, Dutch een, English one, Danish en, Norwegian Nynorsk ein.


ein m, n
1.          one
               Ich hatte nur ein Bier bestellt.
               I had ordered just one beer.


ein m, n
1.          a, an
               ein Mann - a man
               eine Frau - a woman
               ein Kind - a child

Usage notes

             In counting, the form eins is used: eins zu null − ""one-nil"" (sport result). The name of the number one, as a noun, is Eins.
             In order to distinguish the numeral (""one"") from the indefinite article (""a, an""), the former may be printed in italics: Ich hatte nur ein Bier bestellt.

16. in


in ‎(not comparable)
1.          in, popular


1.          (in + dative) in; within; at; contained by
               Es ist im Haus.‎ ― It is in the house.
2.          (in + dative) pertaining to
3.          (in + accusative) into
               Er geht ins Haus.‎ ― He goes into the house.

Usage notes=

The preposition in is used with accusative case if the verb shows movement from one place to another, whereas it is used with dative case if the verb shows location.

17. mit

From Old High German miti, mit, from Proto-Germanic *midi.


1.          indicates participation in an action or belonging to a category
               Schwarze Sklaven haben die Vereinigten Staaten mit aufgebaut.
               Black slaves helped to build up the United States.
               Hier gibt es mit das beste Essen in der Stadt.
               Here they have some of the best food in town.
               Ich war mit der erste, der hier war.
               I was one of the very first who arrived.
2.          (somewhat informal) with something
               Ich brauch nicht unbedingt Majonäse zu den Fritten, aber mit sind sie natürlich besser.
               I don't necessarily need mayonnaise with the chips [/fries], but they taste better with it, of course.


mit ‎(takes dative)
1.          with (expressing attendance, company)
               Ich spiele mit meinen Freunden.
               I'm playing with my friends.
2.          with, by (instrumental)
               Ich schreibe mit einem Bleistift.
               I'm writing with a pencil.
               Ich fahre mit dem Bus.
               I'm going by bus.

Usage notes

             In older usage, Latin-derived nouns occurred in the ablative case after mit, e.g. ""mit dem Corpore"", ""mit dem Nomine"".

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this beauty, I appreciate the work.
    Are you planning to do similar docx files for other languages as well?


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