Typical Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes: Quiz
Want to sound more natural, and less German, when speaking English? Then you are in the right place. These 8 questions highlight some of the mistakes that I hear again and again from my German students. That is, until I show them the right way to answer them.
Read each question and then translate the answer from German into English. After doing so, look at my answer to see if you got it right!
Here's the assignment!
1 – Wo wohnst du?
Where do you live?
Translate: Ich wohne in Berlin.
I live in Berlin.
2 – Seit wann wohnst du da?
How long have you lived there?
Translate: Ich wohne seit 4 Jahren in Berlin
I have lived in Berlin for 4 years.
I’ve lived in Berlin since 2012.
I’ve lived in Berlin since 4 years ago.
The tip? In English, we have to use the present perfect. Also, we say ‘for’ 4 years (when talking about how long something lasts, we use ‘for’) and ‘since’ 4 years ago or 2012 (when talking about the point in time, we can use ‘since’).
3 – Wie alt warst du als du dein High School Abschluss gemacht hast?
How old were you when you finished high school?
Translate: Ich habe meinen Abschluss mit 18 gemacht.
I graduated high school at the age of 18.
When I was 18, I graduated high school.
I finished high school at age 18.
The tip? In English, when talking about how old we were when something happens, we have to say ‘at the age of…’, ‘at age…’, or ‘when I was…’. This can go at the beginning or the end of the sentence.
4 – Was hast du letztes Wochenende gemacht?
What did you do last weekend?
Translate: Letztes Wochenende bin ich mit der Bahn nach München gefahren.
Last weekend, I took the train to Munich.
Last weekend, I traveled to Munich by train.
The tip? We say ‘take the train’, ‘travel by train’, or ‘go by train’ when we are a passenger. The only person who drives the train is the conductor!
Bonus tip? We say Munich, not München.
5 – Was machst du beruflich?
What do you do for a living?
Translate: Ich bin Englischlehrer.
I’m an English teacher. I work as an English teacher.
The tip? In English, when talking about a profession, we use an indefinite article (‘a’ or ‘an’) before listing the profession.
6 – Wo arbeitest du?
Where do you work?
Translate: Ich arbeite bei English With Nick.
I work for English With Nick.
The tip? In English, we work ‘for’ a company or ‘at’ a location. Being ‘by’ a company means being physically close to the building, not actually visiting it or working there.
7 – Wann war das letze mal, dass du im Urlaub warst?
When was the last time you were on holiday?
Translate: Ich war vor 3 Monaten im Urlaub.
I went on vacation 3 months ago.
My last vacation was 3 months ago.
I was on holiday 3 months ago.
The tip? When translating ‘vor’, make sure to use the word ‘ago’. The English word ‘for’ talks about how long something lasts, not how many years in the past it took place. And another note: holiday is the British English word, while vacation is the American English word.
8 – Was machst du gerne? What do you like to do? Translate: Ich mag es, Sport zu machen. Ich mag es auch, Fotos von der Natur zu machen.
I like doing sport.
I like to play sports.
I like playing sports.
I like sports.
I like exercising.
I also like to take pictures of nature.
I also like to take pictures in nature.
I also like taking pictures of nature.
I also like taking photos of nature.
The tip? In English, when saying what we like (or hate, or love), we don’t repeat the word ‘it’ before describing what ‘it’ means. We can say ‘I like it!’ or ‘I like swimming’ or ‘I like to swim’. Just don’t repeat ‘it’ and ‘swimming’ in the same sentence!
Bonus tip? In English, the subject of a photo is described with the preposition ‘of’.
Extra bonus tip? In English, we take photos.
If you'd like personalized feedback on your answers, send me an email ( Nick@EnglishWithNick.de ) or write them in the comments below.
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