how to ask questions in german language (1200 × 860 px)

How to Ask Questions in German Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Communication

Questions in German should be an essential skill that everyone acquires. From shopping at a supermarket to gathering information about specific products or requesting more detailed specifications of anyone you see for sale, knowing at least some basic sentences of German can make all the difference when asking queries in person or via phone, or online

So in this article, you’ll learn how to ask simple questions in German language.

Let’s begin…

 Guidelines on How to Ask Questions in German

When asking questions in German, several grammatical rules must be observed. As follows are some key considerations:

1. in German, verbs typically take the second position in sentences; in questions, however, the verb moves up front into the first position.
Statement: Klara geht heute ins Kino. (Klara is going to the cinema today.)
Question: Geht Klara heute ins Kino? (Is Klara going to the cinema today?)

2. If your sentence begins with an adverbial phrase or an adverb, the verb should follow directly after.

Take a look at the example below:
Statement: Am Wochenende gehe ich ins Kino. (Today, I am going to the cinema.)
Question: Wann gehe ich ins Kino? (When am I going to the cinema?)

3. If the sentence contains separable verbs (verbs with prefixes that can be separated from their main verb), their prefix is moved to the end of the sentence.
Statement: Ich stehe um sechs Uhr auf. (I get up at six o’clock.)
Question: Wann stehe ich auf? (When do I get up?)

4. When formulating yes/no questions, the verb comes first and then the subject follows after.
Statement: Sie ist sehr müde. (She is very tired.)
Question: Ist sie sehr müde? (Is she very tired?)

5. When asking for specific information (who, what, where, when, why, and how), the question word should always come first in a sentence.
For example:
Statement: Der Zug fährt um 11 Uhr ab. (The train departs at 11 o’clock.)
Question: Wann fährt der Zug ab? (When does the train depart?)

Here are a few more samples:

a) Marin trinkt gerne Kaffee.
Question: Trinkt Marin gerne Kaffee?

b) Meine Freunde gehen morgen schwimmen.
Question: Gehen deine Freunde morgen schwimmen?

c) Der Film war wirklich langweilig.
Question: War der Film wirklich langweilig?

So, now you learned the correct way when asking questions in German.

Let’s try these exercises below to test what you have learned.

Try to answer these exercises by writing a question for each of the following answers:
a) Es ist 10 Uhr.

b) Ich habe morgen frei.

c) Sie kommen aus Frankreich.

d) Ja, ich bin gestern ins Kino gegangen.


a) Wie spät ist es?
b) Hast du morgen frei?
c) Woher kommsen Sie?
d) Warst du gestern im Kino?


Making initial inquiries in German may prove challenging for those just beginning, as doing so involves following several grammatical rules. 

Of particular note is the general practice wherein verbs are typically placed at the second position in sentences – however when making inquiries this rule must be broken and moved up front to become the focus.

If a sentence begins with an adverbial phrase or an adverb, its verb follows after. If there is a prefixed verb in it, its position changes; otherwise, it remains at the end.

Yes/no questions require the verb to come first in the sentence, then followed by its subject. When asking for specific information (who, what, where, when, why, or how), however, the question word must go first in its sentence.

Practice exercises can help in understanding and applying these rules effectively. 

Converting statements into questions, or writing questions for given answers are two types of exercises that may prove helpful in doing this.

Understanding these grammatical rules is crucial for asking questions in German, and with practice, they become easier to implement correctly.

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