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Guten Tag! I’m here with what I hope will be another practical, useful post for you all! First, a question: Do you ever speak or write in German only to find yourself using the same words over and over again? Is everything good always ‘gut’ and everything bad always ‘schlecht’? Does it ever frustrate you when you can’t express yourself fully for lack of a better adjective to describe how you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, or what you think of something?
This happens to me a lot when I speak or write in German. I find myself saying the same words over and over because I don’t have any ‘advanced’ adjectives in my immediate vocabulary. But wouldn’t it be nice if we did have those? The only way to do this is to learn a couple of synonyms for the words we commonly use. This will instantly make our German sound better and will help us get across our feelings and thoughts a lot more effectively! So let’s get started.
Here are my most commonly used adjectives in German:
Nett – Friendly
Schön – Pretty
Gut – Good
Schlecht – Bad
Komisch – Funny(odd)
Lustig – Funny(amusing)
Grantig – Grumpy
Traurig – Sad
Schwierig – Difficult
Langweilig – Boring
Glücklich – Happy
Spannend – Exciting
Blöd – Stupid
What does your list look like? Don’t be surprised if it’s pretty similar to mine. These are usually the words we learn in German lessons at school, so it’s no wonder they are the ones we are likely to use all the time. But what if you don’t really want to say that a person is nett (friendly)? What if you want to express that they’re considerate – another ‘way’ of being friendly?
What I’ll do now is go through the list again and give you a few different German words for them. This is how we make our German more colourful and get closer to our intended meaning! 🙂
nett – friendly
freundlich (friendly), lieb (sweet), sympathisch (endearing), menschlich (people person/good with people), rücksichtsvoll (considerate), taktvoll (tactful)
schön – pretty/nice
hübsch (pretty), attraktiv (attractive), wunderschön (beautiful), gut aussehend (good-looking), bildschön (picture perfect), geschmackvoll (tasteful), stilvoll (stylish), ästhetisch (aesthetic), idyllisch (idyllic)
gut – good
fein (nice, good), großartig (brilliant/fantastic), exzellent (excellent), wunderbar (wonderful), eindrucksvoll (impressive), toll (great), in Ordnung (all good/‘in order‘), super (super/great), prima (great/fab), einwandfrei (stress-free), wohl (well), herrlich (wonderful), ausreichend (enough/sufficient)
schlecht – bad
schlimm (bad), unwohl (not well), übel (ugly/sick), schwach (weak), ineffektiv (ineffective), elend (miserable/dreadful), schrecklich (frightful/awful), furchtbar (awful), jämmerlich (wretched/miserable/’to whinge over’), trostlos (dismal), peinlich (embarrassing), erschöpft (exhausted)
komisch – funny (odd)
seltsam (strange), absurd (absurd), eigenartig (unique), kurios (curious), sonderbar (extraordinary/stands out), merkwürdig (strange/unusual)
lustig – funny (amusing)
witzig (witty), spaßig (fun), drollig (funny), lächerlich (laughable), humorvoll (humorous)
grantig – grumpy
muffelig (grumpy), reizbar (sensitive/touchy), mürrisch (surly), wütend (angry), verärgert (angered), zornig (irate), stocksauer (pissed off), angefressen (pissed off), unfreundlich (unfriendly)
traurig – sad
weinerlich (tearful), depressiv (depressed), freudlos (sad/’joy-free’), melancholisch (melancholy), bekümmert (preoccupied), leise (quiet), verzweifelt (despairing), lebensmüde (tired of life)
schwierig – difficult
kompliziert (complicated), nicht einfach (not easy), problematisch (problematic), schwer (difficult/heavy), beschwerlich (burdensome), gefährlich (dangerous), nicht verständlich (not understandable/not clear), hoffnungslos (hopeless), herausfordernd (challenging)
langweilig – boring
einschläfernd (will make you fall asleep), nichts los (nothing going on), farblos (colourless/bland), langsam (slow), ereignislos (uneventful), leblos (lifeless), monoton (monotonous), glanzlos (lacklustre)
glücklich – happy
froh (happy/pleased), freudig (happy/joyful), erleichtert (relieved), gut gelaunt (in a good mood), zufrieden (content), lebenslustig (lively/fun-loving), sorgenfrei (carefree), ekstatisch (ecstatic), entspannt (relaxed)
spannend – exciting
dramatisch (dramatic), aufregend (exciting/thrilling), mitreißend (rousing/thrilling), sensationell (sensational)
blöd – stupid
doof, dumm, bescheuert, trottelig (’something a Trottel – idiot – would do’), unvernünftig (unreasonable), sinnlos/zwecklos (pointless), unklug (unwise/foolish)
I don’t expect you to learn every single word from every single list, but maybe pick one from each list and commit to memory. See if you can use it next time you speak or write German. Then go back to the list and learn another! Soon you’ll be expressing yourself in German in a much more advanced way. I’m going to try this, too!
Please also feel free to add your own words to the list by typing them in the comment box below!