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My home is my castle: German apartments Posted by on Nov 25, 2010 in Culture, Current Events, Language, People, Traditions

One’s own home is a kind of retreat for many people. It is a place where you can relax and spend time with your family and friends.

In 2009, I spent some time in London (UK) where I did an internship in a kind of real estate agency. The company rented separated rooms in house and apartment shares. I soon recognized that the designation for various apartment types differ between German and Anglo-Saxon culture.

I was very confused when I found out that, for example, a two-bedroom apartment did actually consist of three separated rooms.  A typical German flat is clearly divided into several separated rooms. The standard configuration is: ein Flur (a hallway), eine Küche (kitchen), ein Badezimmer (bathroom), and several rooms, which are utilized as Wohnzimmer (living room), Schlafzimmer (bedroom), Kinderzimmer (children’s room), Esszimmer (dining room), and Arbeitszimmer (study). The reason why I was so confused is that the German designations for apartment types do always contain the entire number of rooms that are available in an apartment – the living room included. Here are the German designations and their English equivalents.

Einraumwohnung – one-room apartment / studio apartment

Zweiraumwohnung – two-room apartment / one-bedroom apartment

Dreiraumwohnung – three-room apartment / two-bedroom apartment

Vieraumwohnung – four-room apartment / three-bedroom apartment

 

An empty apartment or house is not very comfortable. Therefore, I want you to furnish a Fünfraumwohnung (five-room apartment / four-bedroom apartment). Simultaneously, you can practice some German. Below you can find different options how to ask for what kind of furniture is there in a particular room in an apartment and how to answer these questions. Choose the forms you like best and apply them to the exercises that you can find below my example. Good luck and enjoy!

Questions: – Was für Möbel stehen in …? (What kind of furniture ‘do stand’ in …?)

– Was für Möbel gibt es in …? (What kind of furniture is there in …?)

– Was gibt es in …? – What is there in …?

– Was für Möbel hast Du / habt Ihr / haben Sie in …? (What kind of furniture do you have in …?)

Answers: Im [room] steht (sgl.) / stehen (pl.) [furniture]. (In the … there is …)

Im [room] befindet sich (sgl.) / befinden sich (pl.) [furniture].

Example:

Flur: einen Schuhschrank, eine Garderobe

Question: Was für Möbel stehen im Flur? (What kind of furniture is there in the hallway?)

Answer: Im Flur stehen ein Schuhschrank und eine Garderobe. (In the hallway there is a shoe cabinet and a coat rack.)

1. im Wohnzimmer: ein Sofa, zwei Sessel, einen Fernsehapparat, einen Couchtisch, eine Stehlampe
2. im Esszimmer: einen Esstisch, sechs Stühle, ein Büffet
3. im Schlafzimmer: ein Doppelbett, einen Kleiderschrank, zwei Nachttische
4. in der Küche: einen Kühlschrank, einen Herd, eine Spüle
5. im Arbeitszimmer: einen Schreibtisch, einen Aktenschrank, ein Bücherregal
6. im Kinderzimmer: ein Bett, einen Schreibtisch, einen Kleiderschrank
7. im Badezimmer: eine Dusche, eine Badewanne, ein Waschbecken
Vocabulary:
(der) Flur – hallway
(das) Wohnzimmer – living room
(das) Esszimmer – dining room
(das) Schlafzimmer – bedroom
(die) Küche – kitchen
(das) Arbeitszimmer – study
(das) Kinderzimmer – children’s room
(das) Badezimmer – bathroom
(der Schuhschrank – shoe cabinet
(die) Garderobe – coat rack
(das) Sofa – sofa
(der) Sessel – armchair
(der) Couchtisch – coffee table
(der) Fernsehapparat – TV set
(die) Stehlampe – floor lamp
(der) Esstisch – dining table
(der) Stuhl – chair
(das) Büffet – sideboard
(das) Doppelbett – double bed
(der) Kleiderschrank – wardrobe
(der) Nachttisch – nightstand
(der) Kühlschrank – refrigerator
(der) Herd – stove
(die) Spüle – sink
(der) Schreibtisch – desk
(der) Aktenschrank – file cabinet
(das) Bücherregal – bookshelf
(das) Bett – bed
(die) Dusche – shower
(die) Badewanne – bathtub
(das) Waschbecken – washbasin
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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


Comments:

  1. Rachael:

    And the kitchen is usually designated by some optimistic tiles and a pipe sticking out of a wall. It is still the case that most apartments have no “kitchen” in situ; those that do are advertised as having a EBK (Einbauküche). That also brings up a range of issues re maintenance and pricing. A EBK tends to be found in the smaller apartments.

  2. contract furniture:

    I thought that was an English view. My home is my castle. I suppose everyone feels in charge at home.

  3. leenapaul:

    While searching for cabinets, you need to have a proper look at the quality of wood. You can find different type of cabinets that are available in market.

  4. Mark Osborne:

    Your representation is good.I like it.

  5. Folding Doors:

    Key to perfect design is to have as much open space as possible.

  6. Marion Reinsberg:

    Your article is really a nice little help for english visitors!