A Beginner’s Guide to German Through Football: „Public Transport in Germany (A1/11)“

Eager to explore more of the city, Alex opts to use public transport, offering an excellent opportunity to familiarize himself with transportation in Germany. This chapter covers transportation terms such as „der Bus“ (the bus) and „die Bahn“ (the train), along with basic verbs like „fahren“ (to drive/travel) and „nehmen“ (to take). It’s a practical guide for navigating public transport, crucial for tourists and residents alike in German-speaking areas.

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Transportation Terms:

  • der Bus (the bus), die Bahn (the train)
  • die U-Bahn (the subway), die Straßenbahn (the tram), das Taxi (the taxi)

Basic Verbs for Travel:

  • fahren (to drive/travel): ich fahre, du fährst, er/sie/es fährt, wir fahren, ihr fahrt, sie/Sie fahren
  • nehmen (to take): ich nehme, du nimmst, er/sie/es nimmt, wir nehmen, ihr nehmt, sie/Sie nehmen

Planning the Journey

Alex checks routes and schedules, acquainting himself with German words related to travel planning. He learns time expressions like „um“ (at) and „ab“ (from), and transportation vocabulary such as „der Fahrplan“ (the timetable) and „die Haltestelle“ (the stop).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Time Expressions and Transportation Vocabulary:

  • um (at), ab (from)
  • der Fahrplan (the timetable), die Haltestelle (the stop), die Abfahrt (the departure), die Ankunft (the arrival)

At the Bus Stop

While waiting for the bus, Alex strikes up a conversation with a local, practicing common questions like „Wann kommt der Bus?“ (When does the bus come?) and small talk phrases such as „Schönes Wetter heute, nicht wahr?“ (Nice weather today, isn’t it?).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Common Questions and Small Talk Phrases:

  • Wann kommt der Bus? (When does the bus come?)
  • Schönes Wetter heute, nicht wahr? (Nice weather today, isn’t it?)

Riding the U-Bahn

On the U-Bahn (subway), Alex experiences reading station names and listening to announcements. He learns directions like „nächste Station“ (next station), „links“ (left), „rechts“ (right), and listening comprehension phrases such as „Achtung, der Zug fährt ab“ (Attention, the train is departing).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Directions and Listening Comprehension:

  • nächste Station (next station), links (left), rechts (right), geradeaus (straight ahead)
  • Achtung, der Zug fährt ab (Attention, the train is departing)

Asking for Directions

Getting slightly lost, Alex asks for directions to a museum, using directional phrases like „Wo ist…“ (Where is…), „Wie komme ich zu…?“ (How do I get to…?), and polite requests such as „Können Sie mir helfen?“ (Can you help me?).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Directional Phrases and Polite Requests:

  • Wo ist…? (Where is…?), Wie komme ich zu…? (How do I get to…?)
  • Können Sie mir helfen? (Can you help me?)

Reflecting on Public Transport Experience

Reflecting on his day, Alex contemplates how navigating public transport has improved both his understanding of German and the city. He uses reflective phrases like „Ich habe gelernt“ (I have learned), „Es war eine gute Erfahrung“ (It was a good experience).

Grammar and Vocabulary:

Reflective Phrases:

  • Ich habe gelernt (I have learned), Es war eine gute Erfahrung (It was a good experience)

Exercises and Practice

  1. Route Planning:
    • Translate a short route description from German to English, incorporating terms for directions and transportation modes.
  2. Dialogue Creation:
    • Role-play asking for directions and making small talk at a bus stop, using common phrases and questions.
  3. Comprehension Questions:
    • Answer questions based on a public transport announcement, focusing on directions, times, and stops.


The chapter concludes with Alex appreciating the role of public transport in daily life and the importance of understanding related German vocabulary. It highlights how navigating public systems can enhance language skills and cultural understanding.

Detailed Section: Asking for Directions Lost in the City

After exiting the U-Bahn, Alex finds himself a bit disoriented and seeks directions to a museum. His interaction showcases the practical use of asking for help and understanding directional phrases.

Grammar Focus: Asking for Help, Directional Phrases

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Alex: “Entschuldigung, können Sie mir sagen, wo das Museum ist?” (Excuse me, can you tell me where the museum is?)
  • Local: “Natürlich, gehen Sie geradeaus und dann nehmen Sie die zweite Straße links.” (Of course, go straight ahead and then take the second street on the left.)

Understanding and Following Directions

Grateful for the assistance, Alex follows the given directions, repeating them to reinforce his language skills. This demonstrates how real-life experiences can solidify language learning.

Grammar Focus: Repeating Directions, Location Terms

Dialogue for Practice:

  • Alex (to himself): “Also, geradeaus, dann die zweite Straße links. Das Museum ist neben dem Rathaus.” (So, straight ahead, then the second street on the left. The museum is next to the city hall.)
(Visited 43 times, 2 visits today)