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Around the House

Many of us are spending much more time at home than usual right now, and are therefore acutely aware of how much work it takes to keep a household running. For those of you who might be looking for a way to procrastinate, let's look at how to talk about household chores in German. 

Die Hausarbeit is the German word for "chore." You may know this word already, as it refers to a written work that students complete in order to get credits for a class (similar to a "term paper"). In this case, however, it is related to der Haushalt ("the household"), and is literally translated as "housework."


Ich sauge nicht so oft, ich hasse Hausarbeit.

I don't vacuum very often, I hate housework.

Caption 14, Nicos Weg - A1 Folge 47: Haushaltsarbeit

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Two important verbs to know are putzen, which means "to clean," and aufräumen, which means "to tidy up" or "to pick up." The command "Clean up your room!" is expressed with aufräumen, not putzen.


Ich finde schon, dass du häufiger putzen könntest

I do think you could clean more often

oder zumindest deine eigenen Sachen aufräumen könntest.

or at least pick up your own things.

Captions 24-25, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Probleme

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There is always so much to do! Here's a long list of chores, courtesy of Yabla's own Eva:


Ich muss die Küche aufräumen, den Abwasch machen,

I have to tidy up the kitchen, do the dishes,

das Bad putzen, Staub saugen und Staub wischen.

clean the bathroom, vacuum and dust.

Captions 5-6, Hausputz - mit Eva

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Hallo, heute will ich meine Wäsche waschen

Hello, today I want to do my laundry

Caption 1, Wäsche waschen - mit Eva

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A big topic in any German household is die Mülltrennung, which literally translates as "the separation of garbage" and refers to recycling. 


In Heidelberg wird der Müll in verschiedene Gruppen getrennt.

In Heidelberg, the garbage is separated into different groups.

Caption 14, Mülltrennung - in Heidelberg

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Wischen, fegen, Müll wegbringen. Drei Monate lang.

Mop, sweep, take out the garbage. For three months.

Caption 5, Großstadtrevier - Schatten der Vergangenheit

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Not all household tasks feel like chores, however. After all, for those who appreciate it, cooking can also be a real joy!


Kochen Sie eigentlich auch zu Hause selbst?

Do you actually cook at home yourself?

Caption 22, Ball des Weines - Franz Beckenbauer

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Further Learning
Watch the videos Hausputz - mit Eva or Nicos Weg - A1 Folge 47: Haushaltsarbeit in their entirety on Yabla German to learn even more useful phrases. To get the latest news from Germany and also work on your listening comprehension, you can listen to the first minute and a half of today's report from Deutsche Welle's Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten

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