German Lessons


(Keinen) Bock haben auf...

The German noun der Bock means a mammal of the male gender, similar to the English word "buck," and is often particularly used to describe a male goat or "billy goat." However, the expression Bock haben auf or keinen Bock haben auf has a meaning quite different from what you might expect based on the direct translation of the noun!


Blumio hat Bock auf gute Unterhaltung.

Blumio is keen on good entertainment.

Caption 6, Blumio - Rappen für gute Unterhaltung

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Oh, zerkleinern, das macht mir Spaß. Da habe ich Bock drauf.

Oh, chopping, that's fun. I'm up for that.

Caption 10, CHoE Rocker - Profi-Grilltipps

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Sie hat Bock auf Shopping, also in die Stadt

She feels like shopping, so it's off to the city

Caption 23, Cro - Bye Bye

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Ey, Nina, hast du Bock auf 'ne Wurst?

Hey, Nina, do you want to go out for a wurst?

Caption 6, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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The slang expression Bock haben auf is the equivalent of the expression Lust haben auf and may be translated in a variety of ways. Note that if a noun follows the preposition auf, then the noun case should be accusative. When you use the expression as a negation, just place the accusative case of kein in front of the masculine noun Bock


Jeder kann so seiner Wege gehen,

Everyone can go their own way

wenn er keinen Bock auf die anderen hat.

whenever they aren't in the mood to be around the others.

Caption 47, rheinmain - Szene Selig

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Jedes Mal, wenn du von deiner Arbeit,

Every time when you come home from your work,

von deinen Führungen, nach Hause kommst, bist du fertig,

from your tours, you are exhausted,

hast keinen Bock mehr auf irgendwas.

don't want to do anything.

Captions 28-29, 12 heißt: Ich liebe dich - Kapitel 4: Liebe auf den ersten Blick

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You may also use the phrase in the form of question, in which case auf becomes worauf:


Worauf hast 'n du Bock?

What are you up for?

Caption 29, Mario Barth und Paul Panzer - Männersache

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Further Learning
Read the Duden dictionary page for der Bock and scroll down to Wendungen, Redensarten, Sprichwörter to read other expressions related to this noun. You can also go to Yabla German and search for other examples using the noun der Bock to see other contexts where the phrase is used.

The Winter of Our Mispronunciation

This poor pun on the first line from Shakespeare's tragedy Richard III was inspired by one of the most commonly mispronounced words of all: the word "mispronunciation." It's ironic that the word "mispronunciation" — with the single "u" between the two letters N in the spelling — should so often be mispronounced as "mispronounciation" (sic). The "ou" in the the verb "mispronounce" is often falsely carried over into the nominalization of the word. The same applies to "pronounce" and "pronunciation," with the latter often being mispronounced "pronounciation" (sic). 


The German words for "comedy" and "tragedy," die Komödie and die Tragödie, are also commonly mispronounced by non-native German speakers. You may find these two types of dramas referred to fairly often on Yabla German:


Til Schweiger und Nora Tschirner in der schönsten

Til Schweiger and Nora Tschirner in the most beautiful

romantischen Komödie des Jahres.

romantic comedy of the year.

Caption 32, Filmtrailer - Keinohrhasen

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Und das nächste wird dann wieder eine Komödie.

And the next [one] will then be a comedy again.

Caption 75, Schauspielerin - Jessica Schwarz

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Diese Mischung aus Action und Drama-Komödie

This mixture of action and dramatic comedy

Caption 91, rheinmain Szene - Selig

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But how do you pronounce Komödie? If you pronounced it according to standard German rules of pronunciation, it would have three syllables and end, like the English "comedy", with the sound "ee". You would, however, in that case be mispronouncing the word. Both Komödie and "comedy" are based upon the original Latin word comœdia, and the German pronunciation rather unexpectedly follows the Latin "ia" ending, so rather than pronouncing the German "ie" as "ee" phonetically, it is pronounced closer to the Latin "ia" as "ee-yeh" phonetically, giving the word four syllables: Ko -  - di - e. And the same with "tragedy": Tra - - di - e. Note too that the accent falls on the second syllable of both words: Kodie and Tradie.


Weißt du, es ist eine Tragödie!

You know, it's a tragedy!

Caption 49, Mama arbeitet wieder - Kapitel 1: Alle haben sich lieb

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While mispronouncing Komödie or Tragödie may not exactly be a tragedy, if you get it right you can at least avoid being the star of your own unintentional comedy!


Further Learning
Hear the proper pronunciation of the word by listening to the recorded playback of Komödie and Tragödie and practice it a few times out loud on your own. Then go to Yabla German and find different examples of the words being used by native German speakers in a real-world context.

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