German Lessons


Relationship Status

You may remember our previous lesson on nouns for describing romantic relationships. With a nod to Valentine's Day approaching, let's look at how adjectives and phrases are used to describe relationship status and experiences related to love. 

First, where it all begins: You may already know the adjective verliebt. Der Liebeskummer can mean either "heartache," or describe the stress and grief that occurs during fights in a relationship. 


Sag mal, bist du krank... oder verliebt?

Tell me, are you sick... or in love?

Caption 37, Die Pfefferkörner - Endspurt - Part 1

 Play Caption


Krank vor Liebeskummer irrte der Prinz viele Monate lang umher.

Sick from heartache, the Prince wandered about for many months.

Caption 77, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Rapunzel

 Play Caption


As for relationship status, let's start with the word ledig, which means "single" or "unmarried." This is the proper word that is, for example, used in documents for someone who is not married. Therefore, someone who is in einer Beziehung ("in a relationship") or in Partnerschaft lebend ("living in a domestic partnership") might also check ledig on a form. To describe someone who is not in a romantic relationship, the English word "single" has been adopted by younger Germans and appears on most advertisements for dating apps.


Ich bin sechsunddreißig Jahre alt und ledig.

I am thirty-six years old and single.

Caption 32, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche - Part 2

 Play Caption


Wir waren sehr lange verlobt.

We were engaged for a very long time.

Caption 20, Nicos Weg - Mein Traumpartner

 Play Caption


Ich bin glücklich verheiratet

I'm happily married

Caption 55, Die Pfefferkörner - Endspurt - Part 7

 Play Caption


When a relationship comes to an end, we speak of die Trennung ("the separation" or "the break-up") and use the verb sich trennen or the adjective getrennt.


Mein Mann und ich leben seit einem Jahr getrennt.

My husband and I have been living separately for a year.

Caption 60, Großstadtrevier - Alle für einen

 Play Caption


Ist das eigentlich OK für dich mit Alisa, dass ihr getrennt seid?

Is that really OK for you with Alisa, that you are separated?

Caption 18, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche - Part 5

 Play Caption


Ich glaub, er hat gesagt, er ist geschieden.

I think he said he was divorced.

Caption 26, Nicos Weg - Mein Traumpartner

 Play Caption


Of course, "hope springs eternal"...


Viele von ihnen sind bestimmt frisch verliebt.

Many of them are surely newly in love.

Caption 63, Konjugation - Das Verb „sein“

 Play Caption


Further Learning
There are a number of films and series about love and relationships on Yabla German — just search under the "Drama" category or by series. You can also read our lessons on Valentine's Day in Germany and talking about love in German.

The Message or the News?

The German noun die Nachricht is often translated into "message" in English, such as a message left on your voicemail:



Sie haben eine neue Nachricht.

You have a new message.

Caption 27, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche

 Play Caption


In a slightly confusing twist, both the singular and plural form of die Nachricht (plural: die Nachrichten) are often translated into "news" in English: 


Die Nachricht von der schlafenden Prinzessin

The news of the sleeping princess

verbreitete sich in vielen Ländern.

spread throughout many countries.

Captions 58-59, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Dornröschen

 Play Caption


Gute Nachrichten für Hessens Wirtschaftsminister Tarek Al-Wazir.

Good news for Hessia's Minister for Economic Affairs Tarek Al-Wazir.

Caption 1, Frankfurt wird Handelszentrum - für die chinesische Währung Yuan

 Play Caption


This may seem odd, but the reason that the word is translated the same regardless of whether it is singular or plural in German is that the word "news" is a mass noun in English. The Oxford dictionary defines a mass noun as "A noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g., a substance or quality), in English usually a noun that lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article e.g. luggage, china, happiness."



Further Learning
Do a search for the word Nachricht on Yabla German and see how the different contexts of its usage can help you understand whether it's best to translate this word as "message" or "news," as well as decide when you should choose die Nachricht or its plural die Nachrichten when using it to mean "news."

You May Also Like