German Lessons

Topics

Standing in Line

We all hate it, but it's simply a part of life: Waiting in line. 

In German, the verb for "to wait" is, of course, warten:

 

Wenn die denkt, ich warte hier noch lange, dann hat sie sich aber getäuscht.

If she thinks I'm going to wait here a long time, then she's wrong.

Caption 18, Weihnachtsmann gesucht: Bist du verliebt?

 Play Caption

 

banner PLACEHOLDER

But when we talk about waiting in line, there are a few other applicable phrases. The first one is (für etwas) anstehen, or "to stand in line (for something)."

 

Beim Trampolin gibt es eine ganz schön lange Schlange zum Anstehen.

At the trampoline there is quite a long line that you have to stand in.

Caption 16, Das Fest: Open-Air in Karlsruhe

 Play Caption

 

 

As you can see, the word for "line" or "queue" in this sense is die Schlange, which is also the word for "snake" in German. You will also hear die Warteschlange.

 

Und wie ihr sehen könnt, ist dort schon eine Schlange.

And as you can see, there is already a line there.

Caption 18, Eva zeigt uns: Currywurst

 Play Caption

 

The expression Schlange stehen also means "to stand in line" or "to queue."

 

Die stehen richtig Schlange. Was für ein Gedränge!

They are really standing in line. What a crowd!

Caption 41, Abenteuer Nordsee: Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption

 

If you are ever trying to get in line and are uncertain about whether someone is waiting or not, you can politely ask Stehen Sie an? or Stehen Sie in der Schlange? Hopefully, it won't be long before you hear one of these magical phrases:

 

Äh, der Nächste, bitte. 

Uh, next, please. 

Caption 37, Mensch Markus: Der Lottogewinner

 Play Caption

 

Und was darf's sein?

And what would you like?

Caption 48, Großstadtrevier: St. Pauli rettet HSV

 Play Caption

 

Los, jetzt bist du dran.

Go ahead, now it's your turn.

Caption 45, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

 Play Caption

 

Was hättest du denn gern?

So what would you like?

Caption 5, Nicos Weg: Ich bin neu hier

 Play Caption

 

You may also hear Bekommen Sie schon?, which is a bit like "Have you already been helped/served?" or just a simple Bitteschön! 

 

Further Learning
Visualize yourself trying to get in line at a bank, bakery, or doctor's office. How would you ask where the line begins, who is waiting, and who is already being helped? You can also go on German Yabla and see the ways the phrases are being used by native German speakers.

Beleg, belegen, belegt

The noun der Beleg, the verb belegen and the adjective belegt have related roots, but are used differently in a variety of contexts. Let's start with the noun der Beleg.

 

Du brauchst einen Ort, an dem deine Belege sicher sind.

You need a place where your documents are safe.

Caption 7, Reposito: in 60 Sekunden

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Der Beleg is often translated as "evidence," "proof," "document," "documentation," "voucher," or "receipt." In everyday life in Germany, I probably hear it most often when leaving the cash register at the supermarket after having paid: Möchten Sie den Beleg haben?

 

Now onto the verb belegen

 

Nun muss ich meinen Teig nur noch mit den Apfelstücken belegen.

Now I just have to cover the batter with the apple pieces.

Caption 29, Apfelkuchen: mit Eva

 Play Caption

 

 

Unfallstudien belegen sogar, dass Autos mit hoher passiver Fußgängersicherheit für den Unfallschutz von Radfahrern kaum helfen.

Accident studies even prove that cars with a higher passive [automatic] protection for pedestrians barely help in the protection of cyclists from accidents.

Captions 12-13, Crashtest: Fahrradfahrer profitieren kaum vom Fußgängerschutz am Auto

 Play Caption

 

Wie man hier sieht, haben wir auch frisches Gemüse wie Tomaten, Gurken, da wir frisch, äh, Sandwiches und Brötchen belegen.

As you see here, we also have fresh vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers since we  make fresh sandwiches and rolls.

Captions 21-23, Berlin: Judith und die „Brezel Bar“

 Play Caption

 

 

In most cases, belegen is usually translated as to "to cover," "to prove," or "to document." In the last example, however, an open-faced sandwich is a belegtes Brot in German. Thus when you literally "cover" sandwiches and bread rolls, you are in fact "making" them. Again, understanding properly all depends upon the context!

 

The verb belegen can also be translated as "to occupy" or "to take," at least in the sense that you "occupy" a position in a race or "take" a university course: 

 

Nürnberg belegt jetzt Platz fünfzehn...

Nuremberg is now in fifteenth place...

Caption 46, FC Bayern München: in einer eigenen Liga

 Play Caption

 

Na ja, in der Justizvollzugsanstalt Fuhlsbüttel kannst du ja einen Kursus belegen als Alleinunterhalter.

Well, at Fuhlsbüttel Penitentiary you can take a class to become a solo entertainer.

Caption 66, Großstadtrevier: St. Pauli rettet HSV

 Play Caption

 

Last but not least, let's take a look at belegt as an adjective: 

 

Die besten Plätze sind schnell belegt.

The best places are quickly occupied.

Caption 43, Abenteuer Nordsee: Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption

 

 

Drei Damen vom Grill, die eine belegte Schrippe mit 'ner Bulette gefüllt haben [Inhaber] und das Hamburger genannt haben.

Three ladies from the grill who have filled an open-faced roll with a meatball [owner] and called that a hamburger.

Captions 14-15, Berlin Die beste Auswahl an Hamburgern

 Play Caption

 

Further Learning
See if you can find other examples of der Beleg, belegen, and belegt on Yabla German and find a tandem partner to take turns making up and checking your own sentences using these words.

You May Also Like