German

Family and pastimes

Practise having a conversation in German about your personal and social life.

Warm up: family and pastimes

Example answers: family and pastimes

Compare what Stefan and Adelina said in this Speaking Controlled Assessment and find out why Adelina gained a higher mark.

1. Sag mir etwas über deine Familie! - Tell me a bit about your family.

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Stefan says:

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Meine Eltern sind geschieden. Ich wohne bei meiner Mutter. Meine Schwester ist älter als ich. Sie wohnt nicht mehr zu Hause. Wir haben keine Haustiere. Ich besuche jedes Wochenende meinen Vater.

My parents are divorced. I live with my mother. My sister is older than me. She doesn't live at home any more. We don't have any pets. I visit my father every weekend.

Adelina says:

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Meine Eltern sind geschieden, also wohne ich mit meiner Mutter. Meine Schwester ist älter als ich und wohnt nicht mehr zu Hause. Wir haben keine Haustiere. Ich besuche jedes Wochenende meinen Vater.

My parents are divorced so I live with my mother. My sister is older than me and she doesn't live at home any more. We don't have any pets. I visit my father every weekend.

Adelina improves her answer by joining some of the shorter sentences with 'und' and 'also' (which means therefore).

 

2. Wohnst du in einem Haus oder einer Wohnung? - Do you live in a house or a flat?

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Stefan says:

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Wir wohnen in einem Haus. Es gibt sechs Zimmer und einen Garten.

We live in a house. There are six rooms and a garden.

Adelina says:

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Wir wohnen in einem Haus in einer Stadt. Es gibt sechs Zimmer in meinem Haus und wir haben auch einen Garten. Das Haus ist sehr schön aber ein bisschen zu klein.

We live in a house in a town. There are six rooms in my house and we also have a garden. The house is very nice, but a bit too small.

Adelina adds a few extra details and doesn't wait to be asked her opinion!

 

3. Hast du ein Hobby? - Do you have a hobby ?

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Stefan says:

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Nein, weil ich so viele Hausaufgaben habe.

No, because I have so much homework.

Adelina says:

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Im Moment nicht, weil ich so viele Hausaufgaben habe. Früher habe ich Gymnastik gemacht.

I don't at the moment, because I have so much homework. Before, I did gymnastics.

Adelina uses the opportunity to tell us what she used to do so she can use a past tense.

 

4. Welche Filme gefallen dir am besten? - What films do you like the most?

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Stefan says:

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Romantische Filme gefallen mir.

I like love films.

Adelina says:

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Am besten gefallen mir romantische Filme. Ich habe einmal 'Der Pate' im Fernsehen gesehen, aber der Film war ekelhaft.

I like love films the best. I once saw 'The Godfather' on television, but the film was awful.

Although the question asks which films they like best, Adelina also tells us which films she doesn't like.

 

5. Was wirst du nächstes Wochenende machen? - What are you doing next weekend?

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Stefan says:

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Ich besuche Oma und gehe einkaufen.

I'll visit grandma and go shopping.

Adelina says:

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Ich werde meine Oma besuchen und einkaufen gehen.

I'll visit my grandma and go shopping.

Two similar good answers here.

 

6. Findest du es richtig, dass Kinder zu Hause helfen müssen? - Do you think it's right that children should help with housework?

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Stefan says:

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Ja. Meine Eltern arbeiten den ganzen Tag.

Yes. My parents work all day long.

Adelina says:

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Natürlich. Es ist richtig. Wir wohnen auch in dem Haus und meine Eltern arbeiten den ganzen Tag.

Of course it's right. We also live in the house and my parents work all day long.

Adelina adds extra detail to her answer and strengthens her opinion by adding 'natürlich' (of course, naturally).

Controlled Assessment tips: family and pastimes

  • Make sure you prepare plenty of material for each topic and practise extending your sentences. Try to think about lots of additional details that you could add.

  • To score the highest marks at Higher tier, as well as using three tenses and expressing opinions, you should include more complex sentence structures, detailed descriptions, adverbs and time markers.

  • Include justifications of your opinions wherever you can.

Test: family and pastimes

Translation and hints: family and pastimes

Questions with advice on answering them

QuestionHint
  • Wie hast du letztes Jahr deinen Geburtstag gefeiert?
  • How did you celebrate your birthday last year?
You need to use the past tense to answer the question but you can bring in the other tenses by also saying how you usually celebrate your birthday and how you will celebrate it next year.
  • Wohnst du lieber in einem Haus oder in einer Wohnung? Warum?
  • Do you prefer to live in a house or a flat? Why?
This question requires an opinion to answer it, but you could include some personal information as part of the answer, eg 'I live in a house and I've never lived in a flat so...'
  • Mußt du zu Hause helfen?
  • Do you have to help with housework?
Don't just say yes or no here – give a few examples of what you do and what you think of housework.
  • Was würdest du tun, wenn du genug Zeit und Geld hättest?
  • What would you do, if you had enough time and money?
This is an excellent opportunity to vary the tenses, but you can keep it simple by using 'ich möchte' and 'ich würde' with infinitives. Another good thing about this type of question is that you can say almost anything for the answer so you can keep it to the bits of language you feel most confident with.
  • Wie findest du deine Eltern?
  • What do you think of your parents?
This question requires you to express an opinion. Once you have stated your opinion, give a reason for it to try and get the highest marks. For example, I get on well with my Dad, because he's friendly and funny and we do things together.
  • Was machst du in deiner Freizeit?
  • What do you do in your free time?
Don't just give a short answer about one activity – name a few things and say how often you do them, eg where, who with, how much it costs and how long you've been doing them.

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