Go to the homepage of our German Course Chapter 6: Getting around town University of Portsmouth
6.1 Der Zeitungskiosk Includes sound files!

Click here to listen to the conversation!Having attended his conference, Herr Ken McNaught now has a little free time on his hands before catching his train home. He decides to head to Zoo Station in Berlin - or to give it its proper name "Berlin Zoologischer Garten" - so that he can see the polar bear Knut in the zoo that gave the station its name. But Ken needs directions in how to get to Zoo Station. We now find him in the Wöhlertstraße in the North-East of Berlin asking for help at "ein Zeitungskiosk" - one of the many kiosks selling newspapers and cigarettes which you will see in any major German city.

Listen to his conversation with the kiosk owner by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. You can also:

  • click here to visit the homepage of Berlin's famous zoo.
  • click here to find out more about Knut the polar bear.
  • click here for a panoramic view of the entrance to Berlin Zoo taken by Helmut Koelbach.
  • click here to find the location of Ken McNaught on a map of Berlin.

Der Zeitungskiosk

Ken McNaught Ich hätte gerne eine Berliner Zeitung und einen Stadtplan, bitte.
Kioskbetreiber Einen großen oder einen kleinen Stadtplan?
Ken McNaught Was kostet der große?
Kioskbetreiber Fünf Euro.
Ken McNaught Ja, den nehme ich. Und wie komme ich am besten zum Bahnhof Zoo? Ich wollte eigentlich mit der Straßenbahn fahren. An der Haltestelle steht aber niemand.
Kioskbetreiber Nehmen Sie ein Taxi! Oder fahren Sie mit der U-Bahn. Es gibt einen U-Bahnhof gleich um die Ecke. Nehmen Sie die erste Straße links, das ist die Chausseestraße.
Ken McNaught Danke sehr!
Kioskbetreiber Bitte sehr.


der Zeitungskiosk  "The newspaper kiosk." This is a compound noun formed from "die Zeitung" (= newspaper) and "der Kiosk" (= kiosk). As with all compound nouns, it takes the gender of the final element in the compound noun.
der Kioskbetreiber  kiosk owner 
Tabakwaren  tobacco goods
Berliner Zeitung  "Die Zeitung" is the word for "a newspaper". "Berliner" is both the adjective formed from Berlin and the name of an inhabitant of Berlin. Click here to visit the homepage of this newspaper. 
der Stadtplan  A "map of the city". This is another compound noun coming from "die Stadt" (= the city) and "der Plan" (= map; plan).
groß ... klein  "Big ... small". It is "einen" and not "ein" because both words are implicitly still in the accusative case.
Was kostet der große...?  "What does the big one cost?". Note the word order - the question word comes first, followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence.
den nehme ich "I'll take that one." Unlike in English, it is quite possible for the object of the clause to be the first word in a German clause. This is because the endings of German pronouns clearly tell us which is nominative and which is accusative.
Wie komme ich am besten...?  This is an alternative to "Wie komme ich..." in the previous section. A rough translation would be: "What is the best way to get to...?"
der Bahnhof  station
der Zoo  A "zoo", fairly obviously, but note that the full form of this noun - "der zoologische Garten" is also used in German.
eigentlich  in fact 
ich wollte...  "I wanted to..." This is always followed by the infinitive of the verb. It is an irregular verb (see verb tables).
die Straßenbahn  A "tram" - or quite literally "street-car". These are almost exclusively to be found in East Berlin, and are marked by red squares and numbers on our map.
mit (+ Dative)  This preposition means "with" and always takes the dative case. It never has contracted forms with the definite article.
mit der Straßenbahn fahren This means "to travel by tram" or literally "to travel with the tram". Note that the definite article is used in the German construction while we do not use it in the English construction. The verb "fahren" is also irregular - see following sections.
die Haltestelle  This means "a stop (bus, tram etc.)".
an der Haltestelle  "At the bus-stop". As with "die Ampel" (traffic-lights), the word for a "stop" takes the preposition "an (+ Dative)" to translate "at".
niemand  This means "nobody". The full meaning of the sentence is "But there is nobody standing at the bus-stop".
das Taxi  This means "taxi". The plural varies according to where you are in the country. In most parts of the country you will see "Taxis", but in Berlin and the north of Germany the plural is "Taxen".
die U-Bahn  This means "the Underground". "Mit der U-Bahn fahren" means "to travel by underground".

Weiter! Chapter 6.2: Conversation - Der U-Bahnhof

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