Haustiere – Pets

Der braune Hund sitzt auf dem anderen Hund. Das sieht ganz komisch aus!
The brown dog is sitting on the other dog. This looks quite odd!
This photo was taken in New Zealand by my friend Barry Lockett and is used with his permission.

Pets are like family members. They amuse us, delight us or drive us mad, just as other family members do. On the farm where I grew up, there was a menagerie of cats, dogs, pet lambs, cows and horses. They shaped my childhood almost as much as my family did.

1 Colour Adjectives

The adjectives that apply to your family can often be used to describe your pets. One set of handy adjectives that you can also learn in connection with animals is the colours.

die Farbe – colour
die Farben – colours

2 Animal Sounds

♥Der Hund bellt. The dog barks.
♥Der Hund jault. The dog howls.
♥Die Kuh muht. The cow moos.
♥Die Katze miaut. The cat miaows.
♥Das Schaf blökt. The sheep bleats.
♥Die Maus piepst. The mouse squeaks.

See if you can deduce the infinitive of the six verbs given in these sentences and check your answers at the bottom of this page. Being able to work out the infinitive allows you to look verbs up in a dictionary, where they are always listed under this base form.

3 Some Animals

Das ist Frau Drehers Hund. Der Hund heißt Wolfgang und ist 2 Jahre alt. Er ist sehr frech und ist sehr aktiv. Er braucht viel Bewegung.
Diese Katze schläft auf dem Bett. Sie ist weiß und dunkelbraun.
This cat is sleeping on the bed. She is white and dark brown.
„Horse“ heißt „das Pferd“ auf Deutsch. Aber dieses Pferd ist eigentlich ein Fohlen.
„Horse“ is „das Pferd“ in German. But this horse is actually a foal.
Die Mädchen heißen Chelsea und Emma. Sie reiten sehr gern.
The girls are called Chelsea and Emma. They love riding.

4 Two Quizlets

Once you have cycled through the Quizlet of animal names, you could play the Space Race game to check your memory, but don’t forget to untick the „stuff in parentheses“ button, or you will have to type in the plural as well.

The Quizlet below contains some sample sentences in which pets and farm animals play a part. To play the Scatter Game with this Quizlet, click HERE.

5 Story

The quiz below is a simple story about a boy and his cat. First of all, you can listen to the story. 

To read the story text while listening, click HERE.

6 Quiz based on story

To see the quiz on the whole screen, click HERE.

7 Deducing the infinitive verb

Figuring out the infinitive for the animal sound verbs above – take off the third person singular „t“ ending and add -en to the verb stem.

This works for the great majority of German verbs. When Germans make up new verbs, they always add the standard -en ending. For instance, they have adopted many English words and then added -en, as in the verbs chillen and chatten, which mean to chill out and to chat on the internet respectively.

Infinitives of animal sound verbs above: bellen, jaulen, muhen, miauen, blöken, piepsen

8 Another animal story

The fill-the-gap exercise below is another little story about pets. This one is based on true events, so the story is still happening. The girl who wants rats as house pets is a real person and so is her long-suffering mother. 

To complete the exercise on the whole screen, click HERE.

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