Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

It's a mouthful, but that's how you say “happy birthday” in German. Naturally, it will be helpful to know the German months if you're going to talk about birthdays.

German months are very similar to their English counterparts, but remember that in German they are all masculine. Listen to your CD for the German pronunciation.

Table 12-5. Months of the Year

They are used in exactly the same way as the English months: in January (im Januar), in May (im Mai), in September (im September). Notice, however, that German uses im (the contraction of in dem) in place of in.

To tell what month you were born in, just say: Ich bin im Februar geboren. (I was born in February.) Ich bin im Juni geboren. (I was born in June.) You can change the verb sein appropriately to say what month others were born in: Vater ist im Oktober geboren. (Father was born in October.) Die Zwillinge sind im März geboren. (The twins were born in March.) Wann bist du geboren? (When were you born?)

And if you want to say that something occurred in a certain year, you say im Jahre: im Jahre 1776, im Jahre 2009. Ich bin im Jahre 1985 geboren. (I was born in 1985.)

And if you want to tell in what month your birthday is, you say, Ich habe im April Geburtstag. (I have a birthday in April.) Er hat im Juli Geburtstag. (He has a birthday in July.)

The word Geburtstag (birthday) is used in a variety of ways. Look at all the things you can say:

Table 12-6. A Birthday Party

German Expression English Geburtstagskind birthday girl or boy Geburtstagsparty birthday party Geburtstagskuchen birthday cake den Geburtstagskuchen probieren to try or taste the birthday cake die Kerzen ausblasen to blow out the candles den Geburtstag feiern to celebrate the birthday

Exercise 12-4

Using the name and the year provided, form a sentence that says when someone was born. For example, when presented with Peter /1990, you say Peter ist im Jahre 1990 geboren.

  • Frau Keller / 1961

    _______________________________________________

    _______________________________________________

  • das Baby / 2008

    _______________________________________________

    _______________________________________________

  • meine Schwester / 1989

    _______________________________________________

    _______________________________________________

  • meine Großmutter / 1939

    _______________________________________________

    _______________________________________________

  • Herr Schmidt / 1978

    _______________________________________________

    _______________________________________________

  1. Home
  2. German
  3. Telling Time
  4. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!
Visit other About.com sites: