By : Germanteacher -Blog, False friends, Verbs, Vocabulary
There is a common mistake English speakers do in German and Germans do in English: They hit the hey of false friends. As like as in real life, false friends guide you to the wrong direction and the same applies for languages. After this article and the free worksheet you will be a pro using “bekommen” and “werden”.
English and German share many similar verbs, so one easily comes to the assumption that a word that sounds similar has to have the same meaning. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and the two verbs “bekommen” and “werden” are the perfect example for this.
“Bekommen” means “to get” and “werden” means “become” or “will”. Now, many people like to use it the wrong way around and so the will say things like “Ich bekomme Student” which is totally wrong and by saying so, one would assume that you get a student (like literally get one). The other way around, Germans like to say “I become money” in English instead of “I get money” because the have the same assumption – the result is that your vis-à-vis might misunderstand or laugh about you.
To remove all doubts, I will happily explain you again when to use which verb:
- bekommen – to get
This verb is used in order to express that you got sth. as for instance:
- Ich bekomme Geld. (I get money.)
- Er bekommt einen Anruf. (He gets a phone call.)
- Wir bekommen ein Geschenk. (We get a present.)
- werden – to become / will (future tense)
This verb can be used to express that your status changes as in “become”:
- Ich werde Vater. (I become father.)
- Wir werden Ärzte. (We become doctors.)
This verb can also be used to express that something will happen in the future (remember this means that we need a second verb):
- Ich werde um 6 nach Hause kommen. (I will come home at 6.)
- Wir werden nächstes Jahr viel Urlaub haben. (We will have a lot of vacation next year.)
Now, after reading this article, you should know when to use which verb properly. You can also practice your skills with this free worksheet “How to use “bekommen” und “werden” in German” – this way you can avoid unpleasant misunderstandings and finally express what you really want to say.