The days of the week in German

The days of the week in German

Did you ever wonder how to say the days of the week in German? In this article, I will show you what is their name and how you can use them properly. After reading you will even be able to tell what you are doing this week!

 

The week in German

As we also do in the anglo world, Germans start their week with the day Monday. In case, this is new for you, English names of the days as well as their German equivalent are referring to a specific meaning which I will explain in the following.

 

The first day – der Montag

Even though the week in Europe also started on Sunday, its first day is Monday now. In German, we call this day “der Montag”. One named it after Máni, the good of the moon in the Norse mythology.

 

The second day – der Dienstag

In German, we call Tuesday “der Dienstag”. This day also owes its name the Norse mythology. It actually refers to the Nordic-Germanic god Tyr and his Latinized name Mars Thingsus.

 

The third day – der Mittwoch

Surprise! The third day of a German week does not refer to any nordic god (even though the English “Wednesday” does). The meaning of “der Mittwoch” means the middle of the week. Accordingly, that appears to be very logical because in former times when the week already started on Sunday, “Mittwoch” was exactly the middle of the week.

 

The fourth day – der Donnerstag

The fourth day in German is “der Donnerstag”. There are several reasons which can explain its name. Since they are beyond the scope of this article, I will simply continue with the fifth day. However, you can get to know more here.

 

The fifth day – der Freitag

The last day of a classical German week has the name “der Freitag”. Even though many German students assume that its name refers to the adjective “frei” (free) since it already was part of what we understand of a weekend once, it also has its roots in the world of goods: We named it after the roman goddess Venus.

 

The German weekend – der Samstag und Sonntag

The last two days in a German week are “der Samstag” or “der Sonnabend” which is Saturday and “der Sonntag” which is Sunday. Unlike most of the other days, the German name for Saturday (which refers to Saturnus in English) does not have its roots in mythology. Instead, it refers to the Jewish “Sabbat” which is on Saturday.

As I already have mentioned at the beginning of this article, once Sunday was the first day of the week. In German, we call it “der Sonntag”. As you might already guess, it refers to the sun “die Sonne”. Its name bases on the official roman sun god “Sol Invictus”.

Names of the days

In German, the days are very similar to English. All of them are male and called as follows:

German English
der Montag monday
der Dienstag tuesday
der Mittwoch wednesday
der Donnerstag thursday
der Freitag friday
der Samstag / der Sonnabend saturday
der Sonntag sunday

 

How to use the days in a sentence?

This table above explains you the names of the days but you still cannot say what you are doing on a certain day. In order to tell so, you need to use the days as follows:

 

German English German English
am Montag on Monday montags mondays (every)
am Dienstag on Tuesday dienstags tuesdays
am Mittwoch on Wednesday mittwochs wednesdays
am Donnerstag on Thursday donnerstags thursdays
am Freitag on Friday freitags fridays
am Samstag on Saturday samstags saturdays
am Sonntag on Sunday sonntags sundays

 

Sentence with days in German

Now, as you know the days, we can start building sentences. But there is one thing that we do need to take care of! Consequently, adding the day means that we add an adverb and in German grammar the adverb is the best buddy of the verb and therefore, they will always stick together which offers you the following two possibilities of building you a sentence:

  1. Ich gehe am Sonntag ins Kino.
  2. Am Sonntag gehe ich ins Kino.

Hence, following the second example, when you start with the date, you need to flip the verb and the subject because – the adverb wants to be next to his best buddy the verb.

 

A week in German:

  1. Am Montag arbeite ich in der Schule. / Ich arbeite am Montag in der Schule.
  2. Am Dienstag gehen wir ins Restaurant. / Wir gehen am Dienstag ins Restaurant.
  3. Am Mittwoch habe ich um 18 Uhr einen Zahnarzttermin. / Ich habe am Mittwoch um 18 Uhr einen Zahnarzttermin.
  4. Am Donnerstag treffe ich mich mit meiner Mutter. / Ich treffe mich am Donnerstag mit meiner Mutter.
  5. Am Freitag muss ich nur bis 12 Uhr arbeiten. / Ich muss am Freitag nur bis 12 Uhr arbeiten.
  6. Am Samstag kann ich endlich ausschlafen. / Ich kann am Samstag endlich ausschlafen.
  7. Am Sonntag kocht die Familie Spaghetti mit Tomatensauce. / Die Familie kocht am Sonntag Spaghetti mit Tomatensauce.

 

Now, if you would like to report about something that you do every day, this includes the same sentence structure as you can see in the following two examples:

  1. Montags gehe ich zum Sport. / Ich gehe montags zum Sport.
  2. Samstags schlafe ich aus. / Ich schlafe samstags aus.

 

After reading this article you can tell what you are doing on each day of the week! I will be happy if you will let me know so in the comments :).

 

Bis bald!

Steffie

 


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