German Resembling Two English Words

German that somewhat resembles two English words can be helpful or misleading. For example, the German word ‘KARTE’:

KARTE looks most like the English word ‘CART’, which is not what it means.

KARTE looks less like the English word ‘CARD’, which is what it means.

So when seeing this German word KARTE, the natural first reaction of an English-speaker who does not know German is to mistakenly think it is related to ‘CART’ in English.

With German words that are ambiguous in this way, the resemblance to English could work against you -- rather than help you understand and remember the German word more easily (as is true of other German words that resemble English words).

So when you see any German word that looks like two English words, it will help if you associate it with the correct English word.



Bett -- MEANS -- bed -- NOT -- bet

Brot -- MEANS -- bread -- NOT -- brought

Feld -- MEANS -- field -- NOT -- felt

für -- MEANS -- for -- NOT -- fur

hart -- MEANS -- hard -- NOT -- heart

Helm -- MEANS -- helmet -- NOT -- helm

Hilfe -- MEANS -- help -- NOT -- hill

Jacke -- MEANS -- jacket -- NOT -- jack

Karte -- MEANS -- card -- NOT -- cart

Kollege -- MEANS -- colleague -- NOT -- college

Leder -- MEANS -- leather -- NOT -- leader

mehr -- MEANS -- more -- NOT -- mere

öffnen -- MEANS -- open -- NOT -- often

Oper -- MEANS -- opera -- NOT -- open

Schnee -- MEANS -- snow -- NOT -- sneeze

Schuh -- MEANS -- shoe -- NOT -- shush

Sie -- MEANS -- she -- NOT -- see

Tanz -- MEANS -- dance -- NOT -- tans

Vater -- MEANS -- father -- NOT -- water


Some German words look exactly like an English word, but actually mean another English word that is spelled somewhat like the German word.

It can be helpful if the German word has a different pronunciation than the English word it is spelled like -- because that makes it sound different than the English word it is spelled like, and helps make it clear that it is actually a foreign word.


an - [‘on’] - MEANS - on - NOT - an

Bad - [bahd] - MEANS - bath - NOT - bad

Boot - [‘boat’] - MEANS - boat - NOT - boot

gut - [goot] - MEANS - good - NOT - gut

Hut - [hoot] - MEANS - hat - NOT - hut

pro - [‘pro’] - MEANS - per - NOT - pro

war - [vahr] - MEANS - was - NOT - war

Wetter - [VEH-tehr] - MEANS - weather - NOT - wetter



The Easy German Words that resemble English are like good friends you happen to see in a foreign country.

And the German words that resemble two English words can be thought of as Friends in Disguise that may at first appear to be something different, but down underneath really are familiar friends.



A False Cognate, also known as a False Friend, is a German word that looks like an English word, but has a different meaning.

So a False Cognate can be misleading, especially to someone looking to be helped by Easiest German Words that look like English words.

If the German False Cognate is spelled somewhat differently than the English word, this can help you realize that this is truly a foreign word, and probably not related to the English word it looks something like.


German False Cognates.

Return to German Spelled Somewhat Like English.

Return to Easiest German Introduction.


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