English-German Glossary: House and Apartment

Interior Living Room
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What do you call the different parts of your home and its furnishings in German? If you are moving into a house or apartment in a German-speaking country, you will need to become familiar with these terms.

You will see the English term and the matching German one. If there is an abbreviation that is often seen in classified ads, it is included in parentheses.

Terms for Dwellings

What do you call a house, apartment, or flat? You will need these terms when you refer to where you live, as well as for looking for a living space.

  • apartment, flat die Wohnung (-en)
    apartment share/roommates die Wohngemeinschaft (WG)
    communal apartment die Wohngemeinschaft (WG)
    condo, condominium die Eigentumswohnung
    3-room apartment das 3-Zimmerwohnung
    studio apartment/flat, bedsit das Atelierdas Apartment/Appartementdas Wohnschlafzimmerdie Einzimmerwohnung
  • bedsit (BE), studio apartment/flat das Apartment/Appartementdas Atelierdas Wohnschlafzimmerdie Einzimmerwohnung
  • flat, apartment die Wohnung (-en)
  • floor (story) die Etageder Stock
    ground floor das Erdgeschossdie Parterre
     the 1st floor (Brit.) der erste Stock
    the 1st floor (US) das Erdgeschoss (ground floor)
    on the 4th floor im vierten Stock
    on the 4th floor im 4. OG (Obergeschoss)
    on the 4th floor in der vierten Etage (eh-TAHJ-ah)
Kultur: Everyone but Americans numbers building floors by calling the first floor above the ground the "first floor" (der erste Stock). If you're American, when dealing with German or European floors, remember that an American second floor is the first - and so on. Same thing applies to elevator buttons! ("E" is the ground floor - das Erdgeschoss, or sometimes "P" for French Parterre, or "0" null.)
  • floor plan der Grundriss (eines Stockwerks)
  • house das Haus (Häuser)
    at my/our house bei mir/uns
    to my/our house zu mir/uns
    house and home Haus und Hof
  • housing die Wohnungnen (pl.), (shelter) die Unterkunft
  • land, property das Grundstück
  • neighbor der Nachbar (-en), die Nachbarin (-nen)
  • renovated, remodeled renoviertsaniert
  • row house, attached house das Reihenhaus (-häuser)
  • vacant, available frei
  • year of construction das Baujahr 

Parts of a House

From roof to basement, know what to call different rooms and elements of a house.

  • attic der Dachbodender Speicher
  • attic apartment, mansard flat die Mansarde
  • attic floor, level das Dachgeschoss (DG)
  • balcony der Balkon (-s or -e)
  • basement, cellar der Keller (-)
  • bath, bathroom das Bad, das Badezimmer (-)
    WC, toilet das WC (-s), die Toilette (-n)
Kultur: A Bad or Badezimmer is strictly that, a BATH room (for bathing, washing up). If you actually want the toilet, ask for die Toilette, not das Badezimmer. Germans may wonder why you want to take a bath if you ask for the "bath" room.
  • bedroom das Schlafzimmer (-)
  • built-in cabinets die Einbauschränke
    built-in closets die Einbaugarderoben
    built-in kitchen die Einbauküche
  • elevator der Aufzugder Fahrstuhlder Lift
Kultur: Don't be surprised if your German apartment house has no Aufzug, even if your apartment is on the 5th or 6th floor! Older German apartment complexes of six floors or less may have no elevator.
  • entrance, entry der Eingang
    separate entrance eigener Eingang
  • entry hall die Diele (-n), der Flur
  • floor (surface) der Fußboden
    wood floors, parquet der Parkettfußboden
  • floor tile die Fliese (-n)
  • flooring, floor covering der Fußbodenbelag
  • garage die Garage (of a house)
  • garret, mansard flat die Mansarde
  • half-basement, basement flat das Souterrain (-s)
  • hall, hallway der Flur
  • insulation die Isolierungdie Dämmung
    sound insulation, soundproofing die Schalldämpfung
    poorly insulated (for sound), lacking soundproofing hellhörig
  • kitchen die Küche (-n)
  • kitchenette die Kochnische (-n)
  • living room das Wohnzimmer (-)
  • office das Büro (-s)
  • office, workroom das Arbeitszimmer (-)
  • parking space der Stellplatz (-plätze)
  • patio, terrace die Terrasse (-n)
  • laundry room die Waschküche (-n)
  • room das Zimmer (-), der Raum
  • shower die Dusche
    shower room der Duschraum
  • storage room der Abstellraum (-räume)
  • underground parking (garage) die Tiefgarage (-n)
  • window das Fenster (-)
  • workroom, office, study das Arbeitszimmer (-)

Household Furnishings

Be aware that some German apartments are sold "bare" - with no light fixtures or even the proverbial kitchen sink! Read your Kaufvertrag (sales contract) carefully to avoid having to wash the dishes in the bathroom by candlelight after you move into your new apartment.

  • furnished möbliert Note: Furnished apartments are rare in Germany.
  • bath towel das Badetuch
  • bed das Bett (-en)
  • carpet, carpeting der Teppich (-e)
    carpeted floors der Teppichboden
    fitted carpet/wall-to-wall carpeting der Teppichboden
  • chair der Stuhl (Stühle)
    chaise lounge/longue, lounge chair, deck chair der Liegestuhl (-stühle)
  • (clothes) closet, wardrobe der Kleiderschrank (-schränke), die Garderobe (-n)
Kultur: German houses and apartments rarely have built-in closets (Einbaugarderobe). They are usually free-standing pieces of furniture that must be bought, just as a bed or any other furniture.
  • couch die Couch (-en or -s) - in Swiss German Couch is masc.
  • curtain der Vorhang (-hänge), die Gardine (-n)
    lace/net curtains die Gardinen
  • curtain rod/rail die Vorhangstange (-n), die Gardinenstange (-n)
  • desk der Schreibtisch (-e)
  • kitchen sink das Spülbecken (-)
  • lamp die Lampe (-n), die Leuchte (floor lamp)
    light das Licht (-er), die Leuchte (-n) (lamp)
    lighting die Beleuchtung
  • medicine chest der Arzneischrankdie Hausapotheke
  • plug, elec. outlet die Steckdose
    plug (elec.) der Stecker
  • shelf, shelving das Regal (-e)
    bookshelf das Bücherregal
  • sink (kitchen) das Spülbecken (-)
    sink, wash basin das Waschbecken (-)
  • sofa das Sofa (-s)
  • telephone das Telefon (-e)
  • television set der Fernseher (-), das Fernsehgerät (-e)
  • tile die Fliese (-n)
  • tile(d) floor der Fliesenboden
  • toilet, WC die Toilette (-n), das WC (-s)
    toilet seat die Toilettenbrille (-n)
  • towel das Badetuch (bath towel), das Handtuch (hand towel)
    towel rack der Handtuchhalter
  • vase die Vase (-n)
  • wash basin, sink das Waschbecken

Household Appliances

These appliances and pieces of equipment may not come with your dwelling. Be sure to check your purchase agreement.

  • clothes washer, washing machine die Waschmaschine
  • dishwasher die Spülmaschineder Geschirrspüler
  • freezer der Tiefkühlschrank
    freezer chest die Tiefkühltruhe
    refrigerator der Kühlschrank
  • gas heat die Gasheizung
    heat, heating die Heizung
    stove (heat) der Ofen
  • kitchen stove, range der Herd
    oven (baking, roasting) der Backofen
  • mower, lawn mower der Rasenmäher (-)

Financial Terms

These words will be important when you are making the deal or paying for your housing.

  • deposit die Kaution (KT)
  • down payment die Anzahlung
  • landlord der Vermieter, die Vermieterin
  • renter, tenant der Mieter (-), die Mieterin (-nen)