English-German Glossary: House and Apartment

Learn annotated German vocabulary with rooms and furniture

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, work room 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 (-)

work room, 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)
   book shelf 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)