Vocabulary

Vocabulary Module 6: Kleidung

In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about clothing (die Kleidung) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about clothing. Go to DWDS homepage and type Kleidung in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section.

kleidung
DWDS word profile for “Kleidung” retrieved May 30, 2021.

The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word Kleidung. They are called collocates of Kleidung. The larger the word is in the cloud, the more frequently it co-occurs with Kleidung. You can also see a numerical representation of the frequency of co-occurrence by looking at the Überblick table for Kleidung accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

Activity 1

Now, let’s review the meaning of some German adjectives from this word cloud by matching them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

Let’s explore some of the collocates of Kleidung with the help of the DWDS corpus.

Activity 2

If you click on the word elegant in the word cloud, you will be taken to a DWDS page for elegant. When you get there, scroll down to the Typische Verbindungen section to find the word cloud that you will need to complete the activities that follow.

A.

Look at the information you have pulled up for elegant and find the five nouns that you see there.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Das Kleid war elegant und aufregend.

You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

B.

You can see that the five most used words with elegant are the nouns Abendkleid, Anzug, Hosenanzug, Kleid and Kostüm. Can you figure out what they mean?

Feel free to pull up some example sentences if that is helpful. E.g.: Die junge deutsche Designerin Brigitte Sievering präsentierte elegante Abendkleider.

Activity 3

Now let’s try to find out more about the use of wetterfest, a collocate of Kleidung.  Do a search in the DWDS for the word wetterfest and scroll down to the word cloud. Find the two clothing items that are associated with it.

Look at the information you have for wetterfest and find the two clothing that are associated with it.

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Eine wetterfeste Jacke sollte dabei ständiger Begleiter sein.

You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

Activity 4

Now let’s try to find out more about the use of Accessoire, another collocate of Kleidung.  Do a search in the DWDS for the word Accessoire and scroll down to the word cloud. What eight things are associated with accessories?

Feel free to click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Ich bin kein Designer, der sein Geld mit Parfüms und Accessoires verdient. You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

Activity 5

Now let’s try to find out more about one of the AccessoiresSchuh. Do a search in the DWDS for the word Schuh and scroll down to the word cloud. Keep that information handy as you complete the following activities.

A.

Which clothing items can you identify in this word cloud (because they go together with shoes)?

You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences with that word. E.g.: Erst einmal zieht Karl Schuhe und Socken aus. You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

B.

The three most used adjectives with Schuh are hochhackig, bequem, and flach. Can you figure out what they mean? You can click on the superscripted B next to any word in the word cloud to read example sentences. You can see even more examples by clicking a word in the Überblick table accessible through the Wortprofil link below the word cloud.

C.

Read the sentences below, which contain examples of expressions with Schuh taken from the DWDS corpus.

What is the closest English meaning for these expressions? Select the appropriate answer.

Activity 6

It is important to learn the German nouns together with their articles. Look at the 12 nouns that you learned in this module in the list below and identify 4 nouns that go with der, 4 nouns that go with die, and 4 nouns that go with das.

Drag the words below into the correct columns.

Activity 7

Next, read the sentences below, which contain examples of idioms with Kleidung taken from the DWDS corpus die ZEIT.

  1. Die Hosen anhaben:

    Womit erklärt ist, weshalb meistens die Männer die Hosen anhaben.
    Die Zeit, 02.05.1986, Nr. 19

    Frauen, die in der Ehe die Hosen anhaben, müssen oft feststellen, daß ihre Rivalin den Nerzmantel trägt.
    Die Zeit, 06.11.1992, Nr. 46

  2. Den Gürtel enger schnallen:

    Die Menschen mussten fast zehn Jahre lang den Gürtel enger schnallen.
    Die Zeit, 17.01.2016 (online)

    Selbst sparen, länger arbeiten oder einfach den Gürtel enger schnallen.
    Die Zeit, 20.01.2005, Nr. 04

  3. Sich auf die Socken machen:

    Sommerzeit schürt Wanderlust, und wären wir nicht so ein Volk von Sommerlochis, wir hätten uns längst selbst auf die Socken gemacht.
    Die Zeit, 13.08.2015, Nr. 33

    Die sollen sich bloß auf die Socken machen und Arbeit finden.
    Die Zeit, 25.10.1985, Nr. 44

What is the closest English meaning for those idioms?

Note that different words may be used in English and German even in idioms that are similar, e.g., anhaben (to have on) vs. tragen (to wear).

Activity 8

On your own. Using the word clouds from this module, write 5-6 sentences about clothing and accessories. If you would like to use adjectives, pay careful attention to which nouns and adjectives frequently go together! If you want, you may add in any idiomatic expressions that you have learned.

For example:

Ich trage gern flache Schuhe.
Meine Lieblingsaccessoires sind Schmuck und Handtaschen.
Ich habe viel zu tun und muss mich auf die Socken machen!