Dear Germanee,

wie schön, dass du wieder da bist, so great to have you here again.

Are you curious to learn a German verb starting with “F”?
You’ve seen my previous post about essen, right?

Then, welcome, welcome to part 7!

Bist du bereit? Are you ready?

The f-verb, I want you to learn is … vroom … vrooom … vrooooooooom.

Good news is, knowing the verb fahren, will give you so many new opportunities
to talk in German about your everyday life.
Bad news is, fahren is also one of these slightly irregular verbs:(.
Let’s see:


basic form






you informal








they/you formal








As you can see, the “a” in fahren changes into an “ä” in second and third person singular. But no worries, the more you practice the more you’ll get used to it.
Apropos practice, let’s have a look how we’d use our new verb fahren in a conversation.

Dalia and Josie are colleagues. Sie arbeiten beide bei Volkswagen. One morning they meet by chance in the tram.

Hey Josie, guten Morgen, wie geht’s dir? Fährst du immer mit der Straßenbahn zur Arbeit?
Hey Josie, good morning, how are you? Do you always go to work by tram?
JOSIEDalia, wie schön! Guten Morgen. Normalerweise fahre ich mit dem Auto, aber das ist diese Woche in der Werkstatt. Und du?
Dalia, how nice. Good morning. Usually I go by car, but it’s in the repair shop this week. And you?
DALIAIch fahre meistens mit dem Fahrrad zur Arbeit. Aber heute habe ich später noch einen Termin und da ist die Straßenbahn praktischer.
I mostly ride my bike to work. But today I’ll have an appointment later and therefore the tram is more practical.
JOSIEHach, du Glückliche! Ich fahre auch so gern Fahrrad, aber zur Arbeit ist mein Weg leider zu weit.
Awww … you’re so lucky! I also like cycling so much, but my way to work is unfortunately too far.
DALIAKlar, ich verstehe. Ich liebe Fahrrad fahren auch total. Nächsten Monat fahren ein paar Freunde und ich sogar mit dem Fahrrad in den Urlaub.
Sure, I understand. I also totally love cycling. Next month, a couple of friends and I (will) even ride our bikes to go on holiday.
Wow! Du bist ja sportlich. Wohin fahrt ihr denn?
Wow! You are so sporty. Where (do) you (Plural!) go?
Wir fahren zuerst mit dem Zug nach Magdeburg. Von dort fahren wir mit unseren Fahrrädern bis nach Dresden. Und dann fahren wir mit einem Kanu auf der Elbe bis nach Tschechien.
First we go to Magdeburg by train. From there we ride our bikes to Dresden. And then we go by canoe on the Elbe to Czech Republic.
JOSIE Das ist ja toll, Dalia! Ihr fahrt Fahrrad und Kanu bis nach Tschechien. Ich bin im Sommerurlaub meistens faul. Aber jeden Winter fahre ich in Österreich Ski.
That’s so great, Dalia! You (Plural!) ride your bike and canoe as far away as to Czech Republic. I’m mostly lazy in my summer holiday. But every winter, I go skiing in Austria.
DALIAHahaa. Wir zwei sind wirklich sehr verschieden. Ich bin im Winter faul. Ich fahre leider nicht Ski. Brrrrrr … Kälte mag ich gar nicht.
Hahaa. The two of us are really quite different. I am lazy in winter. I don’t ski unfortunately. Brrrrr… and I don’t like the cold at all.
JOSIEOhhh … Dalia, wir sind schon da! Hab einen schönen Tag. Und vielleicht fahren wir bald mal wieder zusammen Straßenbahn.
Oh … Dalia, we’re already there! Have a lovely day. And maybe we (will) soon again go together by tram.

Dear Germanee, have you seen in how many ways we use the verb fahren?

Josie fährt normalerweise mit dem Auto und Dalia mit dem Fahrrad zur Arbeit. /
Josie usually goes to work by car and Dalia by bike.
Aber heute fahren sie beide Straßenbahn. /
But today they both go by tram.
Im Urlaub fährt Dalia Zug, Fahrrad und Kanu. /
On holiday Dalia goes by train, bike and canoe.
Josie fährt im Winterurlaub gern Ski. /
Josie likes skiing on winter holiday.

Und wie fährst du zur Arbeit? Fährst du Auto, Metro, Scooter, Boot oder Fahrrad? /
And how do you go to work? Do you go by car, metro, scooter, boat or bicycle?

The holiday, mentioned in the conversation above between Dalia and Josie, became definitely a trend.
You can cycle all over Germany, following a river or circling lakes. It’s a wonderful way to experience nature and landscapes in its purest. Since there are train stations everywhere, you can easily hop on a train if you feel tired or wanna speed up your journey.
One very popular cycling tour is the Elbe-Rad-Weg.
Dear Germanee, even if you feel like you hate bikes … just tell me you don’t! … please check out that link as it gives you a beautiful impression about the many shades of Germany in terms of culture and nature.

I’ll never forget a conversation I had once with Mohammed, one of my students here in Dubai. Mohammed has learned German to do his masters in Germany. When he returned to Dubai for holiday, after his first two semesters, we met for a coffee. I was very curious to hear about his experiences and how he liked his life in Germany. One of the first things he mentioned was the cycling culture in Germany. He was so amazed by the fact that his professors, but also so many other people in suits are commuting to and from work by bike.
There are cycle paths everywhere in cities and it’s indeed -mostly!- a pleasant way to get from A to B. Often it would be even faster to ride your bike; plus no headache from searching for parking.
I’d dare to claim that bikes have become kind of a status symbol and among the really cool people they replaced cars by far. There are so many different bikes on the market, ranging from cool to comfortable to sporty to elegant, that everyone can find his perfect fit to meet his needs and express his individuality.

Fahrrad fahren is like a life style choice.

In Germany, I ride my bike to the farmers market on Saturday mornings or to a restaurant meeting friends in the evening. I do all my grocery shopping by bike. Radfahren is just part of the everyday life and I love that. It gives me a feeling of being somehow more connected or grounded. Do you understand what I mean?

In Dubai it’s completely the opposite, I love and enjoy Autofahren, while Radfahren is a hobby. When I’m on my way to Al Qudra cycling track, mein Rennrad im Kofferraum, my race bike in the rear trunk, my heart is jumping full of anticipation. Cycling through the desert, exposed to heat and wind, means pure happiness. Just thinking about it, makes me realize how grateful I am to feel home in both life styles.

Although Fahrrad fahren became more and more popular, many Germans are still so in love with their Auto / car. And Autos play a big role within the German economy. Volkswagen, Opel, Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Porsche are very well known.
Ehmm … did I forget any German car brand?
I think, especially in Dubai, the German Autobahn is something every speed-lover wants to try. Heading from Hamburg to Munich within a few hours is definitely an experience. There is a myth that no speed limits apply to Autobahn.
I am sorry, but THAT IS NOT TRUE.
There are few parts of every Autobahn, usually in more rural and less busy areas, where you can legally take your car to vroom … vroooom … max speed.
And yes. That’s thrilling.

But, if I can choose my favorite drive, I’d prefer a slower pace. Eine Cabrio-Fahrt an einem warmen Sommertag, a trip in a convertible on a warm summer’s day, on one of these countless alleys towards the baltic sea – that’s freedom and heaven in one. The air is filled by a spicy scent of nature and you look up into a tight but light canopy of leaves. The closer you get to the sea the more you’ll smell the salty air and discover the pastel-colored sky. Actually, similar to cycling, you can experience your route with all senses. You see, feel, hear, smell your way.

Auf dem Fahrrad oder im Cabrio – for me, that means fahren.

Hab einen wunderbaren Tag and let me know what fahren means to you!

deine Tina Heimberg

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