Frame description

This frame describes situations in which a Cleaner cleans a location, object or entity (the Cleaned) by removing some entities or substance (Mess) that are aesthetically or hygienically undesirable. In some cases, the Cleaner uses some cleaning Instrument (e.g. brush, vacuum) and/or Medium (e.g. soap, water) to assist with the cleaning.

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Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms

Frame Elements

Frame Element descriptions (on hover):

The person who does the cleaning.

The area or object that the Cleaner cleans.

The undesired substance or entities that the Cleaner removes from the Cleaned.

The instrument that aids the Cleaner in cleaning.

The material, typically a liquid or powder, that is used to clean.

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
abräumen verb to clear away

Details:

clear (away)

This separable prefix verb is usually used when someone (the Cleaner) clears a table after a meal. In adjective form, "abgeräumt" means "cleared," as in: "Das Abendbrot für drei Personen ist noch nicht abgeräumt" ("The dinner for three is not yet cleared"). See the grammar note for more details on this usage.

In a figurative sense, this verb is also used to describe a situation (not in the Cleaning frame) when someone wins a game that usually involves some form of compensation, for example, "er hat bei der Poker-WM abgeräumt," "he cleaned up at the poker world series."

Example Sentences:

  1. Sie räumt das Geschirr ab.
  2. Martin räumte den Tisch ab.
  3. Die Arbeiter räumen den Schutt von der Baustelle ab.
  4. Wenn ich bei anderen Gästen das Essen abräumte, war der Tisch meist übersät mit Essensresten und Abfällen.
  5. Alle Tische wurden schon abgeräumt.
  1. She clears the dishes away.
  2. Martin cleared the table.
  3. The workers clear the rubble from the construction site.
  4. Whenever I cleared the food for other guests, the table was usually littered with food scraps and waste.
  5. All tables were already cleared.

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER räumt CLEANED ab.
  2. CLEANER räumt MESS ab.
  3. CLEANER räumt MESS von CLEANED ab.
  1. CLEANER clears CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER clears MESS away.
  3. CLEANER clears MESS from CLEANED.

Details:

clear (away)

This separable prefix verb is usually used when someone (the Cleaner) clears a table after a meal. In adjective form, "abgeräumt" means "cleared," as in: "Das Abendbrot für drei Personen ist noch nicht abgeräumt" ("The dinner for three is not yet cleared"). See the grammar note for more details on this usage.

In a figurative sense, this verb is also used to describe a situation (not in the Cleaning frame) when someone wins a game that usually involves some form of compensation, for example, "er hat bei der Poker-WM abgeräumt," "he cleaned up at the poker world series."

Alternate Forms:

(er) räumt ab, hat abgeräumt, räumte ab
aufräumen verb to clean up

Details:

to clean up

This separable prefix verb has a slightly narrower use than English "to clean up;" it is usually used when someone (the Cleaner) puts objects back in their original places or into the trash (and not when there is scrubbing and soap involved). In contrast to English, "aufräumen" is not used with the Mess as a direct object. So, "aufräumen" is used to describe cleaning up a messy room, but not for cleaning up spilled milk or cleaning a toilet.

In some cases, this verb is used with a negative connotation to describe an action that is being taken to remove undesired persons or features from an area, e.g. "Die Regierung will offenbar in den Reihen der Polizei aufräumen" ("The government wants to apparently clean up in the ranks of the police").

Example Sentences:

  1. Jugendliche räumen nie auf.
  2. Er räumte sein Zimmer auf.
  3. Heute müssen wir die Zimmer ordentlich aufräumen.
  4. Das Zimmermädchen hat einen Schlüssel und wird inzwischen aufräumen.
  5. Wann hast du zum letzten mal aufgeräumt?
  1. Young people never clean up.
  2. He cleaned up his room.
  3. Today we must clean up the rooms neatly.
  4. The chamber maid has a key and will meanwhile clean up.
  5. When was the last time you cleaned up?

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER räumt auf.
  2. CLEANER räumt CLEANED auf.
  1. CLEANER cleans up.
  2. CLEANER cleans up CLEANED.

Details:

to clean up

This separable prefix verb has a slightly narrower use than English "to clean up;" it is usually used when someone (the Cleaner) puts objects back in their original places or into the trash (and not when there is scrubbing and soap involved). In contrast to English, "aufräumen" is not used with the Mess as a direct object. So, "aufräumen" is used to describe cleaning up a messy room, but not for cleaning up spilled milk or cleaning a toilet.

In some cases, this verb is used with a negative connotation to describe an action that is being taken to remove undesired persons or features from an area, e.g. "Die Regierung will offenbar in den Reihen der Polizei aufräumen" ("The government wants to apparently clean up in the ranks of the police").

Alternate Forms:

(er) räumt auf, hat aufgeräumt, räumte auf
das Putzmittel noun cleaning agent

Details:

cleaning agent

This noun is used the same way as its English counterpart, and fills the role of Medium in the cleaning event. "Putzmittel" are substances used to remove a Mess from various kinds of surfaces. 

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Ofen wird mit einem milden Putzmittel gereinigt.
  2. Die Reinigungsfirma bringt das Gebäude mit Putzmittel und Dampfstrahler wieder auf Hochglanz.
  3. Der Putzmann seift Dusche, Toilette und Waschbecken mit Putzmittel ein.
  4. Den Strich kriege ich mit Putzmittel nicht weg!
  5. Welche Putzmittel haben Sie verwendet?
  1. The oven is cleaned with a mild cleaning agent.
  2. The cleaning company brings the building  with cleaning agents and steam jets back to a high shine.
  3. The cleaning man soaps up the shower, toilet and sink with cleaning agent.
  4. I am not getting the streak out with cleaning agent!
  5. Which cleaning agent did you use?

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit Putzmittel.
  2. CLEANER entfernt MESS mit Putzmittel.
  3. CLEANER verwendet Putzmittel.
  4. CLEANER seift CLEANED mit Putzmittel ein.
  5. CLEANER kriegt MESS mit Putzmittel weg.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with cleaning agent.
  2. CLEANER removes MESS with cleaning agent.
  3. CLEANER uses cleaning agent.
  4. CLEANER soaps up CLEANED with cleaning agent.
  5. CLEANER gets MESS out with cleaning agent.

Details:

cleaning agent

This noun is used the same way as its English counterpart, and fills the role of Medium in the cleaning event. "Putzmittel" are substances used to remove a Mess from various kinds of surfaces. 

Alternate Forms:

die Putzmittel
das Spülmittel noun dish soap

Details:

dish soap, dishwashing detergent

This noun can be used the same way as its English counterpart. "Spülmittel" is the Medium used to remove Mess from dishes.

Example Sentences:

  1. Collette reinigt die Teller und Gläser mit einem Spülmittel.
  2. Der Schmutz wird mit einer Bürste und einem milden Spülmittel entfernt.
  3. Eine Pfanne sollte nie mit Spülmittel gewaschen werden.
  4. Die Verwendung eines Spülmittels erleichtert die Arbeit.
  5. Zuerst gibt man einige Tropfen Spülmittel in etwas Wasser.
  6. Alle Gläser müssen vor Gebrauch gründlich mit Spülmittel gereinigt und anschließend mit heißem klarem Wasser ausgespült werden.
  1. Collette cleans the plates and glasses with a dish soap.
  2. The dirt is with a brush and a mild dish soap removed.
  3. A pan should never be washed with dishwashing detergent.
  4. The use of dish soap makes the work easier.
  5. First, one puts a few drops of dish soap in some water.
  6. All glasses must before use be carefully with dish soap cleaned and subsequently rinsed with hot, clear water.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit Spülmittel.
  2. CLEANER entfernt MESS mit Spülmittel.
  3. CLEANER entfernt MESS mit Spülmittel und INSTRUMENT.
  4. CLEANER verwendet Spülmittel.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with dish soap.
  2. CLEANER removes MESS with dish soap.
  3. CLEANER removes MESS with dish soap and INSTRUMENT.
  4. CLEANER uses dish soap.

Details:

dish soap, dishwashing detergent

This noun can be used the same way as its English counterpart. "Spülmittel" is the Medium used to remove Mess from dishes.

Alternate Forms:

die Spülmittel
das Waschmittel noun laundry soap, laundry detergent

Details:

laundry soap, laundry detergent

This noun is used equivalent to its English counterparts. Waschmittel ist the Medium used to remove Mess from clothing and other cloth items.

Example Sentences:

  1. Josef reinigt seine Wäsche mit hypoallergenem Waschmittel.
  2. Stark verschmutzte Stellen müssen mit Waschmittel vorbehandelt werden.
  3. Der Pulli wurde mit dem verkehrten Waschmittel gewaschen.
  4. Wenn die Wäsche stark verdreckt ist, dann verwende etwas mehr Waschmittel als normal.
  1. Josef cleans his laundry with hypoallergenic laundry soap.
  2. Very dirty areas need to be pretreated with laundry detergent.
  3. The sweater was washed with the wrong detergent.
  4. If the laundry is heavily soiled, then use a bit more laundry soap than usual.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit Waschmittel.
  2. CLEANER entfernt MESS mit Waschmittel.
  3. CLEANER verwendet Waschmittel.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with laundry soap.
  2. CLEANER removes MESS with laundry soap.
  3. CLEANER uses laundry soap.

Details:

laundry soap, laundry detergent

This noun is used equivalent to its English counterparts. Waschmittel ist the Medium used to remove Mess from clothing and other cloth items.

Alternate Forms:

die Waschmittel
der Putzmann noun cleaning man

Details:

cleaner, cleaning man

This noun is used to describe a male person that is paid to remove substances or entities from an area or object, and thus fills the Cleaner role in the Cleaning frame. It is not used as frequently as the female counterpart, and the synonym "Reinigungskraft" is considered politically correct and therefore used more frequently.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er musste die Füße heben, damit der Putzmann weiterwischen konnte.
  2. Bevor der Autor vom Schreiben leben konnte, arbeitete er als Putzmann in Berlin.
  3. Im Weißen Haus wurde eine Frau ermordet, vom Putzmann bis zum Präsidenten sind alle verdächtig.
  1. He had to lift his feet so that the cleaning man could continue to wipe.
  2. Before the author could live off his writing, he worked as a cleaning man in Berlin.
  3. In the white house, a woman was murdered, from the cleaning man to the president, everyone is suspect.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. Putzmann entfernt MESS von CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. Putzmann removes MESS from CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

cleaner, cleaning man

This noun is used to describe a male person that is paid to remove substances or entities from an area or object, and thus fills the Cleaner role in the Cleaning frame. It is not used as frequently as the female counterpart, and the synonym "Reinigungskraft" is considered politically correct and therefore used more frequently.

Alternate Forms:

Putzmänner
die Putzfrau noun cleaning woman

Details:

cleaning woman, cleaning lady

This noun is used to describe a female person that is paid to remove substances or entities from an area or object, and thus fills the Cleaner role in this frame. The synonym "Reinigungskraft" is considered politically correct and therefore used more frequently.

Example Sentences:

  1. Das ist wie Aufräumen, bevor die Putzfrau kommt.
  2. Am wichtigsten ist, dass Putzfrauen nicht wie Dreck behandelt werden, nur weil sie Dreck wegwischen.
  3. Sie hat bis vor einem halben Jahr als Putzfrau gearbeitet.
  4. Mütter arbeiten im Ausland als Putzfrauen.
  1. That is like cleaning up before the cleaning woman comes.
  2. Most important is that cleaning ladies are not treated like filth, only because they wipe away filth.
  3. Up until half a year ago she worked as a cleaning woman.
  4. Mothers work as cleaning ladies in foreign countries.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. Putzfrau entfernt MESS von CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. Putzfrau removes MESS from CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

cleaning woman, cleaning lady

This noun is used to describe a female person that is paid to remove substances or entities from an area or object, and thus fills the Cleaner role in this frame. The synonym "Reinigungskraft" is considered politically correct and therefore used more frequently.

Alternate Forms:

die Putzfrauen (pl.)
die Reinigungskraft noun cleaner

Details:

cleaner, cleaning person

Although grammatically feminine, this noun does not encode the gender of the "cleaner" it describes. This is the politically correct (and therefore currently more frequent) word for "cleaning lady" or "janitor." The kind of cleaning done by the "Reinigungskraft" is not specified, however, and is not limited to housekeeping type work.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Reinigungskräfte putzen die Badezimmer zweimal am Tag.
  2. Reinigungskräfte schrubbten die Fußwege und Straßen.
  3. In einer anderen Studie brauchte eine Reinigungskraft 47 Minuten, um einen Klassenraum erst zu fegen und dann zu wischen.
  4. Die Reinigungskraft bringt ihre Tochter mit zur Arbeit und lässt sie mitputzen.
  5. Die Reinigungskraft hat schon die unglaublichsten Situationen an ihrem Arbeitsplatz erlebt.
  1. The cleaners clean the bathrooms twice a day.
  2. Cleaners scrubbed the sidewalks and streets.
  3. In another study, a cleaner needed 47 minutes to first sweep a classroom, and then to mop.
  4. The cleaner brings their daughter with to work and lets her clean along with.
  5. The cleaner has already experienced the most unbelievable situations at their workplace.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. Die Reinigungskraft entfernt MESS von CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. The cleaner removes MESS from CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

cleaner, cleaning person

Although grammatically feminine, this noun does not encode the gender of the "cleaner" it describes. This is the politically correct (and therefore currently more frequent) word for "cleaning lady" or "janitor." The kind of cleaning done by the "Reinigungskraft" is not specified, however, and is not limited to housekeeping type work.

Alternate Forms:

die Reinigungskräfte (pl.)
ordentlich adjective orderly

Details:

orderly, tidy, neat

This adjective is used to describe something, the Cleaned, or someone being "tidy." This adjective has multiple meanings and is also used to describe something or somebody being orderly, decent, reasonable, or proper.

Note that "ordentlich" can also be used as an adverb to mean "tidily" as in example 3. See the grammar note for details.

Example Sentences:

  1. Das Zimmer ist ordentlich.
  2. Sein Haus ist ordentlich und gepflegt.
  3. Sie hat das Wohnzimmer ordentlich aufgeräumt.
  1. The room is tidy.
  2. His house is tidy and neat.
  3. She cleaned up the living room tidily.

Grammar:

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way be listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANED ist ordentlich.
  1. CLEANED is orderly.

Details:

orderly, tidy, neat

This adjective is used to describe something, the Cleaned, or someone being "tidy." This adjective has multiple meanings and is also used to describe something or somebody being orderly, decent, reasonable, or proper.

Note that "ordentlich" can also be used as an adverb to mean "tidily" as in example 3. See the grammar note for details.

Alternate Forms:

ordentlicher, am ordentlichsten
putzen verb to clean

Details:

to clean

This verb is used generally to describe the act of cleaning. This type of cleaning typically involves water, and/or a wiping motion or brushing. In the context of vegetables and fruit, this verb is also includes trimming or preparing. When followed by the verb gehen, this verb means to clean for compensation.

Note that this verb can be used with "die Zähne" ("the teeth") in the Grooming frame to mean "to brush (one's) teeth."

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Matrose putzt das Deck.
  2. Die Zehn jährige putzt mit Lappen und Eimer die Scheiben gegenüber vom Bürgermeister-Büro.
  3. Hier machen sie Hilfsarbeiten wie waschen oder putzen.
  4. Helene putzte täglich die Küche.
  5. Der Spinat muss geputzt werden.
  6. Viele Menschen besitzen Schuhe für 300 Euro, putzen aber mit der billigsten Schuhcreme und wundern sich dann, wenn die Schuhe nicht lange halten.
  7. Außerdem müssten wir Gläser, wenn wir sie zurücknehmen würden, äußerst sauber putzen.
  1. The sailor is cleaning the deck.
  2. The ten year old cleans with rag and bucket the window panes across from the mayor's office.
  3. Here, they do unskilled work like washing or cleaning.
  4. Helene cleaned the kitchen daily.
  5. The spinach must be cleaned.
  6. Many people own shoes for 300 Euros, but clean with the cheapest shoe polish and are surprised then, when the shoes don't last long.
  7. Additionally, we had to clean glasses extremely clean if we were taking them back.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER putzt CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER putzt CLEANED sauber.
  3. CLEANER putzt CLEANED mit MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER putzt CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER putzt CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER scrubs/wipes CLEANED clean.
  3. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER cleaners CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

to clean

This verb is used generally to describe the act of cleaning. This type of cleaning typically involves water, and/or a wiping motion or brushing. In the context of vegetables and fruit, this verb is also includes trimming or preparing. When followed by the verb gehen, this verb means to clean for compensation.

Note that this verb can be used with "die Zähne" ("the teeth") in the Grooming frame to mean "to brush (one's) teeth."

Alternate Forms:

(er) putzt, hat geputzt, putzte
rein adjective clean

Details:

pure, clean, neat

This adjective is used similarly to its English equivalent, but is used more frequently as "pure" than as "clean" or "neat." It is related to the verb "reinigen" ("to clean"). 

Example Sentences:

  1. Er hat sich ein reines Hemd angezogen.
  2. Das darfst du nur mit reinen Händen anfassen.
  3. Das Wasser des Brunnens ist rein.
  4. Ariel wäscht nicht nur sauber, sondern rein!
  1. He put on a clean shirt.
  2. You can only touch that with clean hands.
  3. The water of the well is clean.
  4. Ariel washes not only clean, but pure!

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANED ist rein.
  2. [ein rein- CLEANED]
  1. CLEANED is clean.
  2. [a clean CLEANED]

Details:

pure, clean, neat

This adjective is used similarly to its English equivalent, but is used more frequently as "pure" than as "clean" or "neat." It is related to the verb "reinigen" ("to clean"). 

Alternate Forms:

reiner, am reinsten
reinigen verb to clean, to cleanse

Details:

to clean, to cleanse, to make clean

The situation described by "reinigen" most likely includes removing undesired substances (the Mess) by using chemicals (the Medium). The result is usually a deeper clean.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er lässt seinen Anzug chemisch reinigen.
  2. Im Oktober wurde die Wohnung gereinigt und dekontaminiert.
  3. Nach Möglichkeit sollte auch der Bereich hinter den Küchenschränken gereinigt werden.
  4. Sind Deutsche wasserscheu, weil sie sich mit Toilettenpapier reinigen?
  5. Mit feinen Bürsten reinigten sie diese vorsichtig und untersuchten sie dann unter einem Mikroskop.
  1. He has his suit cleaned chemically.
  2. In October, the apartment was cleaned and decontaminated.
  3. If possible, the area behind the kitchen cabinets should also be cleaned.
  4. Are Germans water shy because they clean themselves with toilet paper?
  5. With fine brushes, they cleaned this carefully and investigated it then under a microscope.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER reinigt MESS von CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER reinigt CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER cleans MESS off CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

to clean, to cleanse, to make clean

The situation described by "reinigen" most likely includes removing undesired substances (the Mess) by using chemicals (the Medium). The result is usually a deeper clean.

Alternate Forms:

(er) reinigt, hat gereinigt, reinigte
sauber adjective clean

Details:

clean, neat

In German, a clean area or object is considered "sauber." The adjective can also be used to indicate something being "unpolluted," "house-trained," "neat" or "drug-free." 

There is very little difference between "sauber" and "rein" ("clean") in the Cleaning frame, but "sauber" can be used more broadly outside the frame to mean "neat," and is applied to people in a variety of ways both positive and negative.

 

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Toilettenbereich ist geräumig und sauber.
  2. Sie werden in Zukunft kein sauberes Trinkwasser haben.
  3. Er zieht täglich ein sauberes Hemd an.
  4. Ariel wäscht nicht nur sauber, sondern rein!
  5. Eine Putzfrau kommt herein, um den Boden sauber zu machen.
  6. Ich habe gestern die ganze Wohnung sauber gemacht.
  1. The toilet area is spacious and clean.
  2. They will have no clean drinking water in the future.
  3. He puts on daily a clean shirt.
  4. Ariel washes not only clean, but pure!
  5. A cleaning lady comes in to make the floor clean.
  6. I made yesterday the whole apartment clean.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANED ist sauber.
  2. [ein sauber- CLEANED]
  3. CLEANER macht CLEANED sauber.
  1. CLEANED is clean.
  2. [a clean CLEANED]
  3. CLEANER makes CLEANED clean.

Details:

clean, neat

In German, a clean area or object is considered "sauber." The adjective can also be used to indicate something being "unpolluted," "house-trained," "neat" or "drug-free." 

There is very little difference between "sauber" and "rein" ("clean") in the Cleaning frame, but "sauber" can be used more broadly outside the frame to mean "neat," and is applied to people in a variety of ways both positive and negative.

 

Alternate Forms:

sauberer, am saubersten
säubern verb to clean

Details:

to clean, to make clean

This verb is used when an unwanted substance (which may even be toxic) is removed from a surface or object. 

Example Sentences:

  1. Nadja säubert ihre Fingernägel mit einem Taschenmesser.
  2. Die Arbeiter müssen den Strand säubern, Graffiti entfernen oder Straßen reinigen.
  3. Die Peiniger säuberten nach der Tat den Bus und verbrannten die Kleidung des Opfers.
  1. Nadja cleans her fingernails with a pocket knife.
  2. The workers have to clean the beach, remove graffiti or clean streets.
  3. The tormentors cleaned the bus after the crime and burned the victim's clothes.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER säubert CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER säubert CLEANED mit MEDIUM.
  3. CLEANER säubert CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT.
  4. CLEANER säubert CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. CLEANER cleans CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with MEDIUM.
  3. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with INSTRUMENT.
  4. CLEANER cleans CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

to clean, to make clean

This verb is used when an unwanted substance (which may even be toxic) is removed from a surface or object. 

Alternate Forms:

(er) säubert, hat gesäubert, säuberte
schmutzig adjective dirty

Details:

dirty

The adjective is used much like its English equivalent. The Cleaned is "schmutzig" ("dirty") when it's covered or marked with dirt or some unwanted substance. Of course, when it is in this state, it hasn't been "cleaned" yet! Don't let that confuse you. Even something dirty can be the Cleaned FE because it's the thing that will potentially be cleaned.

As in English, this adjective can also be used to describe something obscene (although this use is not in the Cleaning frame).

Example Sentences:

  1. Kevins Fingernägel sind schmutzig.
  2. Du musst die schmutzige Wäsche waschen.
  3. Die Stadt gilt als die schmutzigste der Welt.
  1. Kevin's fingernails are dirty.
  2. You have to wash the dirty laundry.
  3. The city counts as the dirtiest in the world.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANED ist schmutzig.
  2. [ein schmutzig- CLEANED]
  1. CLEANED is dirty.
  2. [a dirty CLEANED]

Details:

dirty

The adjective is used much like its English equivalent. The Cleaned is "schmutzig" ("dirty") when it's covered or marked with dirt or some unwanted substance. Of course, when it is in this state, it hasn't been "cleaned" yet! Don't let that confuse you. Even something dirty can be the Cleaned FE because it's the thing that will potentially be cleaned.

As in English, this adjective can also be used to describe something obscene (although this use is not in the Cleaning frame).

Alternate Forms:

schmutziger, am schmutzigsten
spülen verb to wash

Details:

to wash, to rinse, to flush

This verb is often used in the same way as the English "rinse," as it means to wash with a liquid (typically water and sometimes also soap). When dishes are involved, this is the kind of "wash" that you want to use, as in "ich muss das Geschirr spülen" ("I have to wash the dishes"). This verb is the correct one in this context because dishes are always washed and rinsed with water (wiping a dish down with a chemical spray is NOT the proper way to clean it!).

This verb combines with a few separable prefixes to form verbs with related meanings, such as "ausspülen" ("to rinse out") or "abspülen" ("to rinse off").

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Kellner spült die Gläser.
  2. Spüle den Mund mit Kamillentee, um eine Entzündung zu heilen.
  3. Das Geschirr ist abgewaschen und muss nur noch gespült werden.
  1. The waiter rinses the glasses.
  2. Rinse the mouth with camomile tea to heal an infection.
  3. The dishes are washed and only need to be rinsed.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER spült CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER spült MESS von CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER spült MESS von CLEANED mit MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER spült MESS von CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER spült MESS von CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. CLEANER washes CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER washes MESS off CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER washes MESS off CLEANED with MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER washes MESS off CLEANED with INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER washes MESS off CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

to wash, to rinse, to flush

This verb is often used in the same way as the English "rinse," as it means to wash with a liquid (typically water and sometimes also soap). When dishes are involved, this is the kind of "wash" that you want to use, as in "ich muss das Geschirr spülen" ("I have to wash the dishes"). This verb is the correct one in this context because dishes are always washed and rinsed with water (wiping a dish down with a chemical spray is NOT the proper way to clean it!).

This verb combines with a few separable prefixes to form verbs with related meanings, such as "ausspülen" ("to rinse out") or "abspülen" ("to rinse off").

Alternate Forms:

(er) spült, hat gespült, spülte
waschen verb to wash

Details:

to wash

This verb can always be translated as "to wash." When something is washed, one removes undesired substances from surfaces or objects by the application of water or other liquids and soap. The result is usually a clean surface or object. Note that this verb also appears in the Grooming frame with a more narrow meaning.

Example Sentences:

  1. Wir müssen das Obst gründlich waschen bevor wir es essen.
  2. Der Deutsche wäscht sein Auto seltener.
  3. Rilke hat noch keine Wäsche gewaschen.
  4. Viele Wohnungslosen duschten und wuschen ihre Wäsche dort.
  1. We have to thoroughly wash the fruit before we eat it.
  2. The German washes his car less frequently.
  3. Rilke has washed no laundry yet.
  4. Many homeless people showered and washed their laundry there.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CLEANER wäscht CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER wäscht MESS von CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER wäscht CLEANED mit MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER wäscht CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER wäscht CLEANED mit INSTRUMENT und MEDIUM.
  1. CLEANER washes CLEANED.
  2. CLEANER washes MESS off CLEANED.
  3. CLEANER washes CLEANED with MEDIUM.
  4. CLEANER washes CLEANED with INSTRUMENT.
  5. CLEANER washes CLEANED with INSTRUMENT and MEDIUM.

Details:

to wash

This verb can always be translated as "to wash." When something is washed, one removes undesired substances from surfaces or objects by the application of water or other liquids and soap. The result is usually a clean surface or object. Note that this verb also appears in the Grooming frame with a more narrow meaning.

Alternate Forms:

(er) wäscht, hat gewaschen, wusch