English and German share a common origin. This means today there are some German words that are exactly the same as in English or more often nearly the same. The two languages are also quite distinct and bafflingly there are words that seem identical yet have different meanings!

Links Between English and German

English Words that are the same or Similar in German

Here are some examples of English words that sound the same, or are similar, in German but are spelt differently.

● Apple in English is apfel in German
● Help in English is helfen in German
● Open in English is offen in German
● Bishop in English is biscchoff in German.

There are other words in English and German that sound almost the same, but aren’t spelt the same. For example:

● Milk in English is mich in German
● Wake in English is wacken in German
● Elk in English is elch in German
● Cook in English is koch in German

A list of the same Words but Different Meanings in English and English

● The word gift in English means a present but in German it means poison
● The word stark in English means bare or harsh but in German it means strong
● The word kind in English means generous and nice but in German a child
● Rock in English is a stone but in German, it means a skirt
● A stock in English means a share while in German it means a cane
● A toll in English is a charge levied on using a bridge or road while in German it means fantastic
● A boot is a large shoe in English but a boat in German
● Gut in English is the intestine but in German means good

German Words with Multiple Meanings

There are some German words that have different meanings depending on where and when they are used. For example:

● The word kater in German can mean either a hangover or a male cat
● The word hahn in German could mean turn on the tap or a cockerel
● Used in a certain context gericht may mean a meal, or a dish. However, in another context, it may mean being sent to court

There are also some German words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example:

● The words die leiter and der leiter mean ladder and leader
● The words der stift and das stift mean crayon and monastery
● The words die taube and der taube mean pigeon and deaf person
● The words das tor and der tor mean goal and gate


Despite English and German some time back in history having the same origin, time shows how language evolves and changes so that the spelling, meanings and pronunciation change too.