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Smalltalk auf Englisch - Die eigenen vier Wände

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk auf Englisch, Englisch Smalltalk, Englisch Wohnung, Englisch Haus, Englisch Wohnen, Englisch Wohnung mieten, Englisch Haus mieten, Englisch Wohnung kaufen, Englisch Wohnung mieten

Talking about where one Hues is a common theme that is often overlooked when studying material on the art of small talk. Nevertheless, questions about where one lives and what his living space is like are common, whether travelling or simply talking on the phone. Here's a review of the phrases and vocabulary that are important to know when chitchatting on this theme.

What do you Hue in?

If you're living in a house, using the word house of course requires no thinking. When it comes to Wohnung, however, and its many variations, it's quite likely that the right word doesn't immediately pop to mind. Here are the names of some of the more common domiciles you may want to discuss:

Wohnung - flat (BE), apartment (AE)

Maisonettewohnung - maisonette apartment (BE and AE)

Dachgeschosswohnung - attic flat (BE), apartment in the attic (AE), penthouse (penthouse usually implies a high degree of luxury and a large amount of space)

Einzimmerwohnung - studio, one-room flat/apartment, efficiency (AE). In a studio, the kitchen, living room, and bedroom all share the same living space without dividing walls. An efficiency is a type of studio where the kitchen is small and minimal.

Erdgeschoss and Obergeschoss are also confusing issues:

Erdgeschoss - ground floor (BE, AE), but also first floor (AE)!

Obergeschoss, Erster Stock - first floor (BE), but second floor (AE)!

Stock - storey (BE), story (AE), floor

If you have a first floor flat with a garden, this is a garden flat or garden apartment, depending on which side of the ocean you're on.

Here are a few other words you may encounter:

condominium (condo) (AE) - A flat that you own - Eigentumswohnung

co-op - A flat in a building owned collectively by the residents of the building. Instead of buying the flat you live in, you buy shares in the co-op, which owns the entire property. When you want to leave, you sell your shares. Co-ops, which are common in New York City, are designed to give the association of residents more power. When something is needed or repairs are necessary, the co-op - a large property owner with stronger negotiating ability- is in charge.

Here are a few common terms for houses:

Reihenhaus - townhouse, row house

Doppelhaushälfte - semi-detached house, duplex

Terrassenhaus - split-level house

Zweifamilienhaus - duplex

Location, location, location

Describing the location of your domicile requires using prepositions of place. The most common difficulty occurs with in and on.


When using a street name in German you say in, and in English you say on.

My flat is on Fleet Street.

When talking about location with reference to rivers, lakes, parks, squares, golf courses and other outdoor points of interest, on means directly adjoining or right on the edge of and NOT literally on.

I live in a small house on the golf course.

I have a flat in Beasley Tower. That's right on the Thames.

I live on Central Park.


If you are talking about a neighbourhood, district or area of the city, use in. Sometimes, the name of a district is the same as the name of a street within it. In this case use in when referring to the district, even if you don't use the word district itself, and on when you mean the street.

I have a small flat in High Street. ( Here you mean the district, but the flat might be on Lilly Lane. )

I have a small flat on High Street. ( Here it is clear that your flat is on High Street. )

I live in a Penthouse in City Centre.

Describing liuing space

The most important difference you'll encounter with respect to describing the size and configuration of your living space has do with room-counting, which is done differently in English.

In the UK and in North America especially, most assume that houses and apartments (except studios) have a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. For this reason, they are generally described using the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

My flat has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

A guest toilet counts as half a bathroom:

My flat has 3 bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms.

In newspapers and in speaking, the word bathrooms is often shortened to bath:

My flat has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Here are a few other important abbreviations:

BR – bedroom

LR - living room

DR - dining room

BA – bathroom

GA – garage

FPL- fireplace

EIK- eat-in-kitchen (Wohnküche)

The people inuolued

People who rent flats are referred to as tenants (Mieter). If you don't rent, you're an owner. Tenants often have flatmates or roommates. These are individuals who occupy additional bedrooms in the flat and share the common areas.

The flat's owner is either the landlord or landlady, depending on gender. A company that owns a property is a landlord.

I'm not sure if cats are allowed. I'll have to ask my landlady.

Terms and conditions

The most important part of any rental relationship is the lease (Mietvertrag). Here is where issues such as the duration of the rental relationship, rules of the house, identification of responsibilities and procedures at the beginning and end of the lease term are captured in writing.

You'll have to put up a security deposit (Kaution) no matter where the flat is. This can range from 1-3 months' rent. Especially in urban areas, you'll also be expected to prepay a bit of the rent. In the UK, landlords usually require prepayment of the first month's rent upon signing the lease. In North America, the rule is usually prepayment of the first and last month's rent. Don't be surprised if you need to provide information about your previous rentals and undergo a credit check.

If you've used an estate agent (Immobilienmakler), you'll also need to pay his commission (Provision). In North America the estate agent is known as a real estate agent.

Typical leases run one year, after which they automatically renew. The rent may also automatically increase. Longer-term leases often identify the rent raise for each year contractually. It is fairly rare to be able to sign a long-term lease that guarantees a specific rent for the entire duration. Some landlords are also willing to rent month-to-month (the contract can be terminated with 30 days notice) or shorter-term leases for 6 or 12 months.

As a tenant, you are usually allowed to make only cosmetic changes to the flat (such as painting the walls). Subleasing (Untervermieten) is usually not allowed without written permission. When you move out, you'll be responsible for paying for repairs for anything that is considered more destructive than normal wear-and-tear (normale Abnutzung). Expect to do two walk-throughs to identify and document the flat's current condition: at the beginning of the lease, to identify starting condition and any necessary repairs; and at the end to identify ending condition, damage and any required repairs or payments.

Looking for something new

Especially in urban areas, finding a flat isn't always easy. The Internet of course provides a fast way to access listings, but you can also check the classifieds (Anzeigen) in the newspapers or pick up the local "apartment hunter" magazine at the supermarket.

It's not just location that's important. The amenities offered by a flat or the property have a major impact on the amount of rent you must pay. Many flats these days offer access to laundry facilities and Internet connectivity. Posher premises may offer swimming pools, onsite fitness studios, and even concierge and doorman services. Other amenities include services available in the immediate neighbourhood such as restaurants, cafes, shopping, bus stops, train stations and parks.

Small talk phrases

Do you live in the area?

Where is that? Is it in the city? In the suburbs? A bit further out? Out in the country?

Do you have a house?

Oh, that sounds very nice.

How do you get to the office?

I take the train every morning.

I drive.

Do you have a long commute?

I have a 2-storey house in Hillingdon, on the far west edge of the city.

I have a 3-bedroom in Mayfair.

Where's that? Here in the city?

Yes, just by Hyde Park.

That's an upscale area. Do you have a lot of space?

Not really, only about 850 sq ft, but I have a great view of the park. It's a two-bedroom on the top floor.

Do you have a garden?

Quite a large one, actually. I like a natural setting.

Yes, just a small one, though. I don't have much time for garden work.

Flat-searching phrases

Hello, I saw the advert for your flat in the newspaper. It sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for. Could you tell me more about it?

Well, I'm really looking for a 3-bedroom flat on the ground floor - and direct access to the garden from the living room or kitchen is important.

The rent should be somewhere between 500 and 800 per month. I've seen a number of dilapidated flats in that price range. How would you describe the condition of the flat you're renting?

I'd like to let a 4-bedroom house in Ealing. Something modest ( bescheiden). Do you have anything available at the moment?

Do you allow pets?

Is it family friendly?

What floor is it on?

Is there a lift/an elevator?

Can you tell me a bit about the local amenities?

I'm looking for a 3-year lease. Is that possible?

We'd like to let the flat for one year for one of our consultants. The business would be signing the lease.

Other than the cost of utilities (Nebenkosten), are there any other responsibilities associated with leasing this flat?

How much has the current tenant been paying for electricity every month?

What are the average heating costs?
How many neighbours are there? Is the flat adjacent to any others, or are other flats only found above and below?

What is your smoking policy?

Do you require tenants to carry any specific kinds of insurance?

I've just rented an apartment and would like to purchase contents insurance (Hausratversicherung).

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk auf Englisch, Englisch Smalltalk, Englisch Wohnung, Englisch Haus, Englisch Wohnen, Englisch Wohnung mieten, Englisch Haus mieten, Englisch Wohnung kaufen, Englisch Wohnung mieten

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