The German language, with its nuanced vocabulary and grammar rules, can be a challenge for many learners. A word as simple as “little” in English can take on multiple forms in German. This article delves deep into the world of ‘little’ in German, from its translation and pronunciation to its various usages in sentences and common phrases.

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The German Translation of “Little”

If you’ve ever wondered about the German translation of ‘little’, the primary word that comes to mind is “klein”. This versatile word is used in various contexts, just like its English counterpart. However, the usage of ‘little’ in German sentences can vary based on the gender of the noun it’s describing and the context in which it’s used.

One of the unique aspects of the German language is its gendered nouns. When using “klein”, it’s vital to understand the gender in German nouns for ‘little’:

  • Masculine: kleiner (e.g., kleiner Mann – little man)
  • Feminine: kleine (e.g., kleine Frau – little woman)
  • Neuter: kleines (e.g., kleines Kind – little child)

Common Phrases with “Little” in German

Several common phrases with ‘little’ in German showcase the word’s versatility:

  • “Ein kleines bisschen” – a little bit
  • “Klein aber fein” – small but nice/fine

The different forms of ‘little’ in German come into play based on the case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) and the gender of the noun.

Synonyms and Variations

German, like any language, is rich in synonyms. If you’re looking to expand your German vocabulary for ‘little’, some synonyms include:

  • “wenig” (used more like “a little amount of”)
  • “gering” (minor or small in the sense of importance)

Perfecting Pronunciation

Ensuring you have the correct pronunciation of ‘little’ in German is crucial for clear communication. “Klein” is pronounced as [klaɪn]. Focusing on the ‘ai’ sound in “Klein” can aid in perfecting your pronunciation.

Examples of ‘little’ usage in German sentences can help you better understand its application:

  • “Das ist ein kleines Haus.” – That is a little house.
  • “Sie hat wenig Zeit.” – She has little time.

Tips and Tricks for Mastery

For those embarking on a language learning journey, here are some German language tips for ‘little’:

  1. Practice Makes Perfect: Regularly use “klein” and its variations in your daily conversations.
  2. Note Gender Differences: Remembering the gender differences can make your speech more fluent and accurate.
  3. Engage in Language Exercises: Participate in ‘little’ language lessons in German and other exercises to reinforce your understanding.


Learning ‘little’ in German made easy involves understanding its various forms, nuances, and contexts. From its gender-specific variations to its synonyms, mastering “klein” and its uses can enhance your fluency and confidence in the German language. Whether you’re looking to speak with ‘little’ proficiency or aim for complete fluency, understanding this fundamental word is a significant step in your German language journey.


How is “little” used in everyday German conversation?

“Little” translates to “klein” in German and is frequently used in daily conversations. In various contexts, it can refer to the size, quantity, or age of something or someone. For instance, Germans might use it to describe a small house (“kleines Haus”), a young child (“kleines Kind”), or a modest amount of something (“ein kleines bisschen”).

Are there different forms of “little” in German?

Yes, the word “little” or “klein” in German has different forms based on the gender and case of the noun it’s describing. The variations include “kleiner” for masculine nouns, “kleine” for feminine nouns, and “kleines” for neuter nouns. The form can also change depending on the grammatical case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive).

How do I pronounce “little” correctly in German?

To pronounce “little” in German, which is “klein”, you would say [klaɪn]. The emphasis should be on the ‘ai’ sound, which is similar to the English word “line” but with a ‘k’ at the beginning.

Is there a gender associated with “little” in German nouns?

Yes, in the German language, nouns have gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), and the form of “little” or “klein” will change based on this gender. For masculine nouns, it’s “kleiner”, for feminine nouns it’s “kleine”, and for neuter nouns, it’s “kleines”. It’s essential to match the form of “klein” with the correct gender of the noun it’s describing.


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