How Germans say "building"

The German words for buildings are “Bauwerk” (n.) for any free-standing structure made by humans, or “Gebäude” (n.) if it has rooms, can be entered, and was built to shelter humans, animals or things. If a “Gebäude” is particularly monumental or meaningful, it can also be called “Bauwerk”.

The word “Bau” (m.) can refer to the dwelling of an animal or a construction site. It is noteworthy that “bau” features in many German words (e.g. “Bauer” – “farmer”… from which English gets its “boor”) and is related to the Old High German word “buan”, meaning “to dwell”.

Relatedly, the verb “bauen” means “to build” or “to construct”, while “anbauen” is often used in the sense of cultivating crops. The German word “Bauernhof” (m.) means “farm”.

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