In English, there is the construction how to + [infinitive], e.g. in:

I don't know how to do such and such thing.

How to this and that is a different matter.

How to win friends and influence people.

Is there some equivalent in German? Is wie zu valid?

  • Can you provide an intended a meaning for the second example?
    – guidot
    Dec 18, 2018 at 12:55

3 Answers 3


Nowadays the German language makes heavy use of the English "How to". There is not a 1:1 equivalent using "wie", but possible alternatives are:

Wie man xyz macht (How one does xyz)
Wie man Pizza zubereitet (How one cooks pizza)
Wie man richtig eine Krawatte bindet (How one correctly ties a tie)

I.e. a 3rd person variant ("how one/ how you").

Other possibilities:

Anleitung zum Kochen
Anleitung zum Krawattebinden


There is no direct equivalent of this English construction, so you will have to add a subject. E.g.

Ich weiß nicht, wie man das macht.

or, more personally,

Ich weiß nicht, wie ich das machen soll.


There's a famous series of DIY books (or "How-Tos") in Germany published since 1962 as as repair manuals for all sorts of cars titled

Jetzt helfe ich mir selbst: VW Käfer [e.g.]

which basically translates into "How to repair a Volkswagen Beetle".

The GDR hat a similar set of books called "Wie helfe ich mir selbst" on the famous Trabant.

If you want to refer to something comparable, using this title would be sufficient.

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