The study of German posture verbs has attracted the interest of many linguists, e.g. Berthele (2004 and 2006), Fagan (1991), Kutscher-Schultze-Berndt (2007) and Serra-Borneto (1996). It is surprising that most studies disregard the posture verb sitzen ‘to sit’. The present paper aims at looking at this neglected area of description. A corpus study of sitzen allows us to get a differentiated picture of the different uses of that verb and to show that sitzen is not restricted to the concrete sitting position but is also used to express more abstract senses, e.g. Er sitzt in der Falle , lit. ‘He sits in the trap’ (= ‘He has problems’), or Das Kleid sitzt nicht , lit.‘The skirt does not sit’ (= ‘The skirt does not fit’). Foreign language learners have difficulties with the more abstract or metaphorical uses of verbs (compare Littlemore 2011), this also pertains to the abstract uses of sitzen . Interestingly enough, most teaching manuals for German do not describe the semantic uses of sitzen either. The study aims at making up for these deficits. With examples from the German corpora from the Digitales Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), it first describes the different uses of the verb sitzen . It then offers a brief critical overview of teaching manuals for German. Based on essays from learner corpora, e.g. Falko, and cloze tests by French students it further presents the difficulties encountered by foreign learners of German with the more abstract or metaphorical uses of sitzen . In the framework of Cognitive Linguistics the study also proposes some ‘conceptual tools’ to facilitate the learning of the more abstract uses of the verb sitzen. These tools are semantic networks, visuals, and conceptual metaphors. Spatial distinctions such as those between container and contact are extended to more abstract areas of experience, especially in the context of situations describing abstract states. Here one of the main issues for the learner is to find out whether the abstract goal is conceptualized as a container, a contact or still another basic spatial relation. The efficiency of these conceptual tools is tested with a cloze test conducted with French-speaking students.