english is closer related to german, as they both are west germanic languages. actually some north german dialects like "Platt" are very close to english in their grammar and pronounciation.
there is also a relation between german, english and french. But this relation dates far more back to the past (about 2000BC). but french developed out of latin and is more related to spanish, italian and portuguese than to german or english.
imagine it as a big tree of languages. On such a tree english and german would be two twigs of a big branch, while french, italian, spanish and such would be twigs on another big branch of the same tree.
that's why for speakers of german it's often much easier to learn english than to learn french.
it should be mentioned nevertheless that english does have a huge vocabulary of latin origin which is because of it's history. That's why often educated speakers of english can easily understand the content of a spanish or french written text, because many words are known to them. yet the grammars of french and english are quite different.