You can probably already read and understand the following fun and fanciful German sentences: 1. Der Onkel trinkt Wein. Der Tiger und der Elefant schwimmen in dem Ozean. Der Film beginnt in einem Supermarkt. Rey-lee-geeohn o-duhr kah-os? Ayn moh-deR-nuhs pRo-bleym, zAkt deyR yoon-guh, in-tey-lee-gentuh ou-toh. Infinitive form The unconjugated form of a verb. In German the infinitive form of verbs end in -en or, in some cases, simply -n. Verbs are listed in the dictionary in the infinitive form.
We utilize this infinitive form when using helping verbs such as had. Das Baby liegt in den Armen der Mutter. Mein Bruder hat eine Guitarre. No shortcut is without its pitfalls. In language as in life, false friends are misleading. What are false friends in language? They are words spelled the same or almost the same in German and in English that have different meanings.
As you can see, these two words, which are spelled exactly the same, have totally different meanings. A word of caution: Cognates can be of help to you in learning German, but false friends can trip you up. The following table lists some common false friends. Ready, Set, Go! What are idioms? He arranges for you to have breakfast at the hotel with his mother the following morning. The following morning at breakfast your motherin-law asks you how you managed to get through the night without her son.
Without realizing it, you have used the German idiom for having a one-night stand. Idiomatic expressions are speech forms or expressions that cannot be understood by literal translation—they must be learned and memorized along with their meanings. Most differ greatly from their English counterparts in meaning as well as in construction, but perhaps an even greater number differ only slightly. Idioms make a language colorful. Idiomatic expressions tend to be culturally specific because the lexical items a certain language relies on to express nonliteral meanings generally have significance in that culture.
Well, mustard does play a rather prominent culinary role in German, so take a guess. After all, would you rather have some mustard to go along with your Wurst, or two pennies? To help you get a clearer idea of what idiomatic expressions are, here are a few in English: sell down the river. The following table lists some German idiomatic expressions that correspond, more or less, with their English equivalents. As they tend to be frozen in form, they tend not to change, and hence are very much worth learning.
The following table lists a few commonly used German idiomatic expressions, their corresponding English meanings, and their origins—the premise here being that knowing the source of these idioms will help you remember them. Idioms Fixed phrases whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meanings of the individual words. They tend to be frozen in form and thus do not readily enter into other combinations or allow the word order to change.
You are at a loss for words. What you need are some expressions for travel and transportation. Look at the following table for some suggestions. Use the preceding table to fill in the blanks of the following sentences with the correct German expressions. I walk to the university. Sometimes it means tomorrow, sometimes in 10 years.
Many time expressions have a wide range of interpretations, whereas others are more grounded and specific. The following table has a few time expressions you should know. What German idioms of time would you use in the following situations? When your partner leaves on a business trip for the weekend, you say: 2. When you say goodbye to a friend you will be seeing later that evening, you say: 3.
If the movie begins at 5 P. If you watch TV every now and then, you watch it: 7. You should brush your teeth: 8. If you follow a ritual every Friday:. Go Left, Right, Straight, and Then Left Again Some of the most useful vocabulary you can learn, particularly if you plan to travel through Germany, are the words for expressing location and direction. See if you can fill in the blanks correctly by following directions in German. So, What Do You Think? Some of us seem to have more of them than most people.
We express them. We tell you how the food tastes. We tell you whether we liked the movie. See the following table. I feel similarly. Das ist viel besser. No need. She or he suggests ways for the two of you to spend the afternoon. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate German suggestions and the English meanings. Denkst du dass es regnen wird? Today looks like a beautiful day. Do you think it will rain? Ich habe den Wetterbericht nicht gelesen. Your friend: Hast du Lust heute Nachmittag schwimmen zu gehen?
Do you feel like going swimming this afternoon? Ich schwimme gern! I love swimming! Maybe we should read the weather forecast first. The weather may change. Das ist mir schon oft passiert. Your friend: Welche Zeitung sollen wir kaufen? Which newspaper should we buy? Ich glaube in jeder Zeitung finden wir einen Wetterbericht. I think that we can find a weather report in any newspaper. Your friend: Gehen wir ins Kino?
Should we go to a movie? Ich will den neusten Arnold Schwarzenegger Film sehen! How Do You Feel? Feelings that are expressed with the verb haben are followed by a noun. Feelings that are expressed with the verb sein are followed by an adjective. Chapter 9 discusses these verbs and how their form changes to agree with the subject. For now, concentrate on expressing how you feel: ich bin iH bin for expressions with sein; ich habe iH hah-buh for expressions with haben.
I am cold. I am hot. Express how you feel, using the expressions in the preceding table. I am tired. Sie weint. She cries. She is sad. Mein Magen knurrt. My stomach is growling. Ich kann nicht mehr! Ich trainiere jeden Tag und mache Bodybuilding. I train every day and do bodybuilding. I am in shape. Neither do I. Still, sayings are everywhere in language, embodying familiar truths and generally accepted beliefs in colorful, expressive language.
Here are a few German sayings and their English counterparts. Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst. Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am Besten. Iss, was gar ist, trink, was klar ist, sprich was wahr ist. Wer wagt, gewinnt. He who lies, steals. Eat what is cooked, drink what is clear, speak what is true.
It never rains, but it pours. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Time will tell. Such colorful expressions help personalize and individualize a language—rendering it culturespecific. Although the sense may be the same in both languages, they use different words. Your best bet is to learn these sayings and be proud to sound like a real German! Think your female baby-sitter is female der Babysitter? Not to a German. If you have taken any French or Spanish, you have already dealt with nouns that have two genders.
Believe it or not, the English language used to share this fixation on gender with its German cousin. But very early on, even before Chaucer was writing his bawdy Canterbury Tales, English speakers were quite politically correct. We began referring to everything as a genderless the. All plural nouns are preceded by the plural article die dee. Unlike the English the, these articles show the gender and number of a noun, but both English and German definite articles indicate specificity. Grammatical gender is arbitrary, unpredictable— basically, a matter of rote memorization.
Walk on the noun, shake it, turn it upside down, throw it against the wall and still you will be no closer to uncovering its gender. It would, of course, be quicker and more effective to look up the noun in a dictionary; masculine nouns are followed by m. Scholars have come up with many theories about why some nouns take certain definite articles, but the truth is that in German there are no simple rules or explanations for determining gender. Why is the meat you eat at dinner neuter das Fleisch , the potato feminine die Kartoffel , and the cauliflower masculine der Rosenkohl?
Your guess is as good as ours. The only fail-safe way of ensuring that you are about to use the correct gender of a German noun is to learn the gender and plural of a noun along with the noun itself. The gender of a noun affects its relationship to other words in a sentence, and if you learn the definite articles along with the nouns, it will be easier for you to form sentences correctly later. Nevertheless, a few tricks can help you determine the gender of certain nouns as well as alter the gender of certain other nouns, as in English when you change the word waiter to waitress.
Keep reading! Absolutely, Definitely Definite Articles Before you get into German nouns, you must take into account one little diversion: the noun marker that precedes most singular nouns. We use the term noun marker to refer to an article or adjective—something that indicates the gender of the noun— whether it is masculine m. As a Rule The noun marker for plural nouns die should not to be confused with the feminine singular definite article die. Because of this homophony in form, only the singular noun markers der, die, das clearly indicate the grammatical gender of a noun. Singular Nouns The nouns in the following table are easy to remember.
An obvious correspondence exists between the grammatical gender of the noun marker and the natural, biological gender of the noun. Even the different types of mothers remain predictably feminine, while the different types of fathers are masculine in gender. But for now, become acquainted with family terms. As a Rule Nouns referring to male persons, their professions, and their nationalities—der Deutsche deyR doy-tschuh —are clearly masculine. Most nouns ending in -en are also masculine— der Garten deYr gahR-tuhn —as are the names of all seasons, months, days of the week, and most times of the day—der Montag deyR mohn-tahk , der Januar deyR yah-newahR , der Sommer deyR zo-muhR , and so on.
The following tables group endings that will help you to identify the gender of nouns. Generally, two-syllable nouns ending in -e, such as Sonne zo-nuh and Blume blew-muh , take the feminine article die. Das Berlin, das Deutschland, das Paris—countries, towns, and cities all take the neuter article das. So do the letters of the alphabet: das A, das B, das C, das D, and so on. Here are a few of them. This convention makes sense if you just think back to what an umlaut is all about: When the —in suffix is added to the noun, the i sound, produced in the front of the mouth, coaxes the back vowels of a, o, or u to slide a little forward, as well—hence, sound change!
The following table lists some common nouns that can undergo sex changes. Compound Nouns Meeresgrundforschungslaborauswertungsbericht— pronounced mey-Ruhs-gRoont-foR-shoonks-lah-bohRous-veR-toonks-buh-RiHt—what in the world, you may ask, is that? Believe it or not, that is a word— a compound noun, to be exact. Hmmm … is a pattern is emerging here?
Why, yes! German looks to the right end of a noun to determine its gender. Another way to think of it is that the directional right end governs the entire noun. And, after all, government likes to tell us how to do things, and nouns must abide by these very same rules! But there are plurals that stump learners of our language. How many childs do you have, or rather children? Are they silly little gooses, uh, geese? German plurals seem to be confusing, too, but there is a method to the madness.
As this system of inflecting nouns declined in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, some of the features of these classes were retained as plural endings! This historical curiosity is what makes forming plurals in German such a challenging experience. Nonetheless, when a noun becomes plural in German, the noun marker becomes plural with it and the articles der, die, and das all become die in their plural forms. For now, the best way to be sure that you are forming the plural of a noun correctly is to memorize it along with the noun and the article.
The following tables give you some basic rules on how to form plurals. When the nouns in the following two tables become plural, they take either -n or -en. A majority of German nouns fall into this group, including most feminine nouns. The nouns in this group never take an umlaut in the plural; but if they already have one in the singular, it is retained.
When the nouns ending in -e, -el, and -er in the following table become plural, they take -n. All nouns referring to female persons or animals ending in -in double the n in the plural form before adding the plural -en. This convention keeps the i sound short—no mutation here, my friend!
The nouns in the following table take no ending in their plural form. Some of the masculine nouns in the group undergo a vowel modification as they have since lost their ending , as do the only two feminine nouns in this group. When the nouns in the following table become plural, they take the ending -e. All neuter and feminine nouns that end in -nis double the s in the plural form before adding -e, again, ensuring that the i sound remains short.
The plurals of the nouns in the following table end in -er. Wherever possible, vowels are modified. Note that all the words that follow have only one syllable. Practice Those Plurals You are spending your first day in Berlin. Example: You need some peace and quiet. You are looking for parks. Ich suche die Parks. You need to have your wisdom tooth removed. You ask someone where you can find dentists in Berlin. Tell this person that you need the names of a few dentists. You want to relax somewhere and drink a cup of coffee. Stop at a kiosk and ask the man at the counter if all German newspapers have weather forecasts.
Ask where you can find them. You enter the lobby of a hotel. Ask the receptionist for the room rates. As a Rule Compound nouns combine two or more nouns into one. They are written as one word in German and take the gender of the last noun in the compound. Likewise, compound nouns, being governed by the right end of things, take the plural form of the last noun. Because Arzt comes last, it is the only part of the compound noun that becomes plural. In the following ads, which employers are seeking male employees?
Which are seeking female employees? Which ads are open to applicants of both sexes? Eine Ausbildung in diesem Bereich ist erforderlich. Achtung Some nouns in German are used only in their plural forms. They always take the plural article die. Restaurant sucht Koch zur Aushilfe. Wir betreiben ein Apfelweinlokal in Frankfurt und suchen umgehend einen Aushilfskoch. Gehalt nach Absprache. As a Rule A few nouns in German usually words ending in a, i, or o take an -s to form the plural, as in das Lotto die Lottos.
Plural forms of nouns should be learned along with the noun and the definite article. Before we start, we should probably warn you that this chapter introduces some new grammatical concepts and that it just might take some time before you fully understand them.
More understanding will come with time and exposure to the language. We all know that learning grammar can be about as exciting as watching grass grow, but lots of people have done it and are now happy, German-speaking individuals. In English, once you have the subject, the verb, and the direct object, forming a sentence is easy enough; you put the words in the right order and start talking. German nouns, pronouns, articles, adjectives, and prepositions are inflected; that is to say, they have overt markings showing grammatical relations. Cases are the form articles, adjectives, pronouns, and a few nouns take in a sentence depending on their function.
When we speak of cases and nouns, we are speaking of their articles, since the article that precedes a noun is the primary indicator of its gender, number, and—you guessed it—case. German uses four cases to express grammatical relations between sentence parts: nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive.
In a nutshell, the nominative case indicates the subject of a sentence, the accusative case indicates the direct object of a sentence, and the dative case indicates the indirect object of a sentence. In German, cases enable you to vary the order of nouns and pronouns without changing the overall meaning of the sentence, allowing you to place focus on whatever element of the sentence you like!
Case The form articles, adjectives, pronouns, and a few nouns in German take depending on their grammatical function in a sentence. Despite the position of the nouns, the noun markers remain the same in both sentences, clearly indicating that the fish is being eaten by the girl, and not that the girl is being eaten by the fish. Starting with the Nominative Case Nominative is the case of the subject of the sentences—that is, of the noun or pronoun performing the action or undergoing the state of being of the verb.
The direct object tells you to whom or what the action of the verb is being directed. You also use the accusative case with time and measuring data that specifies how short, how soon, how often, how much, how old, and so on. Nominative Subject. Indirectly: The Dative Case The dative case can be used instead of a possessive adjective with parts of the body and after certain verbs, prepositions, and adjectives.
It is used primarily to indicate the indirect object, however. The indirect object is the object for whose benefit or in whose interest the action of the verb is being performed. Think of giving, helping, pleasing, and such—an animate object is receiving the action, and usually something else the direct object , to boot! As English lost most of its inflectional endings reflecting this case, it relies on word order and prepositions, such as to and for to express the dative function. Word order The position of words in a sentence contributing to the meaning or sense of a sentence.
Declension The pattern of changes occurring in articles, adjectives, pronouns, and a few nouns in each of the four cases. The genitive case indicates possession. Most of the time, however, German marks possession on both the noun marker the article or adjective preceding the noun and, with neuter and masculine nouns, after the noun with - e s. Why not latch on to that idea in German?!?
Paradigm A grammatical chart, organized in a regular way so that new information may be plugged in and easily assimilated. Declension refers to the patterns of change followed by different groups of words in each case. Declension in German is pretty much limited to articles and a few instances of nouns.
True, adjectives take an ending, but it is readily and simply determinable from the word preceding the noun if there is one. In addition, pronouns change form according to their function, but this change is very similar to English: he versus him, and such. Be sure that when you are looking up a noun, you look for it under its base form— not its plural or possessive form.
The nominative singular is the form under which nouns appear in the dictionary. The Case of the Definite Article German has four possible declensions for each definite article remember, definite articles are used when you are speaking about a particular person or thing. In addition, the plurals of der, die, and das have separate declensions.
Commit this chart to memory, rewrite it on a card, use a different color for each case, do anything and everything to help yourself conceptualize the case system. In addition, you will be able to plug in new information as you go along. Masculine Nouns Using the same paradigm—the same setup of cases in descending order of nominative, accusative, dative, followed by genitive—we can plug in actual masculine nouns. Notice the noun endings in the genitive case and with the monosyllabic noun in the dative case.
Nothing like a little consistency, eh? Remember those antiquated noun classes that tried really hard to die out? Well, another leftover occurs with a few masculine nouns that take an - e n ending in all cases except the nominative. Notice that feminine nouns, unlike the masculine ones, do not need endings. They remain unchanged. Neuter Nouns And now for the neuter nouns. Just like the masculine ones, the monosyllabic neuter noun takes that vestigal -e ending in the dative and - e s in the genitive case.
Plurals Coming now to the right side of the original paradigm, we can plug in the plural nouns for father and child, only augmenting them with an n in the dative case. Indefinite articles are used when you are speaking about a noun in general, not about a specific noun. Now look for correspondences in the masIndefinite article Articles culine and neuter. German is simple, after all! Subject Pronouns Before you can form sentences with verbs in German, you have to know something about subject pronouns.
A subject pronoun is, as its name suggests, the subject of a sentence—the who or what that performs the action. You can link this bit of information to what you already know about cases. The case of the subject is nominative, so you can also think about these pronouns as nominative personal pronouns. The German subject pronouns in the following table have a person first person is I, second person is you, third person is he, she, or it just as subject pronouns do in English, and a number singular or plural.
So what is second person all about? It involves directly addressing someone—talking to someone. As a Rule It used to be considered polite in German society to use the third-person plural to refer to someone you were talking to. Hence, the German formal pronouns are exactly the same as the third-person plural pronouns. Less to learn! See whether you can figure out which of the following questions you would address to your teacher and which you would use to initiate a conversation with a fellow student.
What would happen if pronouns were outlawed? Are they meeting you there, or are you meeting them later? We Are Family Stepping back into the not-somythical linguistic past, both English and German used to decline nouns. Our English possessive -s is a remnant. All nouns in German and English used to take an ending.
You may thank your lucky stars that in present-day German, only trace vestiges of this complex system remain. In the fifth century, neuter and masculine monosyllabic nouns were members of the same class of nouns, and reflective of this history, an -e ending remains with neuter and masculine monosyllabic nouns in the dative case.
This practice of declension is gradually falling by the wayside, yet fossilized in such fixed expressions as im Jahre, zu Hause. Pronouns streamline your speech. You can also use pronouns to replace the name of a common noun referring to a place, thing, or idea. Whereas in English we use the blanket pronoun it to refer to anything inanimate, the gender of the pronoun in German must correspond to the gender of the noun. Er, Sie, Es? Imagine that your boss marries a woman young enough to be his granddaughter.
You attend the wedding reception with your best friend. Toward the end of the Feier fayuhR , his ex-wife barges in and takes a hatchet to the wedding cake. Eventually, she is subdued and escorted to the door. The guests recover their poise, and the festivities continue. Which pronouns would you use to talk about the in-laws? Which pronoun would you use to talk about the hatchet? Die Schwiegereltern tanzten. Die Musik war heiter. Die Mutter des Ehemanns weinte. Der Onkel der Ehefrau war betrunken. The verb indicates whether the pronoun sie is being used as third-person singular or thirdperson plural.
The formal Sie pronoun is always capitalized. The gender of the pronoun must correspond to the gender of the noun. In the preceding chapter you learned about determining the gender, number, and case of nouns, and you were introduced to German pronouns. Verbs, the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the language set, convey action in a sentence. To communicate, you must have a basic understanding of verbs. You sign up for a special travel package to Germany that includes hotel accommodations and airfare.
Imperative form The form a verb takes to express a command, request or directive. This form is easily deduced from the conjugated second-person verb. In the imperative form, the understood subject is always you. You want to take quiet, relaxing strolls through churches and parks. To express what people want to do, you need verbs, and verbs, of course, require a subject: You want to take quiet, relaxing strolls through churches and parks.
When a sentence takes the imperative form, the form of a command, the subject you is understood: Go shopping! Subjects can be either nouns or pronouns that replace nouns: The man ate the entire pizza. He ate the entire pizza. As a Rule Unlike German nouns, which are capitalized no matter where they appear in a sentence, most pronouns take a capital letter only when they begin a sentence. This makes a lot of sense if you think of personal pronouns as representing nouns—not quite achieving noun status, and thus not attaining upper-case orthographic status.
The only exception to this rule is the pronoun Sie the polite form for du and ihr , which is capitalized no matter where it appears in a sentence. The upper-case spelling of the formal Sie helps distinguish it from its lower-case twins, sie and sie. The same is true of verbs. Here are some basic things you should know about verbs before you start using them.
The stem of a verb refers to what you get when you remove the ending -en from the German infinitive. The stem vowel refers to the vowel within this stem. In English, for example, when you conjugate the verb run I run, you run, she runs , it retains the same stem vowel throughout the conjugation, marking the third-person singular with the addition of the inflectional suffix -s.
Conjugation refers to the changes the verb undergoes, internally and externally by the addition of inflectional endings , which keep the verb in agreement with the subject. Conjugation The changes of the verb that occur to indicate who or what is performing the action or undergoing the state of being of the verb and when the action or state of being of the verb is occurring: in the present, the past, or the future.
Verbs in Motion If you were given a week of absolutely commitment-free time, what would you do with it? Would you go scuba diving? Would you chase butterflies? Or would you ride through Italy on a tandem bicycle? No matter what you do, you need verbs to express action, motion, or states of being. When you acquired English, you very readily discerned the difference between being able to add a little something to a verb to express yesterday, as in pushed and pulled, and changing the verb internally: sing, sang, sung.
Little did you know it then, but you were differentiating between two classes of verbs: weak and strong. Perhaps you learned to refer to them in school as regular and irregular. In German as well, the most common way of grouping verbs is weak schwach , strong stark , or mixed schwark. When verbs are conjugated, a relatively predictable pattern of endings is attached to the stem of weak verbs, as occurs in English -ed in the past tense. Strong verbs have a relatively predictable pattern of endings when they are conjugated in the present tense the form a verb takes to indicate that action is occurring in the present , but the stem undergoes a sound change in the past tense.
Mixed verbs have features of both weak and strong verbs, hence the term schwark. The rest of this chapter examines schwach and stark verbs in the present tense. Weak verbs are verbs that, when conjugated, follow a set pattern of rules and retain the same stem vowel throughout. Think of them as being too weak to alter the patterns they follow. Most German verbs fall into the category of schwach verbs see the following table. But schwach or stark, the present-tense inflectional endings remain the same.
Only one paradigm to learn, lucky you! Your first step is to determine the stem of the verb. Second, add a little something to this stem, as in adding the -s in English third-person singular. Why add that -e? Free that stem from the infinitive, add an -e to that stem, and then go wild with those same inflectional endings you used with leben. The Endings of Weak Verbs Think of weak verbs as timid, law-abiding creatures that would never cross the street when the light is red.
The great thing for those of you who want to learn German about weak verbs is that they obey grammar laws and follow a predictable pattern of conjugation. To conjugate weak verbs, drop the -en from the infinitive and then add the endings shown in the following table. See whether you can use the correct form of the verbs in the following sentences.
Remember, the verb must agree with the subject! Weak verbs Verbs schwach that follow a set pattern of rules and retain the same stem vowel throughout their conjugation. Compare this pattern with the English verbs that form their past tense with the addition of -ed. In the following table, you will find some of the most commonly used weak verbs in German.
Read the list a few times and try to commit these verbs to memory. The only way you can distinguish between them is to memorize them as such. Of course, as an English speaker,. We Are Family English and German share many features when it comes to strong verbs. The irregular forms—such as take, took, taken or drink, drank, drunk—date back more than 6, years! This pattern becomes readily evident in the past tense recall pushed versus drank. With the sehr starke verbs, vowel alterations occur only in the second and third person in the stem vowel.
Although everything in German might seem to be an exception, all German verbs actually stem from seven older C. So take heart; vowel changes follow a limited number of patterns. The following tables illustrate the stem changing of some sehr starke verbs. Note that the stem -e changes to -ie only in the second- and third-person singular!
Other verbs incurring this stem change include lesen, befehlen, empfehlen, and geschehen. Other verbs incurring this stem change include blasen, fangen, halten, laden, lassen, raten, schlafen, tragen, wachsen, and waschen. Conjugation Although most starke verbs do not incur a sound change in the present tense, you might as well become well versed in the few that do. Accepting the challenge, see whether you can conjugate these very strong verbs in the following sentences: 1.
Achtung The infinitives of a few verbs take -n and not -en. The conjugated form of these verbs in the firstand third-person plural is the same as the infinitive form. Strong verb A verb whose stem vowel undergoes a change or a modification when conjugated in the past tense.
Only some strong stark verbs undergo a vowel modification in the present tense sehr stark. The following table lists some commonly used strong verbs. Read through them a few times, as you did with the weak verbs. The very strong verb vowel changes are indicated in parentheses after the infinitive. There are only three types of stemvowel changes and you have to learn the stem changes associated with strong verbs only once because adding a prefix to a stem does not alter the conjugation.
Ask Me Anything Okay, now go back to where you were at the beginning of this chapter, planning a trip. Stick to the easy questions— the ones that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Making Friends. To do so, speak with a rising inflection. Du denkst an die Reise? Dew denkst An dee Ray-zuh Are you thinking about the trip?
Nicht Wahr? One easy way of forming questions in German is by adding the tag nicht wahr niHt vahR to your statements. Inversion The final way of forming a question is by inversion. Inversion is what you do when you reverse the word order of the subject nouns or pronouns and the conjugated form of the verb. We use inversion all the time in English with the addition of do as a helper to the verb. Statement: He eats pie. Question: Does he eat pie? The following examples will give you a feel for how inversion works.
Du gehst nach Hause. Remember that whether you are using intonation, nicht wahr, or inversion, you are asking for exactly the same information: a yes or no ja oder nein answer. See whether you can use inversion to provide the questions for the following statements. Example: Das Flugzeug fliegt um 10 Uhr. The plane leaves at Answer: Fliegt das Flugzeug um 10 Uhr? Das Ticket kostet DM. The ticket costs DM. This is the terminal for international flights. Die Flugnummer steht auf dem Ticket.
The flight number is indicated on the ticket. Es gibt Toiletten auf dieser Etage. There are bathrooms on this floor. Inversion Reversing the word order of the subject, noun, or pronoun and the conjugated form of the verb to make a statement a question. Der Flug dauert zwei Stunden. The flight is two hours long.
- Wichtige Englischaufgabe.
- The Complete idiot's Guide to Learning German by mayarasblog - Issuu.
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Das Abendessen ist inklusiv. The evening meal is included. To answer in the affirmative, use ja yah and then give your statement. Sprichst du Deutsch? Or if your time is valuable and you are constantly being harangued to do things you have no interest in doing, you should probably learn to say no. To answer negatively, use nein nayn at the beginning of the statement and then add nicht niHt at the end of the statement.
Rauchen Sie? Rou-Chuhn zee.
You can vary the forms of your negative answers by putting the following negative phrases before and after the conjugated verb. Refer to the lists of weak and strong verbs earlier in the chapter for help. Up, Up, and Away! You can use these phrases to start conversations and to expand your vocabulary. In the previous chapter, you learned how to create simple German sentences using subject nouns, pronouns, and verbs and how to ask basic yes or no questions. You are sitting alone on an airplane, admiring the view of clouds and sky through the window.
The person in the seat next to you is German; you want to use this opportunity to test some of your newly acquired language skills. Your question will probably be taken seriously. You may find the following conversation openers useful. It is worth noting, however, that younger generations are tending more and more to use the informal du form. Guten Tag. Guten Abend. Wie geht es Ihnen? Danke, sehr gut. Danke, nicht schlecht. Danke, es geht so. Good evening. Sir Miss, Mrs. My name is … What is your name? How are you?
Thank you, very well. Thank you, not bad. You can now use the following phrases: German. Wie geht es dir? Was machst du so? Ganz gut. Ich kann nicht klagen. Mal so, mal so. Na ja. So so. All right. What Planet Are You From? If, after you have made your initial introductions, you decide to continue the conversation with your seatmate, you will probably wonder about his idiosyncrasies—the peculiar lilt in his voice when he speaks, certain gestures you have never seen anyone make before, and his use of idioms.
Eventually, you are going to want to know where this person is from. You also are going to want to respond correctly when he asks where you are from. To continue this conversation, you will need to familiarize yourself with the strong verb kommen ko-muhn. Take out your verb-ending chart, lop the -en off the infinitive to produce the stem komm- , and try to come up with a match to the following table. Woher kommen Sie? Informal use: Woher kommst du? Ich komme aus … iH ko-muh ous … I come from …. Keep in mind that most countries, towns, and cities are neuter nouns and take the article das.
Making Friends When you use countries, cities, or towns with the neuter article, drop the article das: Ich komme aus New York. The articles are not dropped, and they must be declined correctly that is, they must take the appropriate case. Die USA, which is plural, takes the dative plural article den, as it follows aus, which is a dative preposition: Ich komme aus den USA. Achtung Using informal language to address someone with whom you have not established a friendship or bond is generally considered quite rude. To dutzen dew-tsuhn someone—in other words, to use the informal du form of address with a person—may alienate the stranger, distant relative, or business acquaintance you are addressing.
Ich komme aus der Schweiz. To Be or Not to Be? See the following tables. Sein One of the four irregular verbs in German. Different from the strong verbs which follow a regular sound-shift pattern in vowels , since consonants, as well as vowels, change in the truly unpredictable irregular verbs. Formal: Was sind Sie von Beruf? VAs sint zee fon bey-Rewf What is your profession? Informal: Was bist du von Beruf? VAs bist dew fon bey-Rewf What is your profession?
I am a waiter. As a Rule In German the indefinite article ein e is generally not used when a person states his profession unless the profession is qualified by an adjective. We Are Family Have you noticed how the endings for professions in both English and German are often -er? This goes back to way back when, as both languages share the same lexical morphology for forming agentive suffixes.
When you learn a new language, you often revert to what feels like a somewhat infantile state of existence. You have a limited vocabulary and, at best, a somewhat sketchy understanding of grammar. One advantage of learning a new language is that you can get away with acting a little childish. So get nosy. Start asking about everything. Make faux pas. As a Rule The interrogative pronouns wen and wem are used with a preposition to refer only to persons. The interrogative pronoun was refers to things and ideas. As an object of a prepositions, was may be replaced by a wo-compound: wo- is added as a prefix to prepositions, as in womit?
Getting Information the Easy Way A good-looking person is sitting across from you in a train. He or she has been glancing over in your direction for some time now. Here are some other ways to break the ice. As a Rule To express directions of motion, the her- and hin- may be used with the interrogative wo to suggest motion toward the speaker woher, where from or motion away from the speaker wohin, where to.
In spoken German the question words wohin and woher are often separated: wo is placed at the start of the question; hin and her appear at the end: Wohin geht Christine? In a statement, hin and her occupy the last position in the sentence, like a separable prefix verb: Gehen wir hin. Ask Away Each of the following statements is an answer to a question. Try to ask the questions that the statements answer.
In the first example, use the informal du to ask questions about Klaus. In the second example, use the third-person singular sie to ask questions about Beka. Ich reise gern. Sie reist einen Monat lang durch Deutschland. The greetings you use depend on your familiarity with a person. By now you should be well on your way to introducing yourself and your friends to other people. But what if your mother, father, uncle, and in-laws are all traveling with you, peering over your shoulder every time you strike up a conversation?
Perhaps the best thing to do is to find people to introduce them to so you can sneak away and finally have a really intimate conversation with someone. One approach is to ask the objects of your curiosity what they think about themselves: Do they consider themselves to be creative, intelligent, sensitive, or adventurous? And to use adjectives correctly, you must attach the appropriate ending to them so that they agree in gender and case with the noun they are modifying. This is my wife. Of course, if you find yourself putting your foot in your mouth in German, you can always claim that you are still learning your vocabulary.
Start practicing now with the words for family members in the following table. Are You Possessed? There are two principal ways of showing possession in German: by using the genitive case and by using possessive adjectives. However, to show possession, you must also decline the noun and the noun marker correctly. Have you forgotten what noun marker means? Thus, you should translate I am playing to ich spiele. Similarly, I do play is also translated to ich spiele. Anything else ich mache spielen or ich bin spielen is either not possible in German or has a different meaning.
The phrase I do not play should be translated to ich spiele nicht literally: I play not since nicht not comes usually after the verb. This may sound like Early Modern English in a play by Shakespeare, and this is no coincidence since German and English are both West Germanic languages. In German, there are several ways to express likes and dislikes; this is just one of them.
You can also add other verbs for other activities, e. To express preference, you can use lieber instead of gern. For example, I prefer to play basketball. To express favorite activities, you can use am liebsten meaning most of all instead of lieber or gern. For example, Most of all, I like to play chess. To express dislikes, you can use nicht gern instead of gern , for example I don't like to swim. Numbers are among the most important and most useful words: we need them to talk about time, amounts, money, etc. Even if you are "just" a tourist, you often cannot avoid numbers.
Learning numbers can be a bit of a pain; thus, here is some advice: whenever you have time, count something in German; e. Notice the pattern: -teen translates to -zehn , and -ty to -zig.
There is one big problem with the numbers: in German the unit position comes before the tens and is connected by und and. One exception is eins which becomes ein- in 21, 31, 41, etc. German is not the only language with this "reverse" order of numbers: Danish another Germanic language and Arabic do it the same way. To go straight to the lesson test, go here. The test will have four parts to it: Grammar 79 points , Translating 95 points , Reading Comprehension 20 points , Vocabulary 20 points , and Previous Topics 10 points in that order. The Grammar section will test your ability to know the verbs from this lesson and its various versions, to know articles - the genders of them and the correct usage of them, and correct word order.
The Translating section is worth the most points, and it too has three sections. You must know the translations for sentences and phrases going from English to German, and be able to take a German dialogue and translate it back into English. Also you must know the translation from Numbers to German. The third section, Reading Comprehension, is Comprehension Questions you must know how to read the conversion and after reading you will be asked question on the previous conversion.
The fourth section is a vocabulary section. You get 20 English words on the left and 20 German words on the right, and be asked to match them. To study for that, check out the flashcards related to this lesson at FlashcardExchange. The last section, Previous Topics, is a quick review on Lesson 1 to get ready for this section, just look at some past notes or go to Lesson 1 and study. That is the whole test. Take it! As you know from the introduction , in German, there are four cases. Three are used often. The first, Nominative Case , you learned in Lesson 1. It covers the subject , and the predicate noun in "He is noun.
The second, the Accusative Case , you will learn now. It covers the direct object and the object of several prepositions. The third, the Dative Case will be taught later on. It covers the indirect object and the object of many other prepositions. The object of a sentence will be in accusative case. In, "You hurt me. However related words, such as possessives and the kein- words that you will learn later this lesson, will end in eine for plurals. Therefore above, der Hamburger goes to den Hamburger and ein Hamburger goes to einen Hamburger when the hamburger is the direct object, such as in "Er hat einen Hamburger.
If you are getting confused, it's fine. This topic is one of the hardest for English speakers to grasp. Here are some solutions:. To find out the case of something, first find the verb. The verb rules the sentence. Everything revolves around it. Next you find the subject of the sentence. The subject is always in the Nominative Case , so it takes on the der, die, das, die, or ein, eine, ein. Now you look back at the verb. If it is a being verb am, are, is, etc.
An easy way to figure this out is to write an equation. If it can't be replaced by an equals sign, refer to the next paragraph. The predicate noun is also always in the Nominative Case , so the same rules apply to it. If the verb of the sentence is an action verb playing, throwing, making, eating , find what the subject is doing the verb to.
For example, if the verb is "makes" macht , you look for what is being made. That is the direct object. The direct object is always in the Accusative Case , so it takes on the den, die, das, die, or einen, eine, ein. The indefinite articles, when you just look at their endings, select e, -, e for nominative case, and en, e, -, e for accusative. Remember, between nominative and accusative, the only third-person change is in the masculine form. The pronouns experience a much bigger change than the articles. This is also true in English, as the articles a, an, the do not change ever, but I goes to me , we goes to us , etc.
Not everything is the same, though. While me is mich and us is uns , the second and third persons undergo different changes. In third person, as in the articles, the only change is in masculine singular. Following the "der goes to den" rule, er goes to ihn when in the accusative case. The second person in English never changes. In German, du goes to dich and ihr goes to euch. Sie , the formal version of either, stays the same. Remember, Sie 2nd person formal and sie 3rd person plural only differ in their meanings and the fact that the former is capitalized and the latter is not.
This stays true throughout German grammar. Note: This is just a quick lesson in English grammar applied into German. If you already know all about antecedents in English, skip the first paragraph. When using a pronoun, you have to know what it is for it to work. There are some rare exceptions, such as in mysteries or drama, but otherwise this is always true.
Sometimes in dialogue this is taken care of by pointing or making some other gesture, but most of the time, the pronoun modifies something already mentioned. In German this is very useful. You can't simply say 'it' any more. Many food words are masculine and feminine, and when you turn them into pronouns, they turn into 'he', 'she', 'him', and 'her', not always 'it'.
For example, the sentence "The cheeseburger tastes good. It's very crunchy. He's very crunchy. Why is it "he"? This is where the antecedent comes in. Because there are foods that are masculine and feminine in German, you can't assume the 'es'. You have to look back at the previous sentence, at the antecedent, der Cheeseburger.
Of these five verbs, only trinken and bekommen are regular. Essen is irregular that's what the "I" means. Do you remember from the last lesson 'lesen' and 'sehen'? Well essen experiences the same change, except that it changes to 'i', not 'ie'. Also, it acts the same as 'lesen' in the du-form: You don't have three s's in a row. Isst sounds and looks a lot like ist.
The minute difference happens to be in the way you pronounce the s. When you mean eats it is sometimes an overstressed hissing i. In normal life Germans, too, can only tell which verb is meant from knowing the context. The last two verbs marked M are modals.
They will be discussed in the next section. In the introduction , you learned that German has no helping verbs. Instead, they have modals , words that basically do the same thing. Modals are conjugated very differently from normal verbs. Most modals experience a vowel change from singular to plural, and the rest is the same. Here is the complete conjugation:. However, will can also mean an intent or a document showing what one wants to happen.
So it is not so different from 'to want' as possibly originally presumed. This is very important. When you need to use another verb with a modal such as expressing you would like or want to perform an action , the sentence's word order is somewhat different than it would be in English. In English, you would state the subject pronoun such as "I" , an English equivalent to the modal verb such as "want" , the action you want to perform such as "to eat" and then what the action will be performed on such as "hamburger" , making the sentence "I want to eat a hamburger.
In German, instead of saying, "I'm hungry. Here are the German translations of the corresponding nouns:. Like in English, these two words do not have a plural form. When using them, you don't need to worry about the 'der'; you can just say, "Ich habe Hunger" to say "I am hungry" and "Ich habe keinen Hunger" for "I am not hungry. Somewhat archaic but still in use are the adjectives hungrig and durstig. In Lesson 1 , you learned how to talk formally, using phrases like "Guten Morgen! There are, however, a few words that are 'survival words' in Germany, specifically:.
Twice you have been taught that the ending of the indefinite article for plurals would be eine for Nominative and Accusative cases , if there was an indefinite article for plurals. Now that lesson applies. The k ein-words have the same endings as the ein-words, and they mean the opposite: no, not any, none. For example, "kein Cheeseburger" means "no cheeseburger".
Notice the 'e' at the end of 'keine'. There are many restaurants you might find in Germany. Much like in English-speaking countries, you would more likely use the name of the restaurant than name what kind of restaurant. If you want to address the wish to eat a certain food, there are two ways:. There are few American restaurants, in Germany and they are mostly referred to as " American Diner", so it is not used like "zum Italiener". You read at the beginning of this lesson that the Accusative Case covers the direct object and the objects of some prepositions.
Here are those prepositions that always fall under Accusative Case. You learned um last lesson, and ohne earlier this lesson. Up until this point, you have only worried about the Accusative Case in third person. Here's an example:. In German as in English there are several ways of telling how food tastes. You can do this with 'gut' and 'schlecht' from Lesson 1 to say:. But this is bland. Hopefully the food has more flavor than the description of it. You can use the following words to more colorfully describe how the cheeseburger tastes:. The first and second persons really shouldn't be used.
No one is going to say, "You guys taste salty" or "I taste creamy. You can use 'schmeckt' and 'schmecken' or 'ist' and 'sind' to state how the food tastes. Just use whichever one you would use in English and it'll usually be correct. Although the English meaning of schmecken is simply to taste , "Schmeckt der Cheeseburger? In other words, schmecken alone can mean to taste good. You could be talking about a cheeseburger that is not directly in front of you.
It just isn't clear. Now, if you said, " This cheeseburger tastes good. It changes forms in different situations: different genders and different cases. It can also mean 'these' when modifying a plural. Here are its forms:. As you can see, dieser is only appropriate for modifying masculine nouns in nominative case. But 'Cheeseburger', which is masculine, is the subject of the sentence, "Dieser Cheeseburger schmeckt gut. Jeder means 'every'. It acts exactly like 'dieser' in its endings, so it should be easy to remember.
Here are the different forms:. Notice the absence of the plural form. When you think about this, it's the same in English: no one says 'every books'. However, because the general subject has to be specified, welcher must be inflected before use: "Welcher Hamburger ist seine? You might want to say 'every day', 'this week', 'every morning', or 'which Tuesday night? But to do this, not only do you need to know the jeder-forms, but also the genders of the times and the cases.
The second one is easy: Whenever you do something at a certain time, that time is put into Accusative Case. Last lesson, you learned the gender of one time: der Tag. So now you know everything to say 'diesen Tag', 'jeden Tag', and 'welchen Tag? Here are the cases of all the times in Lesson 2 :. When extending to 'which Tuesday night? Likewise, you can say 'every June' the same as 'every month': 'jeden Juni'. Look at the second sentence of each of these German dialogues. What's missing?
That's right, instead of "Der Cheeseburger schmeckt sehr gut. We're left with just the articles, only in this case, they aren't articles. They're demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns aren't scary. They're just the same as the normal pronouns, only they give more oomph to the sentence. They can be translated as either 'this' or 'that' "I'd like a cheeseburger.
That tastes very good. These I like. Demonstrative pronouns are exactly the same as the definite articles well, there is one change in dative, but that will be covered in Lesson 7. If you are not sure of the gender meaning in context, the speaker doesn't know, not that you've forgotten that it's 'der Cheeseburger' , use 'das', like in "Was ist das? One Euro is worth Cents. If you say "Ich habe vier Euros.
Because the backsides of euro coins look different in each country, many people in Europe have started collecting foreign euro coins. In this case you can say "Ich habe irische Euros. There is not yet a rule whether or not the word "Cent" has a different plural form. The majority of Germans are using the word "Cent" as a plural form, but when they don't it is simply "Cents". For "Cent" there are two pronunciations: you can either pronounce it as in English or you say "tzent". The latter version seems to be preferred by older people.
You can also say, " Herr Ober , die Rechnung bitte! The term "der Ober" is the waiter, but this sounds very old fashioned and is hardly ever used today. To address the waiter you would probably say "Entschuldigen Sie, The test will be located here , but the test for this lesson is not yet completed. In fact, almost all words with the ending -chen are neuter. In every Lesson from 7 - 15 there is going to be a featured German-Speaking city, which will be the theme of the lesson. For 7 - 8 it is Berlin. Also in each lesson there will be facts, so if you ever travel to a German-Speaking country, it'll be like you are a native!
That means that they are 6 hours ahead of E. If it's pm in New York City, it's pm or locally. Please note that Germany changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U. In contrast to many other countries where waiters sometime 'live on the tips' in German-speaking countries service personnel always receive a regular wage usually per hour and the tip is always an extra for good service. Not to give a tip will probably give the waiter the impression that either service or product were not that good and you are too polite to admit this, but not tipping is not considered 'rude'.
Also, tipping is only expected when you get served, i. Only when having a large party, like celebrating your birthday in a restaurant, you do extra tipping. In many restaurants it is normal the tip is shared with the kitchen personnel. Paying with credit card or debit card makes tipping difficult, because there is no line on the bill to fill in the tip. Always tip when paying, don't leave money on the table. There are two major shopping locations. It continues eastwards for about three hundred yards where you can visit KaDeWe , the biggest department store in Europe.
Shops are generally open 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday. In the outskirts most shops close at 4pm on Saturdays. There is a lot to say about shopping, places to shop at, money and items to buy. In this lesson we will cover most of it. There are two big shopping locations in Berlin. Another shopping location is das KaDeWe, an upscale department store in Germany. It has six floors, and Is also called "The department store of the west" Kaufhaus des Westens because it is the largest and most magnificent department store on continental Europe.
Since we already have most of the general shopping phrases and vocabulary down, we are going to get into more detail in the next few sections. First is electronics: it might seem a little sparse, but electronics and much other stuff will be featured in Lesson If you look at the word order of this sentence, you will see that you've already learned everything you need to make these sentences, and you, yourself can customize these sentences if you want. The bedding section is also quite bare, but that is because it will be discussed further in Lesson Currently 1 EUR is 1.
Even though in the vocabulary we list the 1, 2, 5, 10, Euro there are more Euro notes. The twenty, fifty, two hundred, and five hundred Euro notes are the ones we didn't list, also there are cent coins. In written German, a comma is used e. The reverse is also true. Where as English uses a comma to split up large numbers, German uses a dot. Now if you try something on or you're looking for a soft shirt with a tight fit, you find it, feel it, try it on, but it's fairly expensive you might say this In English: The shirt looks great! The shirt feels soft, fits tight.
The shirt is very comfortable. How much does it cost? Oh no! The shirt is expensive! In German: Das Hemd sieht prima aus! Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. Wieviel kostet es? Oh nein! Das Hemd ist teuer! Now, the bold words are verbs that are one part in describing how the shirt is. The other half of describing it is the adjectives like soft, tight, great, etc. And as you can see the verb "looks" is separable, but we will get into that later.
And now getting into verbs - here are some of the verbs, and also some of these are Separable-Prefix Verbs, like aussehen, anprobieren, and anhaben. But we will study those in more detail later. Also we will be learning about "tragen". Many German verbs change their meaning by adding prefixs, which are often preposition such as ab-, an-, auf-, aus-, bei-, ein-, mit-, vor-, or zu-.
The verbs anhaben to wear and aussehen to look are both verbs with separable trennbar prefixes. That is, when used next to the subject pronoun, the prefix is separated from the verb and put at the end of the sentence or clause. Or, better put, In the present tense and imperative, the prefix is separated from the infinitive stem. However, when the separable-prefix verb is put at the end of the sentence, such as when used with a modal verb, the verb in question and its prefix are not separated.
Instead of "anhaben" the verb "tragen" is often used. The sentences from above would then be:. The verb "tragen" has two meanings: "to wear" and "to carry". So if someone says "Ich trage Schuhe" only the context will tell you whether the person is carrying the shoes in his hands or actually wearing them. Tragen is a different kind of irregular verb -- one that not only changes at the end of the word, but also changes internally.
Other verbs with similar conjugation patterns include fahren, graben, schaffen, and waschen. Color are also another great way to describe clothes like Das rote Hemd passt gut. Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald. Die Reise war lang. There are many banks of all kinds throughout the country.
Banks are open Mon-Fri 9ampm and pm. On Thursdays, they are open until or 6pm. Changing money is best done at a bank because their rates will be better than exchange services located at a Bureau de Change. Major post office branches and travel agents also offer currency exchange. Germany is one of 15 European countries that have replaced their national currencies with the Euro, which is stronger to the U. Dollar, but weaker than the British Pound. Home is where the heart is, they say. And what is in the home? It'll give all vocabulary for the family, and later in a different section, you'll learn how to describe your brothers and sisters or any person!
And now to get started lets do some vocabulary Now even though many of these are common phrases you and I would say in everyday life, some of these are rather used when you are on a visit to grandmother's, or things your mother would say. Maybe you notice some of these in the dialogue. Now you might be asking "How am I going to speak fluent German, if I just learn phrases? Okay let's get started on these common phrases Some very conservative families might still use Sie with grandparents or even parents! This is sometimes practiced in families of nobility or exterritorial cultural islands in which older German customs have survived.
However, using "Sie" feels very outdated to the vast majority of people. In practically every family all members use du with each other. I can't describe in words how important this section of the lesson is. Even though you have already learned to describe to some degree, here we will introduce a new aspect of describing, and we will review. But how could we describe if we didn't have vocabulary? Here it is The verb used most often for describing is " to be " which we learned in the first lesson.
Some examples are: He is wet, This is stupid, I am lazy. But you do use other verbs like feel, look, etc. This lesson we will be sticking mostly with the verbs we've learned in the past. We will, however, learn one new verb. All sentences we will create will be in the nominative case. Okay, let's get started! In term of beauty, you can say four basic things. These aren't the all but these are the easiest and simplest ones. These two use the verb to be , and the next one will use the verb to look which would need something else in order to make sense.
And in the last sentence it says "ausgesehen. So since you get the idea of describing, let's learn a new verb! And the new verb is klingen which is to sound. As in "He sounds weird. It's works just like other verbs. Exactly like in English. For right now, that's all for describing things. We are going to have some small describing lessons with some parts of this lesson. Okay we just went over the verb in the previous section.
This will basically be a list that will help you memorize them better, and there is not a lot. The "Er sieht aus" is to show you it is a separable-prefix verb. This is also a large section of this lesson: nationality, and it's very important. There are many nationalities, too many to go over in this lesson, but you will learn more nationality as this level and book goes on. Right now we are just going to have a vague little list, and as this section goes on there will be more.
Finally, gentlemen, get ready to have your minds blown It is no surprise you can describe people with nationality, most times, it's stereotypical, like Norwegians are blonde, tall, etc. However you can just use it for what it is, a nationality. If you do describe people by nationality this will help. Okay, you should already know how to describe, right? This part we will get more in to detail later, but right it is an important part of describing people with nationality, even though in English we most times don't do this, in German they do.
The difference between nationality and language, like in English, French and French. This also is how it works for nationality describing by noun or adjective, which we are going to learn right now. There are two ways to describe someone. With a noun-based nationality word or an adjective-based nationality word. But note that in German the noun-based form is used more often.
Now we are all familiar with the word " alt' ", which means old. And in English, to find out somebody's age we ask " How old are you? In German it is exactly the same. The " alt " kind of belongs to the interrogative adverb, so in both German and English it may be in front of the verb:.
To ask this important question in the 2nd person. First, we will learn the biggest question here, " How old are you? You should all ready get the pattern for this, but we are going to keep on doing this list, if you aren't sure of something or you are confused. So for the 3rd person Now with some people you might be able to guess their age, and you could ask them directly about it. This is usually pretty of rude, but it illustrates nicely how the phrase has to be changed if you ask a yes-no-question, so let's get started, anyway! Note the inversed order between "Wie alt bist du?
Note : 'Euer' is irregular. When 'euer' has to have a different ending the e before r is dropped, so it turns into 'eur-'. Don't let the weird order of the words disturb you, even if the phrase seems totally incomprehensible at first. I'll try to construct this bit by bit:. Note that the "to" is already included in the German word "rechnen". This is one of the main reasons why complicated conjugations can survive, they contain information that doesn't have to be expressed otherwise then To be a little more polite or at least seem like it, since our teacher probably wouldn't take a no for an answer.
This is another example for brevity by conjugation. Don't be discouraged, many Germans don't realize this, and many don't use the Konjunktiv correctly, if ever. This is a direct object, "Aufgabe" is in the accusative case. Because this is a feminine noun, this is not so obvious, but the structure is the same as in:. Now, we also have an adverbial expression of the place. This is an expression that defines the verb, thus ad-verbial.
Note that the order expressions is widely interchangeable. You can emphasize something by putting it closer to the end of the question. Note that after "zu" follows the dative case, so "der" is not the masculine but the feminine article. It is often used when writing legibly on a large, visible surface such as blackboard or a flipchart. So, as you might have guessed, plus and minus are the same as in English - they are just pronounced German. The verbs "addieren" and "subtrahieren" are probably not difficult either This is also used in every day phrases, such as "mal habe ich dir gesagt Between single classes, there is usually a break of five minutes to allow teachers and students to go from one classroom to another.
In most schools, classes such as German, English, History, Philosophy are taught in the classroom. Classes that use special equipment, such as all sciences, music and arts and of course computers and sport are being taught in a specialized lab classes. Roughly every second break is 15 minutes long, and if there are lessons in the afternoon, there's often a break of 45 to 60 minutes for lunch. This sentence sounds strange.
This is, because in everyday German, sometimes the verb gehen can be left out, if it is clear what is meant. But since Torsten will not think Silke is going to fly there, there will be no misunderstanding. Additionally, the word "class", or "course" is missing, which is the usual way of students to talk about their subjects.
Note: In English, the phrase might be "We have to go to the music room" instead of must. The German translation "Wir haben in den Musikraum zu gehen" would be understood, but is quite formal. Additionally, there is a connotation that the speaker distances himself from the order he is being given. Let's start at the beginning.
It has nothing to do with the German equivalent of "ouch! It is reflexive such as in "I help myself", because the subject and the object are the same. Some phrases simply are constructed like this, even if there seems to be no real reason to this, and many languages know this phenomenon. The "sich" here is technically the accusative of "he, she, it" and is being changed depending on the person:. This is kind of self-explanatory. But "sich auf etwas freuen", literally "to be happy on something " means "to look forward to".
This is a common phrase that uses the on in the same wide sense as in " on drugs", or "living on something" - there is no spatial relation here In "darauf" you recognize the "auf". The "da" is a demonstrative prounoun such as in " that place". The "darauf" is referencing the word "Musik" from Silke's sentence. So "Au ja, darauf freue ich mich schon" or "to-this look-forward I myself already" just means "Great, I'm already looking forward to that".
Maybe it comforts you a little that the English phrase in a word-by-word translation to German would be just as unintelligible Note that adding a "glaube ich" is another common phrase, exacly as "I think" or "I believe" can be added to an English phrase. Never mind the word order, this is because Alcohol is the object, so the verb is at the second position in the text. Better not think about "under" and "right" here, which you might have correctly recognized as the word's components "richten" literally means "to correct".
As in English, "Komm" can be used to motivate others. There is yet another contraction here "ins" is derived from "in das", meaning "in the". This lesson deals with the Christmas time in the German language countries, where you learn some traditions and vocabularies about Christmas. You'll also learn about "there is" and "there are" in German and about the dative case. Read and listen to the following dialogue between mother and daughter: Roswitha and Anja. Both of them want to decorate for Christmas.
In Germany the advent season begins on Sunday four weeks before Christmas. It's the day where many families decorate their houses or flats, begin to bake some biscuits and start to sing some Christmas carols. One typical decoration is the advent wreath, which has four candles - one candle is lit in the first week, two candles in the second week, etc. Another tradition, especially for children, is the advent calendar that you hang on the wall. They've often got 24 doors and you're only allowed to open one a day.
Most Christmas markets start in the first week of Advent. There you can buy some little Christmas presents, decorations, ride some carnival rides, and often drink some hot spiced wine - the children drink punch for children, listen to carolers and enjoy a warm, snowy atmosphere. On the 6th of December, German children celebrate St.
Nicholas Day. The children put a boot in front of the door and wait until St. Nicholas brings little presents that are often sweets, walnuts, apples, tangerines and oranges. Bad children get birching by Knecht Ruprecht which is now forbidden in Germany. Pupils do a secret Santa with other pupils on the last school days before the Christmas holidays, which are often two or three weeks long. Nicholas looks similar to Santa Claus who brings big presents on the evening of the 24th of December; in Southern Germany Christkind brings the presents.
Most families decorate their Christmas trees on this day with Christmas baubles and tinsel and candles and so forth. After the Christmas dinner, the whole family sits next to the Christmas tree and exchanges gifts. In Switzerland they call it Guetsli. The others, of course, would be useful to know for the weather forecast or when someone talks with you about weather.
But you aren't forced to know Schniesel. Because many people don't know this word. We have learnt about different materials.
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The accusative case is that of the object of a verb. Only transitive verbs take direct objects. The pronoun and noun in two cases object in each of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:. Note the order of the pronouns in this last sentence. If the direct object here: ihn is a personal pronoun, it precedes the dative dir ; if it were a noun, the dative would precede it, as in these sentences:.
Other uses of the accusative case in German will be explored in future lessons. Tables of the personal pronouns in all cases are summarized in Pronoun Tables. The dative case is that of the indirect object of a verb. The pronoun indirect object of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:. Whether singular or plural must be established by context. This next sentence translates with ihnen as 'them':. Another use of the dative case in German is after these prepositions: aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu. You will be introduced to the meanings of these prepositions over many future lessons rather than all at once, because some have many meanings in English.
Indeed, because each language associates specific prepositions with many common sayings and these often do not correspond in German and English , these "little" words can be troublesome for students. Nonetheless, you should memorize now the list of prepositions above to always remember their association with the dative case. Tables of the pronouns in all cases are summarized in Appendix 2. Word order in a German sentence with an indirect object depends upon whether that direct object is a pronoun or a noun.
If the direct object is a noun, the dative precedes the accusative ; if the direct object is a personal pronoun, the accusative precedes the dative :. Er spricht mit einer fremden Frau:. Der Name St. Die Altstadt befindet sich dort, wo vom 2. Das Marktrecht erhielt St. Bis stand St. Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Most adjectives are stand-alone words; however, present and past participles can also be used as adjectives.
Numbers are also adjectives, though they do not decline. Attributive adjectives precede the noun that they are describing, and are always declined. Learning the adjective endings is a central part to the study of German. The adjective endings are frequently one of the hardest topics for new students to learn. It is best to commit the declension tables to memory, while attempting to speak independently. Proper use of adjective endings, especially in speaking, will come with repeated use. They are described in the next part of this chapter.
This section will make use of the mnemonic Oklahoma , which denotes the fields of nominative masculine; nominative neuter; accusative neuter; nominative feminine; and accusative feminine, which resemble the state of Oklahoma in the tables used below. The endings of attributive adjectives can be divided into two groups: strong endings and weak endings. The strong adjective endings are nearly the same as the der-word endings, with the exceptions of masculine and neuter adjectives in the genitive case marked in bold. Make note of the region, Oklahoma , in the nominative and accusitive cases, for weak endings.
The principle guiding adjective endings is that a noun, when possible, should have a primary case ending. Definite articles and der-words always provide a primary case ending. Indefinite articles and ein-words provide primary case endings outside of Oklahoma. Sometimes nouns have no article, in which case adjectives provide the primary case ending. This terminology - strong and weak endings - is confusing for many students. As the student develops, he or she will develop an ear for case endings, and will recognize when a noun has and has not received a case ending.
Nonetheless, it is worth providing the three declension tables that result from this principle. Adjectives following a definite article or der-word always have a weak ending. Within Oklahoma, that is "-e", and outside of Oklahoma, that is "-en". Also dies.. Note how, within Oklahoma, adjectives take strong endings, and outside Oklahoma, they take weak endings. This is because indefinite articles provide primary endings only outside of Oklahoma. Also mein.. Forms of nouns without articles are rare compared to those with definite and indefinite articles; however, one must still know the strong declension.
Note that the strong adjective declension is almost the same as the der-word endings, with the exceptions of masculine and neuter in the genitive case in bold. Adverbs based on adjectives are one of the simplest parts of German grammar. Any adjective can be used as an adverb simply by placing its uninflected form within the sentence, usually towards the end. Some adverbs are formed by adding -weise to adjectives and nouns in the plural form, and mean "regarding", "with respect to", or "-wise" in English. Construction of new adverbs of this sort is usually frowned upon.
Much of the material in this section will be explained in greater detail in the chapter on prepositions. German has a complex system of adverbs based on prepositions, which are used to indicate direction of motion, location, time, and other concepts. English also possesses such a system, though it is used less. Consider the following sentences in English:. In both English and German, prepositions and particles derived from prepositions are treated as adverbs.
In many cases, these prepositional adverbs are associated with specific verbs. In the first two examples, the italicized prepositions are used as adverbs of motion; in the first example, the word "out" indicates the direction "out of the apartment"; in the second case, "over" not only means means the direction "towards", but also implies visitation of a residence. The third and fourth examples correspond to separable-prefix verbs in German. The word "up" is integral to the verb, which would have a different meaning without the adverb.
In the fourth example, it is not even possible to "look someone", whereas it is possible to "look someone up," or "look a candidate's resume over". English even has inseparable prepositional prefix verbs; compare "to look s. The adverbs in the fifth example correspond to da-, wo-, hin- and her- compounds in German. Such compounds are often used in legal texts in English.
In such compounds, the object of the preposition is replaced with the words "there" or "here", compounded with the preposition. The German system of adverbs based on prepositions is considerably more rigorous, and forms the basis of a large part of the language's morphology. A remnant of this in English can be found when describing a child's upbringing. As in English, prepositional adverbs in German to varying degrees alter the meaning of their associated verb. Separable-prefix verbs.
This topic is better explored in the chapter on verbs. Separable prefixes are themselves adverbs. As in English, many of them are integral to the meaning of the verb. Fangen means "to catch," whereas anfangen means "to begin". Most prepositional adverbs are treated as part of the root word in the infinitive, and are used as such in the construction of participles.
However, not all possible separable-prefix verbs are lexical; "vorbeikommen" to come over , "vorbeibringen" to bring over , and so on, may not all be listed in a dictionary. It is better to learn "vorbei" as an adverb implying visitation. The German prefix in is of note. It has two adverbial forms. As in it describes location; when describing movement, it becomes ein. Thus, for example, darin means "in there", whereas darein means "in to there". Another example is the word, einleiten , to introduce. Hin- and her-. Prepositional adverbs of motion are usually based on hin- , implying motion or direction away from the speaker, and her- , implying motion or direction towards the speaker.
Hin and her are themselves stand-alone adverbs meaning the same thing, and describe less-specific motion or direction. One example in which hin is an integral separable prefix is the verb hinrichten , which means "to execute. Not all verbs formed from hin- and her- compounds are lexical. Some examples of hin- and her- compounds are:. Da- compounds are also adverbs, corresponding to "there-" compounds in English. They replace specific prepositional objects. Although are used principally in legal texts and therefore sound formal in English, they are often employed in written and spoken German and are convenient replacements for long and complicated prepositional phrases.
Their comprehension and active use are essential in German. Da- compounds are formed by adding da- before the preposition, with an "r" inserted before prepositions starting with a vowel. There are exceptions to this, and da- compounds are given a fuller treatment in the chapter on prepositions. Hier- and dort- compounds also exist in German, though they are used less frequently. As in English, they are considered formal, and are used primarily in academic and legal texts. They are best memorized as vocabulary. A noun is a word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or idea, that is, a part of speech.
It can serve as the subject or object of a verb. For example, a table ein Tisch , eine Tafel or a computer ein Computer. What makes nouns in German special is that they must start with a capital letter in the written language.