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It changes forms in different situations: 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. 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: However, because the general subject has to be specified, welcher must be inflected before use: 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: So now you know everything to say 'diesen Tag', 'jeden Tag', and 'welchen Tag? Here are the cases of all the times in Lesson When extending to 'which Tuesday night?

Likewise, you can say 'every June' the same as 'every month': Look at the second sentence of each of these German dialogues. 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. 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. 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?

Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Belgium and Südtirol — in other words: 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: 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. There will be famous locations in Berlin, for this lesson it's Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe, the shopping area of 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. 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. The Kurfürstendamm in the old west is lined with boutiques and department stores.

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. They are Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe.

The Kurfürstendamm has many boutiques, department stores, etc. 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.

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.

Now if you were at a shopping center in German like Kurfürstendamm, and you were shopping at a boutique here is some vocabulary you might want to know.

The word coin Münze mostly turns to Stück when a word or number is put together with it. 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 The shirt looks great!

The shirt feels soft, fits tight. The shirt is very comfortable. How much does it cost? The shirt is expensive! Das Hemd sieht prima aus! Das Hemd fühlt sich weich an, es sitzt eng.

Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. 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: 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. Notice that the vowel in tragen's second and third-person forms changes from an a into an ä.

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. Ich habe ein grünes Hemd getragen. Die Reise war lang. Es begann kälter zu werden und abzukühlen.

Ich hörte Musik auf meinem braunen iPod. There are many banks of all kinds throughout the country. Banks are open Mon-Fri 9ampm and 2: On Thursdays, they are open until 5: 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?

The verb used most often for describing is " to be " which we learned in the first lesson. 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.

Other than " klingen " and " fühlen " you should know all of these. The "Er sieht aus" is to show you it is a separable-prefix verb.

This is also a large section of this lesson: 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. But in German it is französisch and Franzose, Französin.

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? 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. The word "möchte" contains the "would", as it is a "Konjunktiv"-form of the word "mögen" which translates to "like".

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.

In this case, the complete phrase would have to be "Wir müssen zu Musik gehen ". 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. 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:. Note that "to be happy" actually would be rather translated by "glücklich sein", but it is the closest English equivalent to "sich freuen".

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. Herbert Grönemeyer is a very popular German rock singer from the Ruhr region.

His most famous songs include "Männer", "Bochum" a city in the Ruhr region , "Mensch" and also "Alkohol". 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: 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.

Other typical Christmas decorations are a crib, a Räuchermann - a wooden figure that blows flavour of incense cones - in Northern Germany a Moosmann, Christmas pyramids and Schwibbogen and nutcrackers and poinsettias and much more.

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. 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. 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: 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:. This last sentence is an example from Gespräch using the polite form of 'you'.

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: 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:.

Wenn er auf den Kontinent fährt, wandert Herr Standish gern. Heute früh fährt er in die Stadt St. Er spricht mit einer fremden Frau:.

Sankt Pölten ist die Landeshauptstadt von Niederösterreich. Pölten geht auf den heiligen Hippolytos zurück, nach dem die Stadt benannt wurde.

Die Altstadt befindet sich dort, wo vom 2. Jahrhundert die Römerstadt Aelium Cetium stand. Das Marktrecht erhielt St. Pölten um , zur Stadt erhoben wurde es Bis stand St.

Pölten im Besitz des Bistums Passau, dann wurde es landesfürstliches Eigentum. Bereits findet sich ein Benediktinerkloster, ab gab es Augustiner-Chorherren, wurde deren Kollegiatsstift aufgehoben, das Gebäude dient seit als Bischofssitz.

Zur Landeshauptstadt von Niederösterreich wurde St. Pölten mit Landtagsbeschluss vom Juli , seit ist es Sitz der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung.

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 concept is used to describe endings in two declension tables: The endings of attributive adjectives can be divided into two groups: 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". 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. 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.

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.

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. German, unlike English, has more than one way to make nouns plural, and plural form, like gender, must be memorized with every noun.

There are twelve different ways to form plurals in German. They are formed by affixes at the end of the word, and the umlaut of the vowel of the stem.

When German nouns are used in the plural, their gender becomes irrelevant. The plural can almost be thought of as a gender on its own.

In the plural, the definite article is always "die" when using the nominative and accusative cases. When using the dative case, "den" is the definite article of all plurals.

All plurals not ending in -n or -s affix an -n. Ich sah die alten Männer beim Schachspielen. I saw the old men as they played chess.

Ich spielte mit den alten Männern Schach. I played chess with the old men. Das Schachspiel der alten Männer war nicht sehr spannend.

The old men's chess game was not very exciting. Although gender and plural form are often arbitrary, there exist certain suffixes whose gender and plural form are regular.

They are mainly feminine. Many masculine nouns are formed by verbal stems without a suffix. Many of these receive an umlaut in their plural form.

German, like many other languages, gives each noun a gender: Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter. Plural nouns also act differently not only with the verb of the sentence, but the article preceding it.

However, not all German Nouns are randomly allocated a gender. The following notes will apply to most nouns but not all.

This is derived from the diminutive form of Maid old, rarely used - Maidchen. Grammatically it is neuter, but when referenced, nowadays the logical feminine gender can take over: There are far more masculine nouns than of either of the other genders.

The masculine nominative definite article is der. The feminine Gender article is die. It is used in the nominative and accusative singular case.

It is also used to indicate nominative and accusative plural for nouns of any gender. Schweiz, Slowakei, Türkei, Mongolei, Ukraine.

The definite article of neuter countries is only used when there is an adjective, e. The definite article of masculine and feminine countries is always used, e.

Modem, Totem, Tandem, Requiem But these words with the stress on the first syllable are masculine: Holding because it is short for die Holdinggesellschaft.

Gedanke thought , Genuss enjoyment , Geschmack taste , Gewinn prize, profit , Geruch smell , Gestank stink , Gebrauch use , Gesang singing , Gefallen favor feminine: Fakt, Extrakt, Aquädukt, Viadukt Exceptions feminine: Katarakt different meaning than der Katarakt.

As most German articles can not be attributed to certain rule, it is best to always learn the article when learning the noun.

You may think of the article as necessary information belonging to every noun. You avoid a lot of looking-up-time that way. Most dictionaries do not give the article.

Instead, you find different sets of abbreviations which tell you to which class the noun in question belongs.

The possessive is not a case of the personal pronoun; rather, it's a pronoun itself. This table shows the possessive pronoun's stem, which is declined as an ein- word that is, like the indefinite article "ein".

The genitive case indicates possession or association, and is equivalent to, and replaces, the English word "of".

Strict replacement of the genitive case with the word "of" maintains the word-order of the German nominal phrase: The genitive case also replaces "'s" in English, though reversing the word order possessed then possessor, vs.

German itself also uses an "s" though without the apostrophe to indicate possession, in the same word order as English. It is used mainly with proper nouns, such as "Goethes Heimat", as well as for compounding words.

Standard genitive constructions are used with nouns and modifiers of nouns such as articles and adjectives, and the inflection they receive implies possession.

The first noun may be in any case and may occur in any part of the sentence; the second noun, which possesses the first noun, immediately follows the first noun, and is in the genitive case.

The noun in the genitive case need not have any modifiers - e. Proper treatment of the genitive case, including all of the declensions, is found in another part of this book.

German pronouns have genitive forms, but they are used only rarely nowadays, mostly in archaic or formal German.

In many cases, a preposition can be added to allow a different case to be used. The possessive pronouns mein-, dein-, unser-, etc.

Alternatively, one could think of possessive pronouns, for example, "mein-", as replacing the phrase, "of me". Directly translated, "mein-" means "my" in English.

The car belongs to the friend, and the friend belongs to "him". For illustrative purposes, one could conceivably rewrite the prepositional phrase as "without the car accusative case of the friend of him".

German's rendering is far less awkward. Despite the difficulty many people have in learning German declensions, case endings in German correspond to each other to a considerable degree.

Specifically, the pronouns bear an obvious resemblance to their parent direct articles. Learning the corresponding third-person declensions side by side allows some people to comprehend the declension pattern more easily.

As discussed above, possessive pronouns replace the genitive case for pronouns. In this table, they will be placed where the genitive case is, so that their similarities to other parts of speech that actually are in the genitive case can become clear.

German is very rigorous in its use of gender, and will use the pronoun corresponding to the gender of the referential noun, regardless of whether the noun being referenced is a person unlike English, which uses "it" for everything not a person or other entities animals, ships in certain contexts.

Der Liberalismus will be referred to as "er", or "he", whereas "das Mädchen" would be "es", or "it". Many English speakers have trouble with this, especially in spoken language.

Mastery is nonetheless possible with a proper understanding of German declension, use of a few rules of thumb for example, nounds ending in "-chen" are usually neuter , and a considerable amount of practice.

Like the s's added to masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive, this is a remnant from when German inflected all of its nouns.

Other languages based on declension, such as Russian and Latin, retain that characteristic. Sometimes one will notice an "-e" after masculine and neuter nouns in the dative case, such as the dedication on the Reichstag building - "Dem deutschen Volke", "for the German People".

Here is the ultimate syntax guide for a main clause. German allows a considerable amount of syntactical freedom as parts of speech are indicated through case, rather than syntax.

Nonetheless, there are conventions to follow, especially ones that reduce the ambiguity of pronouns. This is the officially-sanctioned syntax of a main clause.

However, German syntax is not written in stone. One has considerable latitude in the way one constructs one's sentence.

Before fleshing out the topic, here are some rules, conventions, and words of advice:. Put it in its correct position.

For example, you must not split something like, "mit einem Buch", for that is a prepositional phrase, i. Many other sentence elements are, however, only one word.

You get a lot better at this as time goes on. It doesn't happen very often, though. Put the important stuff at the end. Then you get to your verb, which gives all of the words in the sentence meaning, resulting in a crescendo of emotion and understanding.

But you see how that might work. It will seem perfectly natural that the verb is in the second position, and that the other verbs are at the end.

Getting used to subordinate clauses takes more time, but eventually your words go to the right place. Don't worry about making mistakes, but also try not to forget which verb you have waiting in your head until the sentence ends.

Get used to explaining things in terms of "nominative", "accusative", "dative", and "genitive". Same goes for "linking-" and "helping-verbs". Start talking about modal verbs, and modal-like verbs.

Second position does not equal second word , as you can see above. However, there is only one group of words allowed before the conjugated verb.

Such groups of words are called "phrases". While you can put very long phrases in front of the conjugated verb you mustn't use two.

Therefore the sentence "Heute Abend ich fahre mit dem Auto nach Köln" is wrong. This is a big difference between English and German syntax. Sometimes you have to use more than one verb part in a clause.

This is true for Perfekt forms, separable verbs, modals etc. Only one of these verbs is conjugated. The conjugated verb stays in second position, the other part goes to the end.

Sometimes there are even three verbs in a sentence. These usually involve modals and perfect tenses. The conjugated verb is in the second position.

The remaining two verbs are at the end of the clause, building inwards that is to mean, what would be the second verb in English is placed at the end, and what would be the third verb is placed before the second verb.

In English, you need the position of phrases to determine whether a noun phrase is a subject or an object.

In German the cases tell you which role is assigned to a certain noun phrase. Therefore, the word order is less strict. However, you can put everything there you want to stress.

This is very common with phrases about time or place Examples 2, 3, 7. English speakers need to remember that the first position is restricted to exactly one phrase.

You can even put objects in first position Example 8. You do it mostly, if you want to emphasize the object or if you have to repeat the sentence because your partner has not understood this particular part of it.

If the subject is not in first position, it goes directly after the conjugated verb Examples 2, 3, 7, 8 , unless preceded by a reflexive pronoun or an accusative or dative pronoun.

In the middle of the sentence - the part between the two parts of the verb - word order is quite flexible.

However, when looking at wild German sentences you will find structures that do not follow these principles but are nonetheless correct.

This is very frequent in spoken language. Mostly the deviation from the neutral structure is caused by a special focus. While they are not wrong, it would be inappropriate to use them all the time.

Therefore it is best to learn the principles described here. If you have mastered them and can use them without thinking about it, you can try some of the deviations.

Time seems to be a very important concept for German speaking people. It is mostly mentioned very early in the sentence, either at the very beginning in the first position which means that the subject goes directly after the conjugated verb i.

Gestern war ich im Kino or early in the middle field i. Ich war gestern im Kino. Write or visit your local Social Security office. Tell me how you feel and I will tell you who you are Jan 21, - Tell me how you feel and I will tell you who you are: Learn plenty of reasons to study the German language.

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Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. International Standard Book Number: For example, a printing code of shows that the first printing occurred in Printed in the United States of America Note: This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its authors.

It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the author, book producer, and publisher are not engaged in rendering professional services in the book.

If the reader requires personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be consulted. The authors, book producer, and publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.

Vowels Learn to make the vowel sounds you will need to pronounce German words properly. Consonants Learn to make the right consonant sounds in German.

A basic knowledge of common idioms will help you to express yourself effectively. Making Friends Strike up conversations with the right introductory phrases.

Do you want a room with a garden view? From money to phone numbers and addresses, learn to use numbers in German. Fun and Games 16 A Date with the Weather Talk about the weather in German and learn the days of the week, the months of the year, and the four seasons.

Adverbs will help you brag about your many abilities. This chapter contains the phrases you need to know when you want to send anything from a love letter to a telegram.

Vowels 17 Vowels Must Dress Appropriately The Long and the Short of Them Consonants 29 Conquering Consonants B, D, and G Z and Sometimes C Making Friends Conversation Openers: Does It Have …?

Verbs with Separable Prefixes Verbs with Inseparable Prefixes Using Direct Object Pronouns Using Indirect Object Pronouns Wo kann ich denn hier etwas zu essen bekommen?

Do I Use This Thing? Reflexive Verbs in the Past Linguistic Terms and Definitions Index xvii Foreword One of the most fascinating dictionaries published in recent years is the historical dictionary of German Loanwords in English Pfeffer and Cannon: Cambridge University Press, It describes the more than 5, German loanwords that have entered English over the centuries, which English speakers currently have at their disposal— enabling them to discuss topics ranging from angora to silicone, not to mention apple strudel and Wagnerian opera.

This linguistic exchange is, of course, a two-way street, with German speakers wearing Jeans note that all German nouns are capitalized!

They are relatives who have been engaged in constant linguistic negotiation and exchange. Purists may lament linguistic contamination, but let us instead celebrate human ties.

What better reason to learn German than to cement these ties and to become part of what has been and continues to be an extremely fruitful and exciting dialogue.

This is not to claim that you already know all there is to know. What knowledge of the already existing relationship should do is eliminate some of the fear of the unknown.

Language anxiety is as real as math anxiety. It could just as aptly be titled German Without Fear. This claim is, of course, patently false, especially if you plan to diverge from well-trodden tourist paths or should you confront recent immigrants to Germany who, while transporting you in their cab or taking your dinner order, are in the midst of their own efforts to learn German.

The claim also ignores the access that knowing another language gives you to its culture, as well as the efforts made by non-native speakers of English to get closer to us.

They, however, will not have forgotten and will truly appreciate your interest in them and your willingness to meet them at least halfway.

Jacobson Professor of German and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Lincoln-Nebraska Introduction In the last hundred years, parts of the world that we would have had to travel months by boat to reach are now just a few hours away.

There are, however, many other ways of traveling. We travel in books, movies, and on the Internet, and we travel in our imaginations. Some people believe that the soul of a culture resides in the grammatical patterns, in the linguistic intricacies, in the phonetics of its language.

The authors of this book share this view. The German language reveals German books, people, and customs in ways that are lost in translation.

What are these tools? Many chapters in this book are held together thematically as if you were off on an imaginary journey to a German-speaking land.

Each chapter builds on the one that preceded it, expanding on what you have learned. Learning a new language is, after all, a bit like evolving rapidly from infant to adult.

First you learn to crawl through the new sounds of the language, and then you learn to walk proudly through basic grammar and vocabulary. The chapter on food will help you understand where to buy all kinds of food in Germany and how to interpret a German menu.

Is your watch broken? Do you need film for your camera? Did some food stain your new shirt? By the end of this section, you should be able to buy or rent a house, an apartment, or even a castle if extravagance appeals to you.

By the time you finish this book, you will have the basic German language skills to embark on real journeys—in books, on planes, and in conversations.

Be persistent, be patient, be creative, and your rewards will speak in German for themselves. These elements are distinguished by the following icons: Culture Shock Achtung Culture shock elements provide facts about interesting facets of life in Germany and other German-speaking cultures.

They offer you quick glimpses into the German culture. Achtung boxes warn you of mistakes that are commonly made by those who are learning the German language and offer you advice about how to avoid these mistakes yourself.

We Are Family This box gives you definitions of grammatical terms. This box tells you all about the linguistic connections between German and our own language, English.

Many foreign words have been adopted by the German language and still retain their foreign pronunciation. These words do not follow the German pronunciation guide included in this book.

Acknowledgments The authors and reviser would like to acknowledge the support of the following people in the creation of this book: She is a frequent presenter at foreign language and linguistic conferences and has published several papers on the topic of German and English linguistics.

Special thanks are extended to Christina Hassemer, a native of Germany and currently a teaching assistant at Washington College in Maryland.

Trademarks All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be or are suspected of being trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized.

Alpha Books and Pearson Education cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

You are a great fan of Goethe and of many other German writers and philosophers, Dichter und Denker, as you recall having heard one of your German friends refer to them.

You take it off the shelf and ask yourself three questions: Do I have the time to learn German now? Will I stick with it?

Only you can answer the first two questions. You will make the time! You will stick to it! Here is a list of answers for the third: Why, honestly, should you learn German?

Get Serious The following are some more serious reasons why you might want to study German: German is the native language of more than million people.

German is also spoken as the native language in Austria; Liechtenstein; much of Switzerland; South Tirol northern Italy ; and in small areas of Belgium, France Alsace , and Luxembourg along the German border.

The German minorities in Poland, Romania, and the countries of the former Soviet Union have partly retained the German language as well.

As a student in the liberal arts, you should be familiar with Kafka, Hesse, Rilke, and Nietzsche. And what was Mac the Knife really up to?

About one in 10 books published throughout the world has been written in German. In regard to translations into foreign languages, German is third after English and French, and more works have been translated into German than into any other language.

The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the major industrial countries in the world. In terms of overall economic performance, it is the third largest, and with regard to world trade, it holds second place.

As one of the largest industrial and trading nations, the Federal Republic of Germany maintains diplomatic relations with nearly every country in the world and is an attractive region for investment.

By international standards, the new federal states are now an attractive industrial location for foreign investors, represented by some 1, foreign firms from about 50 countries.

Germany is home to more than 3, museums: German architecture set trends in the first 30 years of the twentieth century, with the strongest influence coming from Weimar and Dessau, where the Bauhaus school was founded in the s and the style that bears its name evolved.

Immerse Yourself Everybody knows that the best way to learn a new language is to totally immerse yourself in it. When you buy books of German poetry, buy the ones where the German translation is given alongside the English so that your eyes can move back and forth between the two.

Here are a few more suggestions for immersing yourself in German: Four intense and concentrated minute study sessions are much more effective than a four-hour language-learning marathon.

Constant repetition of previously studied material involving as many senses as possible speaking, listening, seeing will help you get German into your longterm memory.

You can understand more than you think just by listening to and watching the actors. You can learn the meaning of German phrases by scanning subtitles.

Watch German shows on your TV. Go to public libraries and listen to language tapes. Listening will help you master German pronunciation.

Read the brothers Grimm die Gebrüder Grimm side by side with the translation. Whenever you buy a new product, look for and read the German instructions on the side of the packet or in the instruction booklet.

Focus, Die Bunte, and Der Stern, to name a few. Some people are downright terrified. They think it will be too much work—too many new sounds, too many new words—and that the grammar will be too difficult.

You have to make an effort. Learning a language takes time and a certain amount of determination. One thing we can assure you of is that if you take it slowly—at your own pace—without allowing yourself to get discouraged, you can only get better.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain a positive attitude: Research shows that the best language learners are willing to take risks and make mistakes.

Stick to simple grammatical constructions. Practice vowel sound combinations. Make rumbling sounds in the back of your throat whenever you get the chance—in cabs, subways, buses, in the shower, or at night before falling asleep.

And remember, many regional accents are heard in Germany—your accent will fit in somewhere! They are a hospitable people and are impressed by anyone who tries to speak their language.

Germans will feel that way about you when you miss an ending or use an incorrect verb tense. It actually has a great deal in common with English.

If you apply yourself, you will soon discover that German is easier than you thought and that it also is fun to learn. Believe it or not, German and English stem from the same ancestral language family.

The more effort you put into this project, the more your German will improve. This chapter gives you an idea of what it takes to master frequently encountered German phrases and words.

When you think about it, studying German makes sense. So drop the golf club, the computer mouse, and the VCR remote control.

Get way ahead of your colleagues: Hypochonder Der Teufel hol das Menschengeschlecht! Man möchte rasend werden! Da nehm ich mir so eifrig vor: Und kaum seh ich ein Menschengesicht, So hab ichs wieder lieb.

Hypochondriac Devil take the human race! I continually make firm resolutions to stop seeing people and to consign the whole nation to God and to itself and to the devil!

And then I have only to see a human face and I love it again. The English version works about as well as using a sledgehammer to slice bread.

Double meanings, which can add spice to everything from limericks to e-mail, are nearly impossible to maintain in translation: How Much German Is Enough?

Take a moment to consider your motives: Culture Shock Many medical and scientific words are easy to understand in German and hard to understand in English.

Try saying that three times fast! Your knowledge of grammar will remain somewhat passive, outshined by your expansive knowledge German vocabulary expressing abstractions.

Figuring out how German structures its sentences will help you develop the patience to wait for the verb. If you understand what you need from the German language, you easily can tailor this book to your needs and use it to your advantage.

What do you need to know to use a bilingual dictionary? Using a bilingual dictionary is a little tougher than using an English dictionary.

After finding the German translation for an English word, go ahead and take a moment to look up that new German word.

The next thing you should do is figure out what the abbreviations used in the definitions mean. Here are a few of them: Prepositions are words such as above, along, beyond, before, through, in, to, and for that are placed before nouns to indicate a relationship to other words in a sentence.

For example, you should know how to use the basic parts of speech. Take the word inside. Do you see how the meaning of the word changes in the following sentences when it is used as various parts of speech?

He could feel it in his insides. Innerhalb, im Innern von or Gen. We will be home inside of two hours. He had inside information on the horse race.

We go inside the cave. He hides the key inside the box. Because the possible combinations of nouns are practically unlimited, you can actually create your own compound words pretty much as you please by linking nouns together.

The ability to create words at will in German is one reason that this language has been so instrumental to many great thinkers.

They have been able to express new concepts and ideas by coining, or making up, new words. The flip side to this flexibility is that these compound words are not easily translatable.

As a Rule Many German words in academic texts are compound words, and some of these compound words are not in the dictionary.

A knowledge of basic German vocabulary will enable you to take apart those big, cumbersome compound words and look up their components one by one in a bilingual dictionary.

The more you rely on and trust your powers of deduction, the easier learning a foreign language becomes! Although these similarities seem fortuitous to the English-speaking learner of German you!

Once upon a time, in fact, the Germanic languages were closely related to the following linguistic groups: Indo-European, spoken more than 6, years ago, was the predecessor language of English and most European languages, minus Finnish and Hungarian.

But it took a German, Jacob Grimm, to figure out the sound correspondences between various branches of Indo-European and Germanic languages.

The Germanic languages can be subdivided according to geographical location: North Germanic languages are Scandinavian, including Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese, Gothlandic, Swedish, and Danish; East Germanic is represented chiefly by Gothic, an extinct language preserved in a fourth-century Bible translation.

So what happened to cause the rift between English and German? No, not of earth, but of consonants, which occurred in the southernmost reaches of the German-speaking lands sometime around the fifth century.

Linguistic Relates to language, and linguistics is the study of the nature and structure of human speech.

The first shift circa B. Consider the baffled Italian, Spaniard, or Rumanian learning English. What is this poor learner of English to do with threw and through?

German is what is called a phonetic language; German words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. In German it is always pronounced. This rule makes it easy to spell, as well.

You need simply to learn what sounds are represented by the letters in German. Also, you should get comfortable enunciating every letter in a word.

This chapter helps you figure out how to pronounce German vowels. Vowel a, e, i, o, and u are vowels. Umlaut The term for the two dots that can be placed over the vowels a, o, and u.

Modified or mutated vowel A vowel that takes an umlaut is referred to as a modified vowel, incurring a mutation of sound. Three German vowels—a, o, and u— can do a little cross-dressing.

They are sometimes written with two dots above them. These two dots are called an umlaut and signal a change in the sound and meaning of a word.

The sounds represented by ö and o are just as different as the English a versus u. When a vowel takes an umlaut, it becomes a modified or mutated vowel.

The vowel tables in this chapter provide hints, English examples, and the letters used as symbols to represent the sounds of vowels in German words.

Stress The emphasis placed on one or more syllables of a word when you pronounce it. Stress is the emphasis placed on one or more syllables of a word when you pronounce it.

A general rule for determining the stressed syllable in German is: With words of more than one syllable, the emphasis is usually placed on the first syllable, as in the words Bleistift, Schönheit, and Frag, thanks to the accenting established in early Germanic.

Foreign words such as Hotel, Musik, and Philosophie that have been assimilated into the German language do not follow German rules of stress or pronunciation, although they do acquire German pronunciation of vowels.

Your Own Personal Accent Some people have no problem pronouncing new sounds in a foreign language. They were born rolling their Rs, courtesy of genetics, and producing throaty gutturals.

Some people spend their adolescence serving as conduits at seances for famous dead Germans, Russians, Spaniards, and Italians.

Not all of us have been so lucky. Vowels To pronounce words correctly in a new language, you must retrain your tongue. Those intuitive skills you used to acquire your first language will enable you to learn a foreign language.

Heightening your linguistic awareness, you can teach your tongue to make new sounds the same way you would teach your muscles to make new movements if you suddenly decided to change your hobby from long-distance running to synchronized swimming.

As an adult language learner, you are able to monitor your speech—comparing your utterances with your conscious knowledge and correcting yourself accordingly.

After you learn how to pronounce German words correctly, reading them will be a breeze. Additionally, this same alphabet represents consistent sounds in German.

The Famous Umlaut Remember those versatile two dots we spoke about earlier? In German those two dots are known as an umlaut: The umlaut, really just a writing device to indicate another vowel sound, alters the sound of a vowel Achtung and makes a meaning change.

Sometimes the change is grammatical, as in a plural form and in An umlaut can be added only to the comparison of an adjective, but most of the a, o, or u.

It can never be added time the change is lexical—that is, it produces an to e or i. Around the year , resulting from a change in word endings, the vowel a, formed in the back part of the oral cavity, slid forward, approximating the front vowel i.

This phenomenon of partial assimilation is visible in the Germanization of Attila to Etzel. By the eleventh century, the umlaut had, in general, spread to include other back vowels, such as o and u, and to diphthongs.

One of the differences between written English and written German is that German nouns are always capitalized. Compare this English sentence with the translated German sentence.

Note the capital letters in the following sentences: Which famous German writer and philosopher said that pleasure is simply the absence of pain?

Welcher berühmte deutsche Schriftsteller und Philosoph sagte, dass das Vergnügen schlicht die Abwesenheit von Kummer sei? The answer is Arthur Schopenhauer.

When it comes to the pronunciation of vowels, keep in mind that vowel sounds are organized into three principal types. These three types of vowel sounds are referred to throughout this book as vowels, modified vowels, and diphthongs.

In German both of these groups can have long vowel sounds, which, as their name suggests, have a drawn out vowel sound like the o sound in snow or shorter vowel sounds, which have a shorter sound like the o sound in lot.

They begin with one vowel sound and end Diphthongs Combinations with a different vowel sound in the same syllable, as of vowels that begin with one in the words wine and bowel keep in mind that the vowel sound and end with a difsound of a diphthong in English can often be proferent vowel sound in the same duced by a single vowel, as in the word rose.

Vowels As a Rule Generally, a vowel is long when it is followed by an h as in Mahl mahl , an orthographic device thought up by fifteenth century spelling reformers.

A vowel is also long when it is doubled, as in Meer meyR and Aal ahl , or when it is followed by a single consonant, as in Wagen vah-guhn.

The vowel i is made into a long vowel when it is followed by an e, think Bier beeR. In general, vowels are short when followed by two or more consonants just as in English.

In the following pronunciation guide, each vowel appears in its own section. We try to give you an idea of how vowel sounds are pronounced by providing an English equivalent.

Obviously, we cannot account for regional differences in either the German or English pronunciations of vowels and words.

It may help to read the English pronunciation example first and then to repeat each German word out loud for practice.

Say A as in Modern For the short a, assume a British accent and make the sound of the vowel in the back of your throat.

Now read the following German words out loud: This shorty is always flanked by consonants. Bett bet bed Dreck dRek dirt Fleck flek spot nett net nice When the e is unstressed, as it will be at the end of a word, it is pronounced like the e in mother.

Bitte bi-tuh request alle A-luh all bekommen buh-ko-muhn to receive Dame dah-muh lady Hose hoh-zuh trousers There is no exact equivalent of the German long e sound in English, but you can approximate it by trying to make the sound of the stressed e and ay at the same time be careful not to produce a diphthong.

Try saying these words: Vowels Say I as in Winter The short i is easy. It sounds like the i in the English words wind or winter.

Try saying the following words: Wind vint wind Kind kint child schlimm shlim bad Himmel hi-muhl heaven hinter hin-tuhR behind For the long i, try saying cheeeeeeeese and widening your mouth!

Liter lee-tuhR liter Tiger tee-guhR tiger ihr eeR her; you Fliege flee-guh fly schieben shee-buhn to push German Letter Symbol Pronunciation Guide i short i, ie, ih long i ee Say i as in winter Say ee as in beet Say O as in Lord In German the sound of the short o should resonate slightly farther back in your mouth than the o sound in English.

Mutter moo-tuhR mother Luft looft air Schuld shoolt guild bunt boont bright Geduld guh-doolt patience Imitate your favorite cow Kuh for this long u sound: Usually, the German e is soft, like the e in effort or the a in ago.

Be careful not to run the two us together when pronouncing uu in words like Vakuum va-koo-oom and Individuum in-dee-vee-doo-oom. In most cases the two letters are read as short us and are given equal stress.

They should be treated as separate syllables, as they are in the English word residuum. Many German words are consistently spelled with umlauts, but other words take an umlaut when they undergo some change in pronunciation and meaning.

This guide treats each modified vowel separately, giving you hints to help you make the correct sounds. Focus on getting the sounds right one sound at a time.

Stärke shtäR-kuh strength Männer mä-nuhR men hängen hän-guhn to hang ständig shtän-diH constantly The long ä is the same sound as the short ä, only with the sound prolonged—a quantitative rather than qualitative alteration.

Round your lips and say ew sound while tightening the muscles at the back of your throat. Öffnung öf-noong opening möchten möH-tuhn would like to Hölle hö-luh hell Löffel lö-fuhl spoon Keep the long ö sound going for twice as long, just as you did the short ö sound.

Glück glük luck Mücke mük-uh mosquito Rücken Rü-kuhn back Rhytmus Rüt-moos rhythm The long ü or y is the same sound, just held for a longer interval of time.

For example, a vowel or modified vowel is short when followed by two consonants. When either a vowel or modified vowel is followed by an h and another consonant, however, or even by a single consonant, the vowel is long.

Diphthongs Diphthongs are not a provocative new style of bikini. In English we tend to dipthogize vowels in words like sky, where the y is pronounced ah-ee, and go, where the o is pronounced oh-oo.

Vowels u in the English word about come together to create the diphthong ah-oo. Whatever form they take, diphthongs are always made up of two different vowel sounds that change in the same syllable.

How do you recognize a diphthong? In German they are vowels that travel in pairs. Here are the diphthongs most frequently used in German.

For other diphthongs, each vowel should be pronounced the same way it would be if pronounced separately: Kollision ko-lee-zeeohn , Familie fah-mee-leeuh.

Think Bier beeR versus Wein vayn. The Diphthongs el and al To make the sound of these diphthongs, start with your mouth halfway open, end with your mouth almost—but not quite—closed.

Practice with these words: You knit your eyebrows together and cry out in pain: Try making this ow sound as you say these words: German friends or, in the absence of live, German-speaking human beings, German tapes from your local library would come in handy now.

You should try to listen to native German speakers, particularly because many of the modified vowel sounds do not have English equivalents.

At this point, concentrate on getting the sounds right. Start making vowel sounds way back in your throat. Practice making the umlauted vowel sounds, just as you would any new sound.

What good is Astaire without Rogers; Penn without Teller; hamburgers without catsup, lettuce, a tomato slice, and a pickle? The bottom line is, say oo or ee as often as you like: The good news is, the sounds of German consonants are not going to be as unfamiliar as many of the sounds you tried in the previous chapter.

German consonants are either pronounced like their English counterparts or are pronounced like other consonants in English.

In either case, it should be pronounced like an s. Consonants All the letters in the alphabet other than a, e, i, o, and u.

Consonants are best described as involving some obstruction of the air stream, whereas vowels do not have any sort of obstruction.

In August , Germany decided to implement a spelling reform. Regarding when to spell with the es-tset and when to use a double s, the es-tset is used after long vowels a concept introduced in the last chapter.

Conquering Consonants Before you start stuttering out consonants, we should probably tell you a little about how this section works.

The consonants in the following tables are not given in alphabetical order. They are grouped according to pronunciation type.

For each letter, we provide English examples of how German consonants are pronounced along with the symbols used throughout this book to represent the sounds.

Keep in mind that the symbols consonants or combinations of consonants, lowercase or uppercase are not the standard ones used in the dictionary.

When you see these letters, just go ahead and pronounce them the way you do in English words. They are called plosives because of they way their sounds are articulated: Consonants word initial or when followed by a vowel, these sounds involving a stoppage of air utilize the vocal cords.

Utter a b sound with a hand on your throat where your vocal box is. You should feel vibrations. Its counter sound articulated at exactly the same place in the mouth, in exactly the same way, but not involving the vocal cords is a p.

Whisper, and you will not feel the vibrations in your vocal cords. This sound is heard in German at the end of a word yet is orthographically spelling-wise represented with a b.

For example, at the beginning of a syllable, b is pronounced the same way as it is in English: The English L is dark, formed with the tongue more relaxed.

The German L—light, nearly as vibrant as the German R—is formed with the tip of the tongue just behind the upper front teeth.

German Letter Symbol Pronunciation Guide b b at the end of a syllable b p Say b as in big Say p as in pipe At the beginning of a syllable, the d is pronounced like an English d: German Letter Symbol Pronunciation Guide d d at the end of a syllable d t Say d as in dog Say t as in tail At the beginning of a syllable, g is pronounced the same as it is in English: At the end of a syllable, g is pronounced like k: The consonant g has yet another pronunciation, thanks to foreign infiltration.

In certain words, usually ones that have been assimilated into the German language from other languages—namely, French, pronounce the g as in Massage mA-sah-juh.

But check it out! We have the same word-building suffix in English, derived from Old English into Middle English -lic, meaning like, as in childlike.

Eventually, this same suffix doubled its purpose and became the standard way to form an adverb as in the Present Day English friendly or homely.

Got a Frog in Your Throat? If you can draw out this h sound longer than you do in these two English words, you should have very little trouble pronouncing the following words accurately: Consonants learned farther back in your throat—a little like gargling.

Give this a shot: Yoh-hAn zey-bAs-tee-ahn bahhhh gargle and hiss like a cat simultaneously at the end. Once you can do this, you have nothing to worry about: Practice by reading the following words aloud: In general, when ch occurs at the beginning of a word, it is pronounced like a k: Chaos kA-os , Charisma kah-ris-mah.

Exceptions occur, however, as in China, where the ch may be pronounced the same way it is in ich. The ch has a fourth pronunciation: This pronunciation is usually used only for foreign words that have been assimilated into the German language: In some cases, h is silent when it follows a t, as in Theater tey-ah-tuhR.

Otherwise, the h is pronounced very much like the English h—just a little breathier. Think of an obscene phone caller breathing heavily on the other end of the line and try the following: You produce glottal stops all the time, believe it or not, whenever you disagree, shake your head, and utter: That tiny pause between the syllables is referred to as a glottal stop!

Whenever you see a j in German, pronounce it like an English y: Z and Sometimes C The z sound is made by combining the consonant sounds t and s into one sound: CäsaR tsähzahR , or like the first c in circa tseeR-kah.

Otherwise, it should be pronounced like a k: Consonants Double or Nothing: In English, the k is silent in words like knight and knot. In German, however, both k and n are pronounced: Photograph foh-toh-gRahf , Physik füh-sik.

In the other consonant combinations in this chart, both letters are pronounced: The German R If you thought you were tongue tied the first time you asked a girl or guy for a kiss, wait till you try the German R.

Think of it as a fun challenge for any tongue. Position your lips as if you are about to make the r sound but then make the gargling sound you made for the German sound represented in this book by the symbol CH.

The sound should come from somewhere in the back of your throat. This book uses the same symbol R for both sounds.

At the end of a word, however, s is pronounced like the English s: Maus mous , Glas glahs —note: Now practice with these words: Consonants The word-initial st sound is a combination of the sh sound in shake and the t sound in take.

Practice by saying the following words out loud: Tsch is pronounced tch, as in the word witch. The Classic VW In most cases the v is pronounced like an f: Vampir vAm-peeR , Vase vah-zuh.

You will readily recognize these, as English has borrowed them from French, as well! The following table is an abbreviated pronunciation guide of vowels, modified vowels, diphthongs, and consonants that differ in pronunciation from English consonants.

Consonants Letter s Symbol English Example German Example bats killer Close to human No equivalent character shape fox dog time good kitten jeans house yes No equivalent No equivalent photo psst!

If you have, we are willing to bet that you have succeeded in making most if not all of the sounds you will need to pronounce German words correctly.

Now, practice some more by reading the following sentences out loud. Ich habe gerade begonnen Deutsch zu lernen.

Die Aussprache ist nicht so schwer. Deutsch ist eine schöne Sprache. I just started to learn German. German is a beautiful language.

So, once you link a letter with a sound, you can pronounce a word 18 syllables long! What seems peculiar in written German will soon become familiar to you, and soon— particularly if you listen to the German being spoken on a tape or by a native speaker—you will begin to associate letters with their corresponding sounds.

Just click on a sound or word and hear it produced. Kitsch, Wind, Mensch, Angst, Arm, blond, irrational—the list of German words you already know is longer than you think.

The reason you know so much German is because many words in German are similar to or exactly like their English counterparts. These words are called cognates.

In addition, many German words have been used so much by English speakers that they have been swallowed whole, so to speak, into the English language to become a part of our vocabulary.

Many other German words are so similar to English words that you can master their meanings and pronunciations with little effort.

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to put together simple but meaningful sentences in German. She has been living and teaching in Berlin for as long as you can remember, and so you are surprised when you find the invitation in your mailbox.

You have a thousand questions you want to ask her. What has it been like living in Berlin? Has she learned to speak German yet?

Cognates Words in German that are similar to near cognates or exactly like perfect cognates their English counterparts—similar in form and in meaning.

When the day of the show arrives, you go to the address on the invitation. Shortly after you push the door open and step into a noisy, crowded room, you conclude that something must be wrong.

Everyone around you is speaking in tongues. Just as you are about to turn and leave, your friend pushes through the crowd and grabs you by the arm.

You are in the right place. Almost all of her admirers are Berliners, she explains, and what you are hearing is German. You stay close to your friend all night.

You listen to the conversations she carries on with other people— auf Deutsch ouf doytsh. You are able to pick up on certain words: Clearly, a new language—a hybrid, perhaps, of German and English—is being spoken, possibly even invented by this sophisticated crowd.

How else would you be able to make sense of so many words? Both languages like to borrow words from the same places—namely, Greek, Latin, and other Romance languages.

Another readily visible similarity is their word-building strategies—that is to say, add a little something to a noun or verb to make it an adjective: But back to words that have the same meaning and similar form—the really great part about cognates is that they have the same meanings in German and in English.

Pronunciation does vary, of course, but most of the time, these words are familiar to us. Identical Twins The following table lists by article perfect cognates—words that are exactly the same in English and German.

German has three definite articles: Mädchen mäht-Huhn , for example, which means girl, takes the neuter article das.

Grammatical gender is arbitrary—unpredictable, in fact! In German all nouns are capitalized. How do we recommend that you practice pronouncing these new words?

Ist expresses is in German. Der Tiger ist wild. Close, but No Cigar The following table lists near cognates, words that are spelled almost—but not quite— the same in English and German.

Although their spellings differ, their meanings are the same. Now would be a good time to recall the consonant shift that led to the separation and distinction of English from German.

Consider, for example, the correspondence between the German t and English d. Practice pronouncing the German words correctly. You have just boarded a sleeper train from Köln to München.

Only one other person is sharing your compartment, a very attractive traveler, you are pleased to see—who alternates between reading a book and staring dreamily out of the window.

You were tired when you boarded the train, but now sleeping is the farthest thing from your mind. Use the adjective and noun cognates and near cognates you have learned to engage your neighbor in conversation.

The weather is good. Is the book interesting? The author is popular. The perfume is attractive. The wind is warm.

The character is primitive. The heart is wild. The infinitive form of a verb does not refer to a grammatical ghost that floats around in German sentences for all eternity.

The following table is a list of verbs that are near cognates in their infinitive form. You can probably already read and understand the following fun and fanciful German sentences: Der Präsident und der Bandit backen Tomaten.

Der Onkel trinkt Wein. Der Tiger und der Elefant schwimmen in dem Ozean. Der Film beginnt in einem Supermarkt. 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.

False Friends 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. If you drink Bier beeR for two weeks straight at the Oktoberfest in München, for example, you may end up destroying your liver and lying on a bier shortly after your return to the United States.

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. Chapter 6 Are Idiomatic Expressions for Idiots? 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. What Are Idiomatic Expressions, Anyway?

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: 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.

The picture is of someone in such a hurry to get into a house that he pushes the door off its hinges and then falls on top of it.

Die Schnur is the string from which a puppet is suspended and manipulated. The picture is of a goat given freedom to roam in a well-tended garden.

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: When you say goodbye to a friend you will be seeing later that evening, you say: If the movie begins at 5 P.

If you watch TV every now and then, you watch it: You should brush your teeth: 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. Getting around on a German street. So, What Do You Think?

Some of us seem to have more of them than most people. We tell you how the food tastes. We tell you whether we liked the movie.

Express yourself—auf Deutsch, bitte ouf doytch, bi-tuh. See the following table. Meer geyt es ähn-liH. Selbstverständlich Das ist falsch. Das ist viel besser.

Das ist völlig richtig. 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.

Heute scheint ein schöner Tag zu sein. Denkst du dass es regnen wird?

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