wohnen vs. leben
IKEA Germany advertises with a catchy slogan:
Wohnst du noch, oder lebst du schon?
Are you still living, or are you already living?
This works in German since wohnen ≠ leben. But the difference is significant. Here's how to tell the difference between wohnen and leben and which one to use when.
"wohnen" is used for short-term situations.
"Ich wohne bei meinen Eltern" ...because I'm at home for the summer.
"Ich wohne bei einer Freundin" ...because I'm waiting for my new apartment to o…
kennen vs. wissen
"Kennen" is not the same as "wissen" and it can be very confusing trying to tell the two apart.
Here you will learn what "kennen" means, what "wissen" means, and finally how to tell the difference.
There are example sentences, too, and I highly recommend you grab your German notebook and write them down so you can refer back to them later.
Ich kenne... is for things you can get to know. You might not have always known your German friend Marius, however you got to know him once, which …
It's OK to Cry When You Don't Understand: 3 Ways to Bust Through
Students of foreign languages sometimes get upset when they get frustrated. They get really frustrated and really upset because what they want most is to speak a foreign language, they've done their homework, they've studied, and somehow the pieces just don't fit together or the pieces they want don't come together when they speak.
It's a hard-core experience.
Some students think I learned German easily because I learned it quickly--it was not easy and my German skills were and are hard-won with…
How to Create the Weil Sentence Structure
The Weil sentence structure is a tough one for English speakers. We say "because I said so," but the Germans say "weil ich es gesagt habe," or (translated directly) "Because I so said!"
It's the exact opposite way in German. The verbs go all the way at the end.
Although Germans are, at least in the media, losing this construction faster than the ice caps are melting, there is one almost-guaranteed compliment you will receive when you can say this properly. A German will hear it and say to you,…
How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German
Use this Instructional Video to Learn How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German!
The Ich-Laut can be tough for English speakers to pronounce because it's not a part of English...or is it?
Ladies and Gentlemen, we *do* have the Ich-Laut in English--it's just hidden!
In this video on how to pronounce the Ich-Laut, I show you where to find that hidden "ch" sound in English and then I guide you through a couple of exercises to help you pronounce this sound in German.
The most important factor is…
How to Write an "Elfchen" (German Cinquain Poem)
An "Elfchen" is similar to a Haiku in that it has a set form, however it is unique in that it has 11 words, the lines having 1-2-3-4-1 words, respectively.
It always has this form (replace each number with a word):
one two three
one two three four
The first word is the topic and the final word is often a commentary or a summary word. Here’s one I wrote for my student’s Valentine’s Day (Valentinstag!) lesson last night:
veraendert das Her…