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Grammatik

arbeiten versus funktioneren

arbeiten-versus-funktionieren

When should you use 'arbeiten' and when should you use 'funktionieren'?

All the answers are in this episode!

You'll learn these two verbs in the context of wine harvest, too, because it's wine harvest time.

Learning to differentiate synonyms in German works really well when you use context.

This way you can easily build a picture in your mind that will help you for all of your German learning.

If it helps, you can even draw yourself a little sketch of a scene you'll hear in this episode.

A…

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How to Pronounce and Use hätte in German

how-to-pronounce-use-hätte-German-

Knowing how to pronounce hätte correctly in German is one thing. Using it correctly is another.

In today's German lesson you'll learn both how to say hätte correctly and how to use it in a few specific phrases.

Imagine how confident you'll feel knowing exactly what to say and pronouncing everything correctly. This will be a step up for your German.

Plus you'll learn how to say "shoulda, woulda, coulda" in German, which uses hätte, and will surely impress your German friends the next time they…

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What does "wäre" mean and how do you use it in German?

what-does-waere-mean-how-use-German

This episode will take the fear out of using wäre in German.

All it means is "would be," but would be has nothing to do with reality. It actually has to do with things which are unreal.

Something that isn't true now, but would be nice or would be nuts or would be fantastic.

This grammar topic is known as the "Konjunktiv II." We'll use only the present tense today.

If this is brand new for you, it's best to take it one step at a time. The first step are the very straight-forward sentences (or…

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"zu Hause" vs. "nach Hause"

zu Hause vs nach Hause which one to use when_neu

The difference between "zu Hause" vs. "nach Hause" easily trips up German learners, but it doesn't have to trip you up if you use the tips below.

1. "zu Hause" = (at) home

"zu" is usually used as a preposition, so it would stand by itself and you might think that "zu Hause" means "to home."

This is an exception.

When you say "zu Hause," you're really using it as one block of language.

Think of the sentence "Ich bin zu Hause" and picture it like three wooden blocks:

[Ich]    [bin]    [zu H…

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What is the Plusquamperfekt?

What is the Plusquamperfekt

The Plusquamperfekt is a form of the past tense in German.

It's generally reserved for high intermediate and advanced learners at levels B2 and C1.

If you're not there yet, I recommend you save this blog post for later.

The remainder of this blog post is in German, as is the explanation video.

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Das Plusquamperfekt ist sehr hilfreich, wenn Sie über zwei verschiedene Ereignisse reden wollen, und beide bereits passiert sind.

Es kann viel Spaß machen, wenn Sie das Plusquamperfekt bilden und au…

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Regular and Irregular German Verbs: What's the Difference?

Regular and Irregular German Verbs Whats the Difference

 

Almost all of the people who sign up for private German lessons have already run into German verbs and their conjugations.

 

When we get to the Perfekt (the present perfect or spoken past tense), it's always interesting to hear what they think of it so far.


Here are a few of the top questions people have asked me about learning the Perfekt:

  1. Are these regular or irregular verbs?

  2. What's the difference between them?

  3. What's the pattern for these verbs? And for these verbs? And f…

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What are the Two Most Important Past Tense Verbs in German?

Two Most Important Past Tense Verbs German

When you first learn German - or first start learning German - you say everything in the present tense. You learn only a little bit of the past tense, mainly the two verbs here, and then later you learn the Perfekt, or the spoken past tense (Ich bin gefahren. Wir haben ein Buch gelesen.).

This is the order you would ideally learn everything in:

Present tense --> these two verbs --> a bunch of the Perfekt

If you learn the past tense in any other order than that, it is out of order.

No excepti…

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Separable Verbs in German: an Exercise

German Separable Verbs Relaxing Exercise

Here is a short exercise for you to practice two separable verbs in German: einatmen and ausatmen.

You may have noticed these two verbs in a blog post earlier this month, and to help you learn them even better, you'll use them in this exercise.

This may be the most relaxing German separable verbs exercise you'll find on the interwebs.

Here are the instructions in German. Scroll down to the flower to read the instructions in English.


Hier ist ein kurzes Audio für Sie.

Zuerst hören Sie «Ich…

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Lernen Sie trennbare Verben ~ Learn German Separable Verbs

trennbare Verben lernen learn separable verbs

Today you get to learn separable verbs (trennbare Verben) just like one of my German clients!

This is a technique I've used with dozens of German learners and it makes separable verbs a kinaesthetic exercise--and that in two different ways.

You'll need print out or write out some cards, and to have one supply to have ready when you start the video.

Los geht's!

Step 1: Print out or make these cards of trennbare Verben

Download this PDF of 4x6 cards and print them.

If you can't print them, …

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How to Use Separable Verbs in German

How to use separable verbs in German

Separable verbs are not hard to understand, however learning to use them takes practice and time.


For the purposes of this first section, we'll use two separable verbs in the present tense – so we'll use them to talk about now.


Right now.


A separable verb (in German: ein trennbares Verb, plural: trennbare Verben) is a verb that requires you to do three things :

  1. remove the prefix from the verb

  2. conjugate what's left

  3. tack the prefix on to the end of the sentence.

That's…

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