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Grammatik

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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9 Easy Back-to-School Gifts for German Learners

9 Easy Back-to-School Gifts for German Learners

Do you need a German back-to-school gift?

If you're not sure what to give your favorite German learner, here are 9 fantastic ideas, all available from Amazon.com.

The links below are affiliate links. They are marked with an (A), which means that if you click through that picture/link and make a purchase, I'll receive a small amount of that purchase as a thank-you.

More than anything, I want you to buy the best back-to-school gift possible for your favorite German student!

Los geht's!

Für al…

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"wohin" vs. "woher"

wohin vs woher which one to use when

If you learned German in college, chances are you learned both “woher” and “wohin” at the same time.

Do you ever drive in reverse and forwards at the same time?

I didn't think so.

Why so many US textbook authors think this is a good idea is beyond me.

In drivers education, first you learn to drive forwards, you get a feel for the car, and then you learn to drive in reverse.

It's not that hard, textbook authors!

 

*Nicole facepalms and sighs with exasperation.*

 

That's a really good way…

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"zu" vs. "nach"

zu vs nach which one to use when

"Zu..." no. "Nach..."

Wait! Which one do I use? GAH!

Have you said that before? I bet you have, as I’ve heard it from every beginning German learner I’ve worked with. And a lot of intermediate level speakers, too.

The difference is: with “zu” and “nach,” size makes a difference. But not how you might think.

 When do I use “zu”?

“Zu” is used for places like

  • die Bäckerei
  • die Post
  • your friend Michael’s house
  • die Arbeit
  • die Bushaltestelle

These are, in fact, all smaller places. A …

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4 Reasons Minimalists Should Learn German (And Why German is Easier than English!)

4 Reasons Minimalists Should Learn German

If you are already living with less or a minimum amount of possessions, or would like to, this philosophy works in your favor when learning German. Experience a language which is significantly more predictable than English; German is a great language to explore!

You'll also discover here how, in many ways, German is actually easier than English. I say this as a native English speaker, a near-native German speaker, and an instructor for both languages.

Of course both languages have their own un…

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