Category Accusative

“mir” or “für mich” when to use the Dative or an Accusative Prepositional Phrase

The other day I was giving one of my German lessons on the run… literally running with my students. The advantages of combining language training and physical exercise are huge. Students combine things (multi-task if you will) and don’t have to worry bout sacrificing one form of self-improvement for an other. Secondly, the increased blood-flow […]

Explaining your actions in German — using um … zu and damit clauses

A post that gets a great deal of attention is the one about how zu is not always used as an preposition, but often with verbs whereby it is followed by the infinitive of the verb. If you haven’t read that post yet, I highly suggest you do after reading this one. We’ve moved. You’ll […]

Possessivartikel im substantivischen Gebrauch — Mine & Yours in German

One of the most viewed posts on this blog is the one about possessive adjectives in German (my = mein, your = dein, his = sein, her = ihr …). What makes these a little confusing for many people learning German is that you need to know if the person, who possesses the person/thing is […]

German Nouns with N-Declination — Nomen der N-Dekination

Sound. So much of language comes down to sound. What is the easiest sound to make? In German this is one of the reasons for adjective endings being what they are — mostly ending in -en, right?! It’s that same basic principle that is to blame for you getting Name and Namen mixed up or […]

German Personal Pronouns at Après-Ski with Schlager Musik

Last week I gave you quite a bit of German ski vocabulary. It’s winter and in Switzerland that means Ski fahren. After a day of skiing many then hit the Après-Ski. Here is the a brief account of happens at Après-Ski: We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/german-personal-pronouns-at-apres-ski-with-schlager-musik/

im Urlaub oder auf Urlaub? Urlaub vs. Ferien — Vacation and Holidays in German

It’s that time of year again in Switzerland and Europe in general. The cities are quieter than usual and offices can appear as if they were abandoned, but without air conditioning in them, they may as well be when the mercury climbs to 30 degrees. It’s summer and summer means vacation time. Most employed people […]

vor vs. bevor vs. vorher — yes, there’s a difference!

Last week we looked at the words nach, nachdem and nachher. We learned that these words, while they can be used to convey the same information, have different grammatical functions and word order and event order must be observed. This week we’ll look at their counterparts: vor, bevor and vorher. We’ve moved. You’ll find the […]

German Cases — Understanding verbs, subjects, and objects

If you’re reading this, you’re under 40 years old, and you’re from an English-speaking country, you probably have at least two things in common with most of the readers of this blog. You’re interested in learning German or improving your German. The other thing is that you never really learned English grammar. Sure you just […]

How to congratulate someone on their baby in German

This year I turned 30. Now you might think, “Big deal.” If you’re at this age or around it though you surely have noticed many of your friends are getting married or have already gotten married and are starting families. Families of course mean children. as one of Zurich’s most eligible bachelors I’m not in […]

What’s mine is yours — German Possessive Articles

This past week in one of my classes we were looking at possessive adjectives, which are exactly what you need to express ownership in German. Possessive adjectives are the: my, your, his, her etc. When you see something that you want, you want it to be yours. Sometimes you want it to be someone else’s. Being able […]