Category Articles

German Grammar Basics — What you need to know to understand German

I’ve been teaching German for almost ten years, and the one thing that I understand is that many learners have such a tough time because of grammatical terminology. In English speaking school systems, grammar is generally avoided, whereas German seems to worship grammar. One could say that the formal teaching of English grammar has been […]

German indefinite pronouns – not being explicit, maybe in vague

I have often written and still maintain that German is a language of precision. However, when it comes to indefinite pronouns, many are left scratching their heads. First off German has many indefinite pronouns that are very similar in meaning and using the correct depends more on how well the speaker/writer understands common German collocations […]

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 […]

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 […]

bis durch für ohne gegen um entlang

Prepositions Part 1: The Accusative 7

If there was a villain in languages it would be prepositions. These are tricky things that if you look them up in a dictionary you’ll get dozens of usages and then all the colloquial expressions which use them in different manners. On top of that depending on region the same language might use different prepositions: […]

It’s all relative: Relativsätze

When you first started learning German your teacher probably tried to hammer genders into you. That is that you need to learn all your new nouns with their gender (der, die, das). If you’ve been good, you’ve been doing exactly that. But now you’re starting to read newspapers and other things, you may have noticed […]

Der Die Das

The DER — DIE — DAS

If there is one thing that I stress when teaching German it is the importance of learning nouns with their articles. Like French, Spanish and many other languages German has genders. What makes German just that little harder though is that there are three genders. And the article for words in the plural is the […]

Form Word Cloud

The many forms of German words

There are many things that make English a difficult language to learn: English speakers tend to use an extraordinary amount of idioms, there are more tenses and subelties in their usage than with other languages, there are many homonyms and the spelling of a word does not always represent a phonic relation to the word’s […]