Category German

Telephoning in German — What you need to know

[Ring, ring, ring. Click.] Marathon Sprachen. Langenegger am Apparat, guten Tag. Ah, ah, ah, … English?… Oh, yes, English is ok. We’ve moved our site. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/telephoning-in-german-what-you-need-to-know/

Oktoberfest Terminology and Songs

When many people think of Germany there are a few things that come to mind, but one of them is usually Oktoberfest. The world’s largest folk festival (Volksfest) and it’s been taking place since 1810 attracting over 6 million visitors. The original Oktoberfest takes place in Munich (München) and the locals simply call it Wien, […]

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 […]

German Verbs With Inseparable Prefixes — Nicht trennbare Verben

Verbs, they seem to be one of the trickiest types of words to learn because there are so many of them and every sentence needs them. They also often have multiple meanings that change when put together with prepositions and in German when they have separable prefixes. I’ve already written about verbs with separable prefixes […]

Germans can’t “make” friends — Freundschaften entstehen

One of my first posts was on the verbs machen and fahren. In that post I stated that German speakers are makers and drivers and that when in doubt, travel is done by driving and other things that are normally “done” in English are “made” in German. While Germans can make many things, one of […]

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 Verbs with Separable Prefixes — Trennbare Verben

You’ve probably had this happen to you before: You’re reading a German sentence and you’re convinced you know what’s happening. The verb is in the second position and then you get to the end of the sentence and there’s a preposition, but nothing after it, just a period. End of sentence. You’re confused. Don’t fret […]

spürbar oder merkbar and the German suffix -bar

Last week we started looking at a list of words I was asked about by one of my Stammtisch regulars, Edvin. Last week we looked at the words dauernd and dauerhaft, which brought up the interesting topic of the German suffix -haft for adjectives. Edvin also has another similar question on the long list of […]