Tag Archives: accusative

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 […]

Prepositions Part 3: Two-Way Prepositions

So for the past two weeks we’ve been learning our accusative and dative preposition. We’ve made up rhymes and sing them to waltzes and we feel confident. What are the most important ones? Right! We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/prepositions-part-3-two-way-prepositions/

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: […]

mich or mir? accusative vs. dative

I’m often asked: “when do I use mich and when do I use mir?” What at first seems to be a very straight forward question is unfortunately not that easy for many to get their heads around. The answer is that you need to understand the cases. German has four cases: Nominative, Accustaive, dative and […]

Reflexive Verbs Word Cloud

I buy me a coffee — The reflexive in German

When I lived in Vancouver I had a German friend who would always ask us the following question: “I’m going to buy me a coffee, would anyone else like one?” We always tried to explain to him that English unlike German does not use the reflexive as much as German. Though in the case above […]

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 […]

Pronoun Word Cloud

Personal Pronoun Clarification — The many meanings of “sie”

I’ve gone on and on on about how German is a very precise language where one word generally has one meaning. At the same time you’ve probably been thinking that I’m full of it. German has words that are incredibly long, complicated and pretty much unpronounceable and has other words like “sie” that are used […]

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 […]