Tag Archives: german

Descriptive Adverbs – Wie?

Happy New Year! (Frohes Neues!). 2012 started in Zurich with a bang as it does in many other cities around the world. One thing that I’ve noticed differentiates New Year’s Eve in the German speaking world from other areas is that people shoot off fireworks until early in the morning. At no other time of […]

German Adverbs of Time (wann? wie oft?)

Christmas is just one week away and many people will be going home to spend the holidays with their family. Others will be spending time with friends. Inevitably we tell stories when we’re around other people. One of the most important parts of speech that you need to tell a flowing narrative are adverbs. We’ve […]

Modalpartikeln – German Filler Words

In class the other day we were working on a few dialogues. Authentic sounding dialogues are important for language learners to do, because they help give the students a feel for the language’s rhythm. Often they need to be done over and over again. Though this may sound tedious and boring it is important. One […]

Christmas Vocabulary — Weihnachtswortschatz

In Zurich the christmas lights are hanging and the Christmas market (der Weihnachtsmarkt / der Christkindlimarkt) in the main station as well as off the Bahnhofstrasse and at Bellevue have opened and are serving mulled wine and hot apple cider (der Glühwein, der Glühmost) along with gingerbread (der Lebkuchen) and roasted chestnuts (heisse Maroni). We’ve […]

Prepositions 2: Datives on the Danube

For over a week now you’ve been busy learning your accusative prepositions: bis, durch, entlang, für, gegen, ohne, um. You’ve done so well that you’ve even come up with your own mantras, rhymes, and even songs. Congratulations, you’re on your way. As I hinted at last week and as you’ve surely already encountered there are […]

Understanding German Verbs Part II

Last week we looked at some of the basic tenses in German and how they are constructed. Important to remember between German and English is that German doesn’t have the continuous tense like in English. Therefore, translating “I am reading this blog” word for word, though it is a Subject + Verb + Object construct, […]

Understanding German Verbs Part I

Verbs, we’re all familiar with the term, but when it comes to actually understanding it we sometimes get flustered. In grade school teachers said they were -ing words. Others learned that they are doing words. Well that is all fine and dandy for some of us, but when it comes to the verbs “to be” […]

Because there are three words for expressing because in German (denn, weil, da)

Early on in anyone’s German career they will encounter coordinating conjunctions — that is simple joining words that link together two independent clauses. Brilliant! Almost no grammar needed here. Get rid of the full stop and put in your conjunction to link two sentences. The only thing you need to remember is the logic of […]

Wozu diese Wo-Komposita?

Last week we talked about “da-compounds”. This week we’re looking at their cousins the “wo-compounds”. Wo-compounds are used in questions when asking about the object of the preposition (‘for what’, ‘about what’, etc.).  We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/wozu-diese-zu-komposita/

Bleib dran: da-compounds

English speakers often haver to crack a smile when listening to German and hearing the word “damit” which sounds like a curse in English. However, the smiles quickly change to faces of confusion when a flurry of “dran“, “drauf“, “davon” etc come at them and they aren’t quite sure what to make of them. Then […]