Tag Archives: verbs

“Zu” is more than a just a preposition — Using zu-constructions

In one of my lessons this week a student asked me about the word “zu”. She knew that zu is a dative preposition and that it means to in English. I was very happy to hear that those facts about zu had stayed with my student. But then I had to give her a little […]

Knowing in German — wissen vs. kennen

One of the things that has made English such a powerful language is it’s simplicity. Many words carry numerous meanings, which allows English speakers to convey numerous ideas with very few words. German on the other hand goes for precision and a broader vocabulary is demanded. If we look at the English verb “to know” […]

machen vs. tun | to make vs. to do

There are many word pairs in German that are quite confusing when one comes from English into German. I’ve already said in an earlier post that German is the language of making and driving. After having many people ask me about the difference between “tun” (to do) and “machen” (to make / to do), I […]

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” […]

bieten vs. anbieten

The bane of any English learner is the wide array of phraseology verbs that the English language seems to possess. Though there are phraseology verbs in German, they don’t seem to pose as much of a confusion as verbs with prefixes do. We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/bieten-vs-anbieten/

Das Volk des Machens und Fahrens — The things Germans make and drive

German’s call Germany “Das Land der Dichter und Denker” (The country of poets and philosophers). Germans speakers should be called “Das Volk des Machens und Fahrens” (the people of making and driving). We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/das-volk-des-machens-und-fahrens/

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 […]

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 […]