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Verb conjugation

Regular Verbs

Chapter 1

A verb describes an action, occurrence, or state of being. German verb conjugation refers to changing the form of a verb to match the subject (e.g. a person). The ending of the verb changes depending on who is doing the action.

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Remove the en ending:

sing -en and add the correct ending to the verb according to the person. Memorise these verb endings and practise using them with different subjects (ich, du, er, ...) in order to become comfortable with using verbs in German sentences.

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Learn the verb endings by heart.

Irregular Verbs

Conjugating irregular verbs is more complex.

Pay attention to vowel changes in the stem of the verb, which can affect conjugation. "Sprechen" changes to "ich spreche" and "du sprichst"; the vowel changes from "e" to "i".

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These verbs are irregular as the stem changes.

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Focus on the vowel change in the stem .

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Sentence Structure I

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The verb's position in a sentence is very important. Basic sentences or statements follow the subject-verb-object structure.

Ich wohne in Berlin. (I live in Berlin.)

In question words like "wer" (who), "wie" (how), "woher" (where from) the verb comes second.

Wo wohnst du? (Where do you live?)

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Basic sentences: subject - verb - object;

Questions: question word - verb - subject

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Chapter 2

Negation

"Nicht" means "not" and is used to create negative sentences. Place "nicht" directly before the word you want to negate.
"Ich bin müde" means "I am tired";

"Ich bin nicht müde" means "I am not tired".

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“Nicht” is always placed directly before the word you want to negate.

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Word Formation

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The name of the professions change depending on the gender of the person who holds them. If a man is a teacher, he would be called "der Lehrer," and if a woman is a teacher, she would be called "die Lehrerin." The ending "-in" is added to the noun for feminine professions. This applies to many professions in German.

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Add “-in” for the feminine profession and use the article “die”.

Prepositions

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The word "als" can be used to indicate a profession. "Bei" can be used to talk about where someone works. To say "I work at GermanMind as a (female) German teacher", say "Ich arbeite bei GermanMind als Deutschlehrerin."

"In" is used to talk about where someone lives. To say "I live in Dublin," you say "Ich wohne in Dublin."

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“Als” indicates profession;

“bei” indicates place of work;

“in” indicates place of residence

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Chapter 3

SENTENCE STRUCTURE II

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Ja-Nein Fragen, also known as "yes-no questions", are used to ask for confirmation or clarification. They are formed by placing the verb at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the subject and then the rest of the sentence. Spielst du Fußball? (Do you play soccer?)

W-Fragen, also known as "question words", are used to ask for specific information about a subject or an object in a sentence. They are typically formed by placing the question word at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the verb and the subject and the rest of the sentence. Wo wohnst du? (Where do you live?)

Aussagesätze, or statements, follow the subject-verb-object structure without any interrogative words. They make a statement or express a fact. Ich wohne in Berlin. (I live in Berlin.)

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Yes-no questions:

verb - subject - ...

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JA - NEIN - DOCH - PARTICLES

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"Ja" means "yes" and is used to confirm something or to give a positive answer to a question.

Hast du Hunger? (Are you hungry?) 

Ja, ich habe Hunger. (Yes, I am hungry.)

"Nein" means "no" and is used to negate something or to give a negative answer to a question. Kannst du schwimmen? (Can you swim?) - Nein, ich kann nicht schwimmen. (No, I cannot swim.)
"Doch" is used to contradict a negative statement, to emphasise something that was previously stated, or to express surprise or disagreement. Du kannst nicht schwimmen, oder? (You can't swim, right?) - Doch, ich kann schwimmen. (Actually, I can swim.)

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“Ja”: used for confirmations;

“Nein”: used for negations;

“Doch”: used for contradiction of negative statements

Possessive Articles

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Possessive Articles are used to indicate ownership or possession of something and agree in gender, number, and case with the noun they are referring to.

Masc.: Ist das dein Hund? (Is that your dog?)
Neutr.: Das ist mein Buch. (This is my book.)
Fem.: Kennst du meine Schwester? (Do you know my sister?)
Pl.: Kennst du meine Schwestern? (Do you know my sisters?)
"Mein/meine" and "dein/deine" are declined to match the gender, number, and case of the noun they modify.

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Same endings as indefinite articles

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Chapter 4

Definite articles and personal pronouns

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Definite articles are used to refer to a specific person, thing, or concept, and are equivalent to the English word "the". The definite articles are: der (masculine), die (feminine), and das (neuter).
Personal pronouns replace nouns in sentences and must match the gender and whether the noun is singular or plural.

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Basic rules for using the definite articles in German:

  • Masculine nouns: If a noun is masculine (e.g. der Mann - the man), use the definite article "der".

  • Feminine nouns: If a noun is feminine (e.g. die Frau - the woman), use the definite article "die".

  • Neuter nouns: If a noun is neuter (e.g. das Haus - the house), use the definite article "das".

It's important to note that the gender of a noun in German is not always predictable.

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Definite Articles in German are "der" (masculine), "die" (feminine), and "das" (neuter).

You can replace them with "er," "sie," "es," and "sie" (plural) to refer to something specific.

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Chapter 5

inDefinite articles

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In German, there are the indefinite articles: ein (masculine and neuter) and eine (feminine). Indefinite articles are used to refer to a non-specific person, thing, or concept, and are equivalent to the English word "a" or "an".


Basic rules for using the indefinite articles in German:

  • Masculine nouns: If a noun is masculine (e.g. ein Mann - a man), then you use the indefinite article "ein".

  • Feminine nouns: If a noun is feminine (e.g. eine Frau - a woman), then you use the indefinite article "eine".

  • Neuter nouns: If a noun is neuter (e.g. ein Haus - a house), then you use the indefinite article "ein".

"Keine" is a word used to express negation or absence of something, and it is the negative form of "eine" (a/an) or "ein" (a/an) depending on the gender of the noun. "Keine" is used with feminine and plural nouns, while "kein" is used with masculine and neuter nouns.

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Indefinite Articles in German are "ein" (masculine and neuter) and "eine" (feminine). They refer to something non-specific.

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Chapter 6

Plural articles

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German has three ways to show plurals: die (the), keine (not any), and Nullartikel/no article.

  • "Die" is used for all plural nouns regardless of the noun's gender. Ich mag die Nachbarn. (I like the neighbours.)

  • "Keine" is used to show the negative form of a/an or any for plural nouns. Er isst keine Erdnüsse. (He doesn't eat peanuts.)

  • "Nullartikel" is used for abstract and mass nouns. Hans liebt kleine Hunde. (Hans loves small dogs.)

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There are three different ways to show plurals: "die" (used for all plural nouns), "keine" (used in the negative form of "a/an" or "any"), and "Nullartikel" (used for abstract and mass nouns).

singular and plural

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There are several different ways to form the plural, such as adding "-e" or "-en" to the end of the word, or using the "-s" or "-er" endings.
Some plural forms in German require an Umlaut, a change to the vowel sound, which can make the word sound quite different in the plural form.

Singular: das Buch (the book)

Plural: die Bücher (the books)

It's important to note that there are some irregular plural forms in German that don't follow these patterns; these will need to be learned individually.

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Memorise plural forms, including irregulars!

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GRAMMAR CASE: ACCUSATIVE

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The accusative case in German is used to indicate the direct object of a verb, the noun that is receiving the action of the verb. To indicate the accusative case, the masculine article "der" (masculine) changes to "den". The remaining articles don't change.
Verbs such as "haben" (to have), "brauchen" (to need), and "kaufen" (to buy) often take direct objects in the accusative case

  • "Ich habe den Kaffee." (I have the coffee.)

  • "Ich brauche den Stift." (I need the pen.)

  • "Ich kaufe einen Kuchen." (I buy a cake)

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Only the masculine article changes.

der - den

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Modul 3

Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

Modalverb: Können (can, be able to)

Chapter 7

1. "Können" is used to express what someone is able to do.

  • Ich kann Deutsch sprechen. (I can speak German.)

  • Kannst du schwimmen? (Can you swim?)

2. "Können" can also be used to express what is possible.

  • Es kann heute regnen. (It can rain today.)

  • Wir können ins Kino gehen. (We can go to the cinema.)

3. "Können" can be used to ask for permission to do something.

  • Kann ich bitte zur Toilette gehen? (Can I please go to the bathroom?)

  • Kann ich das Fenster öffnen? (Can I open the window?)

"Können" has irregular conjugations in the present tense.

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In a main clause, the modal verb "können" is positioned in the second position of the sentence, and it is conjugated according to the subject. The full verb then appears in the final position of the sentence in the infinitive form (unconjugated).

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“Können” is used to express ability, possibility, and permission.

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Chapter 8

Prepositions "Am", "um"

"Am": In German, the preposition "am" is a contraction of the preposition "an" (meaning "on" or "at") and the definite article "dem" (in the dative case). It is specifically used to indicate specific days of the week or dates.

  • Am Montag gehe ich zum Deutschkurs. (On Monday, I'm going to the German class.)

  • Ich treffe meine Freunde am 10. Mai. (I'm meeting my friends on May 10th.)

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"Um": The preposition "um" is used to indicate specific times, such as hours or minutes. It is followed by the time in the 24-hour format (hour and minute).

  • Ich stehe um 7 Uhr auf. (I get up at 7 o'clock.)

  • Der Zug fährt um 15:45 Uhr ab. (The train departs at 3:45 p.m.)

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“Am” + days of the week/dates,

“um” + times

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Verb position

In a simple German sentence, the verb usually comes second. The subject can be placed before or after the verb, depending on emphasis or information structure. The word order can vary in German, but the basic SVO (subject-verb-object) order is generally followed.

"Gestern habe ich Deutsch gelernt" and "Ich habe gestern Deutsch gelernt": The sentences demonstrate that, although the subject can be placed before or after the verb in German, the conjugated verb typically retains its position as the second element in a simple main sentence.
In the sentence "Gestern habe ich Deutsch gelernt" (Yesterday, I learned German), the verb "habe" (have) is in second position, the subject is on position three. The direct object "Deutsch" (German) appears after the verb.

It's important to remember that in German, the subject can be positioned before or after the verb, but the conjugated verb generally maintains its place in the second position in a simple main sentence.
In "Ich habe gestern Deutsch gelernt", the subject "Ich" is placed before the conjugated verb "habe" in the first position. The adverb of time "gestern" (yesterday) follows as additional information, while the main verb "gelernt" (learned) is placed at the end of the sentence.

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The subject-verb-object structure is common in German, but be prepared for other flexible structures.

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Chapter 9

Modalverb: Möchten (would like)

"Möchten" is the conditional form of the full verb "mögen" (to like).

  • "Mögen" is a full verb used to express a general preference or liking for something. Ich mag Schokolade. (I like chocolate.)

  • "Möchten" is a modal verb derived from "mögen" and requires another verb to show the action. It is used to make polite requests or express specific wishes. Ich möchte ein Eis essen. (I would like to eat ice cream.)

Sentence structure with "möchten" : Subject + "möchte" + rest of the sentence + infinitive verb (full verb in the basic form)

  • Ich möchte tanzen. (I would like to dance.)

  • Er möchte Deutsch lernen. (He would like to learn German.)

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“Möchten“ is used to express preference, politeness, and wishes.

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Word formation

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To create compound nouns like "Schokoladenkuchen" (chocolate cake), combine the base forms of the two nouns. The modifying noun (Schokolade) generally comes before the main noun (Kuchen) to indicate the type or quality of the object. The gender is dictated by the second noun.

The linking element "n" or "s" is added based on the gender of the first noun: "n" for feminine or plural, "s" for masculine or neuter. Not every compound noun requires a linking element.

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articles are determined by the last noun.

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Modul 4

Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 10

Seperable Verbs

German separable verbs consist of a prefix and a main verb, with the prefix being separated from the main verb in certain sentence structures. These separable verbs are often used in everyday German language.

German separable verbs are verbs that are combined with a prefix to create a new meaning.
The separable verb "anrufen" (to call) consists of the prefix "an" and the main verb "rufen" (to shout); the separable verb "aufstehen" (to get up), which is formed by the prefix "auf" and the main verb "stehen" (to stand). In English, it can be understood as "to get up" or "to rise." "Er steht um 7 Uhr auf" would be "He gets up at 7 o'clock."

To use separable verbs in German sentences:

Aussage/Statement: Verb in position 2, and prefix at the end. Ich stehe um 7 Uhr auf. (I get up at 7 am.)

W-Frage/Question with question word: Question word, verb in position 2, and prefix at the end. Wann stehst du morgen auf? (When do you get up tomorrow?)

Ja-/Nein-Frage/Yes/No question: Verb in position 1, and prefix at the end. Stellst du die Musik an? (Do you turn on the music?)

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Keep the prefix and main verb separated in the sentence; the prefix is placed at the end of the sentence.

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Chapter 11

Prepositions "von", "bis", "ab"

The prepositions "von" and "bis" are used to indicate a range of time. The preposition "ab" is used to express starting from a particular time.

"Von ... bis ..." (From ... to/until ...): Start the sentence with "Von" followed by a specific starting time or date. Use "bis" followed by the ending time or date. "Mein Deutschkurs findet von 9 Uhr bis 10 Uhr statt." (My German course takes place from 9 am to 10 am.)

"Ab ..." (From ... onwards): "Ab" is used followed by a specific starting time or date. "Ab 9 Uhr bin ich in meinem Deutschkurs." (From 9 am (onwards) I'm in my German class.)

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“Von” (+ specific starting time or date) “bis” (+ ending time or date) = from...to...

“Ab” (+ specific starting time or date) = from...onwards

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Present Perfect

German present perfect (Das Perfekt) is used to talk about past actions with a connection to the present. It is formed with "haben" (to have) or "sein" (to be) + past participle.

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The German present perfect is used more frequently than the English present perfect, especially in spoken language. Both tenses convey past actions relevant to the present, but German often indicates completed actions.

"Haben" is generally used with most verbs in German, while "sein" is used with certain verbs of motion, direction or change. To form the past participle, the ge- prefix is usually added to the verb. Regular verbs add "-t" or "-et" to the verb stem, while irregular verbs have their own unique forms, often ending in "-en". Irregular verbs have unique past participle forms that need to be memorized individually.

"Ich habe gegessen" (I have eaten), "gegessen" is the past participle of the verb "essen" (to eat). It functions as part of the verb phrase to indicate a completed action in the present perfect tense.

To use the German present perfect tense with the auxiliary verb "haben" (to have), follow this structure: Subject + haben + other elements + past participle

1. Ich habe das Buch gelesen. (I have read the book.)
2. Du hast den Film gesehen. (You have seen the movie.)
3. Er hat gestern Fußball gespielt. (He has played soccer yesterday.)
4. Wir haben Pizza bestellt. (We have ordered pizza.)
5. Ihr habt eure Hausaufgaben gemacht. (You all have done your homework.)

6. Sie haben das Konzert genossen. (They have enjoyed the concert.)

To use the German present perfect tense with the auxiliary verb "sein" (to be), follow this structure:
For irregular verbs, the past participle forms need to be memorised individually. "Ich bin eingeschlafen." (I have fallen asleep). "Eingeschlafen" is the past participle of the irregular verb "einschlafen" (to fall asleep).

Separable verbs remain one word with the "ge-" prefix positioned between the prefix of the verb and its stem.
Ich bin um 15 Uhr angekommen. (I arrived at 3 pm.)

In the present perfect, the conjugated form of "sein" and the past participle are placed in the usual word order. "Wir sind weggegangen." (We have left) "Weggegangen" is the past participle of the separable verb "weggehen" (to leave).

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Use “haben” or “sein” + past participle and learn the past participles by heart.

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Preposition "im"

Chapter 12

The temporal preposition "im" in German is used to indicate a specific point in time, usually referring to a month or a season.

It is a contraction of the preposition "in" and the definite article "dem" (in + dem = im).
When referring to a specific month: "Wir treffen uns im März." (We will meet in March.)
When referring to a season: "Im Sommer gehe ich gerne schwimmen." (I like to go swimming in summer.)
"Im" is followed by the specific time period (month or season) to indicate when an action takes place, and is used with masculine and neuter nouns, whereas "in der" is used with feminine nouns. For example, "in der Woche" (during the week) or "im Jahr" (during the year).

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Use "im" for specific points in time, like months or seasons, with masculine and neuter nouns in German. Use “in der”for feminine nouns.

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Learning a new language like German requires dedication and practice, and this page is your valuable companion on your German language journey. It is designed to help you navigate through the complexities of grammar, enabling you to communicate effectively in German. Make the most of your language learning experience by immersing yourself in German culture, practicing with native speakers, and exploring additional resources to further enhance your skills.

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