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Nouns are words that name people, places, things, or ideas. In German, nouns always start with a capital letter, and they can have different genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter. For example, "der Mann" (the man) is masculine, "die Stadt" (the city) is feminine, and "das Auto" (the car) is neuter. Also, nouns can be singular or plural.
Der Mann fährt das Auto. (The man drives the car.) Die Stadt ist groß. (The city is big.) Das Kind isst einen Apfel. (The child eats an apple.) Die Äpfel sind rot. (The apples are red.)
Verbs are words that describe an action, occurrence, or state of being. In German, verbs change their form depending on the tense, person, and number. The most common verb tenses are present, past, and future.
Ich fahre Fahrrad. (I ride a bike.) Er isst Kekse. (He eats biscuits.) Sie tanzt gerne. (She likes to dance.) Wir sprechen Deutsch. (We speak German.)
Cases are a way of showing the relationship between nouns and pronouns in a sentence. In German, there are four cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive. Each case has a specific function, and the noun or pronoun changes its form depending on the case it is in.
Nominative: Der Hund bellt. (The dog barks.) Accusative: Ich kaufe das Buch. (I buy the book.) Dative: Ich gebe dem Mann das Geld. (I give the man the money.) Genitive: Das Haus des Mannes. (The man's house.)
Artikel (Articles): Articles are words that come before nouns and tell us whether the noun is definite (known) or indefinite (unknown). In German, there are two types of articles: definite (der, die, das) and indefinite (ein, eine).
Der Hund ist groß. (The dog is big.) Die Katze ist klein. (The cat is small.) Das Haus ist alt. (The house is old.)
Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns and pronouns. In German, adjectives can come before or after the noun, depending on the sentence structure. Also, the adjective changes its form depending on the gender, case, and number of the noun it is describing.
Das große, rote Auto. (The big, red car.) Die schöne, grüne Landschaft. (The beautiful, green landscape.) Ein süßer, kleiner Hund. (A cute, small dog.) Das alte, gemütliche Haus. (The old, cozy house.)
Pronomen (Pronouns): Pronouns are words that are used in place of a noun. In German, pronouns can be used to avoid repeating the same noun multiple times in a sentence. Instead of saying "John went to John's car to get John's phone," we can say "He went to his car to get his phone."
Ich sehe ihn. (I see him.) Sie gibt ihr das Buch. (She gives her the book.) Er hat es mir gegeben. (He gave it to me.) Wir kennen uns schon lange. (We have known each other for a long time.)
Präpositionen (Prepositions ): Prepositions are words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. In German, prepositions are used with certain cases, and they can be combined with other words to form prepositional phrases.
Ich gehe in die Stadt. (I go into the city.) Das Bild hängt an der Wand. (The picture hangs on the wall.) Vor dem Haus steht ein Baum. (There is a tree in front of the house.) Das Buch liegt hinter dem Sofa. (The book is behind the sofa.)
Konjunktionen (Conjunctions ): Conjunctions are words that connect two words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence. In German, there are coordinating conjunctions (und, oder, aber) and subordinating conjunctions (weil, wenn, obwohl).
Ich trinke Kaffee und lese ein Buch. (I drink coffee and read a book.) Ich kann schwimmen, aber ich kann nicht tauchen. (I can swim, but I cannot dive.) Weil es regnet, bleibe ich zu Hause. (Because it is raining, I stay at home.) Obwohl ich müde bin, gehe ich noch spazieren. (Although I am tired, I go for a walk.)
Wortstellung (Word order ): Word order is important in German because it helps us understand the meaning of a sentence. In a basic sentence, the word order is subject-verb-object. However, in some cases, the order can change for emphasis or to form a question.
Ich gehe morgen ins Kino. (I am going to the cinema tomorrow.) Ins Kino gehe ich morgen. (To the cinema I am going tomorrow.) Morgen gehe ich ins Kino. (Tomorrow I am going to the cinema.)
Modalverben (Modal verbs): Modal verbs are verbs that express different attitudes, such as ability, obligation, or permission. In German, there are six modal verbs: können, müssen, dürfen, sollen, wollen, and möchten. Modal verbs are used with the infinitive form of another verb.
Ich kann schwimmen. (I can swim.) Ich muss arbeiten. (I have to work.) Du darfst das nicht tun. (You must not do that.) Sie sollen mehr Gemüse essen. (They should eat more vegetables.) Wir wollen ins Kino gehen. (We want to go to the cinema.) Er möchte sie treffen. (He would like to meet her.)
nouns are capitalized!
Learn articles with the nouns!
Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They describe how, when, where, or to what extent something is done. For example: schnell (quickly), oft (often), hier (here), sehr (very).
Ich laufe schnell. (I run quickly.) Er kommt oft zu spät. (He often comes late.) Das Buch liegt hier. (The book is here.) Das Essen schmeckt sehr gut. (The food tastes very good.)
In these examples, "schnell" modifies the verb "laufe" (run) to indicate how the action is done, "oft" modifies the verb "kommt" (comes) to indicate how frequently the action is done, "hier" modifies the verb "liegt" (lies) to indicate where the action takes place, and "sehr" modifies the adjective "gut" (good) to indicate to what extent the food tastes good.
Note that adverbs can also modify other adverbs, as in "sehr schnell" (very quickly). Adverbs can also be used to modify whole sentences, as in "Glücklicherweise hat es aufgehört zu regnen." (Fortunately, it has stopped raining.)
Komparativ und Superlativ (Comparative and superlative forms):
German adjectives have comparative and superlative forms to indicate degrees of comparison. For example: groß (big), größer (bigger), am größten (biggest). Comparative adjectives are used to compare two things, while superlative adjectives are used to compare more than two things. In German, these adjectives are formed by adding -er or -est (or by using "mehr" and "am meisten").
Der Apfel ist größer als die Birne. (The apple is bigger than the pear.) Dieser Apfel ist am größten. (This apple is the biggest.)
Passiv (Passive voice):
German has a passive voice, which is used to emphasize the action being done rather than the person doing it. The passive voice is formed with the auxiliary verb "werden" and the past participle of the main verb. For example: Das Buch wird gelesen (The book is being read).
In passive voice, the subject of the sentence receives the action rather than performing it. The verb is conjugated with the auxiliary verb "werden" and the past participle of the main verb.
Der Apfel wird gegessen. (The apple is being eaten.) Das Buch wurde gestern gekauft. (The book was bought yesterday.)
Reflexive Verben (Reflexive verbs):
Reflexive verbs are used to indicate that the subject of the sentence is also the object of the action. The reflexive pronoun "sich" is used to refer back to the subject. For example: Ich wasche mich (I wash myself).
In reflexive verbs, the subject and object are the same person, and the reflexive pronoun (mich, dich, sich ...) is used to show this. Ich wasche mich. (I wash myself.) Sie freut sich auf die Party. (She is looking forward to the party.)
Particles are small words that are used to add emphasis or indicate a particular meaning. For example: doch (however), mal (just), schon (already), noch (still).
Ich habe das doch gesagt. (I did say that, however.) Kannst du das mal machen? (Can you just do that?) Er ist schon gegangen. (He has already left.) Bist du noch da? (Are you still here?)
In these examples, "doch" emphasizes the contradiction between what was said and what was expected, "mal" indicates a request for immediate action, "schon" indicates that the action has already taken place, and "noch" indicates that the action has not yet taken place.
Note that particles can be difficult to translate directly, and their meanings can depend on the context in which they are used.