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Something unknown – irgend

There are some words in German that leave the learner simply puzzled. They appear all over the place one hears them but seemingly always in a different context or with other words. One of those words is “irgend”.

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It’s all relative: Relativsätze

When you first started learning German your teacher probably tried to hammer genders into you. That is that you need to learn all your new nouns with their gender (der, die, das). If you’ve been good, you’ve been doing exactly

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bieten vs. anbieten

The bane of any English learner is the wide array of phraseology verbs that the English language seems to pocess. Though there are phraseology verbs in German, they don’t seem to pose as much of a confusion as verbs with

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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

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Same Same, but different — dasselbe / das Gleiche

As we have often seen German has a knack for precison and accuracy, whereby many works are specific to one thing and can’t be used for multiple functions like is so commonly done in English. An example of this is

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Asking where in German — Woher, wo, wohin

Visit almost any German speaking country and one of the questions you’re sure to be asked within the first few minutes of meeting someone is: “Woher kommen Sie?” (Where do you come from?) It’s not meant to be a rude

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When to use wenn, wann and als

Last week we discussed when we use the conjunctions “wenn” and “ob” in their meaning of “if”. In the introduction to the post we also saw that “wenn” can also mean “when”. This is another place where German presents some

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wenn or ob — if only they were simpler to understand

When a language presents two different words used in two different yet similar cases where your first language uses just one word, it becomes a little tricky. In German the conditional words “wenn” and “ob” pose a problem for many

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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).

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False Friends (wollen vs. werden vs. bekommen) — Or why Germans become hot dogs

If there is one caveat that most people hear when learning a second language, it is to be aware of false friends. English and German are full of these false friends. I’m not going to get into all of them

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Tricky, tricky — nach vs. zu

One feature of language that will cause most anyone grief is prepositions. Why are prepositions so difficult? Well it is perhaps because they are used in so many ways with different meanings and also used differently in different dialects, pretty

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Same same but different — aber vs. sondern

It’s that day of the year again, when we in europe decide that we should all set our clocks to be an hour earlier. Spring ahead. Americans and Canadians did this two weeks ago. The result is a lack of

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