Category Archive for: ‘Pronouns’

Grammatik

German Grammar Basics — What you need to know to understand German

I’ve been teaching German for almost ten years, and the one thing that I understand is that many learners have such a tough time because of grammatical terminology. In English speaking school systems, grammar is generally avoided, whereas German seems

Indefinite Pronouns

German indefinite pronouns – not being explicit, maybe in vague

I have often written and still maintain that German is a language of precision. However, when it comes to indefinite pronouns, many are left scratching their heads. First off German has many indefinite pronouns that are very similar in meaning

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Using während and damit correctly in German

One of the things that I so often claim about the German languages is that it’s very specific and that words aren’t used with as much freedom as in English. I still maintain this, but there are certain words that

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Using the German Dative Case this Christmas

It’s the already the third advent (der dritte Advent) and many of you are probably busy writing Christmas cards (die Weihnachtskarte), to-do-lists (die Aufgabenliste) and letters to Santa (Briefe an den Weihnachtsmann). With all the wishing (wünschen), and giving (schenken)

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5 Ways to negate in German besides using “nicht”

When I communicate with my students over e-mail, assigning extra homework or answering questions that they have between lessons, I generally try to do it in German. The more exposure language learners have to their target language the faster they’ll

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Prepositions Part 4: Don’t Fear the Genitive

One of the things I often have to reiterate in my German lessons is that students need to take German in small chunks. Learn the basics and learn them well and take a lot of the language as it’s given

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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

bis durch für ohne gegen um entlang

Prepositions Part 1: The Accusative 7

If there was a villain in languages it would be prepositions. These are tricky things that if you look them up in a dictionary you’ll get dozens of usages and then all the colloquial expressions which use them in different

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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”

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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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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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