Category Archive for: ‘Sentence Structure’


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

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Correlations in German — Combining ideas in sentences

Quite a few of my students are presently preparing for their B1 and B2 German Exams (Goethe Zertifikat). As we progress through different learning materials, I place a huge focus on writing. Writing is a great way to apply grammatical

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“mir” or “für mich” when to use the Dative or an Accusative Prepositional Phrase

The other day I was giving one of my German lessons on the run… literally running with my students. The advantages of combining language training and physical exercise are huge. Students combine things (multi-task if you will) and don’t have

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Explaining your actions in German — using um … zu and damit clauses

A post that gets a great deal of attention is the one about how zu is not always used as an preposition, but often with verbs whereby it is followed by the infinitive of the verb. If you haven’t read

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Expressing your New Year’s Resolutions in German — Future Tense with Modals

Today is New Year’s Eve (Silvester) and everyone is getting ready for the big party (die Party) tonight. Of course many of you are also putting together lists of your New Year’s Resolutions (der Neujahrsvorsatz / die Neujahrsvorsätze) one of

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When to use the German Future Tense

With the holidays (die Weihnachtszeit) just around the bend many of us are busy making plans of what we’re going to do before the family arrives and what we’ll do once they get here. Talking about the future in English

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Well that’s just perfect! — Using das Perfekt in German

A few weeks ago one of our Facebook followers asked me to write about using the perfect (das Perfekt)in German. This post is mean to be an answer to that question and a detailed continuation of the posts “Understanding German

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Being polite and dreaming in German — Konjunktiv II

Learning a second language is hard, especially for adults. Why? Because it’s like you’re a child again. In your native language and any other language you’ve mastered, you can express yourself clearly and eloquently. In your new language you want

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Indirekte Fragen — Taking the Directness out of German

Many of you may have recently seen a picture circulating around the web recently that graphically represents stereotypes of European languages and cultures. Austrian speak German, as do the Swiss, Liechtensteiners and South Tyrolleans (Südtirol). That said, the way these

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vor vs. bevor vs. vorher — yes, there’s a difference!

Last week we looked at the words nach, nachdem and nachher. We learned that these words, while they can be used to convey the same information, have different grammatical functions and word order and event order must be observed. This

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nach vs. nachdem vs. nachher — what’s the difference?

Anyone learning German should also find that both their logic and English are improving as well. The logic because German sentences are constructed more like mathematical equations and one’s English because you’ll become aware of the different uses of English

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German Cases — Understanding verbs, subjects, and objects

If you’re reading this, you’re under 40 years old, and you’re from an English-speaking country, you probably have at least two things in common with most of the readers of this blog. You’re interested in learning German or improving your

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