Category Archive for: ‘Verbs’

Bad German Words

Seven German words that sound bad, but aren’t

German and English derive from the same base language so they have a great many similarities. I always tell new students that they should seek to make connections between English and German but also other words – especially newer so-called

Hitze

Heiss, Hitze, Heizen – Words for heat in German

Summer has returned to Zurich and like in so much of the world today seemed to come right after winter, though this year most of us in Northern Switzerland were left wondering, what winter? Of course with summer come the

Versuchen Vs. Probieren

Probieren vs. Versuchen – Sometimes you just need to try

A few weeks ago at our Stammtisch one of our Stammgäste was ordering a beer from the giant list of speciality brews featured at Fork and Bottle and asked, “Darf ich das Bier bitte versuchen, bevor ich es bestelle?” I

Das Futur II

Talking about the past in the future in German – das Futur II

When it comes to talking about the future in German, the abstract ideas are best left to Germany’s great philosophers. German speakers, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, are more likely to formulate the future more simply. In fact, German

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Hin und Her – here and there, and the importance of direction in German

When people first start learning German, one of the basic things that is confusing for many is that there are three words for where, well kind of. We have wo – where (exact location), wohin – where to (direction away

Partizip I

The German Present Participle – Partizip I

Clarifying a Common Mistake Before We Start: For anyone who’s learned English, especially in North America, you probably remember hearing the definition of a verb being “the word ending in -ing.” That was definitely a simplification that put many of

Kaufen Vs. Einkaufen

Kaufen vs. Einkaufen — Shopping made easy

The holiday season is again upon us. For many that means parties (Partys), family (Familie), and shopping (shoppen?). I’ve question marked the word shoppen because it’s the idea I want to clarify in todays post. Students always ask me, “When

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Giving Thanks in German — German Thanksgiving Vocabulary

This coming Thursday (Donnerstag) Americans in the United States and all over the world will once again celebrate their Thanksgiving festival (das Erntedankfest; literally festival in thanks of the harvest). Next to Christmas (Weihnachten) this is one of the most

German Verbs With Prepositions

German Verbs and Prepositions – Learn these together

Last week we looked at German adjectives and the prepositions they take. It’s great to get into the habit of learning certain set phrases, especially prepositional phrases, because this is often in language learning where direct translation will get you

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

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German Verbs With Inseparable Prefixes — Nicht trennbare Verben

Verbs, they seem to be one of the trickiest types of words to learn because there are so many of them and every sentence needs them. They also often have multiple meanings that change when put together with prepositions and

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Death in German — So sicher wie das Amen in der Kirche

Anyone who has studied German literature in the past 50 years will know the novella Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) by Thomas Mann. For most of us, death is an uncomfortable topic because it causes reflection on our own

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