Archive for Lecture

Comparisons in German

comparisons-in-german-imageHello everyone,

and welcome to another part of our German is Easy Learn German online course… the coursiest course under the sun.
We do it in the gym, we do it at school, we do it when we’re visiting a friend for the first time, we do it when we have a new partner… or an old partner, we do it when we meet new people, we do it when we read a magazine, we do it all the time …and it makes us really really happy. Always. It can be incredibly hellthy… ops… haha… I mean healthy, it is healthy for us. Today we’ll learn about

comparisons in German

Like… this is bigger than that and so on. Usually the rules for making comparisons in a language are rather simple. But in German it is… well… nah kidding. Admit it you were worried a bit :). It’s pretty simple actually. Sure, there are some speed bumps like weird forms and sentence structure but nothing too bad. Today we’ll learn all about regular comparisons and we’ll see what the more-form is and how to build it. In part 2, we’ll look at the most-form and we’ll find out what the difference is between am besten and das Beste. And of course we’ll start…  with a little background.
I looove background. Maybe I should ask it out some day. Then I could introduce it to my friends and be like “Steve, this is my background. Background, this is Steve, my produc….” What? Nooo, I’m not high… never am. I’m just a dork, that’s all… anyway… where were we… uhm… yeah background on comparisons.
So… we want to compare two items, A and B. There are two approaches to doing that or better, two points of view. Now, of course we can compare A to B and B to A but that is not what I mean. I mean, that we can talk about equality or about difference. Continue reading

German Adjective Endings 3

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the last part of the mini series on

German adjective endings

So far, things were simple. Part 1 (find it here), the most important one, was about adding an -e to the adjective as soon as it precedes a noun, no matter what.  Seriously. If you haven’t read it, then do it. In part 2 (find it here) we learned to add an extra -n to that whenever the article looks weird. If you just do that, you should get about 70 % correct. Today, we’ll take care of the extra 15 %. Oh… I mean 25% . Sorry… haha… a bit shaky with the math right there.
Now, so far it was all easy peasy but this is gonna end today. “German grammar ist kein ponyhof” as a common proverb says. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It’s like…  you can drink 80% of an XXL Latte with hazelnut with joy and little effort but you need to really want to finish it to drink the remaining… uhm… the remaining percent. It’s no different for adjective endings. Today will be theoretical and tedious. You will be super exhausted and so frustrated that you will never want to speak German aga..
 (wait a second… that’s not how they explained it at this “Explain things seminar”. What did the guy say? … uhm… pretend that it’s easy… yeah, that’s it…  quick… must act or I’ll lose them)
and that’s why today it’ll be surprisingly easy. We’ll breeze through a few rules and a few concepts and shabams… we’re done. We’re basically done already, we just need to wrap up the whole thing. It’ll be a walk in the park…
(By the time they realize it’s the Rocky Mountain national park, it’s too late… ) guahahhahahahaha… oh… did I just do the evil laughter aloud? Damn… anyway… without any further ado, here we go…. with a little bit of background.

The Awful German marking system

German. It has three way too many genders, four way too many cases and  2715 WAAAAAY to many ways to build the plural. Continue reading

German Sentence Structure – Main Sentences

german-main-clause-imageHello everyone,

and welcome. I hope you’ve had a great start into 2014. Have you made new years resolutions? Our new plasma TV here in the cafeteria has. It’s HD…. … so much for my personal new years resolution to make better puns. I totally failed. That’s great though. I’m free now. Free while you’re still stuck with your “10 words a day” plan. We all know how this is gonna end ;). Seriously though, 2014 is a great year to learn German because it’ll be easier than ever before… okay not really but me and my team here at German is Easy we’ll try our best tomato sauce… er…. to make it so…. hey, I told you I’m free. Free to make puns so bad, they’d even make a vaccuum funny in comparison.
Anyway, we’ve got lots to do … more prefixes, noch, eben, gerade, ja, more and grimmer grammar… all this will be coming up. But we kicked off last year with a first look at German sentence structure and I thought I’d be nice to make this a tradition. So today we’ll add another piece to puzzle that is a German sentence.
Part 1 was a bit theoretical because it was basically about getting the tools. Now that we have them we can do actual work. We learned about the Box Model which is a model that is very helpful when it comes to understanding German word order and such. If you’ve read it – good; if you haven’t – well you can continue here but don’t complain if I keep using boxes without explaining what I mean :).
What? The link… I forgot… here it is:

So… what will we talk about this time? We’ll look at the structure of

Main Sentences

Structure of main sentences, ey… hmmm… that kind of implies that there is a structure of other sentences too. I sure hope it’s not dif… oh never mind. It is, of course. Continue reading

German Cases Explained – part 2

german-cases-2Hallo ihr lieben

and welcome to the second part of our German is Easy Mini Series

German Cases Explained – part 2

In part 1, which you can find here:

German Cases Explained – part 1

we wasted time with an introduction and then we talked about the cases nobody really cares about. The Nominative, which is the default case that every language kind of has, and Genitive which expresses possession for the most part. By the way, in the comments on that we were talking a bit about when to use real Genitive and there are some interesting points there. I’ll add them to the post when the lazyness wears off… if. Oh will it ever. Continue reading

German Cases Explained

german-cases-1Hello everyone,

and welcome. It is not gonna be a Word of the Day today but another episode of our German is Easy Learn German onli… what? I promised noch last time? Well, whatever. I need help for that but my philosopher friend had no time this week. So it’ll have to wait a little longer. Yes, I know you’re pissed but  because today we’ll learn all there is to know about

German Cases

So the question most learners have is
“How can I know which case to use? It’s soo confusing.”
The solution however is really really simple. Just check out the question. If you’d ask “Wen?” then it’s going to be Accusative or as we also call it … “wen-Fall”. If you’d ask “wem?” then it’s Dative (or Wem-Fall), for Genitive it’s wessen? and for Nominative it’s wer?  Let’s do an example.

  • I forgive him.

To forgive is vergeben (away-idea of the ver-prefix, anyone?). Now which case do we have to use this time. Well… let’s look at the question and find out.

  • Wem vergebe ich?

SHA – BAAAAAMS. It’s Dative. Now, is that a kick ass system or what?
“But, Emanuel, I don’t know which question to ask in the fir…”
No,no,no… stop being so overly negative. It is really simple whether you like it or not… Continue reading

Reflections on reflexive

reflexive-ideaHallo ihr alle,

und willkommen. Ja, ich fange mal in Deutsch an :). Warum auch nicht? Schön oder? Garnicht so schwer zu verstehen. Vielleicht hätt ich das schon öfter gemacht haben worden sein könnt… okay that is not correct, don’t worry. I was just messing around. But I bet it was confusing. Oh speaking of confusing, today we’ll talk about reflexive …  oh god, what a clumsy beginning…maybe I should go to that writers seminar in New Zealand… that might give me (wait for it) … new zeal and ..haha… oh come on!…. … … nothing? No smile? Man, this is going to be a tough show… oh speaking of tough, German has a lot of tough f… wow, this is so bad… German has a lot of features that make it hard for students of all levels to, well, like it. And if they do, it is probably a case of the Stockholm Syndrome.
“German??  They have 3 genders which they randomized and they make me learn them. And they have 1000 ways to build the plural and they feed me that, too. And it has cases … oh god, the cases. They make me choke. And German has one gazillion prepositions one bazillion of which you need every day  … I … it’s a great language. I… I love it.”
“It is normal to feel that way. We’ll get treatment. You’ll be okay.”
Today, we’ll talk about one of the lesser evils of German. It is not en par with cases or plural but still, many people seem to have problems with it. So today, we’ll try to get our heads around

German Reflexive Verbs

Text books have chapters on them and courses spend time talking about them and a lot has been said online about them. But there is actually lot of confusion as to what reflexive verbs are.
And that is no wonder because for each language they work a little differently… or a little more. In Romance languages it makes a difference for how the past is constructed and in Russian you add something at the end of the verb.
So… we will start with a look at how it works in English and then delve into German.
But before we start, we need to have a quick look at the reflexive idea.. and an add campaign of the Reflexive LTD captured that pretty nicely: Continue reading