learn-german-online-courseIf you want to learn German by yourself or if you’re looking for something to read along the way… this might be it. Here you can find lectures about all that is important about the German language as a system. We will not do the usual “How to introduce oneself” or “” here but we will eventually cover all the grammar. So… reading this won’t make you talk but I am sure it will help you understand how German works.

I decided to not structure the stuff in a linear way so the sections are pretty much independent of one another.  That means more freedom for you… yeahhh.
Ok…. if you are a complete beginner you should start with the basics…I mean… it makes little sense to read about time as long as you don’t know the past tense. But as soon as you’re done with the the essentials you can read whatever section whenever you feel like finding out more about the question… because it is then that you have a good chance of retaining it :).

So… go ahead, read what you’re interested in and leave the rest for another time. I hope you enjoy it.

The Essentials

German personal pronouns Personal pronouns   –   Learn the basis German personal pronouns like I, you, we and so on…
German verb conjugation Verb 1 – present tense   –   Learn how to conjugate about 98 percent of all German verbs in present tense
German modal verbs Verb 2 – present tense   –  well… the other 4 … uh I mean 2%
past tense in German Past Tense 1 –  an introduction to the German past tense
German past tense present perfect Past Tense 2  –  learn how to build the ge-form and when to use haben or sein
color-basics Past Tense 3  –  yet to come
past tense in German Questions 1 –  learn how to ask questions in German… part one deals with all the question words like was, wo, wer, wie, wann and so on… in detail :)
German past tense present perfect Questions 2  –  learn how to ask so called open questions … those without question words.
color-basics Questions 3  –  yet to come

Cases and such

what are grammatical cases What are cases   –  find out what cases are, why they exist, how they are in other languages and what cases and prepositions have in common (except that they suck)
German cases explained - nominative and genitive German cases explained 1   find out about the two German cases no one cares about. The bland nominative and the shunned Genitive. But who knows… maybe there is more to them after all??
german case explained - accusative and dative German cases explained 2   –  mich, mir… accusative, dative… find out what’s up with those once and for all.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 1  –  you want to get the endings right? Why not start  today!? with this convenient starter kit you can get about 40% correct … and you don’t even have to bother about gender or case.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 2  – The second step to mastery of the German adjective declension will et you another 40% there with not so much of an effort.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 3   – This one fixes the few mistakes that are still there… if you have 2 minutes to think, that is :). Seriously, it’s worth reading just to know what’s going on, but getting it right while speaking… no explanation can do that. Just talk and read and it’ll come :)

Sentence Structure and Word Order

German sentence structure The Box Model   –   A broad  look at what a sentence consists of leads us to the Box Model (©me). The box model is really helpful at understanding and breaking down even the most difficult German sentences. It will be theory and a lot of English but it is definitely worth the read.
color-nerd Word Order Explained – 1   

In the first part, we take a look at the commonly taught rules like TeKaMoLo and find out why they suck- And then we’ll learn a fundamental principle about German that REALLY cracks word order wide open.

color-nerd Word Order Explained 2 – 

We use what we learned in part 1 and see how word order really works. What goes where, why and what happens if you change the order. All that with loads and loads of examples.

color-nerd Word Order Explained 3   

With lots more of examples we fill in all the gaps that are still there and wrap up the whole word order thing with a surprising parallel.

color-intermediate zu and um zu   –  find out when to use which and settle the matter once and for all
german da-words meaning The da-words   –  damit, davor, davon, daran… what are they, what do they do and… whyyyyyyy
color-nerd German Participle Constructions   – scary sounding, not the most useful in daily conversation and yet all over in German. You can be fluent without knowing about this. But it gives you a great inside into the Lego-like character of German and helps you understand German sentence structure a bit better… because actually, you don’t have to move that much :)

Grammar Jargon

German sentence structure What the heck is “to conjugate”   –  Conjugation is one of the things you are confronted with in any language class… unless you learn Swedish. It is pretty simple and the term might sound familiar to you but maybe you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly it means. So if you need an update on that… check out the link above.
german da-words meaning What the heck are preposition  – The term is thrown around a lot in language courses and you need them everyday in German and English… and they cause a lot of trouble for language learners. Misuse of prepositions is one of the biggest source of error in German and it is by far the most confusing… get a case wrong … well ok. But get a preposition wrong and it might alter meaning.
This article won’t solve all these problems but it will explain, what prepositions do, how to recognize them, compare German and English ones and answers the question whether prepositions are necessary at all :).
color-nerd What the heck does “transitive” and “intransitive” mean?  –  This opinionated post… well.. rant takes a look at the terms transitive and intransitive. We’ll see what it means and if it is really necessary to use these words…
color-nerd What the heck are adverbs?  –  Textbooks, teachers, Ted Cruz… everyone uses the term without even asking whether people actually understand what it is. Here’s a thorough analysis of adverbs in general as well as a look at what’s special about them in German.
color-nerd What the heck are subordinating conjunctions?
This intense post tries to figure out just what are conjunctions. And we’ll go much deeper than the usual book definition. Because conjunctions have a lot in common with another bunch of words. And we’ll see what’s up with these things in German, which is kind of really interesting because it touches the secret why the verb moves.
(Spoiler: they stink)


learn about German Time Time 1   –   an insightful (or so I hope) introduction about what ways there are to give time information
learn the German time of day Time 2   –   Learn how to say the time of day
learn about German temporal adverbs Time 3   –  Learn all those “names” for time like today, tomorrow, last week and how to use them
German temporal adverbs future Time 4.1  –  Learn all those vague words like soon, later, at some point and so on… part one looks into the future
color-intermediate Time 4.2  –  And more…. vague words for the past… like just now, recently, a while ago, earlier and so on
German Time prepositions Time 5.1  Time preposition and how to use them… so things like in, since, for
color-intermediate Time 5.2 the rest of the prepositions… shame on me, but this is still pending
German temporal conjunctions Time 6learn how to coordinate actions in time… we’ll look at words like before, after, while and others… it is long but I swear it is worth it

Grammar Jargon

German sentence structure What the heck is “to conjugate”   –  Conjugation is one of the things you are confronted with in any language class… unless you learn Swedish. It is pretty simple and the term might sound familiar to you but maybe you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly it means. So if you need an update on that… check out the link above.
german da-words meaning What the heck are preposition  – The term is thrown around a lot in language courses and you need them everyday in German and English… and they cause a lot of trouble for language learners. Misuse of prepositions is one of the biggest source of error in German and it is by far the most confusing… get a case wrong … well ok. But get a preposition wrong and it might alter meaning.
This article won’t solve all these problems but it will explain, what prepositions do, how to recognize them, compare German and English ones and answers the question whether prepositions are necessary at all :).
color-nerd What the heck does “transitive” and “intransitive” mean?  –  This opinionated post… well.. rant takes a look at the terms transitive and intransitive. We’ll see what it means and if it is really necessary to use these words…
color-nerd What the heck are adverbs?  –  Textbooks, teachers, Ted Cruz… everyone uses the term without even asking whether people actually understand what it is. Here’s a thorough analysis of adverbs in general as well as a look at what’s special about them in German.
color-nerd What the heck are subordinating conjunctions?
This intense post tries to figure out just what are conjunctions. And we’ll go much deeper than the usual book definition. Because conjunctions have a lot in common with another bunch of words. And we’ll see what’s up with these things in German, which is kind of really interesting because it touches the secret why the verb moves.
(Spoiler: they stink)

Last but not least ones I haven’t categorized yet:

  • Reflections on reflexive – This post takes a look at what “reflexive” actually means. Then we’ll take a look at English and compare that to how it works on German and do away with some myths they teach in language class sometimes. After reading this, you see German reflexive verbs in a different light… they aren’t that hard actually.

Oh and what’s up with the colors? They should give you an orientation what the article is like…

color-basics:  Rated G. This is basic stuff that you can use and apply
even as a complete beginner without knowledge about cases or
sentence structure

color-intermediate:  This is the core of German grammar and structure.
Having read the green stuff you know enough to speak proper
German (of course you need to practice)

color-theory: These articles are more theoretical look at German…
no… not the boring theoretical, the insightful one… so those are
not about “How do I do this and that” but more about the
“Whhhhyyyyyy???” … they give you useful background and
organize things a little.

color-nerd: Rated Nerd. This is advanced stuff. You can speak
German fluently without any of this but you will need it for
writing and if you want to pass language tests higher than the B2.

131 responses to “Online-Course

Leave a comment
  1. Im looking forward to The Box Model :-)

  2. I can not wait for the Box Model, I know you can solve the mysterious “sentence structure” problem many of us have.

    • Oh damn the box model :)…. yeah to me this is really a big big big thing about German. I don’t know why I keep procrastinating it but it just needs to “ripen” :)… by the way, thanks for your other comments :). I actually did start this blog because I had this dream of having my own textbook… still a looooong way to go but it is great to see that people like the approach.

  3. When will the box model be released? Your lessons are fantastic and if this is a general application for word order it would be fantastic. :)

    • The box model will probably be the next article to come… it will lay a foundation to talk about sentence structure and it will contain some notes about word order but there will be more detailed discussion of that later on… :)

  4. Can’t wait for the box model either! :)

  5. Don’t forget about German Adjective Endings part 2 though……part 1 was really useful ! :)

  6. You should probably add the new addition “The Box Model” to this index. I’ve just started it, it looks v.good. Thanks for all your work.

  7. I think your blog is brilliant — probably the best thing I’ve read to help me learn; combining many examples + making the boring stuff interesting. A cheeky request would be an additional forum part of this website, where people can ask questions about correct grammar usage, through their example(s), and other forum people reply with an answer?

    Anyway, good luck if you ever do write a book. It’ll definitely be a success if you do!

  8. This blog is great :) I’m a 6th Form Student, doing my A levels, and it’s really helping with the grammar stuff I didn’t understand because we hadn’t been taught it yet. I originally came here for the ‘darum, damit… daholyshitwhat’ article, and it’s nice to finally be able to understand what’s going on.

    I hope you continue doing this because it really helps.

  9. This is an awesome resource. Very happy you’ve created it. I finally have something productive to do during the workday. :)

  10. Hello, I have a doubt and I think you can answer it. For example die katze can be written der cat?. This can sound strange, but in spanish is prefectly logical (“el gato” is the cat masculine, and “la gata” is the cat femenine). I hope you can help me because I can’t found it anywhere. Regards, Juan Macias

    • Hi Juan,

      so the general word for the animal in German is die Katze (feminine). So when you see one and you do not know or care whether it is male or female… say die Katze.
      A male cat is called “der Kater”. What doesn’t work is der Katze (except if it is in Dative case :)… so either die Katze or der Kater. Hope that helps :)

  11. Please tell me german present and future tense . Its so hard and I think that your website can make me learn this please help me in this………………. :( :'(

  12. Hi Emmanuel!

    Found you from a link on Yabla (in their piece on “doch”)! Glad I clicked it :) Everything here has been extremely helpful – thanks to you! Your two pieces on Adjectives, especially, are klasse. How about some help now with Possessive Adjectives – seiner, seinem, ihrer, ihrem,… (the works)? All my gratitude in advance :)

  13. Super! Vielen Dank! I’m so a fan now :) :) :)

  14. Good day, sir. My name is Paul. I’m from the Philippines where we have two official languages, Filipino (which is based on the regional dialect, the “Tagalog”) and English, which we use mostly for academic and official purposes. I never had any inclination to learn another language but my interest in German was piqued when I played Duolingo 3 weeks ago. Duolingo is cool, but to really get a good grasp of German, I realized I needed to learn its grammar. I came across your excellent website while exploring the net and found your explanations really understandable.

    The difficulty that I’ve so far encountered is the use of articles and their variations depending on a noun’s case. In Filipino, the equivalent of Der, Das and Die is “Ang” and if we would want to refer to a plural noun, we only add “mga” (pronounced ma-nga) to “Ang” to have “Ang mga”. The bird is “Ang ibon” and the birds, “Ang mga ibon”. In German, the use of articles depend upon the gender and the case, and they’re driving me nuts. I also find German sentence structure complex; the usual subject-verb-object order in English that I’ve been accustomed to doesn’t always apply, especially in clauses following a conjunction.

    Bookstores here don’t offer that much material on German. Germany (and for that matter, much of the non-English speaking countries in Europe) doesn’t figure much in our universe. So material on the German language here is hard to come by, the bookstores here being limited only to dictionaries and books promising good German in five days.

    I am grateful that there are people like you who share their expertise to put this kind of website out there for learners like me to enjoy and study.

    • Thanks for that nice comment and thanks for taking the time to talk a bit about your own language. It is always fascinating to see how other languages do things. There are just soooo many different way to communicate an idea :). I have deep respect for all the people who come from a completely different language background like from Asia, Afrika or from the Middle East. Because for them the European languages must look like Chinese does look to Germans or Brits or Sweds… different and scary :D… Tell someone you’re learning Chinese or Japanese or Arabic here and you’ll get all kinds of “Wow… so hard, I could never do that”. I have given Japanese a try a year ago but I basically stopped when I had the feeling that I in fact “could” learn it…. but with super effort. So… I have learned French and Italian and English but in the end they are all kind of similar. But I would love to be able to speak a completely different language… it just makes you more aware of how relative everything in language is. Viel Erfolg beim Lernen auf jeden Fall und wenn du mal wieder einen Kommentar schreibst, dann versuch’ ruhig auf Deutsch :)

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  16. Hi! Thank you so so much for all the effort you put into your posts. I LOVE your site. I can’t believe you have me giggling whilst learning about separable verb prefixs! Thank-you for making learning german so interesting, fun and informative at the same time. I now visit your site daily. :)

  17. Alexandru Bejenaru

    Heißen vs bedeuten?
    Thank you.

    • So in a nutshell… “heißen” is ” to be called” and in an ancient way also “to call”

      – Ich heiße Emanuel.
      – I am called Emanuel.

      – Ich heiße Thomas einen Lügner. (old)
      – I call Thomas a liar.

      “Bedeuten” means “to signify” and the noun is way more common “die Bedeutung”
      Both words, “heißen” and “bedeuten” have little to do with one another except for this one super common phrasing

      – Das heißt…
      – Das bedeutet…
      – That means…

      The difference here is small and in a lot of occasions both versions are interchangeable but “heißen” is more broad. “Bedeuten” is often used when you talk about the consequences of something.

      – DIe Oper ist zu? Das bedeutet ja, dass wir nicht gehen können?!
      – The opera is closed? Oh that means that we can’t go?!

      “Heißen” can do that too but “heißen” can also just talk about simple names… like…

      – Was heißt “Tisch” auf Englisch?
      – What does Tisch mean in English? (don’t know if this is correct)

      You can’t ask

      – Was bedeutet “Tisch”…

      and you can’t ask

      – Was bedeutet das?

      if all you want is to understand the fact… like… a scientist tells you some things in science jargon.

      – Was heißt das?

      is you want it translated into normal language.

      – Was bedeutet das?

      is asking for what the consequences are of what he just said.
      So… not so “nutshelly” after all but I hope it helps :)

  18. I like this website! I’ll bookmark it and come back to practice my German. Viel dank!

  19. can you explain about genitive?
    your blog is awesome, btw ;D

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  21. A teeny tiny flaw in this awesome site: The color icons aren’t helping much, as I am a colorblind.

  22. I’m not.sure what i need to do. i mean i know what to say what i want to in German but dont really know how to say it. i am half German and hakf Irish so i know more Galen than German could use a little help

    • Well, if there is one thing you MUST know then it’s verbs… learn verbs. Along the way learn how to conjugate them and then how the structure of sentences is. And then you can start refining with cases and all that… but I’d start with learning verbs…. think of the ones you use every day and try to find translations for them.

  23. I love to learn German language by hook ur crook,help me to learn it pls.

  24. a Chinese studying in Germany loves your webpage soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thousands of thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! €€€

  25. I am 4 weeks into a German class and I just discovered your site! It looks like so much fun and should really help. Danke, danke, Danke

  26. I hope this message isn’t a duplicate. I just left a comment but Word Press didn’t recognize me. Just wanted to say I found your site after Google-ing “German word ‘los’ ” and read your excellent and witty explanation of why I keep hearing it in so may contexts. I came back today to see what else you’d posted on “German” and I’ll be back. It’s excellent and yes, please write a textbook. You know your stuff, but more importantly, you know how to convey it with humor and in an accessible way! Many thanks.

  27. Just one friendly suggestion, if I may…. I read your comment about people being “lazy” and not making a small donation to the site. Most people are happy to do so, but you should make it clear that it can be easy to do… I am the same way, but when I saw “Maestro” and other credit cards, I thought “what a pain”… “PayPal would be so much easier…” So, after feeling guilty, I got out my credit card and clicked on “donate” — and then I saw that PayPal is in fact an option… So, as you know, most Americans use PayPal for online transactions — so, we are happy to pay a bit for the wonderful service you provide, but you should add the PayPal Badge to show that it is in fact an option — that makes it so much easier than getting a credit card out of the wallet. Just my 2 cents, buddy! I think many more of us “gringos” would donate if we saw up front that you accepted PayPal… Again, thanks for the fantastic information you’re providing us. I’ve learned a ton! Vielen Dank… dK.

    • Man… you are totally right!!! I totally feel the same way. When I see credit card anywhere I’m like “Mehhhh… don’t wanne”. I just didn’t realize that it actually doesn’t even say Paypal although the button is supplied by Paypal. Such a good advice. ‘ll definitely change that. TAUSEND DANK :D!!!

  28. This is the first time I´m really understanding German. I´m Brazilian, so teaching me German in English is really a great acomplishment. Thanks for the blog!

  29. Hello Emmanuel,

    I discovered German is Easy a few days ago and have been stuffing my head full of the many enjoyable facts available on it about the German language. I also sent a donation to the site, which I hope was received. Und jetzt..habe Ich eine Frage. Or would it be “Jetzt hätte Ich eine Frage,” In any case, I’m wondering if you talk about the subjunctive on your site. I googled German is Easy and Subjunctive, but came up empty.

    Could you direct me to the appropriate page on you site, if you do indeed talk about the subjunctive? Vielen Dank!



    • Hey man, glad you like my site.
      The “Subjunctive” has been on my long term to do list and people keep asking so… I think I’ll do it to sort of kick of the new semester in September. Boooh sooo long :)
      Good news is that I have written about it in a nutshell in my “forum” (which I sort of shutdown) so here’s the link:

      It doesn’t get into usage too much but maybe it helps :)
      Oh… I did get a couple of donations recently but I’m not sure if yours made it through as there’s no Taylor in the list and I didn’t check the mail-addresses. In either case, auf jeden Fall vielen Dank!

  30. Hi!
    Thanks so much for your blog, it is so great. Do you have anywhere a lesson on all of the prepositions… auf, in, fur, etc?! V confused about these little words!

  31. Would you consider doing a post on how to make compound words and adjectives? When to put an S, when not to, etc.

  32. Just wanted to say I’m having a wonderfull time at your blog and lerning a lot as well. Keep it up (seriously)!

  33. Hi,
    I am already fluent in 4 languages (but being bilingual two were for free :D), and since my profession brought me to Germany I am willing to learn this challenging language even though it is not my working language.
    Your witty explanations make it fun to study German, and I am understanding and retaining much more Information since I started reading your blog!
    Thank you

    • Ha… damn bilinguals and their skill :)… people say that the more languages you know, the easier it gets to learn a new one, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be up to the challenge. Danke für das liebe Feedback und viel Erfolg

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  35. This is great and really helpful. Thank you very much.

  36. Is there any rough outline on how to proceed with the lessons? I don’t like that ‘freedom’ , preferring a structure. I’ve the Collins grammar book, but that’s as dense as teak, whilst learning vocabulary isn’t as fulfilling when you can’t put them into sentences.

    • Definitely all the essential in the order… and then maybe the cases, but not “adjective endings 3” (that’s a bit academical) . Then the time-series and then the structure stuff… the thing is that there’s a lot missing still so apart from “the essentials” it’s hard to put an order to things. Hope that helps.

  37. Grey PaperArkadi

    Thank you, I’ll follow that outline!

  38. Shanise Burgess

    I want to learn german language

  39. love your blog sooo much <3
    updates about future tense please :D

  40. Hi :)
    I just wanted to thank you for this blog and for how much it made my journey easier , you have a very unique and interesting way in teaching something as boring as grammar, I hope to one day be able to thank you in person, but for now…
    Du bist wunderschön , danke viel mals :)

    • Danke für die lieben Worte !! Eine kleine Korrektur… “wunderschön” ist fast komplett über das Aussehen. So wie “gorgeous” . Und du hast mich ja nicht gesehen :)

      • Ach so! Danke für die Korrektur , ich bin noch ein Anfänger bei deutsch ,ich lerne nur seit 6 monte :) aber dein blog hilft mir so viel .
        Yep….hope that wasn’t too bad :)
        Happy new year to you sir ^^

        • Dir auch ein schönes neues Jahr :). Und noch mal zwei (kleine) Korrekturen:

          – Ich lerne erst seit 6 Monaten.
          – Dein Blog hilft mir sehr.

          Man kann “helfen” auch mit “viel” benutzen, aber eher, wenn man oft bei jemandem vorbei geht und mit den Händen hilft.

          • Oh Mann, du bust sehr hilfreich und toll, ich hoffe dich eines tages zu treffen (something tells me Im gonna get corrected for that lol)
            Du hast eine tolle methode, wenn du ein Buch schreiben, werde ich das fröhlich kaufen.
            Also viel Glück dabei :)

            Danke für alles , du bist wirklich großartig :)

          • Actually no need for correction. Der Satz mit “treffen” war perfekt richtig (ausser das “Tages” groß geschrieben wird). Aber eine andere Korrektur:

            – Wenn du ein Buch schreibst… (nicht: schreiben)

  41. Hiya! I think this would be random but I would like to compliment what I read on your blog with some sort of workbooks. I’ve been looking around but I really don’t know which one I should buy. I currently live in Germany and I’d really like to learn the language but I have no money. I can learn a lot from this blog if I get more practise! Thank you for the blog!

    • Tough question. I’d really love to give you some suggestions but I’m actually completely at a loss because I don’t use any German study material.
      From my own language learning experience though I’d say just get a book and start reading. Look up EVERY word and be conscious about the structures you see. And read aloud to yourself. That’ll train your muscles and it will fixate correct patterns in your brain.
      And if you really want to produce text then write some sort of diary in German.
      And I’m sure you can always find some exercise online… that’s what I did when I was learning French pronouns. Just search for the topic and add “exercise”.
      Hope that helps a little :)

  42. This site is the single most valuable grammar resource I have ever found ! Your way of explaining things appeals exactly to the way I learn languages (I tend to get super-interested in the grammar, and enjoy really understanding the mechanics of it. Then I realise that if I want to use any of that I’d better go and learn some actual words ! )

    If only an equivalent blog existed when I was learning French, it would have taken me a lot less time and effort !

    Keep up the excellent work,

  43. Hi There!!! Your blog is Fantabulous ( Fantastic and Fabulous!!!)
    I am new to german language,, and german is very new to me,,, i wish to learn it more,,,i have learnt a little bit(May be a very very very little)!!
    But looking forward to learn more from your blog!!
    Please let me know as to where do i start (in your blog) ….

    • Hey Swetha, willkommen hier :)
      Glad you like the blog. There’s no particular order for the course but I’d say read everything that is listed under “essentials” . And the first post on adjective endings (only the first one). You can find that under “cases and such”.
      That should give you a good start. Next up would be “The box model” if you want to take a peek into sentence structure or the posts on cases if you’re more interested in that. Or just read up on some words. Basically read what interests you. That’s the best way to learn. And if you stop half way because it’sboring or too difficult.. that’s fine. You’re the boss of your learning :)
      Viel Spaß

  44. Thanks for your post and for everything you are doing, I have been studying 2 months german and your page is clearing a lot of my doubts. I wish you the best for doing this for free. [thumbs up]

  45. Hi Emmanuel. First of all I want to say a big big THANKS for your Blog, Your sense of humor and deep on the explanations are highly appreciated. I am a native spanish speaker, so from the spanish perspective some things are easier to understand. I have a couple of questions and comments I would like to discuss with you, I would appreciate if you can email me to (address removed for privacy reasons)

    Thanks and best regards!!

    • Hey Manuel, thanks for the nice feedback :). Es freut mich wirklich, dass dir der Blog gefällt.
      AS for the questions… unless it’s something business-related or private I don’t like to answer questions via e-mail simply because only one person can read it. When it comes to languages, you’re NEVER the only person to have a certain question and if it’s on the site here, at least some people can find it. If you still think an e-mail is the better fit, then that’s


      otherwise just go right ahead and ask in the comments :)
      Oh by the way… I edited out your e-mail address so you don’t get automatic spam.

  46. I find your approach to be very useful, especially the box model.
    Have you considered more conversational learning tools ?
    I’ve taken college level courses aand also listened to pimsleur but I feel I learned more from your website then either of them.
    A paid web site w/ more in depth learning tools should be developed by teachers like yourself.

  47. Iam having such a hard with conjugating verbs with spelling changes and under standing haben and sein for some reason my brain wont grasp it :( Does anyone have a simple way of putting it or is it complex and im just gona have to searching tell I get it.

    • What exactly are you having trouble with? The changes like

      – Ich schlafe, du schläfst?

      And what’s the issue with “haben” and “sein”? I’d like to help but I need to understand the problem first.

  48. I LOVE the Humor. It makes me want to read more. Thank you for that.

  49. Fantastic Blog!!! :) Love everything about!

    I’m still having problems with this preposition:
    like Ich gehe zu Haus!
    where the right its Nach! damm German Hahaha… I wish I could learn as easy as I can drink german’s beer!

    • Oh who doesn’t :)… these prepositions of place are really confusing for pretty much every one… even natives at times. I will do a mini series at some point but that’ll be a while still. However, I have a special surprise… a little fact sheet I made years ago back when I started teaching. It doesn’t have much explanations and it’s not comprehensive but I hope it helps a bit anyway… let me know if you have questions about that:

  50. Just wanted to say that YOU. ARE. UTTERLY. AMAZING! I did German in High school for a few years and I really loved the language but all these grammar rules and such just made me feel like no matter how hard I tried, I’d never be able to ‘get it’ and my dreams of being fluent in German just went out the window and I lost a bit of motivation. But 3 years later, I’m prepared to give it another go (as I’m going on exchange to Vienna for half a year next year and would love so much to be able to pick up my German again and this time take it to the next level!). So I’m taking an intermediate German language paper next semester and reading your posts have helped an awful lot, as they are very entertaining to read (which is refreshing after reading monotonous textbooks) and the way you explain things just ‘clicks’ with me (and everyone else that reads your post I’m sure!). However, I was wondering if you have any tips for improving German speaking skills? How would/did you go about picking up fluency and the rhythm of the language? Is it more important to get the grammar right before attempting to speak? or better to talk as much as you can, while innocently butchering their language, be corrected and remember it? I’m not sure if you have a post about this, but please let me know if you do! :)


    • So sorry for the late reply!!!
      I was thinking about doing a post on that question and then I totally forgot.
      So … I think the answer is (as always) balance.
      If you just speak all the time you do run a risk to fix certain mistakes and then you’ll get to the point where you can communicate fine, which is where many people just stay because it’s hard to motivate yourself to improve if it already works. They can chat with friends and so on but every sentence contains mistakes.
      On the other hand, if you don’t speak for too long and have extensive theoretical knowledge and you can read the papers then you will be extremely frustrated with yourself when you do start to speak because you will … suck. It doesn’t matter how well you read and how many words you know. The first 10 20 minutes will be awful.
      It’s a bit like running. Starting a run is never fun but once you’re warm and rolling it’s enjoyable. Same for starting to speak. At first you’re gonna want to stop right away but after a while you’ll get more comfy.
      So the whole of this is… you need to balance grammar with speaking.
      I think for me it would be totally fine to not speak to anyone for 4 months while just learning vocabulary, reading and listening to audio. And then start speaking. This is how I went about Italian and it worked nicely. Pretty much the first conversation I had was on the phone with an Italian bus company. I had two questions and the lady didn’t speak English and didn’t make much effort to speak slow or anything but I got by just fine.

      I think the biggest hurdle in speaking is a lack of vocabulary. You need to have a lot of words ready to just shoot out without thinking. Then you can talk. Never mind the finer points of grammar. Get the verb and the tenses correct and that’s fine. It doesn’t matter if you mix up a gender or a case.
      When you start speaking as a very beginner or too early, then you simply do not have the vocab. You can do grammar at school all you want. It won’T help because you don’t have the words to convey your message.
      So ultimately my tip for improving speaking skill is this (and I’m really convinced of that):
      get a book and read it aloud to yourself. Write down every word you don’t know and learn the ones you deem useful. Read fast but properly. If you stumble with a sentence, read it again until you get it out smoothly. Don’t think of it as reading. It’s a gym for your mouth, you utter correct grammar, the brain gets filled with muscle memory and you find new, potentially useful words, some of which will just stick because the sentence was funny or something. The story of the book shouldn’t bore oyu to death but it’s not the focus. If you only do half a page, it’s fine. Do that once a day for an hour or twice for half an hour and I’m sure you’ll feel much more comfortable speaking within a month even if you don’t speak to anyone.

      • That is great advice! Thank you, I totally agree with all your points by the way because I can speak rather fluent canto but I can’t read or write it and my vocab reserve is actually rather shocking but I find that I managed to pick it up quite easily purely because I hear my dad speak it and I try to repeat what he says in my head and retain my knowledge that way. Although it would definitely be easier if I knew more vocab and grammar! Anyway, I’ll take on your advice about reading out loud and let you know how I get on after a month! :) Cheers mate!

  51. I agree! Great advice there! :)

  52. thank you thank you thank you!!!

  53. Hey, your “German Participle Cosntructions” article has “Constrictions” in the title on this page.

    Great blog by the way

  54. Hello ,
    Thanks because your website is really useful in learning . but I have a request, if you can provide something on Konjuktive 2 ; Futur 1.

  55. Wow… this blog is just too good to be true!

  56. This is such a great blog! My first language is Portuguese and trying to learn German (which is “far away” from Portuguese) as a self-taught makes it even harder. Finding your blog is a damn good help! Haha
    My only suggestion is to post more exercises, ’cause all the rest is perfect (man, you got the best sense of humour in your texts! I just love them). Congrats for your job! :)

  57. Sentence structure confuses me but before I get to that it is best to review the basics again

  58. Hey Emanuel

    Wann genau wirst du in einer Folge von Easy German auftauchen?

    Ich war im September in Deutschland und dort habe ich das Folgendes gelesen: “Das Leben is voller Abenteuer”. (auf einem Werbungsschild).

    Bitte mir erklaeren warum “voller”? Ich bin mir nicht sicher, aber auf dem Werbungsschild koennte villeicht auch “einer Abenteuer” gestehen hat.

    Danke im Voraus,

  59. Hey Emanuel,

    Thank you so so much for this awesome blog. I fell in love with German because of you. I just keep asking myself, ‘why didn’t I find this blog sooner?’

    Could anyone please suggest me an app or a website for practicing grammar? With questions and all. Only reading is bit boring. I prefer an app or a website as I am traveling often and that is very convenient.

    Thank you and Ich wünsche alle ein frohes neues Jahr und Guten Rutschen! :-)

  60. Hello, Emanuel. My native tongue is Russian. Russian nouns are also divided into three genders, which rarely do coincide with genders in German. As a native German speaker, do you know some tips how one can distinguish the gender without necessity of memorizing each word and its article separately?

  61. Hallöchen.

    Eins nach dem anderen, ich lese sehr gerne deine Website. Was fällt mir auf, ist dass, es besser wäre, wenn Sie die Präposition ,,her” und dere Verwendung erwähnen würden, und sie mit der Präposition ,,vor” vergleichen würden.

    Übrigens, weiter so!

    • Ich will rgendwann eine Serie über “Ort” machen und da kommen dann diese Sachen alle rein.
      Über “her” hab’ ich aber schon geschrieben.

      Was genau ist denn dein Problem bei “vor” und “her”. Die beiden sind eigentlich nie synonym. Und “her” ist keine Präposition sondern ein Adverb, also ist die Funktion auch anders als bei “vor”

      Kleine Korrektur:

      – Was mir auffällt, ist, dass es besser wäre, wenn…

      (“Was mir …” ist ein Nebensatz, also Verb ans Ende; Komma kommt immer VOR “dass”)

      Dieser Satz ist nicht einfach und du hast ihn fast perfekt gehabt. Beeindruckend!

  62. Hallo, ich bin Guillem und ich studiere Übersetzung an der UAB (Autonomous University of Bellatera, Catalonia, Spain).
    I freakin’ LOVE your blog — there’s absolutely NOTHING as juicy and fun on the net, Deutsch-Lernen wise – and I want to translate it into Spanish (and maybe even Portuguese). There’s definitely a lack of genuinely entertaining online Deutsch courses out there, and I think we’d get a great deal of attention of the german-learning Spanish and Portuguese public, if we made this happen.

    So, Yup! Guess this is kind of a biznez proposal to you (?).

    What do you say? Are you interested in it? Or at least interested in brainstorming together about it?

    In all honesty, I haven’t thoroughly thought about this nor actually have any plans on how doing it in mind (yet). I was just reading one of your articles and *POP* — this idea.

    Please hit me up at if you are even slightly interested in the project.
    Cheers and thanks for your awesome Blog!

  63. German is the mother-tongue in more European countries than English, French, Spanish or Italian. After English, German is the second most important language worldwide for business, tourism and diplomacy. In central and Eastern Europe, German is the most important foreign can take your German Skype classes through … here’s our link. We’re spammers.

    • Hi there, spammer. The text of your comment can be found on hundreds of other pages. You just copy pasted it here to phone in a link to your product. The spam cat does not approve. Shame on you!!

  64. Hello,

    Just discovered your site, and finding your posts very useful!

    I’d like to ask if you could kindly make posts on relative pronouns and the passive voice when you have the time, as they are bugging the heck out of me at the moment. Your explanations definitely make things easier to understand.

    Thank you very much!! :)

    • It’s definitely on my to do list. They won’t come too soon, but they’ll come. Meanwhile, you could check out the article on “werden”. There’s at least a bit about passive in there, so maybe that helps.

  65. I’m looking forwards to reading through more of your blog posts! The ones I have read so far are very useful! I wondered if you have written anything regarding German slang, especially among teenagers? Thanks in advance! :)

    • German-is-easy

      I don’t have done anything on slang in particular but I have covered a few words that we could call slang. You can find an (incomplete) list in the category archive for “spoken German”

      Some of them are just words that you primarily need in authentic spoken German but others like “Hammer” or “Vogel” contain some slang.
      Viel Spaß auf jeden Fall

  66. Hallo kannst du uns darauf erklären, wie mann “der/die/dasselbe (oder selbst? weiß ich nicht…)” gebraucht? Es wäre wunderbar wenn du darum eine Blogpost schreiben würde! Vielen Dank!

    • German-is-easy

      Was genau soll ich denn da erklären? Wo bist du unsicher?
      Zwei kleine Korrekturen:

      – kannst du uns darüber erklären… das “darüber” ist falsch. Einfach ohne ist richtig (kannst du uns erklären, wie man…)

      – Es wäre wunderbar, wenn du darum einen Blogpost… hier brauchst du “darüber” statt “darum”

      • Danke für deine Korrekturen! So for example I want to say “he only has himself to blame” and “he himself is a liar (even tho he points out others or sth like that)”, will it be “Er gibt ihm selbst die Schuld” and “er ist derselbe ein Lügner”? I just dont know when to use “sich”, “selbst” and the series of “der/die/dasselbe”

        • German-is-easy

          Okay, so “der/die/dasselbe” is “THE same” and not himself or herself. When “the same” doesn’t fit, then d__selbe won’t fit either.
          As for “selbst” vs. “sich”…. “sich” is a reflexive in a grammatical sense, “selbst” is an adverb expressing a self reference. But the terms don’t tell you much. You can use “selbst” in addition to “sich” if you want to emphasize the self reference

          – Er gibt sich (selbst) die Schuld.
          – Er wäscht sich selbst.

          Both would be correct without the “selbst” but having it in there gives an extra emphasis for the fact that he does it himself. Like… maybe it’s teh first time he washes himself after having been washed by someone else for years.
          For more on that and “sich” you could check out this article

          It’s not necessarily for beginners but I think it leaves you with a good overview over what “sich” does.

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