German Midsommar (verrückt!!)

 

Hello everyone,

and welcome to German Midsommar Crazyness.
Have you seen this one horror movie from Ikea called Kallax? Where a deranged abomination stands next to people’s beds watching them sl… oh wait… that was the shelf. Sorry. The movie was called Midsommar and it’s some horror flick where a bunch of young people end up with a Swedish death cult sect for the Midsommar fest.
I have not seen that movie (though I did see the shelf, unfortunately).

But you know what… none of this matters, because today’s article has nothing to do with either of those. I just called it German Midsommar for clickbait. And instead of some cultural lore about Germany’s traditions you’re now stuck with…

Some YourDailyGerman Housekeeping

Oh god, so boring. Make it stop!!!!

The thing is, I do have to do some housekeeping on the code side of YourDailyGerman this week. Lots of small things that kind of piled up and most of them you won’t even notice, but there’s also a new feature I am adding that I’d love to get your feedback on.
And also, I have a few little questions that’ll help me make the site even better.
“I don’t know man, it does sound boring.”
I know, but please … I’ll make it brief.
And let’s start with the new feature.

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Word of the Day – “schneiden”

In this episode:

Today, in a boring article out of which corporate has cut most jokes, we'll look at the meanings and use of "schneiden" and "der Schnitt". Yawn!

Vocab:   

schneiden, der Schnitt, das Schnitzel, die Schneide, der Schneider, die Schnitte,...

Hello everyone,

And welcome to our German word of the Day, today with a big fat dump of
boredom!
And by boredom I mean of course useful vocabulary, because today we’ll talk about the verb

schneiden

schneiden is the German word for to cut, so it’s definitely a nice one to have.
But of course, like many German verbs, schneiden comes with a fine selection of relatives and prefix versions and boy oh boy… there’s an absolute treasure trove of useful words waiting for us.
Too much for one session, in fact. Like… the article got longer and longer and longer and eventually I decided to cut it into two parts.
Today, we’ll focus on schneiden itself and some nouns and in part two, will go through the various prefix versions.

So let’s … uh… cut straight to the chase and dive right in :)

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False Friends Explained – rent vs die Rente

In this episode:

"rent" and "die Rente" - both are related and both are about money. But they're not the same. Today, we'll find out why, and how to translate each of them.

Vocab:   

die Rente, Rentner, Waisenrente, Labradorente, die Miete, mieten, vermieten, Mieter, Untermieter,...

Hello everyone,

And welcome to your German Word of the Day, today, with the epic return of the series that everyone has forgotten:

False

Friends

EXPLAINED

 

Hell yeah, let’s go!!!

In this series, we take a pair of false friends in German and English and explore the differences, how to actually translate the words and of course, which language is to blame.
And the pair we have today is:

die Rente vs. the rent

It’s not really something that gets in the way of daily conversations, but both words are indeed part of many people’s everyday life and while both words are about money, they’re very very different.

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German Passive Voice – The Interactive Exercise

 

Hello everyone,

And welcome back to the most bestest German grammar course on the web.
Today, it’s time for the first big

Exercise for Passive Voice

And it’s also time for a world premiere.
Because today, I’ll show you a new type of exercise that I have created that I have never done before. And actually, I don’t think I have seen it anything like it in any of the many learning apps and tools out there either.
I have made… drumroll please…

An AI exercise assistant

*cyberpunk intensifies

Well, actually, calling it an assistant is maybe a bit of an overpromise. I know that every language learning app and their mother is rolling out AI tools at the moment, but I think the AI we have now is not good enough to really be a learning assistant or tutor, simply because it’s not reliable enough. One explanation is on point, the next one is fail.
What it is really good at though is generating sentences and that’s kind of exactly what you need when you want to practice some grammar.

And what I made is essentially that… an interactive exercise generator. 

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German Expressions Quiz – Episode 3

 

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to your favorite German learning Wodcasts. Wodcasts are podcasts, but in written form and it’s going to be the next hot thing.
You heard it here first.
So yeah, welcome to the show, and today, we’ll take a virtual trip to Quizzington, because today, it’s time for another episode of:

German Expressions Quiz

And today’s lot has an especially high daily life factor :).

As usual, we’ll do 7 expressions, which is a good number for one session.
I’ll give you the German expression along with a literal translation and an example and then, I’ll give you a few possible meanings and you have to try and pick the right one.

And then, along with the answer, I’ll give you some information about the logic or origin of the expression and possible things you need to know when using it. Continue reading

Passive in German – Vorgangspassiv vs Zustandspassiv

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to the most epic German grammar course on the web.
Today, with the second part of our look at

Passive Voice in German

In part one, we laid quite a bit of groundwork. We learned what passive is and what it’s used for, we learned about passive in English and the colloquial get-passive, we learned that passive is more like a spectrum and we talked about how to actually spot one.
Because… you know, before we have to worry about how to build passive voice in German, we have to know when we need one.

Actually, that’s the most important part, so let’s recap that bit real quick.
Hooray.

Take this sentence:

  • I was disappointed a lot last year.

And now ask yourself: Is this passive?
If we’re just speaking English this matters exactly ZERO. No one cares. But it does matter if we want to translate the sentence to German.
And the best approach for us to figure out what we’re looking at is: using questions. Like… what question does a sentence or phrase answer to.
And the two questions that can help us clear things up with Passive are the following:

  1. What is/was being done to [X]?
  2. How is/was [X]?

If a phrase in a given context answers to question 1, it’s passive voice.
If it answers to question 2, we’ll just grade it “not passive”.
or actually, let me rephrase this:
If a phrase in a given context FEELS like an answer to question 1, it’s  passive voice.
If it feels like an answer to question two, then it’s not passive.
Because context makes all the difference.
Cool.

So now let’s see how this works with our example:

  • How was I last year?
    I was disappointed a lot.
  • What was done to me last year?
    I was disappointed a lot.

As you can see, BOTH make sense. To me, the second one feels more natural, but the first one could also work in the right context.
Context matters, and so the question test doesn’t always have “one” answer. The goal of it is rather to “amplify” how something feels.
Like… the questions help us get clarity about how WE perceive a phrase in a given context.
So, if  you  can “feel” passive voice then you won’t need them.

Anyway, if you want to read more about this I really recommend reading part one, especially if you haven’t read it yet.
So here’s the link.

Passive Voice in German – Part 1

And now, let’s jump in and find out how this actually helps us with passive voice in German.

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