Author Archives: Emanuel

Hello everyone…

This blog is going to be a useful and versatile source of knowledge for anyone who is studying German.
It will contain an online German Course as well as loads of useful material that can help you with your studies of this language.

I will start working on this in 2012.

“to be” in German – Conjugation and Usage of “sein”

In this episode:

"sein" is the German verb for "to be". And just like "to be" it's quite irregular. Today, we'll learn how to conjugate it and also WHY it's so messy.

Hello everyone, and welcome to our German Word of the Day. The first ever word of the day, actually. And so we’ll look at the most basic verb there is: sein

  Sein is German for to be. It’s ALSO the German word for his, but that’s really just one of many… uhm… funny coincidences the German language has in store for beginners. Anyway, sein is the most irregular verb in the German language. Actually, it’s the ONLY really irregular verb in German, because German conjugation is quite chill. But…

The Second Word of the Day – “der Tisch”

In this episode:

The second article on this blog :). The meaning of "Tisch" with some nice family relations.

Vocab:   

der Tisch, die Tafel, der Nachtisch,...

Hey everyone, the German word of the day is:

der  Tisch

 

Tisch is where your dish is!

Ein Tisch
  is a table. Unless table is used in sense of a listing of some sort. For those tables German uses the word eine Tabelle or eine Liste.

The word Tisch evolved from the Latin discus or the Greek diskos respectively.
These are obviously also the origins of the word disc and the two things do have commonalities:

Using “Je… desto” in German

In this episode:

'Je ... desto' is the German version of English 'the... the'. We'll look at how to use it with lots of audio examples.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Week.

Suppose you want to express how some ‘quantity’ depends on some other ‘quantity’.
In English, this is done by the phrase the … the. 

  • The more I study, the wiser I become.
  • The bigger the better.

In German, we also have a two word structure like that but the parts are completely different because in German we use:

je … desto …

 

Today, we’ll take a look at this phrasing and see how to use it, and we’ll also talk about umso a bit and whether or not you need that one.
So… let’s jump right in.

Aside

The Grammar Jargon section aims at explaining the grammar terminology and to clarify the concept behind the linguistic terms. These concepts are most of the time surprisingly simple, their names however make them seem as if they are some ancient Greek or Latin voodoo. Try to read the article on Finnish grammar on Wikipedia if you want to know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, linguistic terminology is an indispensable tool to describe and compare languages. For the average language learner though they might be counterproductive. Grammar Jargon sure is a language of its own and  you are already busy learning another. In that section we will talk about the terminology and concepts you will encounter while learning  and we will look at them in a lingo that everyone can understand. Some of terms we will discuss, like ‘inflection’, you might have never seen before in a linguistic context, some, as for example conjugation, might seem vaguely familiar and  not a few will be the rather basic ones. You might even think “Well, duh… a verb… how lame, I sure know what that is”. I am pretty positive that most of the people reading this have fully comprehended the … Dive in

Word of the Day – “der Abwasch”

In this episode:

The fun world of doing the dishes in German. We'll learn words like pot, pan or plate and more importantly, we'll learn the phrasings for cleaning them :)

Vocab:   

der Abwasch, abwaschen, waschen, Pfanne, Topf,...

Hello everyone

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning of:

der Abwasch

 

The Abwasch,or more precisely tackling it, is something few people enjoy.  It has caused many many fights in households all around the world and even the introduction of the dishwasher could not settle the ever simmering conflict because, sure, people don’t need to do the dishes with their own hands anymore but the dishwasher won’t unload itself. You probably figured it out by now. Abwasch means something with dishes, dirty ones.

German Personal Pronouns (Meet the Team)

In this episode:

We'll learn the basic personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it and so on) in German. And we'll run into two very annoying bits of German grammar.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the first real part of the YourDailyGerman online course.
Today, we will have a look at the basic German personal pronouns.
Or in other words, we’ll learn about I, you and the rest of the crew.

Why do we look at those first?
Well, for two reasons:

Word of the Day – “der Schein”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of ‘der Schein’ and the verb 'scheinen' what sunshine has to do with appearance and money #mindblow.

Vocab:   

der Schein, scheinbar, Geldschein, Sonnenschein, scheinen, glänzen, leuchten,...

Hello everyone,a shining sun

and welcome to our German word of the day. This time we will have a look at the meanings of:

der Schein

 

Der Schein sounds like shine and it also means something like that and it is a word German use all the time, especially in compound nouns. As English doesn’t really use a stand-alone word ‘the shine’ very much, there seem to be various translations for Schein.
There is Sonnenschein (sunshine), Mondschein (moonshine… no, not the “drink”), Kerzenschein (candle light), Lichtschein (flare or gleam of light), Feuerschein (glow of fire) and 100 €-Schein (100 € bill). Wait… maybe the last one shouldn’t be in this list. We’ll get to that Schein a little later on… prepare for some serious philosophical talk there :) .

The meaning of “entweder … oder … “

In this episode:

"either or" in German is "entweder oder" in German. Here's a quick look at how to use it.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Week.
And this time, we’re in for some tag team action. Ohhh yeah, baby! Double trouble, ya’ll.
Because today, we’ll look at the how to say either or in German. And the for that we need:

entweder … oder…

 

Overall, the usage of either or and entweder oder is pretty similar, but there are a few small differences with regards word order.
Nothing big.
Just a couple of cute little quirks. You’ll be like “Awwwww, look at that tiny difference. Sooooooo cute.”
But let’s start with some “normal” examples.

The meaning of “der Ohrwurm”

In this episode:

A quick look at one of those cool German words that made it onto pretty much all BuzzFeed “German words English should import” lists :).

Hello everyone,ein Ohrwurm

and welcome to our German Word of the Day:

der Ohrwurm

 

The first translation for Ohrwurm that came to my mind while writing this text was “Despacito”. Yes.
Despacito.
Or to be more precise “Deees  paaa cito nanananannanan ito…. ”
You know that song, I’m sure.
Other possible translations for Ohrwurm (at least to me) would be “Yellow Submarine”, “Barbie Girl”, “Like a virgin” and many many many many more and the music industry has a lot of smart people spending their days to churn out new ones.

So have you figured out the real English translation yet? No? Well no need to feel bad, because English does not have a word for this.  

Word of the Day – “ausschlafen”

In this episode:

A quick look at the meaning of "ausschlafen" and its brothers "verschlafen" and "einschlafen". Also: some grammar... yawn!

Vocab:   

ausschlafen, verschlafen, einschlafen, schlapp, schlaff, der Schlaf, der Lappen,...

Hello everyone,ausschlafen - this kitten knows what that means

and welcome to our German Word of the Day – this time with one of the best things ever:

ausschlafen

And actually, it’s more of a post about the whole family of schlafen with various prefix versions. But ausschlafen is so cool that I wanted to honor it by making it word of the day.
And before you all fall asleep while I am telling you stuff from the “who cares” bin, let’s jump right :)

Word of the Day – “der Feierabend”

In this episode:

"Feierabend" is one of the best things ever. But English doesn't even have a word for it. A fun look at what it means and how to use it :)

Vocab:   

feiern, der Feierabend, der Urlaub, die Freizeit,...

Hello everyone,End of work - Feierabend

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. Which is actually more like the German Word of the … I don’t know… of ever? Because today, we’ll look at the meaning of

der Feierabend

 

Feierabend is a thing that every employee around the world is looking forward to with joy, and yet the term does not really exist in many languages.
Feierabend consists of the two parts Feier and Abend. Die Feier has its origin in the Latin feriae, which meant something like a day without any business activities’. So Feier is actually related to the German word die Ferien which is the holidays for students and pupils. Adult working class citizens have something different… they have Urlaub, which is not as often and not as long, but I digress. 

What does “to conjugate” mean

In this episode:

A fun look at the grammatical concept of conjugation. What it means, how it's done and whether or not we really need it.

Hello everyone, if Lisa were a verb, she would conjugate

and welcome to our Grammar Jargon section. Today we will have a look at a rather wide-spread term –

to conjugate

Whenever you learn a language this word will be thrown at you from the beginning assuming that you know what it is. If you don’t and you dare to ask… well you might be given a half-assed explanation that doesn’t really explain anything.
However , it is hard to use a different word for it as to conjugate describes one particular action you need to do with the verb. So instead of calling it to conjugate you could call it …..hmmmm…. to changeatize or dress-upatize to make it sound more dynamic and cool. But… it’s there, it is a word and to conjugate is one example for grammar jargon, that you really need to learn.So let’s dive right in. 

The meaning of “gleich”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meanings of "gleich" and why it's "equal" and "immediately" at the same time.

Hello everyone,these boys are gleich

and welcome to our German word of the day.
This time we are going to look at the meaning of:

gleich

If you have spent time in Germany, gleich is a word you have probably heard and read a lot.
Fortunately, it is not one of those weird words that seem to mean nothing and everything at the same time, like doch or mal.
Gleich
has two clear meanings – equal and right away.
And the first one is right in line with where the word came from…

German Present Tense – Regular Verbs

In this episode:

We'll learn how to build the present tense for the regular German verbs, what the vowel shift is and which word order to use for prefix verbs.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of the YourDailyGerman – Online German Course.

Today, we are going to look at the most important part of the German language – the verb. Everything in a German sentence centers around the verb and the verb is what you need to identify if you want to understand what is going on in a sentence.

So in this lecture you will learn how to conjugate 99.999 % percent of all German verbs in present tense (the remaining few verbs will be covered in the next post).
It’s a pretty long lesson, but here’s the quick links so you can jump around:

  1. Present Tense – Basic Conjugation
  2. One Glitch – Vowel Shift
  3. Your new best frenemy – German Prefix Verbs
  4. Separable Prefix Verbs – Grammar, Word Order
  5. Inseparable Prefix Verbs – Grammar, Word Order

If you’re not sure what conjugating even means or if you want to find out more about this, you can check out my  Grammar Jargon Post here  but I’ll give a super short summary here.

Word of the Day – “satt”

In this episode:

A quick look at "satt", which we need to say that we're full and /or fed up.

Hello everyone,This guy is satt

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of

satt

 

We’ve all been there. Dinner at grandma’s. Bravely, you fork up the rest of the mashed potatoes from the plate, totally determined to never eat anything ever again, when you suddenly realize that you made a grave mistake. But it is too late. SHE has seen it. AND she will not have it.
A white, empty porcelain plate is nothing  grandmothers can accept.
“Nimm noch was… du bist eh so dünn.”
And that’s when you remember that it’s the grandma speaks German and you have to speak German, too, if you want to have even a slight chance to fend of more food.
Come on brain! What’s the word for full. Wasn’t it something remotely related to saturated… and then you remember what you’ve read in this artilce and the words come out of your mouth..

The 3 meanings of “doch”

In this episode:

"doch" is used in many context and sources online that list dozens of meanings. But in reality, "doch" has three core ideas and today, we'll learn them all.

 

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
This time we will take a look at the 3 ways to use:

doch 

And by “taking a look” I mean, we’ll EXPOSE DOCH!
“Oh no, please, don’t expose me!”
Shut up doch, we will expose you! You have confused learners for long enough.
And don’t even think about paying me off like you do with all the other websites and Youtubers.
Yes, I know what’s up. You pay textbooks and teachers and websites so they keep putting out unhelpful explanations.
The truth is that that doch actually has a couple of core themes that tie all its uses together. And once we understand that, we can start using like a native speaker.
“Hahaha, not going to happen.”
Well, okay… maybe not that. But at least we won’t be confused anymore and we can explain why it fits where it fits.
So are you ready to clear up one of the biggest myt…
“Hey, Uhm… how owuld you like 10.000 dollars in you bank accou…”
Pffff, 10.000 dollars in this economy… get outta here.
“Free access to my OnlyFans?”
Enough now!

So, are you all ready to explain doch once and for all?
Then let’s jump right in….

The meaning of “als”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meanings and uses of the German word "als" (time, comparison, that third thing). Complete with audio examples and lots and lots of horses :)

2 meanings of alsHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
This time we will look at the meaning of:

als

Als is one of these preposition-conjunction-congestion-stuff-things, as linguists call them, when they’re drunk.
So we’re in for some heavy grammar. But not to worry for I have participated in a workshop last weekend:

 “Exciting writing – how to engage.”.

And that was well worth the 2 grand I paid for it.
I learned a lot and I will put t to the test today. Psyched yet? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesome guys… let’s dive right in then.

Word of the Day – “die Ausrede”

In this episode:

A good "Ausrede" is what you need if you haven't done your homework. Today, we'll learn what it is, how it's different to Entschuldigung and some more good stuff :)

Vocab:   

die Ausrede, die Entschuldigung, (sich) entschuldigen, ausreden (lassen), sich rausreden,...

example for an ausredeHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the exact meaning of the  word:

die Ausrede

 

Die Ausrede apparently comes from the verb ausreden. This consists of the basic word reden which is to talk or speak and the prefix aus which translates to out, off or from. In case of ausreden it is out so translating literally we wind up with “speak out”. But this is a bit confusing. Ausreden is what you want to do if you ask the listener to hear you out…  

Word of the Day – “Hosenstall”

In this episode:

A fun look at the German word "der Hosenstall" and why it’s perfect for an April’s fools prank. Also: some more or less useful words :)

Vocab:   

die Hose, der Stall, der Reißverschluss, auf sein,...

no commentHi everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning and only at the meaning of :

der Hosenstall

So I was in the middle of writing an article about this really useful word … I think it was schon or noch or something… but then it struck me… April is comin’ up and so is Aprils Fools’ Day and I should hook you up with at least one Aprils Fools’ joke… I don’t want you to stand aside while all the others are having ever so much fun. So today I will give you one of the absolute classics and the main component for it is der Hosenstall

German Word of the Day – “neugierig”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "neugierig" and what curiosity has to do with greed.

Vocab:   

neugierig, die Neugier, vergesslich, neu,...

kid is neugierigHi everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning of:

neugierig

 

Neugierig is a good example for one of Ger-Mans superpowers. He can fuse words together and create a new word. What other superpowers does German have? He can make really long sentences, which are impossible to comprehend without making a mind map (oh I hate that word… damn consultants jargon). I think he made some really good translations of Goethe that captured the linguistical finesse and poetry of the original text… what? Oh… was he? Oh crap… I didn’t know that… well whatever, this is Particle Physics 101 after all. It’s not?  Oh… uhm… well…

Ladies and Gentlemen: our Word of the Day: neugierig

The meaning and use of – “aussehen”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "aussehen" and when to use it as a translation for "to look". Spoiler: it's NOT always and many people make mistakes there :)

Vocab:   

aussehen, das Aussehen, aussehend,...

joke aussehenHello everyone,

another day in quarantene. Hooray!
Well, actually, we don’t really have quarantene in Germany. Thank God. What we have is a “Kontaktverbot”. That means we have to keep 6 feet apart, and are not allowed to form groups larger than two people. Not so bad, actually. Much better than a curfew, for sure.

Anyway guys, welcome to our German Word of the Day and this time we will look at the meaning of:

aussehen

 

And to start this of, let’s do a little guessing game.
How many different concepts or meaning does aussehen have? 1, 3 or 6? What would you say?
Keep in mind… it’s a German prefix verb.
The correct answer is…

Word of the Day – “der Schnupfen”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of der Schnupfen and other words you need when you have a German cold.

Vocab:   

der Schnupfen, die Erkältung, schnauben, der Husten, das Tuch, der Rotz,...

meaning of schnupfenHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

der Schnupfen

 

Der Schnupfen… I don’t know where it came from or when it will leave but I have one with me right now and all he does is make me blow my nose every minute and whine to my girlfriend just as much, because that’s what REAL men do.
So you might have already an idea what a Schnupfen is but the word is actually not that easy to translate. Technically, there is a literal translation for Schnupfen: coryza … which makes me think of Spanish salami.

What are Prepositions – Grammar Terms Explained

In this episode:

Prepositions are one of the fundamental word types in English. But do ALL languages have them? Do we even need them? Today, we'll learn all about it.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to another rendition of Grammar Jargon. As usual we will explain one grammatical term in “normal” words and today we will take on the question:

“What exactly are prepositions???”

I am sure you have heard the word before and you will probably be able to give some examples of prepositions in English. But could you tell precisely what they actually are? And if so could you tell whether before is one or not? If not you will be able after you’ve finished this article.

We will look at their function, their shared characteristics, we will compare German and English prepositions a bit and we will of course see why knowing about prepositions can be helpful.
Here are the quick links to the sections:

  1. Intro
  2. Function of Prepositions
  3. Recognizing Prepositions
  4. German and English Prepositions – Comparison
  5. Do we really need Prepositions

 

And now let’s jump right in.

The meaning of “Frühjahrsmüdigkeit”

In this episode:

A quick look at the meaning of Frühjahrsmüdigkeit - an ailment that many Germans suffer from in spring time, but that is rest of humanity has never heard of :)

Vocab:   

das Frühjahr, der Frühling, müde, die Müdigkeit,...

fruejahrsmuedigkeitHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

die Frühjahrsmüdigkeit

 

Yeah… all chores are done, no further obligations today… time to write a new Word of the Day…  let’s see… coffee: check, comfy chair: check, smooth background music: check, online dictionaries opened: check… pun-box filled:  hmmm only stupid ones in here, anyway those will do so check… perfect. Looks like I am set to dive right into Frühjahrsmüdigkeit. Just a quick gaze out of the window… … … and now let’s gooooo…. oh… uhm… why is the screen dark… ah yeah right, my laptop has gone into hibernation… man I wish I could follow you there pal but we got work to do so resume…

Frühjahrsmüdigkeit, 5 long syllables of phlegm.  

Word of the Day – “aufwachen”

In this episode:

Today, we'll learn the difference between "aufwachen" and "(auf)wecken" and see when to use which. Special guest: "erwachen"

Vocab:   

aufwachen, aufwecken, erwachen, wachen, die Wache,...

aufwachenHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

aufwachen

 

Aufwachen… a burden at times and a relief at others. We usually do it once per day… or twice… or not at all if we are party animal. The word consists of the basic verb wachen and the prefix aufAuf can mean a number of things like open, up, on top of or on and wachen means something like… uh screw it …just watch this video here.
See you in 2 minutes … … … … … … … … … … … … 

Word of the Day – ” der Vogel”

In this episode:

"Der Vogel" means "bird". And German has quite a few idioms and with it. Today, we'll learn the best ones, including one about... sex.

Vocab:   

der Vogel, einen Vogel haben, einen Vogel zeigen, der Dreckspatz, der Lockvogel, die Schnapsdrossel, der Pechvogel,...

vogelHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning of:

der Vogel

 

After we dealt with the heavy ass her  last time, I promised you something light-hearted, something to gracefully defy the ever dragging gravity of grammar,
something to escape the rocky landscape of structure in which only scarcely a full stop will grow,
something to gaily soar above the worrisome valleys where gender and cases thrive, wild and diverse, befogging even the brightest mind,
something to blithely hang out on the highest branch of the big German oak tree,
from where even the farthest verb can be seen, and … eventually shit on someones car…
something like:
a bird

The meaning of “unheimlich”

In this episode:

Come along with Inspector awesome and discover the meaning of "unheimlich" while solving a case.

Vocab:   

unheimlich, das Heim, das Altenheim, nach Hause, heimelig, heimisch, heimlich,...

unheimlichHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day, and this time we will have a look at the meaning of:

unheimlich

 

Inspector Awesome was badly hungover. And that was well deserved. “One coffee please… and make it strong.” he said to the guy at the counter. “Do you mean just like a coffee or a Latte?” the guy asked. Inspector Awesome wanted to puke. ‘I’ll Latte your face, you hipster serving jerk’, he thought but he had enough composure to not show his contempt. “Just coffee, no milk thank you.”
Back in his office he sat down at his desk and started his daily routine of staring out the window. It was good coffee. He hadn’t had work in a while and slowly his savings were eaten up. ‘I need a job and I need one fast’ he thought, as he spotted the little paper on the floor. Someone must have slipped it under the door. Whoever had written this, he or she sure had a nice handwriting. Hoping for it to be a she, Awesome started to read… 

The meaning of “vielleicht”

In this episode:

A quick look at "vielleicht", the German word for "maybe". We'll learn why it means what it means, how to use it and what side use it has.

do you wanne go out with me - yes no maybeHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
This time with a quick and indecisive look at the meaning of:

vielleicht

Vielleicht is one of the words I look up first whenever I learn a new language. Yeah… as if I am learning new languages all the time. I am inching slowly toward something that losely resembles an actual effort of learning Bulgarian, at the moment.
But I do indeed know vielleicht in Bulgarian. It is “може би“. And that sounds awkwardly similar to what it is in English…. drumroll please… maybe.

Prefix Verbs Explained – “einstellen”

In this episode:

"einstellen" has a few meanings that seem to have nothing to do with each other. Today, we'll find out what they are and if there is a common idea.

einstellung

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of the most epic series of all time – Prefix Verbs Explained.
Whoop, whoop… they hype train just reached the station. And we’ll all get on board.
And yes! I did have a beer before the show and I will have another one right now, as we look at the meaning of

einstellen

 

What’s that? You think drinking beer while teaching German is the wrong mindset and you’re not sure whether you should even listen to me?
Well, fair enough, feel free to consult a dictionary about einstellen.
Everybody back? Great :).
Then let’s jump right in.

Word of the Day – “lauter”

In this episode:

A fun look at the word "lauter", why it is much more than just "louder" and what cool things we can do with it.

Vocab:   

lauten, laut, der Laut, lauter, unlauter, der Klang, läuten,...

lauterHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time, we will have a look at the meanings of:

lauter

 

If someone had told me a week ago, “Hey Emanuel, instead of writing about the cases next, why don’t you talk about the word
lauter?
” , I would have probably said: ” …. lauter really ???…  it is just louder, what’s there to talk about?”
At first sight, lauter really doesn’t seem to be a very interesting word as it is just an amplified laut if you will. And laut itself … well it would probably be enough material to write about … and it would give me the chance to make an INCREDIBLE funny Fat Boy Slim reference…
“Write about laut, my funk soul brother” … but then again, it is not that interesting. And lauter… well there are definitely more important word to write about… that’s what I thought.
But then, I had a dream…. I still remember it perfectly… (cliché harp arpeggio up) 

What is the function of cases

In this episode:

Many languages have grammatical cases - even English. Their core function is to express the "role" of an entity in the sentence - but do we really need them?

guy freaking out over casesHello everyone,

and welcome to a somewhat special episode of our grammar course, because today, we’ll take a look at the function of

Grammatical Cases

Yeah, I know. Ewwwwww….
For real though, cases do have a pretty bad reputation.
Especially to people whose mother tongue is virtually case-free, “has cases” sounds like “has fleas” or “doesn’t shower very often”.
And even people whose own language does have cases don’t like them too much.
Finns complain about the German cases, Germans whine about Polish cases and everybody struggles with ancient Greek and Latin cases.
Cases just seem to give everyone a hard time.

And at least part of the problem is that most people don’t really know what grammatical cases actually are – they are there and they suck. That’s it.

But once you know what they actually are, what role they play, and what would be the alternative, they’re actually not that hard anymore. Or at least not that scary.

So in this article we will look at the general concept of cases.
We’ll find out what cases do and how they do it and we will have a look at the variety of cases you can find in different languages – and we’ll stay on the surface, so don’t worry :).
And then, we will see if we can make … ahem… a case for or against cases and answer the very very important question:

Do we really need this sh*t?

Or as Clean Internet™ would say:

Are cases really necessary?

And then, to wrap it all up we will take a look at how cases connect organic chemistry.
Sounds good? Cool.
Here are the quick links, so you can jump around:

 

Then let’s start.

German da-words Explained

In this episode:

Da-words (or da-compounds) are an essential part of German. Today, we'll learn what they are, how to use them and why they're actually pretty cool.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to another part of the “German-is-easy learn German online course “… a course just as great as its title is stupid and long.
So … very very great!

But today we will have a look at something that has bothered generations of learners. No one has ever put it into words more beautifully than an unknown young person who was learning German as a second language two centuries ago:

Darum, davor, damit
what’s with all that stuff

Word of the Day – “erst”

In this episode:

"erst" is much more than just "first". Today, we'll explore what it can express, how to use it and why it kind of is the opposite of "schon".

erst - the opposite of alreadyHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. I hope you are all well and awake ’cause this time we will have a look at the meaning of:

erst

 

Most of you probably know that it as first, but erst also a translation for only – a specific version of it, to be precise. And once you start digging for the difference to nur you’ll find another word there… schon.
Dun dunn dunnn.
Schon and erst, two sides of the same coin. Or actually, more like two views of the same side of the coin.
So, are you ready to take a look?
Then let’s go.

German Word of the Day – “Bar”

In this episode:

Did you ever wonder why Bargeld is cash and not bar money. And why a bar is still Bar? And why"wunderbar" is "wonderful". In this post, we'll find out :)

Vocab:   

bar, in bar, die Bar, das Bargeld, ,...

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the many meanings of the kaleidoscope that is the word :

Bar

 

 

And we already have a call here, Michelle from Columbia, hi Michelle.
“Wooooow, I am on air… that’s like soooo cool… Me and the whole girls-college here, we are all really really big fans and listen to your show every time … .”
Cool, that’s REALLY nice to hear, so how can I help you Michelle?
“Yeah… so… is it like die, der or das Bar… please tell me, we all wanne know the gender so bad.”
Oohhh, well Bar can actually have 2 different genders, die and das an die Bar is something totally different than das Bar.
“Wow, that is like SO AWESOME… ”
But wait there is more… there isn’t only the noun Bar, there is also bar with no capital (there was a joke about no capital in bar as in no money  in a bar here, but it was removed because it was deemed unfunny)
“Does it mean something way different then?”
Yes, it does.
“Oh my god, that’s like the most awesomenest word ever, can’t wait to find out about it.”
Cool, then let’s waste no more time and dive right in with a little poem I wrote: 

German Gym – Work your “zu… um… zu”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to … well to… to our newly opened gym.
Pumpin’ German till your grammar-abs are rock solid.
Over the years, I have developed a fair amount of exercises of different kinds to train the most important issues of German Grammar.
And then, today, I thought, well I do have all these pdf-files sitting on my hard drive slowly collecting dust… why not share them? So share them I will.

And the first one is going to be the one for

“zu vs. um zu”  

Word of the Day – “ausser”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of "ausser" and how to use it. Special guests: "bis auf", "ausserdem" and dumb jokes.

Hey there everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of:

außer

 

Außer is the third of the infamous three but-lings, the three German translations for the word but.
Or actually, we should probably say “options”. The thing is that the English word but is for three concepts that German sees as different things. Of course… we all know how painfully precise German likes to be sometimes.
So yeah, German uses a different word for each of those three concepts and if you pick the wrong one, it actually sounds REALLY confusing to a German speaker, even though it’s all but in English.
The first two But-lings are aber and sondern and mixing up those is a really common mistake.
We’ve talked about sondern and how to tell it apart from aber in a separate article, so if you want to check that out, here’s the link:

Word of the Day – “sondern”

Today, we’ll look at the third But-ling, außer and see how it’s different to aber and sondern. and we’ll also learn a few nice alternatives and cool related words.
So are you ready to jump in?
Then let’s go.

Talking about Time – Introduction

In this episode:

The first part of the series gives you an overview over the various aspects of talking about time in German (and any language for that matter). A bit theory, but REALLY useful.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to another lecture of the slowly growing German is Easy Online course.
And this time we will start to learn how to talk about:

Time 

As always, our lines are open for you during the show, so feel free to call whenever you have a question. The number is 0800 – 151-vocab-4-u, I’ll repeat, 0800 – 151-vocab-4-u.  We are going to discuss time today, so stay tuned… here is Prince: 

Style special – “to walk”

In this episode:

Most of you know what to go and to run means in German. But there are many more "modes" of walking. Today, we'll explore words like sneak, stumble and trod...

Vocab:   

gehen, laufen, rennen, schleichen, stolpern, schlendern, bummeln,...

Hi there everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
And as much as we all love talking about grammar and dig deep into words, we still need something light-hearted every once in a while, something that is easy to consume.
So today, we will not look at one word in particular. Today we’ll look at a lot of words.
Like… take a fun little stroll along a lush field of vocabulary. You can stop and take pictures if you feel like it, or you can just enjoy the moment and then just forget without regret. Think of it as a quick summer flirt with a beautiful other.
So… drumroll…. what we are going to do today is… drumroll getting louder…

Look at the different ways of walking.

If you’re reading this before 2020, it doesn’t sound very interesting. But trust me… you’ll have a new found love for taking strolls after that clusterf… anyway, that’s still a bit away. Forget what I said.
So, are you ready to explore some German walking styles? Then let’s gooooo

Talking about Time in German – Time of Day

In this episode:

There are two main ways to tell the time in German, one more official, one more colloquial. Today, we'll learn how to use both of them and have some fun.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of our “How to talk about time?” mini series.
In the first part, we took a general look at the various ways of indicating time and even though you don’t really need it to understand today’s lecture, you should definitely check it because it’ll give you a good overview over the scope of this series. So if you want to check it out, you can find it here.

Anyway, the title of today’s lecture is

Time 2- The Time of Day

And it’s a pretty epic title, I have to say. Sounds like a fast paced action flic, in space, with aliens and ‘splopsions and excitement.
But really all it is, is learning how to say stuff  like “It’s 10 o’ clock.” in German.
So basically, this will probably be the most boringest episode ever. But we need to know it, so let’s jump right in and get it over with :)

Word of the Day – “die Lautmalerei”

In this episode:

German is full of onomatopoeia. Today, we'll learn the poetic German word for it and check out some common examples with audio :)

Vocab:   

laut, der Laut, der Klang, die Malerei,...

lautmalereiHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day… And today it is going to be … a quicky. Yes, a quicky and speaking of quicky, I’d like to wholeheartedly welcome all the adolescent boys and men who just now found their way to this page. I am sure this is gonna be EXACTLY what you were looking for.

Alright, so enough foreplay… let’s get it on… with our German Word of the Day. and todays word is:

die Lautmalerei

Lautmalerei is a truly great word. First of all because it is beautifully sounding… “laod ma laruy”. It is really hard to say this word in a harsh way… and if you say it softly, I find it even a bit soothing. I would actually go as far as to say that it is one of the coolest sounding words in German right up there with weinen or Auge.
But sound is not the only reason why I like it.

Learn German Online – Time 3 – “Words”

In this episode:

In this part of the series, we'll go over all the words that refer to a specific point in time - days, tomorrow, next week, months and so on.

Vocab:   

gestern, heute, morgen, Jahr, Monat, letzte, nächste,...

Hi everyone,

and welcome to the third part of what is going to be a 5 or 6 part epic mini series on “How to talk about time in German”. In part 1, we have taken a more general look at what ways there are to talk about time and in part 2 we learned how to say the time of day in German… wow … that one was really boring.
So, todays lecture is going to be called:

Time 3 – Kittens are cute

What’s that ? The title is stupid and random? Well maybe, but it is definitely true and it is  something people can relate to. “You Bloggers need to get people invested by pulling their emotional strings”, is what the guy at the successful-blogging-seminar said, continuing with “Facts are for nerds. Now do you wanne write for nerds???? DO YOU???”. Of course the whole audience was shouting “NOOOOOO” and someone shouted “Screw nerds!”, upon which our blogging coach said “No, that is JUST what they want.”
Man… that guy really is a genius… oh and I see we have a call here, if you guys want to be live on the show, call 0800-151-vocab-4-u, and we have Shane from Durban, hi Shane: 

The meaning of “einfach”

In this episode:

We'll take a quick look at the real meaning of "einfach" and how to use it as "easy" and "just" and we'll explore a few other words with "-fach" in them.

Vocab:   

einfach, mehrfach, vielfach, vervielfachen, vereinfachen,...

meaning of einfach cartoonHi everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will have a look at the meaning of einfach.

einfach

 

Now some may say: “Oh, that’s easy….”
And you are right.
Einfach can be easy. But not always.
Dun dun dunnn.
So let’s see what’s going on.

Word of the Day – “Body talk special”

In this episode:

There's a whole range of noises we can make with our body - sneezing, farting, burping and so on. Today, we'll go over the common ones together.

Vocab:   

gähnen, schnarchen, pupsen, rülpsen, niesen, Nase hochziehen, hicksen, ,...

bodytalk

 

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day and it is time for another verb special. What is a verb special you ask? Well… in a verb special we get to know a whole bunch of new verbs that all have something in common.
“They’re German?”
Yes, that. But they’re also kind of from the same “domain” or can be sorted under the same headline. And the headline today is

Body Talk 

Yeah… body talk…  uhhhh…. sounds kind of hot…

The meaning and use of “voll”

In this episode:

A quick look at the meanings of "voll" and why "voll leer" actually makes sense in colloquial German.

Vocab:   

voll, machtvoll, liebevoll, sinnvoll, komplett,...

voll

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of:

voll

 

Voll is of course the German version of full, and it wouldn’t even be worth talking about it, if it wasn’t for… it’s other meaning and the fact that the following is a proper, nice German sentence.

  • Die Bahn war voll voll.

Yep… we really do say that.
So are you ready to find out what’s up with that? Then let’s jump right in.

Word of the Day – “ruhig”

In this episode:

A fun look at the origin and meaning of "ruhig" and why the sentence "Sei ruhig laut." actually makes sense. Also: die Ruhe and German for "Leave me alone!"

Vocab:   

ruhig, die Ruhe, still, leise,...

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of:

ruhig

 

Ruhig is the corresponding adjective to the German noun die Ruhe, which itself has its origins in the Germanic word rowo. And rowo has relatives in pretty much all other Germanic languages except one…

English.

Boooooooooh.
For some reason all English words for Ruhe come from Latin: silence, quietness, peace, tranquility, calmness… heck. even rest and reposecan be explained via Latin.
Now you are probably saying “Wow , how fascinating… “ and secretly you’re thinking “Wow, how not very interesting.”
And trust me… I get it. I feel you. There are more interesting questions to talk about with ruhig. Like for example
“What is the difference between ruhig, still and leise?”
or
“What the hell does the following nonsense mean?”

  • Du kannst ruhig laut sein.
  • Practice pronunciation – click once to start recording and again to stop

So let’s jump right in and take a look.

What is the Difference – “antworten vs. beantworten”

In this episode:

The difference between "antworten" and "beantworten" is: grammar. Hooray! Today, we'll find out when to use which and practice with a little quiz.

Vocab:   

antworten, beantworten, die Antwort,...

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
And today, we’ll actually talk about two words because it is WITH-day.
That’s short for “What is the Hifference”-Day, and it should totally be WITD-Day, but who the heck is supposed to pronounce that.
Anyway, the words we’ll look at are

antworten and beantworten.

 

They both mean to answer but there’s a really important hifferen… I mean difference. And that lurks in the dark forest of grammar…

The meaning of German “denn”

In this episode:

A fun look at the meaning of 'denn', the difference between 'denn' and 'weil' and the real reason why Germans love adding 'denn' to questions.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
And this time, we’re in for another one of those mysterious German particles that Germans are sprinkling all over the sentences, to give them “flavor”.
You know what I mean… those dochs and halts and jas and ebens.
And today, we’ll take a look at the meaning and use of

denn 

And we’ll start with a couple of quick fixed for common mistakes.
First of,there is a difference between German den and German denn and it matters! Denn is like the English word den, German den has a long, open “e”. Here they are.

den – denn

 

So please try to practice this.

And then second, a quick note about denn and dann because people often mix them up.
300 years ago, denn and dann were pretty much synonyms. But just as their English brothers then and than diversified in meaning, so did the German denn and dann.
So is the difference between denn and dann the same as between then and than?
Of course not.
That would go against rule number 42 of the Manifestum of Languages

42. The Confusion of the Learner must be achieved

Dann does NOT mean than and denn often DOESN’T translate to then.
I don’t want to talk about dann here so let’s just say dann  is essentially an answer to the question when?

  • Wann?
    Dann!
  • When?
    Then!

Denn on the other hand cannot, under no circumstances ever, answer anything.
But it can do a lot of other things and we’ll clear them all up today.
So are you ready to jump in? Then let’s go…

Time 4 – gleich, bald, später, nachher and more

In this episode:

A fun look at German time adverbs that refer to the future like jetzt, bald and demnächst, see what time frame they refer to. Also: the difference between "bis gleich" and "bis bald".

Vocab:   

jetzt, später, sofort, nachher, bald, demnächst,...

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the forth part of our (not so) mini series on how to talk about time in German.

The first part was and overview over what the different ways to indicate time, not just in German but in language in general, and I strongly recommend that you read that theoretical monster… uhm article (find it here)

The second part was about saying the time of day in German, and it was pretty boring. Like… REALLY boring. But you still have to know this stuff, so have to read it sooner or later (find it here).

In the third part, we looked at all those “names” for times like Monday, June, morning, last week and so forth and if you like exceptions (who doesn’t) then that’s gonna be your favorite article. (find it here).

And while all three parts have quite different subjects, they have one thing in common:
they are incredibly long.
So will part four live up to its predecessors and be as long and tiring?
The answer is… No!

The first three parts were like the 2020 of talking about time, and now slowly, we’ll start the fun again.
Here is what’ll happen today:
We’ll look at a bunch of words, I’ll say a few things about them, you will go like “Oh my god, I always used that the wrong way”, “Oh cool, that is really good to know.” and “Oh cool this is also really good to know.” and “Oh cool, this is also really really good to know.
And then we’ll be done.
Sounds great? Cool. The let’s jump right in and look at

German time adverbs

Yeay…

The meaning and use of German “halt”

In this episode:

"halt" comes from "halten", but in daily life, Germans use it as a coloring particle to express "a verbal shrug". Or a shield against criticism.

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.
This time we will look at the meaning of

halt

 

And I am sure many of you have heard this even before you started learning German. Because it’s a must have in … movies that involve Nazis.
Billy the super-spy of the allied forces is trying to infiltrate some Nazi army base to steal important documents.
Disguised as a Nazi-General he walks through the camp, trying to not draw attention to himself. All goes well and he finally reaches the building and starts opening the door but then someone behind him suddenly yells
Halt!“.
Slowly Billy turns around, trying really hard to look German. Four German soldiers are pointing their guns at him.
Within milliseconds Billy ponders all his options and then the decision was made. A decision completely Billy-Style – reckless, audacious, some would say outright crazy.
I’d LOVE to tell you how all this pans out, but then half of you would complain that my intros are too long so…
“It’s already too long, Bro!!! It’s 2022. I can watch like 10 TikToks while reading this intro, get with the times, you boomer.”
Okay okay… chill out…
So… today, we’ll take a look at the German word halt, and in particular, we’ll talk about why in Germans seem to use it in every second sentence when they speak.