Advent Calendar 11 – “A case for a coffee”

Hi guys

and welcome back to day 11 of our Advent Calendar, Sunday to be precise and today we’re in for a little

exercise on case and case endings

Uhm… yeah.
Some of you’re now like “No man, not on a Sunday!! I shan’t partake!!” and that’s okay. I understand. And I got you covered. If you don’t want to hustle Accusative and Dative then you can skip right down to a nice Sunday-ish song with landscape images  in 3, 2, 1… go.

No workout on Sundays

Still here. Cool :).
So… on the surface, it’s a pretty classic, standard exercise. There’s a sentence with some articles or pronouns missing and you have to pick the right one. But there’s one important difference….

The thing is… it’s hard to know when to use which case to begin with but what makes it a REAL pain to practice are: the genders. Because getting the case right is never enough. Endings also depend on gender, so even if you nailed the case, your answer might still be wrong because you used the wrong gender. That creates frustration and it’s a distraction because you constantly think about gender, which is NOT what you want to practice at that moment.
That’s why I think in an exercise on cases, it makes a lot of sense to side-line the gender as much as possible so it doesn’t constantly interfere.

And that’s exactly what I did in this work sheet. How? All the things in question are masculine. So there’s no “Oh man, I know it’s accusative but is it eine Tisch or einen Tisch.” Your focus is on cases all the time, and while you work on your cases, you pick up a few genders on the fly. That’s what makes sense

Now, the whole thing still might be a bit tricky or hard because you have a lot of choices. Der, dem, den, einen, keinen, er, ihm

German Cases Exercise – Masculine (pdf)

How to use the work sheet:

The idea is that you really work with it and do it multiple times (doing it once won’t help!!). So DO NOT write your solution into the gap. Note it on an extra paper, or just do it in your mind. Or (and that’s the best) do it while reading the sentence out loud. The solutions are  right next to each line because it sucks to look for them in a tiny block at the bottom of the page. Just cover them or zoom in so you can’t see them. 

 Do it several times over the course of a few weeks until you get everything correct when reading it out loud.
That repetition will ingrain common patterns in your mind, you’ll get a better feel for cases in general and as a bonus, you’ll also automatically learn the gender of a bunch of
things, because everything is masculine :)

So have fun with the case work out. And let me know what you think. Do you like this kind of exercise? Does it work for you? Do you think it makes sense to skip gender like this? And was it too difficult with all the different choices? Would it be better to narrow it down to one aspect; pronouns (er, ihn, ihm) or articles (der, dem, den and ein, einen, einem) ? 
And what kinds of exercises have worked for you?
Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments and enter the competition for  today’s little giveaway.
Schönen Tag euch und bis morgen.

I don’t work out on Sundays



for members :)

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Eine tolle idee für heute. Frohen dritten Advent!
N.B. ” … sentence with some articles or pronouns (not pronounce) missing.”


Great Emmanuel, very good idea to separate the gender and cases. Also some nice seasonal references and posdibly even subliminal messaging….


Och nan och, and I thought Gaelic was difficult! (-;

Adriano de Almeida Marcato
Adriano de Almeida Marcato

First of all, nice idea and congratulations for your efforts.
It is indeed the better for beginners, focusing on case only. But for some people with a little more experience, it would be good to have to watch out for both cases and genders.
To please all readers, I suggest provide provide separate lists with pre-defined genders, as seem here, and another with all genders mixed up. That shouldn’t be so laborious.


Thank you for doing this. I have been trying to learn German online for about eight months now, and I cannot seem to absorb all the case differences. I know this will help!




I love these kinds of exercises! Thank you for all your work during the busy holiday season.


My year ago i started reading your post and you continue to surprise me..a lot of things have become easier thanks to your awesome has been a real pleasure..pass it on emanuel


Yes! Ich bin jetzt fur zwei Woche in Deutschland!! =) Dein blog hat viel hilfen!! aber, ich hab noch ein[?] lang[?] weg zu gehen….haha.

Last week I had several days of classes and I think now my biggest need is to learn the cases. And I believe one gender at a time is perfect!! I look forward to trying the exercises. But tomorrow I’m taking a train to Zweibrucken to see an old friend. =)

Danke schön, Emmanuel!!!!! You’ve made my trip easier. (My daughter here sounds like a native speaker now, and all her friends are!!! I have a lot of work to do. :)) Vielen dank!


Danke, so eine tolle Übung. Besonders weil du den Fall und das grammatische Geschlecht getrennt hast. Echt hilfreich!

Gee Kleinig
Gee Kleinig

This is a great idea. I have been learning German on the internet for over a year and have a pretty good vocabulary .. but the grammar is so scary. I’m sure this will help.

Aleisha Kudrass
Aleisha Kudrass

I found it really helpful. It would be great to do this for adjectives too – Only male but practicing in the various cases and definitive/indefinitive and so on!