“Classroom courses and textbooks are fine but self study is really where it’s at these days.. and the German is Easy course really nails it.”
Elly, the magical unicorn on language learning, 3-2016
No matter if you want to learn German by yourself, or just freshen up what you learned a while ago or you’re looking for some reading along the course… you’re in the perfect spot.
We’ll go over all the grammar and step by step and we’ll discover how this weird yet fascinating language works, one “Wow, now I get it”-moment at a time :)
And I promise you… you’ll find a lot of stuff here that is NOT part of any textbook.
What order should I read this in?
Complete beginner? Then you ABSOLUTELY have to start with The Essentials. Without those, none of the rest will make much sense. But if you know the essentials, you’ll actually be already ready to go out and talk to people.
If you’re not a beginner anymore… well, you learn best when you learn something you’re interested in.
So the course is divided into subjects and you can just pick whatever you want. If you’re used to textbooks this might be weird at first, but I think it makes the most sense this way. Just trust yourself :)
Learn the basic German personal pronouns like I, you, we and so on…
German conjugation is not as simple as in English, but much much easier than in French or Spanish or Russian. In this part we’ll learn how to conjugate about 98% of all verbs in present and learn important verbs along the way.
Here, we’ll learn how to use the other few verbs… verbs like to be, to have, can, must and more.
Of course, we also need to know how to ask questions. In this part, we’ll learn all the question words and how to use them in a sentence.
Not all questions have question words. In this part we’ll learn how to ask the so called “open question” or yes-no-questions.
Part 3 will be on indirect questions… coming (sort of) soon
Now that we’ve mastered the present, we’ll move on right to using the past tense. First of, because without that you can’t effectively converse, but also because with past tense we’ll really get used to the whole “put stuff last” thing.
In the first part, we’ll do a general overview of how past tense is used in German and how that compares to English.
We’ll learn everything about the spoken past. How to build a ge-form, where to put it and of course which helper to use – haben or sein. And we’ll also take a look at rhythm, because that’s a big deal with language.
Now, we’ll learn how to form the written past (also known as preterit) and we’ll see how surprisingly similar German and English are.
Here, we’ll learn for which verbs we need the written past also for idiomatic spoken German. And just so you know… it’s more than just the modals :)
In this work out you can train when to use Written Past correctly for all those common verbs where it really matters. It’s epic and it’s got audio.
Not super important but we’ll have to learn it at some point :)
First, we’ll take a look at the two kinds of comparisons there are (yes, in any language) and then we’ll see how it’s done in German.
e’ll take a look at what cases are, why they exist, how they are in other languages and what cases and prepositions have in common (except that they suck).
Time to clear up cases. And we’ll start with the bland nominative and the shunned Genitive and we’ll find out if they’re really that boring.
And now for the two cases that people actually care about.
Mich, mir… Accusative, Dative… let’s find out what they mean once and for all.
Adjective endings – nobody likes them but everyone has to learn them at some point, if only for a test. But getting them right is actually easier than you might think – once you completely forget about all the tables and the textbook approach. In part 1 we’ll learn a simple way to get about 40% correct … WITHOUT even having to bother about gender or case.
The second step to mastery of the German adjective declension will get you another 40% of the way. And with not so much of an effort. Still 100% table free :)
This part now will fix the few uncertainties that are still there… in theory. Because this is a bit nerdy. If you’re a beginner, maybe you should just go with the 80% we have an come back later.
But if you don’t shy away from somewhat more complicated stuff, then this is an interesting read.
A broad look at what a sentence consists of leads us to the Box Model (©me). And the Box Model is awesome. Seriously, it 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.
In this part, we’ll look at the structure of main sentences, particularly at how the stuff with the verb works. And we’ll tackle some textboook myths that cloud the view on how German REALLY works along the way.
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.
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.
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.
Most explanations make it seem like a complicated topic with side rules but it’s actually really really really simple… if you’re ready to accept something really crazy :).
In this part, we’ll take what we’ve learned in part one, fuse it with intuition and use it to analyze those typical fringe cases where the textbook rules usually fail.
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 :)
First, we’ll talk a bit of background and find out what relative pronouns actually are. Then, we’ll take a quick look at the basics in English and then go over the basics in German (and where the crucial differences are to English).
We’ll go over all the “quirks” of German relative clauses and tackle some common mistakes people make.
Practice what you’ve learned and find out where you usually make mistakes :). With translations and audios.
We learn what Conditional is at its core and why I don’t call it by its official name subjunctive. Then, we’ll learn how it works in the present tense AND we’ll learn how to build the würde-conditional :). Sounds more than it is… but it’s the foundation.
We’ll learn how to build and when and for which verbs to actually use the Real Conditional. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here, we’ll learn how to use the other few verbs… verbs like to be, to have, can, must and more.
Now things get real :). We’ll learn how to say “would have done” and stuff like this. Almost every learning is making mistakes there, but I have a very simple 2 step system to get it right… ALL THE TIME.
And now it gets super real. We’ll learn how to say stuff like “would have been able to” or “would have wanted to”. We can use the system we already learned BUT… we need to let go of what we thought was the most basic German grammar.
Conjugation is one of the things you are confronted with in almost any language class… for languages that conjugate, that is.
The idea of conjugation 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… here it is.
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 sources of error in German and it is by far more confusing than getting a case wrong.
This article won’t solve any of these problems … uh… yeay. 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 :).
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 terms.
Textbooks, teachers, politicians… 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.
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)
An insightful (or so I hope) introduction about what ways there are to give time information. Courses usually skip this step, but I think it’s crucial to have a bit of background, especially for stuff like vor and bevor.
Learn how to say the time of day. It’s boring but it’s a must have :).
By “names” I don’t only mean the days of the week and the months. The main focus is learning all the words and chunks that refer to a specific point in time directly, like today, tomorrow, last week and so on.
After the specific “names”, we’ll now turn our focus to the more vague words likesoon, later, at some point and so on and see which time frame they refer to and what common traps there are. We’ll start with the future…
… and continue with the past here with lots of useful words like just now, recently, a while ago, earlier and so on.
Now that we’re done with the direct ways to single out a point in time, let’s learn how to pick them in relation to something – with time prepositions. We’ll learn words like since, for, after, before and so on.
Time 5.2 – the rest of the prepositions… shame on me, but this is still pending
And now it’s time for the endboss of talking about time … coordinating two actions. We’ll learn the German words forbefore, after, while and others and see what effect they have on sentence structure.
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.
In this article we’ll find out a couple of ways to tell when to use which and look at plenty of examples.
Dealing with prefix verbs are an important part of learning German and many of you struggle with them. But they’re actually nothing particularly German. Many languages have them. In this mini series, we’ll explore the background of prefix verbs. And the first part, we’ll learn their history and the core them they all share across languages.
In this article, we’ll learn how the infamous German separable prefixes have evolved and we’ll get to know their secret English brothers that are hidden in plain sight.
In the third and final part of the mini series on prefix verbs, we’ll look at non-separable prefix verbs, how they evolved, and we’ll see that the languages of Europe are actually FULL of them. English, French, Russian… you name it.
damit, davor, davon, daran… what are they, what do they do, how do we use then and… whyyyyyyy. All this we’ll talk about in this article. And we’ll find out why the da-words are actually kind of awesome.
The wo-words are the brothers of the da-words and there are some common principles. But the wo-words are a bit more difficult to handle. In this post we’ll find out what they do and when to use them… and it’s gonna get nerdy :)