“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 at 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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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 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.
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 :).
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)
Learn 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
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.