German Advent Calendar 16 – Ge-forming

Yourdaily__rman Advent Calendar

Ge-Forming

♥♥♥♥^♥♥

Hello everyone,

and welcome to day 16 of the Awesome Advent Calendar.
And after learning about Spiegel and synonyms, it is high time to do something a little more chill again.
Wait, did I say chill?
What I really meant was

chall

As in challenging.
Because we’ll do another little work out.
During fall, we did a few speaking exercises for forming sentences in past tense. And today, we’ll once again deal with the past tense, but this time we’ll focus specifically on:

the ge-form (aka past participle)

Because the ge-forms of many of the most common verbs are irregular, and those blah blah  major challenge blah blah blah beginners blah blah blah.
So yeah, that’s what we’ll do today

As usual, we’ll do it by using speech recognition AI.
I’ll give you a German verb and you’ll have to find its ge-form. And to not make it too simplistic, you’ll have to answer as a stump sentence like so:

Ich bin gegangen.

So NOT JUST “gegangen”.
And don’t worry, I’ll tell you whether to use haben or sein, so you really only need to focus on the ge-form.

To start the recording just press the button and press it again to stop. The software will then compare your version to the proper answer, and if yours is good enough of a match you get a breakdown how well you did.

If it’s too hard, you can adjust the difficulty at any point in the quiz, so you can set it to anywhere between  100% match (which is almost impossible) and one percent match (which is pretty much anything).
If you click hint, you’ll see an indication whether the ge-form ends in the regular or the irregular -en, so you just have to figure out the stem. And along with the hint, you’ll also see a play button where you can hear me say it.

Keep in mind, that the goal is that you practice these forms till they become automatic. So if you don’t nail it on the first try, just do the quizz again a few times over the course of a week, till you start getting bored. That’s usually  a good sign that you know the material :).

Oh and for tech… the record button changes color when it is working. So if it doesn’t change color upon you clicking it, it’s probably because the browser is blocking my site access to your mic. Let me know in the comments if you need help with that.

Cool, so now we’re all set, and I’d say… viel Spaß :)

Let me know in the comments how you did and if you’d like more exercises with this format. These were some of the most important ones, but not all of them, so we could do more or even a bigger one.

Anyway, I hope you had a good time, have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Lydia
Lydia
7 months ago

Fun! Good review tool. And I’m here to report that you can get 100% on pronunciation, assuming you actually get the correct participle construction :-(, even with your evening cereal stuffed in your mouth. (Because hey, what’s better than evening cereal or Emmanuel’s German? Beides, natürlich.)

Lawrence
Lawrence
7 months ago

It seems I did really well, but not really as I used the hints most of the time as I’m very uncertain. I found the exercise useful and enjoyable. Thank you.

Maggie
Maggie
7 months ago

gewusst (wissen) was the hardest for me to pronounce. I had the detection meter turned up to 97, and finally got it there. This is wonderful technology, and is very very helpful. Voting for more!

kbas
kbas
7 months ago

This was the first recording exercise I did. I worked better than I thought it would. Seems a bug on question 10: sitzen, I spoke the answer and the match was listed as 97% but it was marked as incorrect. I recorded again, this time with an 80% match to the answer and it was marked as correct. Also, in the hint there is a minor typo ;)

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago

I just stuck at gesessen, never heard it before. Other than that I was 10/10

kikka
kikka
7 months ago

Absolutely fantastic. Listening to your correct answers also helps me a lot. gegessen is hard to pronounce for me but all very helpful. Thank you!

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

4 missed with difficulty at 84%. Great quiz and it helped me identify some of my “problem” areas in my (not very good) pronunciation. Many thanks!

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago

Ich habe wieder keinen “Done” Knopf :(

Aber das Quiz hat mir sehr gefallen! :D

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ja das meinte ich :)

Heidi Polhemus
Heidi Polhemus
7 months ago

This was great!

Andrei
Andrei
7 months ago

Everything works great! Dankeschön;)

Macintosh
Macintosh
7 months ago

Hi Emanuel, the record button doesn’t change colour although I granted access to the microphone. The microphone icon also appears alongside the website address. I’m using an iPad

Macintosh
Macintosh
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Yes.

cvickery
cvickery
7 months ago

This one went really well for me, although it didn’t really approve of my gegessen no matter how many times I tried it.

“During the fall we did a few speaking exercises for forming sentences in the past tense.”

Adding the definite articles makes it flow more naturally to this American’s ears. If I were really to wordsmith it, I’d probably put the main idea earlier, and the temporal clause at the end: “We already did a few past-tense speaking exercises in the fall, and today …” It seems that English clause position is based more on the nuance of what you want to emphasize, but in German the order is more strict: temporal qualifiers always come first. Is that right, or is this just another case of other language teachers fall back on giving you rules rather than trying to develop sprachgefühl the way you do?

cvickery
cvickery
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Actually I remember being taught that the convention is to put the most important part at the end in English, too, despite what sounds “natural” to me. And, yes, I remember (imperfectly!) your series on word order. But a certain owl-ish site that shall not be named seems to impose unnecessary restrictions on phrase orders. Sounds like that’s another case of bad advice coming from other sites.

Matt
Matt
7 months ago

Es gibt nichts Besseres am Morgen als Kaffee und diese Artikel zusammen. Vielen herzlichen Dank! Außerdem ich freue mich auf dein neues Video mit EasyGerman. Darfst du uns sagen, wann es hochgeladen wird?

michele
michele
7 months ago

I have another totally off topic question, but I have been wondering about this for quite a while. In American grade school, we learned a phrase for spelling 2 vowel words: “The first one does the talking, the second one does the walking” (though exceptions abound!). In German it is the opposite, and more consistent. Have you any theories as to why the switch?

Pat McKay
Pat McKay
7 months ago

For the very first time I was able to do the speaking exercise. Usually I use my laptop, and I have never been able to get it to work properly. So today I am using my tablet and it works perfectly! Das gefaeilt mir sehr!
Ich dance dir darfur.

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

Ich habe den Eindruck, dass wir unsere künftigen Roboter-Oberherren durch Spracherkennung trainieren ;). Ein Scherz. Die Sprachübungen gefallen mir, sogar wenn es “ich bin gesessen” heißt :D.

Elsa
Elsa
7 months ago

Let’s get this article getypoed:
workout is a single word (when meant as exercise)
“Let me know in the comment if you need help” (Let me know in the comments if you need help)

My mic on PC is not working, I’ll have to this this later on iPad…

Bis morgen!

Elsa
Elsa
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsa

Oh, forgot to say, your comment yesterday to one of our friends on the blog, and I quote “70% of learners even at B2 do not know the entire basic vocabulary native speakers use daily. It’s rather large in German” put a huge smile on my face. Vocab is my Achilles heel and knowing it actually IS a problem wif’ (I know you like this one) the German language rather than ME was a big relief…

I mean, I can easily crank out a sentence like “Vielleich hätte ich das Vocab ein bisschen mehr üben sollen” without much difficulty only to find myself struggling for words when I try to explain a film or a book in German (it’s an endless string of sagen, machen, kommen, gehen…)

Amerikanskan
Amerikanskan
7 months ago

Recorder not working for mich. Said each outloud to myself, double checked each on my Conju DE-app and got 100%.

Did‘t use the hints – wanted a challenge.

Should have had to guess haben/sein just to make it more interesting.

Amerikanskan
Amerikanskan
7 months ago
Reply to  Amerikanskan

Oj – forget to say:

True Confessions: did simple past and pp. On the last one, I was like: bringen, brang, gebracht and felt like someone jabbed my left ear wif‘ a dessert fork – BRANG? Hallo! BRACHTE – gebracht.

Checked it on Conju DE and was happy my internal warning system kicked in – almost got that simple past wrong.

Amerikanskan
Amerikanskan
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Nope

stee pedro stee
stee pedro stee
7 months ago

To be funny and witty in a foreign language – while writing your own material – amazing you be!
I wonder if anyone back in the day lamented English dropping the ge- from past participles.. damn Normans.

Anyhow, there is a sentence above causing me grief over morning coffee. Talk of participles and tenses has a way of jolting me awake.

“During fall, we’ve done a few speaking exercises for forming sentences in past tense.”

The ‘we’ve done’ part shakes me a wee bit. I immediately thought it should be ‘we did’.. but why?
I think it has to do with an implied finished past aspect. If ‘During fall’ weren’t there, it would otherwise sound fine. But you really need ‘During fall’ to compare it with the next sentence’s ‘And today..’ .

Ach, been back only a few days and self-doubt has arrived as well.
Is that sentence really so strange? It would be perfect in German, I think…

Let me go take my cat for a walk down the Hauptstrasse, and see who isn’t wearing a mask.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

The key is to realize that present perfect in English describes the present. It simply isn’t a past tense – it describes a situation that has come about because of past events, but that situation is the current one.

I think what feels particularly weird in this example is the “during,” though, which gives a feel of continuous action that doesn’t work with the past perfect, but would work with past perfect continuous:

  • This fall, we’ve done a few speaking exercises…
  • During the fall, we’ve been doing a few speaking exercises…

Both of these work fine. But the key is that both of these assume that it’s still fall now, as you’re speaking/writing.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Well, I mean, that’s a perfectly good rule – no (past) time reference words. Maybe another check is just to see if you can stick a “now” into a sentence with present perfect:

  • Now, this fall, we’ve done a few speaking exercises…

Again, the thing about present perfect in English is that it’s about the ramification, not the event itself.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Gonna keep trying here…

The thing is, the verb isn’t giving you the ramifications. The verb is just telling you what happened – it’s the other sentence that tells you the ramifications. If you cut out “so I don’t want to eat it today,” the sentence has nothing to do with the present. But if you use present perfect, it has to tell you something about the present, which is why you can’t use “yesterday” with it:

  • I’ve eaten pasta recently / this week / within the last XX hours.

^^This is very clearly about the relevance of the pasta-eating for right now. Like, even if you don’t then add “so I don’t want to eat it today,” it already tends to imply that.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I’ve gotta find a way to get through to this kid… *inspirational montage music starts*

Again:

  • I’ve eaten pasta within the last 24 hours.

…is a statement about the present. You don’t have to make any “assumptions” about it: the sentence simply means that you, right now, are in a state of having recently consumed pasta. :)

  • I’ve eaten pasta yesterday evening.

…just sort of hurts the Anglo brain. There’s no bridge to the present, like coleussanctus was talking about. Yesterday evening stopped – it’s in the past, cut off from the Now, and worse, tomorrow it won’t even be yesterday anymore.

For what it’s worth, “I ate pasta within the last 24 hours” sounds kind of off to me. The preterite sort of wants some indication of a time that’s definitely in the past: “I ate pasta at some point in the last 24 hours” is more comfortable.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It would be “I ate pasta within 3 hours *of* (not after) waking up today.”

Re: of/after
“3 hours after waking up” is a specific time e.g. 10am if I woke up at 7am.

“Within 3 hours of waking up” can refer to any time within that window between 7am and 10am. I don’t know why you have to use of and after in these ways, you just do.

Re: have eaten/ate
You could say “it’s only/less than 3 hours since I woke up and I’ve already eaten pasta”. “Already ate pasta” would also work here. I think it’s grammatically incorrect but a native speaker would say it so it’s fine.

I’m trying to figure out why it doesn’t work in your example but I am really not sure, it just sounds funky. Maybe because it sounds like the 3 hour timeframe is already over.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Starbuck

I think that’s exactly right. It just sounds like a time period that’s already over. Of course, it could be correct to say “I have eaten pasta within 3 hours of waking up today” – IF the present as you speak is within that time window. But it’s a little hard to imagine a situation where that would be very natural to say…

“Within the last 24 hours” is anchored on the present, so it’s not sealed off in the past (at least for an Anglophone brain). I mean, the beginning of that 24-hour period is constantly moving forward in time as we do, you know? You really can’t say “within the last 24 hours” and mean a 24-hour period that ended in the past.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  berlingrabers

True! It’s making more sense to me now as we unravel it haha!

“Since waking up, I’ve eaten pasta.”

“After waking up, I ate pasta.”

“Since” implies we are talking about the period leading up to the present. “After” implies we are talking about the period shortly after waking up but not including the present moment.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Yes true. I would say that checks out.

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I was going to chip in with a few hopefully helpful tidbits, but really it’s almost Christmas and I figure getting blasted with the intricacies of English’s weird tenses is probably about as fun as getting coal in your stocking. It must seem like being stuck in the plot of Dark sometimes. The past is the present, the future is the past, everything is now. I have no idea where the cavemen who invented English got their ideas about time, but it definitely wasn’t from the super practical German cavemen sitting at the next campfire.

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
7 months ago
Reply to  berlingrabers

I think of it more as building a bridge from the past to the present. There are two ways that can happen (just thinking out loud, not trying to preach to the choir).

Situation one, something happened in the past and the “when” isn’t important, but the fact that it happened is important now for some reason. The “when” is mentioned vaguely or not at all.

  • We’ve already done some exercises on how to build the past tense for different verbs. (We did them at some point, and it’s important to mention that because….we’re going to do something similar/different now and I just wanted to set the stage.)
  • I’ve seen that movie before. (I saw it at some point, and it’s important/relevant to mention that because the movie came up in the conversation just now.)

Situation two, something happened in the past, was repeated for some number of times, and is still happening in the present. Or at least it’s implied that it could still happen.

  • In the last few months, we’ve done a lot of exercises on how to build the past tense. (And we’re still doing them / there is a possibility that we will still keep doing them.)
  • The interns have done menial jobs since day one. (And they still do.)
coleussanctus
coleussanctus
7 months ago
Reply to  coleussanctus

The second situation is where the time words can get a little tricky.

You can’t use the past perfect if the action happened at a specific moment or in a specific time period that’s now over. Yesterday, last month, on Monday – gotta use simple past.

An open-ended time period (since day one, for 10 years) – present perfect is OK.

A specific time period that isn’t over yet – also OK. So “during the fall” if it’s still fall, or today if the day isn’t over.

I think past perfect maybe isn’t so different from telling apart location and direction. Like with “ich fahre auf die Autobahn.” I picture an arrow pointing from my starting location to the spot where I get on the freeway. With the past perfect, I picture an arrow with its tail at some point in the past, and it points at the present. Simple past or simple present would just be an arrow pointing at one spot on the ground.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I am scratching my head as a native speaker and wondering how any German speaker can tell me German is harder to learn than English (which they do, all the time!)

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

That’s a good point. Most of the regular mistakes I hear in English from native German speakers don’t make a huge difference to understanding, they just sound funky.

But there have been some interesting misunderstandings e.g. at a bar a (Swiss) friend asked me “What are you doing?” and I said, “I’m playing music.”

I understood “what are you doing (here in this bar today)?”

What she meant was “what do you do (in general)” but of course this distinction between these two tenses doesn’t exist in German.

So she left before I played because she had not understood that I would be playing that night.

I was quite confused as to why she didn’t stay for the gig, but we figured it out the next week!

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Starbuck

And as I type this I realise this happens a lot. People often ask me “what are you doing in Austria?” It’s not a huge error, and it gets the meaning across well enough, but really they should be saying “what do you do in Austria?” If they want to know my current job.

“What are you doing here?” implies “why did you come here?” Which maybe they also want to know, but it is a different question I would say.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

That’s true. Most people don’t care or are at least very forgiving of mistakes in English. I have noticed that I have started making certain mistakes too because I’m so used to hearing them and not correcting people. I am happy to correct people if they want it but I have noticed a lot of people here are sensitive about it so they don’t like to be corrected.

DEmberton
DEmberton
7 months ago

That hurts my English ears. If you specify a time that something happened, even if it’s a vague one, then it’s always we did – at least I can’t think of an exception. You could say “in the last few days we’ve done a few speaking exercises”, but only because “in the last few days” doesn’t have an end; i.e. it’s still ongoing.

DEmberton
DEmberton
7 months ago

This seemed easier than the previous ones, and I got 100% for all the ich bin questions on the first try. Should I be saying “ich hab-uh” or just ich hab’?