Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Prepositions and Their Cases
How to Use Prepositions
Conjunctions
Word Order - The Verb
Word Order - Everything Else
German Language Building Blocks
The Key Points

Indefinite Article | 4 Things For Every Noun | Relatives | Reflexives | Numbers | Forming -ing | Years | Adverbs | To Ask | To Go | To Meet | To Set | Second Element | Reflexive Verbs | Conjunctions | Seperable Prefixes

Well, it's almost the end. This lesson focuses on everything and summarizes all of the main points from all of the sections. We will look at nouns, verbs, and the little points that are used to put everything together (such as prepostions and conjuctions). Each one of these things are things that you should remember.
There is no indefinite article before someone's profession, religion, or nationality:
Ich bin Lehrer. - I am a teacher.
Sie ist Deutscher. - She is German.
There are four things to remember for every noun:
1. The gender; feminine, masculine, or neutral
2. If the noun is weak
3. If it's an adjective as a noun
4. The noun's plural ending
Remember that relatives must agree with the noun for gender and number, but not case, which is determined by the function (if it is a subject or an object):
Mein Freund, den wir heute treffen, hat ein neues Auto. - My friend, whom we are meeting today, has a new car.
Also, remember you must always use commas to seperate the relative from the rest of the sentence.
A trick to remember, for most of the time, with reflexive pronouns. If there is a preposition, adverb, or nothing at all after the reflexive pronoun then it will be accusative, if there is a noun after the reflexive pronoun then it will be dative:
Ich wasche mich schnell. - I'm washing myself quickly.
Ich wasche mir die Hände. - I'm washing my hands.
A small note that all numbers are written as one whole word except when talking about millions, which are written as a noun:
vier Millionen einhundertzweiundzwanzig - four million two hundred twenty-two
Here are some ways of forming the English equivalent of -ing:
(a) an infinitive with zu, particularly after anstatt and ohne:
Anstatt ins Kino zu gehen, fuhr er nach Hause. - Instead of going to the cinema he drove home.
(b) an infinitive without zu after bleiben, finden, hören, lehren, lernen, sehen:
Er lehrte mich schwimmen. - He taught me swimming.
Er blieb stehen. - He remained standing.
(c) subordinate clauses introduced with a conjunction:
Bevor er zu Bett ging, machte er das Licht aus. - Before going to bed he switched the light off.
(d) und + the verb:
Sie stand da und lachte. - She stood there laughing.
(e) a relative clause:
Der Mann, der da liegt, ist verletzt. - The man lying there is wounded.
(f) bei + the infinitive as a noun:
Sprich nicht beim Essen! - Don't talk when you're eating!
Sie ist beim Ankleiden. - She's getting dressed.
When referring to years they are said as:
neunzehnhundertfünfundachtzig - 1985
When such words as morning, evening, and Sunday are used adverbially they loose their capital letter:
heute morgen - this morning
gestern abend - yesterday evening
sonntags - on Sundays
bitten um - to ask for something
fragen - to ask whether or what:
Er bat mich um etwas Schreibpapier. - He asked me for some writing paper.
Er fragte mich, was das bedeute. - He asked me what that might mean.
gehen - to go on foot
fahren - to go by vehicle
treffen - to meet
begegnen - to meet, this stresses a chance encounter
legen - to lay:
Er legte das Buch auf den Tisch. - He put the book on the table.
stellen - to stand:
Er stelle die Flasche auf den Tisch. - He put the bottle on the table.
stecken - to insert:
Er steckte die Hand in die Tasche. - He put his hand in the bag.
The most important rule of word order is that the verb is mainly the second element:
Ich kaufe heute etwas für dich in der Stadt. - I'll buy you something in town today.
Certain verbs are reflexive by meaning:
sich anziehen - to dress
sich rasieren - to shave
sich fühlen - to feel; intransitive
Aber, denn, oder, sondern, and und don't affect the word order as they are co-ordinating conjunctions, all other conjunctions affect the word order. Subordinating conjunctions send the verb to the end and adverbial conjunctions cause verb subject inversion.
Here are how seperable prefixes work:
Regular:
Ich gehe früh aus. - I go out early.
Ich ging früh aus. - I went out early.
Subordinate clause:
Wenn ich früh ausgehe... - If I go out early...
Als ich früh ausging. - When I went out early.
Perfect tense or infinitive with zu:
Ich bin früh ausgegangen. - I went out early.
Ich brauche, früh auszugehen. - I need to go out early.
Main
Lesson Twenty-Six - German Language Building Blocks -->