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No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. It can be used on its own or in connection with any major German coursebook and it is suitable for self-study, class-based learning or reference purposes.
Presentation of grammar The book explains the essentials of German grammar in clear and simple language. The format is easily accessible and grammar topics follow a pro- gression, which moves from simple aspects to more complex features. For more in-depth study, there are cross-references to related grammar items. Explanations are simple and avoid specialised terminology while introducing key terms. The vocabulary is practical and functional.
It is introduced on a cumulative basis and builds on vocabulary associated with topics featured in major course books. Structure of units There are 28 units. Each unit covers one key grammar topic, which is con- trasted with English structures where appropriate. Each topic starts out with an overview. This is followed by detailed explanation in an easy-to-follow step-by-step layout, breaking down complex aspects into simple segments.
Examples in English and German illustrate each point and introduce relevant vocabulary. Checklists and exercises Integrated exercises allow immediate practice to consolidate each grammar point.
Exercises are varied and progress from simple recognition to more complex application of grammar points. A checklist at the end of each unit reinforces main points and provides an opportunity to self-assess understanding of the material covered. Answers to all exercises and checklists are at the end of the book. When appropriate, cross-references are provided within units. It explains their characteristics in simple terms and draws attention to underlying patterns. But is this really the case?
One thing that is very helpful in learning German is that it is a systematic language, which follows rules. There are many ways to make these rules easier to learn, and there are quite a few tips which will help you in learning the language. Capital letters for nouns German is one of the few languages which uses capital letters not only at the beginning of sentences but also within sentences.
In German, all nouns must always be written with a capital letter, regard- less of whether they are at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle: Der Mann und die Frau arbeiten jeden Tag am Computer. The man and the woman work at their computer every day. Three genders All nouns in German are masculine, feminine or neuter. This shows in their singular article: der for masculine, die for feminine, das for neuter. It is important to realise that gender in German is grammatical, not biological as it is in English.
This means that objects, concepts etc. This applies to verbs, articles and possessive adjectives and adjectives. Er geht.
He goes. Sie gehen. They go. Is that a man? I can see a man over there. Cases One of the most important features of German is that you can tell what function a noun performs in a sentence by its ending and the form of the article. These show its case. For example, a noun can be the subject of the sentence, i. The dog bites the man. Or it can be the object, i. Unit 1 3 He has two brothers. Open the window, please. Hast Du morgen Zeit? Are you free tomorrow? Tomorrow I have to go to Manchester. I am working. Ich arbeite bei Harrods. I work at Harrods.
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German is simpler: you normally use the present perfect when you talk about the past regard- less of when it happened, and you normally use the simple past in written German. Buy a good dictionary. It not only gives you a list of translations but also tells you how to pronounce unfamiliar words and gives you important grammatical information, for example whether a verb takes a certain case or what the plural is for a noun. Throughout the book, we tell you how to work with dictionaries to get this kind of information and how it is relevant.
Checklist 1 Where do you use capital letters in German? Unit 1 5 Verb Formation German has more endings for verbs in the present tense than English. You take the stem of a verb and then add the required ending. Here they are in more detail. I live in Frankfurt. Ich spiele Gitarre.
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I play the guitar. If you are addressing one person, the informal address is du and the formal is Sie always with an initial capital letter. The endings are -st and -en: Woher kommst du?
Where do you come from? Where do you live? Er spielt Tennis. He plays tennis. Woher kommt sie? Where does she come from? Es schneit. It is snowing. We live in Cologne. Wir lernen Deutsch. We learn German. What are you doing here? You have to add -en: Und woher kommen sie? And where do they come from? Jutta und Bernd — was machen sie?
Jutta and Bernd — what are they doing? One present tense in German As we have seen, in German there is only one present tense, which corre- sponds both to the simple and to the continous present in English: Er trinkt Bier. He drinks beer. She plays football. But before you explore the mysteries of German verb endings further, make sure that you have digested all the information from this Unit.
Exercise 2. Unit 2 9 Complete the gaps with the appropriate verb forms. As you have probably noticed, Alex was addressed informally. Rewrite the questions in the formal mode using the Sie form. Example: Anna komm aus Wien.
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Sie geh sehr gern ins Restaurant. Use a the du and b the Sie form. Use a the du, b the Sie-form and c the ihr form. Checklist 1 Can you form the stem of a German verb? Unit 2 11 There is also a group of irregular verbs where there are changes in the stem of the verb. These verbs will be discussed in Unit 4.
Spelling variations — an overview Stem endings in -d or -t There are some German verbs where the stem ends in -d or -t. Examples: Du atmest sehr heftig. Herr Maier arbeitet bei Siemens. Mr Maier works for Siemens. Es regnet schon wieder! Das Buch kostet 5 Euro. The book costs 5 euros. Ihr redet zu viel. Are you travelling to Italy again? Susi likes kissing. Irregular verbs with vowel changes There is a group of German verbs where the vowel in the stem changes in the present tense.
Here are examples in some frequently used verbs: Examples: Liest du gern Harry Potter? Do you like reading Harry Potter? He is watching a football match. Sie isst gern Pizza. She likes eating pizza. Sprichst du Deutsch? Do you speak German? Looking out for patterns These changes apply only to a limited number of verbs.
It is best to learn these verbs by heart. There are also certain patterns which can help you predict how a verb changes. Any moment now it will fall down! He wears a new T-shirt. Changes from e to i You have seen that sprechen and essen are two prominent verbs which change their vowel from e to i. Other verbs which follow this pattern are: Examples: Er hilft Frau Maier. He helps Frau Maier. Are you meeting Angelika today?
Er wirft den Ball zu Beckham. He throws the ball to Beckham. The verb nehmen also follows the e to i pattern, but it has greater spelling variations. He is taking a hot bath. Another important verb is empfehlen: Examples: Er sieht Jutta nicht. Sie empfiehlt Tee. She recommends tea. Where to look for irregular forms All verbs with a vowel change are irregular verbs. But beware: not all irregular verbs change their spelling in the present tense. Exercise 3. Place a tick against the ones which change their vowel in the present tense and a cross against the ones which do not.
Use a verb list to check your answers. Use this information to write a short portrait of him. Checklist 1 Can you remember for which endings there is a stem vowel change? They are quite irregular in German, as in English. Different patterns As explained in Unit 3, irregular verbs in German tend to change their stem vowel. Here are both verbs in more detail. The endings for ich, wir, ihr and sie are regular: you add them to the stem in the normal way: ich hab-e, wir hab-en, ihr hab-t, sie hab-en.
Examples Ich habe viel zu tun. I have a lot to do. Claus hat eine Schwester. Claus has one sister. Haben Sie Wechselgeld? Do you have change? Sie haben ein neues Auto. They have a new car. Use of haben Haben is an important verb which you will be using a lot. I have sung. Useful phrases Here are a few useful phrases with haben: ihr you, plural, informal habt seid Sie you, plural, formal haben sind sie they haben sind Hunger haben to be hungry Ich habe Hunger. Durst haben to be thirsty Er hat Durst. Langeweile haben to be bored Wir haben Langeweile. Kopfschmerzen haben to have a headache Sie hat Kopfschmerzen.
Examples: Ich bin aus Deutschland. Sind Sie Herr Schuhmacher?
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Are you Mr Schuhmacher? Er ist Amerikaner. He is an American. Sie ist Lehrerin. She is a teacher. Es ist schwer. Apologies, we are late.
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Seid Ihr verheiratet? Are you married? And there is, of course Shakespeare: To be or not to be, that is the question. In German this would be: Sein oder Nicht-Sein. Das ist die Frage. Use of sein Like haben, sein is an important verb and you will be using it a lot.
It is used to form tenses and other grammatical forms. This tense does not exist in German. There is only one present tense: Ich gehe. Exercise 4. Unit 4 21 Example: Ich eine Schwester. Example: Was Carsten von Beruf? Unit 4 23 Important separable verbs Separable verbs are quite frequent in German.
Mr Nolte rings his wife. Corinna goes out every day. The children watch television every evening. He goes shopping in the supermarket. The meeting takes place on Monday. This may not necessarily be at the end of the sentence. I get up and then I have breakfast. Herr Carlsen sieht fern, aber seine Kinder lesen.
Mr Carlsen is watching television, but his children are reading. Unit 5 25 But that does not work all the time, so meanings of separable verbs need to be learned. They include be-, er-, ge- and ver-. Er bezahlt mit seiner Kreditkarte. He pays with his credit card. Sie verkauft ihren alten Computer. She is selling her old computer. More about separable verbs As a beginner you will probably use separable verbs most often as explained above. However, separable verbs occur also in the imperative, in combination with modal verbs, and in the perfect and future tense.
See Units 6 and 20—23 for more information. Exercise 5. Example: ausstellen Jens den Wecker um sieben Uhr. Put a tick against them. Er jeden Tag. Unit 5 29 The imperative is used for giving orders or instructing people to do things. Open your books! Close the window! Whether you are addressing only one person or several, it does not change. Four different forms in German The imperative in German is a bit more complicated. German also distinguishes between the formal and informal mode of address in the imperative. Kommen Sie! Warten Sie. Sprechen Sie leise. Sprecht leise. The formal imperative is the same in the singular and plural.
Addressing one person informally du form The informal singular or du form is used with one person with whom you are quite familiar — children, family or close friends. They simply use the stem to form the imperative: anfangen Fang an. Fangen Sie an. Fangt an. Haben Sie Geduld. Habt Geduld. Seien Sie vorsichtig. Seid vorsichtig. Come here! Drink less. Breathe faster. Talk quietly. Read the newspaper. Unit 6 31 Use the stem of the verb: Addressing one person formally Sie form Use the formal singular or Sie form when you address one person you are not intimate with. Formation Simply use the present-tense Sie form.
Unlike the informal, the formal imperative includes the personal pronoun Sie. Please come. Please start. Addressing more than one person informally ihr form The informal plural is used when you are addressing at least two people or a group of people you are familiar with — children, family or friends. Drive on the right! Wear the red dress.
Join us! Be patient. Be careful. Formation The informal plural is formed exactly like the second person plural ihr : add t to the stem of the verb. Wait for us. Addressing more than one person formally Sie form If you address more than one person in a formal way, you use the Sie plural form. Please enter. This structure is very similar to English. Exclamation marks In written German, you often put an exclamation mark after the command form. This puts more emphasis on what is being said. If the customer does not object to the changed conditions within one month of receipt of the notification of change, these will become effective as announced.
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