Sunteți pe pagina 1din 34

Lesson 1 - Nouns & Gender

Welcome to the first German Grammar lesson in this course. The first lesson will cover everything about German nouns and their gender.

Capital Letter for Nouns

In German, all nouns must begin with a capital letter, regardless of their position within a sentence.

 Wir sind 5 Leute im Haus, meine Eltern, meine Schwester und mein Bruder

In the above example, Leute (persons), Haus (house), Eltern (parents), Schwester (sister), and Bruder (brother) are all nouns; and thus must begin with a

capital letter.

Gender of Nouns

Unlike in English, each noun in German has its own gender; either masculine (der), feminine (die), or neuter (das). Plural nouns are always considered

feminine (die).

That gender is not necessarily the actual gender of the corresponding real-life object; instead it is purely grammatical. As gender is quite unpredictable, the

best thing is to simply learn each noun along with its definite article (der, die, or das).

Nouns and Gender

der Mann the man


Masculine
der Vogel the bird

die Frau the woman


Feminine
die Blume the flower

das Kind the child


Neuter
das Obst the fruit

Make sure to check the grammar table associated with this lesson for many clues and hints on determining the gender of a noun.

Compound Nouns

The German language contains many nouns that are composed from two or more words connected together (which makes German famous for having very

long words). The combined words themselves don't have to be nouns, they could be adjectives, verb stems, and prepositions. However, the last element of

the compound noun must be a noun; as the gender of the compound noun and its plural are determined by that last noun.

Compound Nouns

Noun + Noun

der Vater
das Vaterland fatherland / native country
das Land

Adjective + Noun

der Schnellzug express train


schnell
der Zug

Verb Stem + Noun

trinken
das Trinkwasser drinking water
das Wasser

Definite & Indefinite Articles

Definite articles refer to specific objects, they are similar to the article 'the' in English. All the previous examples shown in this lesson used the definite

articles, which are 'der', 'die', and 'das'.

The corresponding indefinite articles, which refer to unspecific objects, and are similar to the English articles 'a' and 'an', are 'ein' and 'eine', shown below.

Noting that as in the English language, there is no indefinite article for plurals in German.

Definite & Indefinite Articles

Definite Indefinite

Masculine der ein

Feminine die eine

Neuter das ein

Plural die -

This concludes the first lesson, make sure to check the grammar tables and the exercises for this lesson before proceeding to the next one.

Nouns & Gender - Grammar Table

The tables below show many hints that can help identify the gender of a noun in German.

Note that these tables don't cover all German nouns, as there exists many nouns with different endings than the ones shown here, as well as many

exceptions. Thus, it's always advisable when learning new nouns to study them along with their gender.

 Hints for Masculine Nouns

Suffix

-el der Vogel (bird)

-er der Computer (computer)

-ig der Käfig (cage)

-ismus der Journalismus (journalism)

-ling der Frühling (spring)

-or der Professor (professor)


Rules

Male persons der Sohn (son)

Days der Sonntag (Sunday)

Months der Januar (January)

Seasons der Winter (winter)

 Hints for Feminine Nouns

Suffix

-ei die Partei (party)

-ie die Batterie (battery)

-enz die Konferenz (conference)

-heit die Freiheit (freedom)

-keit die Männlichkeit (manhood)

-ion die Legion (legion)

-ik die Akustik (acoustic)

-age die Garage (garage)

-tät die Universität (university)

-schaft die Mannschaft (team/crew)

-ung die Wohnung (flat)

-ur die Karikatur (carucature)

Rules

Female persons die Tochter (daughter)

Most trees die Föhre (pine tree)

Most flowers die Rose (rose)

Most fruits die Banane (banana)

 Hints for Neuter Nouns

Suffix

-chen das Kätzchen (kitten)

-lein das Fräulein (young lady)

-ma das Drama (drama)

-ett das Bett (bed)


-ment das Experiment (experiment)

-o das Foto (photo)

-um das Kalzium (calcium)

Rules

Towns das Frankfurt (Frankfurt)

Countries das Ägypten (Egypt)

Colors das Grün (Green)

Infinitives used as nouns das Tanzen (dancing)

Nouns & Gender - Exercise 1

Identify the gender of the following nouns by supplying the missing definite article.

Nouns & Gender - Exercise 1

1) der Hund (masculine)

2) die Sonne (feminine)

3) das Haus (neuter)

4) die Elefanten (plural)

5) das Krankenhaus (compound noun)

Learn German Online for Free

Grammar Lessons

 Unit 01

1. Nouns & Gender

a. Grammar Table

b. Exercise 1
c. Exercise 2

2. Plural of Nouns

3. Subject Pronouns

4. Verbs in the Present Tense

5. Irregular Verbs

6. To be & to have

7. Separable Verbs

8. Modal Verbs

9. Imperatives

10. Questions

 Unit 02

1. German Cases

2. Nominative Case

3. Accusative Case

4. Dative Case

5. Genitive Case

6. Prepositions I

7. Prepositions II

Tweet

Nouns & Gender - Exercise 2

Using the hints from the grammar table associated with this lesson, identify the gender of the following nouns by supplying the missing definite article.

Nouns & Gender - Exercise 2

1) der Tempel

2) die Krankheit

3) der Honig

4) das Schwimmen

5) die Übung

6) das Bisschen

7) der Journalismus

8) die Blamage
9) der Februar

10) das Dokument

Learn German Online for Free

Grammar Lessons

 Unit 01

1. Nouns & Gender

2. Plural of Nouns

a. Exercise 1

3. Subject Pronouns

4. Verbs in the Present Tense

5. Irregular Verbs

6. To be & to have

7. Separable Verbs

8. Modal Verbs

9. Imperatives

10. Questions

 Unit 02

1. German Cases

2. Nominative Case

3. Accusative Case

4. Dative Case

5. Genitive Case

6. Prepositions I

7. Prepositions II

Tweet

Lesson 2 - Plural of Nouns

Plural of nouns in the German language is much different than in English. In English, plurals are formed simply by adding '-s' to the end of the noun. In

German, it's not that simple however; as there are several different ways of forming them. Thus, it's always recommended to learn a new word along with its

plural.
This lesson will provide some common patterns for typical endings of nouns' plural based on the gender of the noun. However, these patterns should only be

considered as guidelines rather than rules; as irregularities may always exist.

Masculine Nouns

Adding an '-e'

Most of the German masculine nouns form their plurals by simply adding an '-e' at their end.

Masculine plurals: -e

der Beruf die Berufe professions

der Schuh die Schuhe shoes

der Stift die Stifte pencils

der Hund die Hunde dogs

Adding an umlaut and '-e'

Sometimes when the stem of a masculine noun contains an 'a', 'o', or 'u', an umlaut is added to it, in addition to the '-e' at the end.

Masculine plurals: ¨-e

der Zahn die Zähne teeth

der Kopf die Köpfe heads

der Zug die Züge trains

Nouns ending in '-er', '-el', or '-en'

Nouns ending in '-er', '-el', or '-en' are either left unchanged, or have an umlaut added to their stem.

Masculine plurals: -er, -el, -en endings

der Dichter die Dichter poets

der Mantel die Mäntel coats

der Laden die Läden shops/stores

Feminine Nouns

Adding a '-n' or an '-en'

Most of the German feminine nouns form their plural by simply adding '-n' or '-en' at their end.

Feminine plurals: -n or -en


die Blume die Blumen flowers

die Stirn die Stirnen foreheads

die Nase die Nasen noses

die Wohnung die Wohnungen apartments

Adding an umlaut and '-e'

Sometimes when the stem of a feminine noun contains an 'a', 'o', or 'u', an umlaut is added to it, in addition to an '-e' at the end.

Feminine plurals: ¨-e

die Wand die Wände walls

die Kuh die Kühe cows

die Hand die Hände hands

Neuter Nouns

Adding an '-e'

Most of the German neuter nouns form their plural by simply adding an '-e' at their end.

Neuter plurals: -e

das Regal die Regale shelves

das Haar die Haare hair

das Schaf die Schafe sheep

Adding an umlaut and '-er'

Sometimes when the stem of a neuter noun contains an 'a', 'o', or 'u', an umlaut is added to it, in addition to an '-er' at the end.

Neuter plurals: ¨-er

das Buch die Bücher books

das Huhn die Hühner chicken

das Loch die Löcher holes

Nouns ending in '-chen'

Neuter nouns ending in '-chen' are kept unchanged in their plural forms.
Neuter plurals: -chen ending

das Mädchen die Mädchen girls

das Zeichen die Zeichen characters

That ends the most common patterns found in all three genders. Remember though, that these are just guidelines, and not strict language rules; thus

exceptions exist.

To avoid any confusion, it's always recommended for new German language students to study each noun along with its gender and its plural. By time, you

should develop a good sense of the language, and be able to form plurals without having to study them by heart.

Plural of Nouns - Exercise 1

Rewrite the following nouns as plural nouns.

 All answers are case-sensitive.

 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.

 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.

Plural of Nouns - Exercise 1

Gäste
1) der Gast → die Gäste

Tische
2) der Tisch → die Tische

Spiegel
3) der Spiegel → die Spiegel

Falter
4) der Falter → die Falter

Tassen
5) die Tasse → die Tassen

Zeitungen
6) die Zeitung → die Zeitungen

Würste
7) die Wurst → die Würste

Beine
8) das Bein → die Beine

Wörter
9) das Wort → die Wörter

Entchen
10) das Entchen → die Entchen
Lesson 3 - Subject Pronouns

Before discussing verb forms in the German language, you'll have to know a bit about 'subjects'.

This lesson only discusses subject pronouns; pronouns as a whole will be discussed in detail in later lessons. The subject of a sentence is usually a noun

that names a person or thing that performs the action. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of that noun.

First-person & Second-person Pronouns

In German, there are two ways of addressing people, either formal or informal.

The informal is usually used when addressing friends & children, while the formal method is used with people whom you may not know well or who are older

than you.

First-person & Second-person Pronouns

Singular Pronoun Plural Pronoun

ich I wir we

du you - informal ihr you - informal

Sie you - formal Sie you - formal

Third-person Pronouns

In German, the subject pronoun must follow the gender of the noun it replaces. Since some German masculine nouns are inanimate objects, the German

masculine pronoun can mean 'it' when referring to something inanimate, or it can mean 'he' when referring to something male. The same thing occurs with

female and neuter pronouns.

Third-person Pronouns

Masculine Noun Masculine Pronoun

der Arzt doctor er he

der Tisch table er it

Feminine Noun Feminine Pronoun

die Mutter mother sie she

die Wand wall sie it

Neuter Noun Neuter Pronoun

das Kind child es he/she

das Mädchen girl es she


das Papier paper es it

Plural Noun Plural Pronoun

die Kinder children sie they

die Blumen flowers sie they

die Stühle chairs sie they

The German 'sie/Sie' might be very confusing for the beginner German learners. Don't worry though, you should be able to easily differentiate between their

intended meanings in a sentence when you learn verb conjugation.

Now that you know the German subject pronouns, you're ready to learn about verbs

Subject Pronouns - Exercise 1

Give the pronoun that appropriately replaces the noun or phrase in bold.

Subject Pronouns - Exercise 1

1) Die Wohnung ist ziemlich klein. sie

2) Wo ist das Kind? es

3) Der Himmel ist sehr hoch. er

4) Anna und Peter trinken keinen Kaffee. sie pl.

5) Meine Schwester und ich spielen jetzt mit den Barbies. wir

6) Peter hat zwei Hunde. er

7) Meine Familie ist lustig. sie

Lesson 4 - Verbs in the Present Tense

Now that you know the German subject pronouns, you're ready to learn about verbs.

In German, the verb must agree with the subject pronoun preceding it (grammatically speaking, that is, in person and number), that is called 'verb

conjugation'. Thus, German has more endings for verbs than in English.

Verb Conjugation

To conjugate a verb, you simply take its stem and then add the required ending. The stem is the form of the infinitive without -en or -n.

Verb Conjugation
kommen hören

ich komme höre

du kommst hörst

er / sie / es kommt hört

wir kommen hören

ihr kommt hört

sie kommen hören

Sie kommen hören

In German, there is only one present tense, which corresponds both to the simple and to the continuous present:

 Ich trinke Wasser - I drink water or I am drinking water

 Sie kommt hier - She comes here or She is coming here

To end this lesson, here are a few examples:

Lesson 2 Examples

Example Meaning

ich ich lerne Deutsch I am learning German

du du spielst gut You are playing good

er / sie / es Sie kocht Spagetti She is cooking spaghetti

wir wir bleiben zwei Tage We are staying two days

ihr ihr singt ein Lied You are singing a song

sie sie trinken Bier They are drinking beer

Sie Sie wohnen in Berlin You are living in Berlin


Verbs in the Present Tense - Exercise 1
Depending on the subject pronoun given, select the correct verb ending.

Verbs in the Present Tense - Exercise 1

1) Ich gehe jetzt

2) Wir bleiben hier

3) Ihr trinkt Kaffee

4) Du lernst Deutsch

5) Er kommt aus Ägypten

Way to go! You've answered them all correctly !

Lesson 5 - Irregular Verbs

Unfortunately, not all the German verbs follow the regular pattern shown in the previous lesson; there are some verbs with slight variations in their stem.

These verbs are called 'Irregular Verbs'.

1. Stem ending with 'd' or 't':

As it would be difficult to pronounce the 'st' ending for 'du' and the 't' ending for 'er/sie/es' & 'ihr', an 'e' is placed before the ending of these verbs.

The extra 'e' is added only to the 'du', 'er/sie/es', and 'ihr' verb forms, other verb forms aren't affected.

Stem ending with 'd' or 't'

finden leiden

du findest leidest

er/sie/es findet leidet

ihr findet leidet

2. Stem ending with 's', 'ss', 'ß', 'x', 'z', or 'tz':

If the verb stem ends with any of the following endings, then the 'du' verb ending becomes a 't' instead of 'st'.

Only the 'du' verb form is affected.

Stem ending with 's', 'ss', 'ß', 'x', 'z', or 'tz'

genesen küssen heißen sitzen

du genest küsst heißt sitzt

3. Verbs with a vowel change


Some verbs have the vowel in their stem change with the 'du' and 'er/sie/es' form of the verb. These verbs are best learnt by heart.

The three most common vowel change patterns are:

'a' to 'ä'

backen fahren schlafen waschen

du bäckst fährst schläfst wäschst

er/sie/es bäckt fährt schläft wäscht

'e' to 'i'

essen geben sprechen weben

du isst gibst sprichst wibst

er/sie/es isst gibt spricht wibt

'e' to 'ie'

befehlen lesen sehen stehlen

du befiehlst liest siehst stielst

er/sie/es befiehlt liest sieht stielt

This concludes our lesson, quite simple, eh ?

Make sure to check the grammar table associated with this lesson, it contains most of the irregular verbs that appear within the German language.

Irregular Verbs - Exercise 1

Type the correct verb conjugations in the present tense.

 All answers are case-sensitive.

 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.
 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.

Irregular Verbs - Exercise 1

isst
1) Du isst (essen) zu viel Käse

schläft
2) Er schläft (schlafen) drei Stunden

heißt
3) Du heißt (heißen) Peter

spendet
4) Ihr spendet (spenden) 5 Euro

sieht
5) Er sieht (sehen) einen Film

tanzt
6) Du tanzt (tanzen) allein

liest
7) Er liest (lesen) viel

küsst
8) Du küsst (küssen) mich

Tweet

Lesson 6 - To be & to have

As in English, the two verbs 'to be' (sein) and 'to have' (haben) are quite important in German.

Both verbs are also irregular, and don't follow any of the conjugation rules discussed in the previous lessons.

1. To be (sein):

The verb 'sein' is completely irregular in all of its forms; and thus needs to be learned by heart.

Conjugation of 'sein'

ich bin

du bist

er / sie / es ist

wir sind

ihr seid

sie sind

Sie sind

2. To have (haben):
The verb 'haben' is only irregular in its 'du' and 'er/sie/es' forms; as the letter 'b' is removed from its stem.

Conjugation of 'haben'

ich habe

du hast

er / sie / es hat

wir haben

ihr habt

sie haben

Sie haben

Just like in the English language, both verbs are used to form tenses; and thus are very widely used within the German language.

To end this lesson, here are a few examples of both verbs in use:

Lesson 4 examples

ich bin aus Ägypten I'm from Egypt

du bist sehr Hübsch You're very pretty

er hat eine Katze He has a cat

wir haben keine Zeit We have no time

ihr seid niemals allein You are never alone

sie haben eine neue Wohnung They have a new apartment

Sie sind Willkommen You’re Welcome

To be & to have - Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks using the correct conjugation of the verb given between brackets.

 All answers are case-sensitive.

 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.

 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.
To be & to have - Exercise 1

bist
1) Du bist (sein) sehr kurz

hat
2) Er hat (haben) eine Schwester

bin
3) Ich bin (sein) achtzehn Jahre alt

haben
4) Wir haben (haben) Hunger

hast
5) Du hast (haben) viel zu tun

seid
6) Ihr seid (sein) so leise

habe
7) Ich habe (haben) Durst

ist
8) Es ist (sein) zu teuer

habt
9) Ihr habt (haben) eine Tochter

Lesson 7 - Separable Verbs

A characteristic feature of German is its ability to create verbs with new meanings through the addition of prefixes to nouns, adjectives, or other verbs.

For example:

 aus + gehen = ausgehen - to go out

 ver + kaufen = verkaufen - to sell

German has two categories of prefixes: inseparable prefixes and separable prefixes. However, few prefixes exist that can be used in either catgory.

Also, a verb could have more than one prefix, each giving a new verb with a different meaning than the others. Take the verb 'kommen' for example:

Same Verb with Different Prefixes

Verb Meaning

kommen to come

ankommen to arrive

mitkommen to come along

weiterkommen to get on
hereinkommen to come in

herauskommen to come out

nachkommen to come later

zurückkommen to come back

Inseparable Prefixes

These prefixes are always attached to the front end of a verb and are never removed from it no matter the tense or form of the verb. When pronouncing a

verb with an inseparable prefix, the stress is always on the stem of the verb.

The table below shows these prefixes, along with some examples:

Inseparable Prefixes

Prefix Example Verb Meaning

bekommen to get/receive

be-

besuchen to visit/attend

empfehlen to recommend

emp-

empfinden to feel

entlassen to discharge/fire

ent-

entscheiden to decide/determine

erfinden to invent/make-up

er-

erwarten to expect/anticipate

gehorchen to obey

ge-

gestatten to permit/allow

missachtest to disobey/disregard

miss-

misstrauen to mistrust/suspect

vergessen to forget

ver-

verstehen to understand

zerstören to destroy

zer-

zerkratzen to scratch
The inseparable prefix remains attached to the verb when its conjugated. Notice the position of the inseparable prefix in the following examples:

 Ich verstehe sehr gut Deutsch - I understant very good German

 Ich besuche meine Eltern jeden Tag - I visit my parents everyday

Separable Prefixes

Separable prefixes are adverbs and prepositions that are detached from the verb when it is conjugated. It would be completely impractical to list all of those

prefixes; as there are many. When pronouncing a verb with a separable prefix, the stress is always on the separable prefix.

The table below shows the most common ones along with some examples:

Separable Prefixes

Prefix Example Verb Meaning

ankommen to arrive

an-

anrufen to phone somebody

aufstehen to wake up

auf-

aufhören to stop/cease

ausgehen to go out

aus-

aussprechen to pronounce

beibringen to teach

bei-

beitragen to add/contribute

einkaufen to go shopping

ein-

einladen to invite

fortfahren to continue/proceed

fort-

fortgehen to go away

mitgehen to go along

mit-

mitarbeiten to collaborate

nachahmen to imitate/copy

nach-

nacharbeiten to rework/revise

vor- vorstellen to present/introduce


vorbereiten to prepare/set up

wegfahren to drive away

weg-

weglaufen to run away

zuhören to listen

zu-

zunehmen to increase/grow

As already mentioned, when a verb with a separable prefix is conjugated in the present tense, the separable prefix is detached from it. The prefix is moved to

the end of its clause. Notice the position of the inseparable prefix in the following examples:

 Herr Bauer ruft seine Frau an - Mr Bauer is calling his wife

 Ich gehe mit meinen Freunden jeden Tag aus - I go out with my friends everyday

 Sie kauft im Supermarkt ein - She is shopping in the supermarket

Prefixes that can be Separable or Inseparable

A few prefixes exist that can be either separable or inseparable, depending on the way the verb is pronounced. When the stress is on the prefix itself, the

prefix is separable. But when the stress is on the stem of the verb, it's a strong signal that the prefix is an inseparable one.

A few examples are shown in the next table:

Prefixes that can be Separable or Inseparable

Prefix Separable Verb Inseparable Verb

durch- durchfallen durchdringen

um- umsteigen umarmen

wieder- wiedergeben wiederholen

Of course, the verb conjugation depends on whether the prefix is separable or inseparable, as shown in the next example:

 Wir steigen in Berlin um (umsteigen) - We change (busses) in Berlin

 Wir umarmen uns (umarmen) - We embrace ourselves

That brings us to the end of this lesson. Make sure to solve the exercises associated with this lesson before proceeding to the next ones.

Lesson 8 - Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are verbs used to modify or change other verbs to show such things as ability, permission, or necessity.

For example: You can eat, I must stay.

Use of Modal Verbs with Another Verb


In German, modal verbs are very similar to those in English; as they are generally used together with a main verb in its infinitive form. However, there is one

main difference between both languages. In English, the modal verb and the main verb stay together; whereas in German, the modal verb and the main verb

are separated; as the main verb goes to the end of the sentence.

 Wir müssen heute entscheiden - We must decide today

German Modal Verbs

There are six modal verbs in German, all having conjugation that is different than regular German verbs (discussed in an earlier lesson).

The six German modal verbs are: dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, and wollen.

Modal Verbs in Detail

Dürfen - may/to be allowed to


Conjugation of dürfen

ich darf wir dürfen

du darfst ihr dürft

er/sie/es darf sie dürfen

Sie dürfen

Dürfen is used to express permission:

 Ihr dürft hier rauchen - You are allowed to smoke here

When used with 'nicht', dürfen conveys the meaning of something one must not do.

 Ihr dürft hier nicht rauchen - You must not smoke here

Können - can/to be able to


Conjugation of können

ich kann wir können

du kannst ihr könnt

er/sie/es kann sie können

Sie können

Können means 'can' or 'to be able to':

 Ich kann den Wecker nicht ausschalten - I can't turn off the alarm clock

It can also be used to express possibility:


 Das kann nicht sein - That can't be true

Müssen - must/to have to/need to


Conjugation of müssen

ich muss wir müssen

du musst ihr müsst

er/sie/es muss sie müssen

Sie müssen

Müssen means 'to have to' or 'must' or 'need to':

 Du musst um sieben aufstehen - You must/have to wake up at seven.

When used with 'nicht', it doesn't convey the meaning of prohibition as in English, but means 'do not have to' (remember that dürfen + nicht is used to say

'must not').

 Du musst nicht kommen - You don't have to come.

Sollen - to be supposed to/should/ought to


Conjugation of sollen

ich soll wir sollen

du sollst ihr sollt

er/sie/es soll sie sollen

Sie sollen

Sollen means 'to be supposed to' or 'should' or 'ought to':

 Wir sollen mehr arbeiten - We ought to work more

 Du sollst deine Freunde einladen - You should invite your friends

Wollen - to want
Conjugation of wollen

ich will wir wollen

du willst ihr wollt

er/sie/es will sie wollen


Sie wollen

Wollen usually expresses an intention or desire, equivilant to the English 'to want to':

 Ich will etwas trinken - I want to drink something

Take note not to use the verb in the sense of the English verb 'will' to form the future tense. This requires another verb in German ('werden').

Mögen/möchten - to like/would like


Conjugation of mögen/möchten

ich mag/möchte wir mögen/möchten

du magst/möchtest ihr mögt/möchtet

er/sie/es mag/möchte sie mögen/möchten

Sie mögen/möchten

The modal verb mögen means 'to like' and is often used with reference to people, food, or places.

 Ich mag Tennis - I like Tennis

However, the verb is most oftenly used in its subjunctive form, möchten, which means 'would like to'.

 Er möchte das Auto fahren - He would like to drive the car

As with 'mögen', 'möchten' could also be used on its own, without a second verb.

 Ich möchte ein Glas Wasser, bitte - I would like a glass of water, please

Modal and Separable Verbs

When a modal verb is used with a separable one, the separable verb stays together and goes to the end of the sentance.

 Ich will Morgen ausgehen - I want to go out tomorrow

 Du sollst deine Mutter anrufen - You should call your mother

Now you nearly know everything about German verbs in the present tense, only reflexive verbs are left for another lesson in a later unit.

Using very little vocabulary, you should be able to form complete German sentances by now.

Modal Verbs - Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks using the correct conjugation of the modal verbs given between brackets.

 All answers are case-sensitive.


 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.

 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.

Modal Verbs - Exercise 1

kann
1) Ich kann (können) morgen leider nicht kommen

müssen
2) Sie müssen (müssen) langsam fahren

darfst
3) Du darfst (dürfen) zu Hause bleiben

können
4) Wir können (können) es nicht finden

sollt
5) Ihr sollt (sollen) den Wagen schnell reparieren

möchte
6) Ich möchte (möchten) einen Saft, bitte

mögen
7) Wir mögen (mögen) die Musik

w ill
8) Er will (wollen) eine reiche Braut heiraten

Imperatives - Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks using the correct imperative form of the verbs given between brackets.

 All answers are case-sensitive.

 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.

 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.

Imperatives - Exercise 1

Bring
1) Bring mir ein Bier! (bringen - du form)

seien
2) Bitte, seien Sie ruhig. (sein)

Schlaf
3) Schlaf gut! (schlafen - du form)

Fahrt
4) Fahrt nicht nach Berlin! (fahren - ihr form)
Gib
5) Gib es mir! (geben - du form)

Gehen
6) Gehen Sie nach rechts. (gehen)

Bleibt
7) Bleibt an der Ecke! (bleiben - ihr form)

Rufen an
8) Rufen Sie die Polizei an . (anrufen)

Sprich
9) Sprich Deutsch! (sprechen - du form)

spielt
10) Jungen, spielt nicht im Garten! (spielen - ihr form)

Way to go! You've answered them all correctly !

Lesson 9 - Imperatives

An imperative is a form of the verb used when giving orders or instructing people to do things. In English, the imperative works by using the infinitive form of

the verb, for example: Come here!, Speak loudly!.

In German the imperative is a little more complicated though; as there exists three different imperative forms, depending on the number of persons being

addressed, and whether addressed formally or informally.

'du' Form

This form is used when addressing a person with whom you're quite familiar.

Also in this form, the 'du' pronoun is dropped from the sentance, and only the imperative form of the verb appears.

Regular Verbs

For regular verbs, the imperative is formed by using the stem of the verb without an ending.

Imperative of regular verbs

Verb Imperative Example

trinken trink Trink weniger!

kommen komm Komm jetzt!

bleiben bleib Bleib hier!

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs retain their irregularities in their imperative form as well. Verbs with a stem ending with '-d', '-t', or 'consonant + m/n', have an '-e' added to

their stem.

While verbs haveing a stem vowel change have the same stem vowel change in their imperative form, except for verbs having a vowel change from 'a' to 'ä',

these don't change.

Imperative of irregular verbs

Stem ending with '-d', '-t', 'consonant + m/n'


Verb Imperative Example

warten warte Warte bis Morgen!

öffnen öffne Öffne die Tür!

atmen atme Atme schneller!

Stem with a vowel change

Verb Imperative Example

helfen hilf Hilf mir!

lesen lies Lies das Buch!

sprechen sprich Sprich leise!

Stem with 'a' to 'ä' vowel change

Verb Imperative Example

tragen trag Trag deine Uniform!

fahren fahr Fahr links!

haben & sein

Both verbs behave exactly like regular verbs, just use the stem of the verb.

Imperative of haben & sein

Verb Imperative Example

haben hab Hab Geduld!

sein sei Sei ruhig!

Separable Verbs

The prefix of these verbs splits off, and is placed at the end of its clause.

Imperative of separable verbs

Verb Imperative Example

zumachen mach zu Mach die Tür zu!

aufhören hör auf Hör aber endlich auf!

'ihr' Form
The informal plural is used when addressing at least two people whom you are familiar with.

This form is very similar to the 'du' imperative form

The 'ihr' pronoun is dropped from the sentance, only the imperative verb is left.

For regular verbs, the imperative is formed by using the stem of the verb and adding a '-t' ending to it.

Irregular verbs which take an '-e' ending in the 'du' form, take an '-et' ending in the 'ihr' form.

Separable verbs split off their prefix.

Imperative of regular verbs

Verb Imperative Example

kommen kommt Kommt, bitte!

holen holt Holt es mir!

Imperative of irregular verbs

Verb Imperative Example

arbeiten arbeitet Arbeitet nicht so viel!

anworten antwortet Antwortet auf die Frage!

Imperative of separable verbs

Verb Imperative Example

ausziehen zieht aus Zieht den Pullover aus!

aufmachen macht auf Macht das Gepäck auf!

'Sie' Form

The 'Sie' form is used when addressing one person or more in a formal manner.

Unlike the 'du' & 'ihr' pronouns, the 'Sie' pronoun isn't dropped from the sentance when forming imperatives.

The imperative of regular & irregular verbs is simple formed by using the present-tense 'Sie' form of the verb.

Separable verbs split off their prefix.

Imperative of regular & irregular verbs

Verb Imperative Example

geben geben Geben Sie mir das Buch, bitte.

fragen fragen Fragen Sie den Mann da.

Imperative of separable verbs

Verb Imperative Example


anfangen fangen an Fangen Sie bitte an.

umsteigen steigen um Steigen Sie hier um.

Verb in First Position

All imperative forms in German have one feature in common: the verb is placed at the start of the sentance. This structure is very similar to English.

Frequent Use

The imperative is quite frequently used in the German language; as it's not considered impolite or rude to do so. Thus, be prepared to use them alot when

using the language!

Imperatives - Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks using the correct imperative form of the verbs given between brackets.

 All answers are case-sensitive.

 If you can't figure out the answer of a certain question, press on the 'hint' button next to it.

 German characters are found on the first row of the table, copy/paste them into your answers whenever needed.

Imperatives - Exercise 1

Bring
1) Bring mir ein Bier! (bringen - du form)

seien
2) Bitte, seien Sie ruhig. (sein)

Schlaf
3) Schlaf gut! (schlafen - du form)

Fahrt
4) Fahrt nicht nach Berlin! (fahren - ihr form)

Gib
5) Gib es mir! (geben - du form)

Gehen
6) Gehen Sie nach rechts. (gehen)

Bleibt
7) Bleibt an der Ecke! (bleiben - ihr form)

Rufen an
8) Rufen Sie die Polizei an . (anrufen)

Sprich
9) Sprich Deutsch! (sprechen - du form)

spielt
10) Jungen, spielt nicht im Garten! (spielen - ihr form)

Lesson 10 - Questions

Just as in English, there are two types of questions in the German language: 'yes' or 'no' questions, and interrogative questions.
1) 'Yes' or 'No' Questions

These questions are formed by changing the normal word order of the sentence. This is done by swapping round the position of the verb with the subject.

As mentioned in an earlier lesson, the German present tense is used for both the continuous and the simple present. Thus, a question like 'trinkst du

Kaffee?" could either mean 'do you drink coffee?' or 'are you drinking coffee?'.

Examples of 'yes' or 'no' questions:

 Bist du hungrig? - Are you hungry?

 Spielen Sie mit mir? - Are you playing with me?

 Geht ihr ins Kino? - Are you going to the cinema?

Questions with Modal & Seperable Verbs

When used with a modal verb, the second verb's position is not affected, it remains at the end of the sentence. Same rule applies when using separable

verbs, the prefix remains at the end of the sentence.

This rule is also valid for interrogative questions.

 Können Sie mich verstehen? - Can you understand me?

 Gehst du mit deinen Freunden aus? - Are you going out with your friends?

2) Interrogative Questions

An interrogative question is a question that begins with a question word, such as 'who', 'where' and 'what'. Unlike the 'yes' or 'no' questions, these questions

could have a variety of answers. The table below shows some of the most common German question words.

Most common German question words

wie how was what

wann when warum why

welcher which wo where

wer who

Forming Interrogative Questions

The rule used to form interrogative questions is very similar to the 'yes' or 'no' questions' rule. The verb precedes the subject of the sentence, and the

interrogative word precedes the verb.

Some examples of interrogative questions:

 Wann kommt sie? - When is she coming?

 Wo arbeitest du? - Where do you work?

 Was lernen die Kinder? - What are the children learning?

 Wie schwimmen die Fische? - How does the fish swim?


Interrogative as Sentence Subject

Certain interrogatives, such as 'wer', can be the subject of the sentence, in that case the interrogative word begins the sentence and is followed by the verb.

 Wer spielt Schach? - Who plays chess?

Interrogative Combinations

Several new interrogatives are formed by combining certain words, prepositions, and adverbs with the interrogatives 'wie' and 'wo'.

Some example combinations:

'Wie' combinations

wie alt how old wie viel how much

wie groß how big wie lange how long

wie oft how often wie spät how late

'Wo' combinations

wohin where to woher where from

wobei at what womit with what

Some example questions:

 Wie alt bist du? - How old are you?

 Wie lange bleiben Sie in Berlin? - How long are you staying in Berlin?

 Woher kommen Sie? - Where do you come from?

 Wohin fährt er am Wochenende? - Where is he travelling to this weekend?

Interrogatives Depending on the Case

Although the four German cases haven't been discussed yet, this topic is worth mentioning here for the sake of completeness.

The German interrogatives 'wer' and 'welcher' have other forms depending on the case. The interrogative 'wer' has only one form for each case, while

'welcher' has different forms within each case, depending on gender and number. The table below shows the different forms of the interrogative 'wer'.

Forms of 'wer'

Nominative wer who

Accusative wen whom

Dative wem whom

Genitive wessen whose


This brings an end to this lesson and the unit as a whole. Make sure you've understood all the lessons and concepts covered in this unit before proceeding

to the next one!

Lesson 10 - Questions

Just as in English, there are two types of questions in the German language: 'yes' or 'no' questions, and interrogative questions.

1) 'Yes' or 'No' Questions

These questions are formed by changing the normal word order of the sentence. This is done by swapping round the position of the verb with the subject.

As mentioned in an earlier lesson, the German present tense is used for both the continuous and the simple present. Thus, a question like 'trinkst du

Kaffee?" could either mean 'do you drink coffee?' or 'are you drinking coffee?'.

Examples of 'yes' or 'no' questions:

 Bist du hungrig? - Are you hungry?

 Spielen Sie mit mir? - Are you playing with me?

 Geht ihr ins Kino? - Are you going to the cinema?

Questions with Modal & Seperable Verbs

When used with a modal verb, the second verb's position is not affected, it remains at the end of the sentence. Same rule applies when using separable

verbs, the prefix remains at the end of the sentence.

This rule is also valid for interrogative questions.

 Können Sie mich verstehen? - Can you understand me?

 Gehst du mit deinen Freunden aus? - Are you going out with your friends?

2) Interrogative Questions

An interrogative question is a question that begins with a question word, such as 'who', 'where' and 'what'. Unlike the 'yes' or 'no' questions, these questions

could have a variety of answers. The table below shows some of the most common German question words.

Most common German question words

wie how was what

wann when warum why

welcher which wo where

wer who

Forming Interrogative Questions

The rule used to form interrogative questions is very similar to the 'yes' or 'no' questions' rule. The verb precedes the subject of the sentence, and the

interrogative word precedes the verb.


Some examples of interrogative questions:

 Wann kommt sie? - When is she coming?

 Wo arbeitest du? - Where do you work?

 Was lernen die Kinder? - What are the children learning?

 Wie schwimmen die Fische? - How does the fish swim?

Interrogative as Sentence Subject

Certain interrogatives, such as 'wer', can be the subject of the sentence, in that case the interrogative word begins the sentence and is followed by the verb.

 Wer spielt Schach? - Who plays chess?

Interrogative Combinations

Several new interrogatives are formed by combining certain words, prepositions, and adverbs with the interrogatives 'wie' and 'wo'.

Some example combinations:

'Wie' combinations

wie alt how old wie viel how much

wie groß how big wie lange how long

wie oft how often wie spät how late

'Wo' combinations

wohin where to woher where from

wobei at what womit with what

Some example questions:

 Wie alt bist du? - How old are you?

 Wie lange bleiben Sie in Berlin? - How long are you staying in Berlin?

 Woher kommen Sie? - Where do you come from?

 Wohin fährt er am Wochenende? - Where is he travelling to this weekend?

Interrogatives Depending on the Case

Although the four German cases haven't been discussed yet, this topic is worth mentioning here for the sake of completeness.

The German interrogatives 'wer' and 'welcher' have other forms depending on the case. The interrogative 'wer' has only one form for each case, while

'welcher' has different forms within each case, depending on gender and number. The table below shows the different forms of the interrogative 'wer'.

Forms of 'wer'
Nominative wer who

Accusative wen whom

Dative wem whom

Genitive wessen whose

This brings an end to this lesson and the unit as a whole. Make sure you've understood all the lessons and concepts covered in this unit before proceeding

to the next one!

Questions - Exercise 1

Determine the correct interrogative according to the answer given to each questions.

Questions - Exercise 1

1) Wann kommt Ihr?

Wir kommen nächste Woche.

We come next week.

2) Was machst du jetzt?

Ich lerne Deutsch.

I am learning German.

3) Wer kann es machen?

Peter kann es machen.

Peter can make it.

4) Wie oft besucht er uns?

Er besucht uns dreimal die Woche.

He visits us three times a week.

5) Wie ist er?

Er ist krank.

He is sick.

6) Wie lange bleibst du dort?

Ich bleibe einen Monat dort.

I am staying for a month there.

7) Wo sind Sie?

Ich bin in der Küche.

I am in the kitchen.

8) Wohin fahrt ihr?


Wir fahren nach Deutschland.

We are travelling to Germany.