Month: March 2018

‘True’ reflexive verbs + dative

There are also a few ‘true’ reflexive verbs that need a reflexive pronoun in the dative. The most important are: sich aneignen to learn/acquire sich einbilden to get hold of an idea sich verbitten not to tolerate something sich vornehmen to intend to do sich vorstellen to imagine something sich überlegen to think something over Here are some of them in use: Überleg dir das noch mal! Think it over ... »

What are reflexive verbs?

Reflexive verbs refer to an action where the subject of a sentence is doing something to itself: Ich habe mich verletzt. I have hurt myself. Marco amüsiert sich. Marco enjoys himself. Reflexive verbs are always used with a reflexive pronoun (mich, sich etc.) which reflects the action back to the subject of the sentence. Two types of reflexive verbs There are two main types of reflexive verbs in Ge... »

What are cases?

What are cases?

A case refers to the role a noun or a pronoun plays in a particular sentence or clause. There are four main functions and each one can be linked to a specific case in German: Changes caused by the case system The various functions and therefore the cases of nouns are usually signalled by the endings of articles and other determiners. When, for instance, a masculine noun is the subject in a sentenc... »



The two articles and other determiners Determiners usually precede nouns. The most important ones are the definite article, such as der, die etc. corresponding to ‘the’, and the indefinite article, such as ein, eine etc. corresponding to ‘a’. Other determiners include: • possessives such as mein ‘my’, dein ‘your’, etc. • demonstratives such as dieser ‘this’ • indefinites such as alle ‘all’/‘everyb... »

Reflexive pronouns in the accusative and dative

Here is an overview of the reflexive pronouns in the accusative and dative: Note that only the ich and du forms of the accusative and dative differ (mich/mir and dich/dir). ‘True’ reflexive verbs + accusative Here are some commonly used ‘true’ reflexive verbs that are always used with an accusative reflexive pronoun: sich amüsieren to amuse oneself sich bedanken to say thank you sich beeilen to hu... »

What are pronouns?

Pronouns are words that ‘stand in’ for nouns and refer to persons, things or ideas. The most important ones are the personal pronouns (ich, du, er/sie/es etc.): Georg ist noch klein, aber er kann schon lesen. Georg is only small but he can already read. Mir gefällt das Auto, aber es ist zu teuer. I like the car, but it is too expensive. Personal and other pronouns Apart from personal pronouns ther... »

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns can replace and refer to any kind of noun or noun phrase. They need to agree with the grammatical role of these nouns. This is often indicated by different forms of the pronoun. Here is an overview of personal pronouns in the nominative, accusative and dative case: Personal pronouns in use The following section shows the usage and different functions of personal pronouns in a sen... »

The nominative case

As mentioned before, the most important role of the nominative case is to indicate the subject in a sentence. The subject directs the action and can be a person, thing or idea, either in the singular or in the plural: Der Junge spielt heute allein. The boy is playing alone today. Die Zeiten sind hart. These are hard times. A good way of identifying the subject is to ask: Who or what is doing the a... »

The accusative case

The accusative case in German marks the direct object in a sentence. The direct object is the person or thing on the receiving end of the action: Sie füttert das Baby. She feeds the baby. Helga wäscht den Wagen. Helga washes the car. In order to identify the direct object, you could ask the question: → The baby. The accusative after most verbs Most verbs in German are used with a direct accusative... »

Demonstrative pronouns – dieser, der

Demonstrative pronouns refer to specific persons, things or ideas that usually have been mentioned before. There are two types of demonstrative pronouns which are quite similar in meaning: dieser, diese etc. and der, die etc.: Siehst du die rote Jacke? → Meinst du diese/die? Do you see the red jacket?→ Do you mean this one? These pronouns have to agree in gender, number and case with the noun they... »