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LESSON NOTES

Absolute Beginner S1 #1
Is Your Coee as Strong as Your
German Apologies?

CONTENTS
2
2
3
4
5
5
6

German
English
Vocabulary
Sample Sentences
Vocabulary Phrase Usage
Grammar
Cultural Insight

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GERMAN
1.

(A spills his water onto the next passenger's lap)

2.

A:

Oh! Entschuldigung! Entschuldigung, es tut mir wirklich leid.

3.

D:

Es ist schon okay.

4.

A:

Sind Sie sicher?

5.

D:

Ja. Es ist okay.

6.

A:

Sind Sie wirklich sicher?

7.

D (grins):

Ja. Es ist nur Wasser.

8.

A:

Kein Problem?

9.

D:

Nein, kein Problem.

10.

A:

Ich bin Joe Cardigan, und Sie?

11.

D:

Ich bin Anke Lwen.

ENGLISH
1.

(A spills his water onto the next passenger's lap)

2.

A:

Oh! Excuse me! ... Excuse me, I'm really sorry.

3.

D:

It's okay.

CONT'D OVER
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ABS OLUT E BEGI NNER S 1 #1 - I S YOUR COFFEE AS S T RONG AS YOUR GERMAN APOLOGI ES ?

4.

A:

Are you sure?

5.

D:

Yes. It's okay.

6.

A:

Are you really sure?

7.

D (grins):

Yes. It's just water.

8.

A:

No problem?

9.

D:

No, no problem.

10.

A:

I'm Joe Cardigan, and you?

11.

D:

I'm Anke Lwen.

VOCABULARY
Ge r man

English

C lass

wirklich

really

adverb

ich

pronoun

nein

no

expression; Yes is "Ja"

Wasser

water

noun; neuter, das

nur

only, just

adverb

ja

yes

adverb

sicher

sure

adjective

Sie

you (formal)

pronoun

schon

already

adverb

es

it

pronoun

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ABS OLUT E BEGI NNER S 1 #1 - I S YOUR COFFEE AS S T RONG AS YOUR GERMAN APOLOGI ES ?

sein

to be

verb

und

and

conjunction

SAMPLE SENTENCES
D i e se Sta d t i st w i rkl i ch g ro .

D a s w a r w i rkl i ch l e cke r.

This city is really big.

This was really yummy.

Ich h a tte l e tz te Wo ch e so vi e l z u
tu n !

Ich bi n L i sa .
I am Lisa.

I was so busy last week!


N e i n , i ch bi n n i ch t a u s K l n .
No, I am not from Cologne.

U n d d e r Ka h n so l l u n s w i rkl i ch h e i l
be r d a s Wa sse r bri n g e n ?
And this barge is really supposed to bring
us savely over the water?

Ei n G l a s Wa sse r o h n e Ko h l e n s u re
bi tte !

Ich e sse n u r G e m se .
I only eat vegetables.

A glass of water without carbonation


please!
N a sch n , d u h a st j a R e ch t.

J a , d a s sti m m t.

Fair enough, you're right. (In the sense of


"I'm giving in.")

Yes, that's right.

Bi st d u d i r si ch e r?

H a be n Si e e i n e a n d e re Kre d i tka rte ?

Are you sure?

Do you have another credit card?

Si e si n d H e rr Sm i th .

Bi st d u sch o n m d e ?

You are Mr. Smith.

Are you tired already?

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ABS OLUT E BEGI NNER S 1 #1 - I S YOUR COFFEE AS S T RONG AS YOUR GERMAN APOLOGI ES ?

Es i st j e tz t h a l b z e h n .

Es i st 1 1 U h r.

It is now half past nine. (half ten)

It's 11:00.

Ich bi n a u s D e u tsch l a n d .

Es i st e i n e Ka m e ra .

I am from Germany.

It's a camera.

Th o m a s u n d L i sa .
Thomas and Lisa.

VOCABULARY PHRASE USAGE

Sie = you, formally. There is a notion of formality in German, just like in French, Spanish,
Italian and other languages. If you're addressing somebody by their family name, you should
also call them Sie and use the corresponding form of the verbs. If you're addressing
somebody by their first name, you will usually use another pronoun, du. The formal address
is the default in German unless you're talking to children or people who explicitly asked you to
switch to an informal address. As a foreigner, you'd do well to address everybody as Sie
initially.

GRAMMAR
Th e fo cu s o f th i s l e sso n i s th e ve rb "se i n " (to be )
Ich bi n J o e .
"I a m J o e ."

In this lesson we've seen three forms of the verb sein, to be. This verb is irregular in almost
all languages, and German is no exception. Here are the forms we've seen;
sein to be
ich bin I am
es ist it is

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ABS OLUT E BEGI NNER S 1 #1 - I S YOUR COFFEE AS S T RONG AS YOUR GERMAN APOLOGI ES ?

Sie sind you are (formally)


We've also seen that German word order corresponds to English so far. When you're asking
a question, the verb moves to the front of the sentence in German, just like in English.
Sind Sie Joe? = Are you Joe?
Sind Sie sicher? = Are you sure?

CULTURAL INSIGHT
Apo l o g i z i n g a n d re a cti n g
The most general word of apology in German is Entschuldigung. This literally means
apology, and it's used in most situations:

when you've accidentally done

when you want somebody's attention

when you want people to make room

something bad

It is NOT used when somebody tells some sad news about themselves, because that is not
something you should apologize for unless you had any stake in it.
If you need something stronger than Entschuldigung, use Es tut mir leid (literally it does
me harm). And you can make it even stronger by adding an adverb before the leid.
Es tut mir wirklich leid. - I'm really sorry.
Es tut mir sehr leid. - I'm very sorry.
To accept an apology informally, say;
Es ist (schon) okay. - It's okay (now).
Kein Problem. - No problem.

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ABS OLUT E BEGI NNER S 1 #1 - I S YOUR COFFEE AS S T RONG AS YOUR GERMAN APOLOGI ES ?