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Handout: Verben mit prpositionalen Objekten

As youve probably become aware, prepositions in German do not always have the same exact meanings as their English counterparts. This
means that when you come to choose a preposition that is a part of a set phrase in English -- for example, to wait FOR someone -- it may be
incorrect to assume that the same set phrase exists in German. In most cases, it does not exist in the same form, so youll need to learn which
prepositions belong in these phrases in German.

Lets first take a look at the concept of verb + preposition. As in the example above, in English we say were waiting FOR a friend. There is no
absolute logic to govern this choice of preposition: for is an arbitrary choice to indicate for whose benefit we are waiting. In German, you
cannot say this phrase using fr -- the set phrase is ich warte AUF einen Freund. Just like in English, the choice of auf is somewhat arbitrary,
although there is a certain logic involved. To examine this logic, we can break down a number of prepositions to discuss their broader meaning
and how they are used in combination with certain German verbs.

AN often (but not always) expresses the idea of a mental process directed towards a thing or person. For example:

ich erinnere mich an das Datum I remember the date

ich denke an meinen Vater Im thinking of my father
ich glaube an Gott I believe in God/god

A slightly less common use of AN is to express the recipient of something sent or directed:

ich schreibe an meine Eltern Im writing to my parents

When used with all the verbs you are learning in 102, AN will take the accusative case.

AUF is a very common prepositional complement that can express the idea of physically or mentally looking towards something or
someone, or being aware of a person/thing in front of you. For example:

ich konzentriere mich auf meine Arbeit Im concentrating on my work

ich achte auf die Politik I pay attention to politics
ich antworte auf die Frage Im responding to the question

Another extremely common meaning of AUF is to describe anticipation of something that will happen in the future:

ich hoffe auf eine gute Note Im hoping for a good grade
ich warte auf einen Freund Im waiting for a friend
ich freue mich auf meine Party Im looking forward to my party
ich bereite mich auf das Examen vor Im preparing for the test

When used with all the verbs you are learning in 102, AUF will take the accusative case.

FR occurs with a small number of verbs and usually indicates that the action of the verb is in favor of the object.

ich interessiere mich fr Musik Im interested in music

ich entscheide mich fr den Mercedes Im deciding on the Mercedes
ich danke dir fr das Geschenk Im thanking you for the present

In all cases, because it is always an accusative preposition, FR will take the accusative case.

IN is a less common preposition with verbs, and is mostly used to describe the process of coming into a state of being. The only verb
you are learning that uses IN is:

ich verliebe mich in meine Freundin Im falling in love with my girlfriend

When used with sich verlieben, IN takes the accusative case.

MIT is a preposition that generally means the same as with -- it generally indicates the inclusion of the object in the action of the

ich spreche mit dem Lehrer Im talking with/to the teacher

ich rechne mit Erfolg Im counting on success
ich fange mit einem neuen Buch an Im starting a new book

Since MIT is an always-dative preposition, it will always take the dative case.
NACH tends to be used after verbs expressing reaching for or desiring something. There is only one verb you are learning that takes
nach, although there are others you will encounter later in the semester.

ich frage nach der Zeit Im asking about the time

Since NACH is an always-dative preposition, it will always take the dative case.

BER is used with a large number of German verbs, and very often (though not always) corresponds to the English use of about:
verbs that express the reason or basis for the action of the verbs.

ich rgere mich ber meinen Freund Im annoyed about/at my friend

ich freue mich ber letztes Wochenende Im happy about last weekend
ich lache ber den Witz Im laughing about the joke
ich rede ber Politik Im talking about politics
ich spreche ber meine Freunde Im speaking about my friends

BER, when used with the verbs you are learning, will take the accusative case.

UM is used with a number of German verbs to express that the object is somehow up for grabs or ready to be given. Youre only
learning one verb this chapter that takes UM:

ich bitte um Information Im requesting (asking for) information

Since UM is an always-accusative preposition, it will always take the accusative case.

VON occurs with a wide range of verbs and can correspond to English of, from or about. In one sense it can indicate the topic of
the verb:

ich trume von meiner Katze Im dreaming about my cat

ich erzhle von meiner Familie Im telling about my family
ich wei von der Party I know about the party

On the other hand, VON can indicate separation from or dependence upon the object:

ich trenne mich von meinem Freund Im breaking up with my boyfriend

es hngt von dem Wetter ab it depends on the weather

Since VON is an always-dative preposition, it will always take the dative case.

VOR is used with a small number of verbs and almost always deals with respect, protection and fear.

ich habe Angst vor dem Hund Im afraid of the dog

ich rette ihn vor dem Feuer Im saving him from the fire

Although VOR is considered a two-way preposition, when used with the verbs you are learning it always takes the dative case.

To summarize, here is a list of the verbs you are expected to know, with which prepositions they take:


denken an + AKK to think about danken fr + AKK to thank for bitten um + AKK to ask for, request
sich erinnern an + AKK to remember sich entscheiden fr + AKK to decide on
glauben an + AKK to believe in sich interessieren fr + AKK to be interested in VON:
schreiben an + AKK to write to abhngen von + DAT to depend on
MIT: erzhlen von + DAT to tell about
AUF: anfangen mit + DAT to begin halten von + DAT to think/feel about
achten auf + AKK to pay attention to rechnen mit + DAT to count on, expect handeln von + DAT to deal with, be about
antworten auf + AKK to answer sprechen mit + DAT to talk to trumen von + DAT to dream about
bse sein auf + AKK to be angry at sich trennen von + DAT to break up with
sich freuen auf + AKK to look forward to NACH: verstehen von + DAT to know about, understand
gespannt sein auf + AKK to be excited about fragen nach + DAT to ask about wissen von + DAT to know of
hoffen auf + AKK to hope for
sich konzentrieren auf + AKK to concentrate on BER: VOR:
sich vorbereiten auf + AKK to prepare for sich rgern ber + AKK to get annoyed by Angst haben vor + DAT to be afraid of
warten auf + AKK to wait for sich freuen ber + AKK to be happy about retten vor + DAT to save from
lachen ber + AKK to laugh about
IN: reden ber + AKK to talk about
sich verlieben in + AKK to fall in love with sprechen ber + AKK to talk about

Welches Verb, welche Prposition? Schreiben Sie die richtigen Verben in die Lcken ein, und whlen Sie die richtige Prposition.

1. Bettina hat __________________ [ von / vor / fr ] dem Hund. (is afraid of)
2. Wir __________________ [ um / von / ber ] das Wetter. (are talking about)
4. Ich __________________ [ auf / fr / von ] den Bus. (am waiting for)
5. Sie __________________ sich [ fr / auf / nach ] die Prfung vor. (are getting ready for)
6. Ich __________________ [ ber / um / an ] meinen Freund. (am thinking about)
7. __________________ du [ von / ber / vor ] der Prfung? (do you know about)
8. Ich __________________ ihm [ fr / auf / ber ] das Geschenk. (am thanking him for)
9. Elke __________________ sich [ fr / an / in ] Karls Geburtstag. (remembers)
10. Sabine __________________ sich [ mit / zu / in ] Hans. (is falling in love with)
11. Meine Schwester __________________ sich [ fr / in / ber ] Biologie. (is interested in)
12. Wir __________________ uns [ zu / fr / auf ] die Frhlingsferien. (are looking forward to)
13. Inge __________________ sich [ um / ber / fr ] ihren neuen Job. (is happy about)
14. Reinhard __________________ sich [ von / nach / vor ] seiner Freundin. (is breaking up with)
15. Ich __________________ mich [ um / ber / mit ] das Wetter. (am annoyed about)
16. Hans __________________ mir [ ber / von / um ] seinem schlechten Tag. (is telling me about)
17. Elsbeth __________________ sich [ auf / fr / in ] ihr Studium. (is concentrating on)
18. Ich __________________ [ ber / um / nach ] dem Preis. (am asking about)
19. Ich __________________ [ in / an / zu ] dich! (believe in)
20. Ich __________________ nichts [ ber / von / fr ] Chemie. (dont understand anything about)
21. Stefan __________________ [ fr / nach / um ] Hilfe. (is asking for)
22. Er ist __________________ [ um / auf / ber ] seine Reise nach Deutschland. (is excited about)
23. Er __________________ sich [ auf / zu / fr ] ein Motorrad. (is deciding on)
24. Das Buch __________________ [ mit / von / ber ] der Nazizeit. (deals with)

Answers for above sentences:

1. Bettina hat Angst [ von / vor / fr ] dem Hund. (is afraid of)
2. Wir sprechen / reden [ um / von / ber ] das Wetter. (are talking about)
4. Ich warte [ auf / fr / von ] den Bus. (am waiting for)
5. Sie bereitet sich [ fr / auf / nach ] die Prfung vor. (are getting ready for)
6. Ich denke [ ber / um / an ] meinen Freund. (am thinking about)
7. Weit du [ von / ber / vor ] der Prfung? (do you know about)
8. Ich danke ihm [ fr / auf / ber ] das Geschenk. (am thanking him for)
9. Elke erinnert sich [ fr / an / in ] Karls Geburtstag. (remembers)
10. Sabine verliebt sich [ mit / zu / in ] Hans. (is falling in love with)
11. Meine Schwester interessiert sich [ fr / in / ber ] Biologie. (is interested in)
12. Wir freuen uns [ zu / fr / auf ] die Frhlingsferien. (are looking forward to)
13. Inge freut sich [ um / ber / fr ] ihren neuen Job. (is happy about)
14. Reinhard trennt sich sich [ von / nach / vor ] seiner Freundin. (is breaking up with)
15. Ich rgere mich [ um / ber / mit ] das Wetter. (am annoyed about)
16. Hans erzhlt mir [ ber / von / um ] seinem schlechten Tag. (is telling me about)
17. Elsbeth konzentriert sich [ auf / fr / in ] ihr Studium. (is concentrating on)
18. Ich frage [ ber / um / nach ] dem Preis. (am asking about)
19. Ich glaube [ in / an / zu ] dich! (believe in)
20. Ich verstehe nichts [ ber / von / fr ] Chemie. (dont understand anything about)
21. Stefan bitte [ fr / nach / um ] Hilfe. (is asking for)
22. Er ist gespannt [ um / auf / ber ] seine Reise nach Deutschland. (is excited about)
23. Er entscheidet sich [ auf / zu / fr ] ein Motorrad. (is deciding on)
24. Das Buch handelt [ mit / von / ber ] der Nazizeit. (deals with)



Handout: Separable and Inseparable Prefixes

As you know, German verbs can have separable prefixes. These prefixes change the meaning of the original verb, and make a new word. In the
present tense, separable prefixes are separated from the verb and placed at the end of the sentence bracket. The separation rule also applies
in the imperative. When used in the infinitive, however (e.g. with a modal auxiliary), separable prefix verbs are not divided. As you will shortly
learn, the participle forms in the past tense are also combined.

Hans steht jeden Tag um 9.00 Uhr auf. Hans gets up every day at 9:00.
Hans, steh jetzt auf! Hans, get up now!
Hans muss jeden Tag um 9.00 Uhr aufstehen. Hans has to get up every day at 9:00.

Common separable prefixes. Remember that this list is only a rough guide to the meanings of prefixes, since their use is highly idiomatic.

ab = off, down abholen = to pick up

abnehmen = to take off

an = at, on anfangen = to start, begin

anrufen = to call, telephone
anziehen = to put on, dress

auf = up aufhren = to stop

aufrumen = to clean up
aufstehen = to get up, stand up

aus = out ausgehen = to go out

aussehen = to look, appear

ein = in, into einkaufen = to shop

einschlafen = to fall asleep

fern = far fernsehen = to watch TV

fort = away fortgehen = to leave, go away

her = hither, to here herholen = to fetch

herkommen = to come from

hin = thither, to there hinstellen = to place, put

mit = with, along mitbringen = to bring along

mitkommen = to come along
mitnehmen = to take along

nach = after nachdenken = to think, reflect

nachfragen = to inquire, ask after

um = around, at umsehen = to look around

vor = before vorhaben = to have planned

vorstellen = to introduce

vorbei = by, past vorbeikommen = to come by

weg = away weggehen = to go away, leave

wegnehmen = to take away

zu = to, closed zuhren = to listen

zumachen = to close

zurck = back zurckgeben = to give back

zurckkommen = to come back

zusammen = together zusammenkommen = to come together

Some German verbs have recognizable prefixes that are INSEPARABLE, e.g. they remain with the verb at all times.

Das Feuer zerstrt unser Haus. The fire is destroying our house.
Zerstr das Haus! Destroy the house!
Das Feuer kann unser Haus zerstren. The fire can destroy our house.

The meanings of these prefixes are much harder to explain, since they often perform a grammatical function but do not have a direct English
cognate. Nonetheless, heres a short list of common INSEPARABLE prefixes and example verbs.

be = makes a verb transitive beantworten = to answer (a question)

or turns action towards object besuchen = to visit
bekommen = to receive, get

ent, emp = beginning of action entgehen = to escape

or separation empfangen = to receive

er = stress on outcome erleben = to experience

or accomplishment erkennen = to recognize

ge = result, completeness or gewinnen = to win or gain

successful action gebrauchen = to use up, consume

miss = same as English mis- missverstehen = to misunderstand

missbrauchen = to abuse

ver = action of the verb has verschlafen = to oversleep

miscarried (BUT NOT ALWAYS!) verlaufen = to go astray

zer = asunder, apart zerbrechen = to break into pieces

zerstren = to destroy

Lets practice just a little. Form complete German sentences out of the elements.

1. ich / vorbeikommen / heute / um 8 Uhr

2. wann / du / mssen / aufstehen ?
3. wir / gewinnen / das Fuballspiel .
4. Hans, / aufrumen / dein Zimmer!
5. Hans, / besuchen / mich !
6. fernsehen / du / jetzt ?
7. erkennen / du / ihn ?
8. zurckgeben / mir / mein Buch !



Deutsch 101 Handout: The Perfekt Tense

Were finally going to learn to talk about past events in German! Youre about to learn whats called the present perfect tense in English, or
Das Perfekt in German. (Dont be confused by the word present -- this is a past tense that talks about past events -- its the English
terminology thats confusing.) Although there are two different past tenses in German (as in English), the Perfekt that you are learning is used
most often in conversational (spoken) German. You will learn the other past tense (the narrative or simple past tense) in second-semester

The first thing we need to talk about when learning to form the Perfekt is the difference between strong and weak verbs in German. We have
the same difference in English, too. Consider the following examples:

play - played spielen - gespielt speak - spoken sprechen - gesprochen

learn - learned lernen - gelernt give - given geben - gegeben

Like English, German has a group of regular (termed weak) verbs that always add a -t ending for the past participle, but another very
different group of irregular (termed strong) verbs that add an -en. We will be learning both kinds today, but for just now, were going to
focus on the (easier) weak verbs.

To form the past participle of the German Perfekt tense for weak verbs, you need to take the stem of the verb (the infinitive minus the -en
ending) and add a ge- prefix and a -t suffix.

spielen - gespielt machen - gemacht fragen - gefragt

wohnen - gewohnt arbeiten - gearbeitet reden - geredet

There are two exceptions to this nice regularity. The first ist that verbs that end in -ieren, like fotografieren, diskutieren, studieren, etc., do
NOT get a ge- prefix. (These verbs can be easily recognized as English-French cognates, and they all end in -ieren, so its a pretty easy group
to remember.)

studieren - studiert manipulieren - manipuliert reparieren - repariert

The other exception is for inseparable prefixes, like ver-, be- and miss-. When a verb has an inseparable prefix, it does NOT get a ge- prefix for
the participle form.

besuchen - besucht erleben - erlebt verkaufen - verkauft

What happens with separable-prefix verbs? As you might expect, the prefix gets stuck back on to the participle at the end, but the ge- prefix
ends up in the middle of the word:

Wir haben die Tr zugemacht. We closed the door.

Hast du dein Zimmer aufgerumt? Did you clean up your room?

Now that you can form the participle form of the verb, we need to learn the complete syntax for a past tense sentence. To form a complete
German past tense sentence, you need to add a helping verb, either haben or sein. Lets look at the verbs that take haben:

Ich habe Fuball gespielt. I played football.

Maria hat zwei Semester Deutsch gelernt. Maria learned German for two semesters.
Hast du deine Hausaufgaben gemacht? Did you do your homework?

As you can see, the helping verb ( haben in these sentences) is conjugated to match the subject, while the participle ( ge-stem-t) remains
constant. Also note that the participle occurs at the very end of the sentence, while the conjugated helping verb is in the normal verb position
(second element for statements, first for questions).

Lets try a few simple sentences for practice. These are all weak (regular) verbs.

1. to make = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Did you make the bed? ____________________________________________________________________

2. to clean up = _____________________ participle: _____________________

I cleaned up my room yesterday. ____________________________________________________________

3. to have = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Tom had a party on Monday. _______________________________________________________________

4. to cost= _____________________ participle: _____________________

How much did your bike cost? ______________________________________________________________

5. to wait = _____________________ participle: _____________________

I waited for 20 minutes! ___________________________________________________________________

Now we need to learn about the other type of verb, the strong verb. These verbs are harder, because they often change their stem vowel in
unpredictable ways, so they need to be memorized. Still, they do build their participle form in a regular fashion: a ge- prefix is added, and an -
en (NOT -t) suffix. The stem vowel will often change, but not always. See the separate chart (Verb Classes) for details on stem vowel changes.

sing - sung fly - flown give - given

singen - gesungen fliegen - geflogen geben - gegeben
There are a handful of strong verbs that dont just change their vowel, but the whole stem. These irregular verbs just need to be memorized,
but fortunately theyre the most common verbs (go, come, be, do), so youll see them a lot and get familiar with them very quickly.

gehen - gegangen stehen - gestanden sein - gewesen

The same rules for inseparable prefixes (no ge- added to participle) and separable prefixes (added back on before the ge-) hold true for all
verbs, strong, mixed and weak.

weggehen - weggegangen mitbringen - mitgebracht verstehen - verstanden

In addition to the strong verbs, there is a very small handful (about six) of verbs that are called mixed verbs, because they act like a mix
between strong and weak verbs. They take a ge-+-t form like weak verbs, but their stem vowels change. Again, these verbs just need to be

denken - gedacht bringen - gebracht kennen - gekannt

Lets try a few sentences again. These are all strong or mixed verbs, so youll need to look at your chart/list.

1. to write = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Yesterday I wrote a letter. _________________________________________________________________

2. to speak = _____________________ participle: _____________________

My grandfather spoke German. _____________________________________________________________

3. to drink = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Did you guys drink a lot of beer last night? ___________________________________________________

4. to see = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Whom (accusative) did you see? _____________________________________________________________

5. to know a fact = _____________________ participle: _____________________

I didnt know the answer. _________________________________________________________________

Almost done! The last thing to learn about the Perfekt tense is that sometimes haben is not the right helping verb to use. Rather, you need to
use the helping verb sein (er ist, etc) for verbs that meet both of these criteria:

a) the verb indicates a change of position or condition, or a crossing of a boundary

e.g. gehen, kommen, wandern, sterben (=to die), einschlafen (=to fall asleep)
b) the verb is intransitive (= does NOT have a direct object)
e.g. fahren (ich bin nach Milwaukee gefahren, BUT ich habe mein Auto gefahren)

In addition, the three verbs sein (to be) and bleiben (to stay) and passieren (to happen) both take sein as a helping verb, although they dont
match the criteria above. Consider these examples:

Anna ist nach Deutschland geflogen. Anna flew to Germany.

Ich bin um 7 Uhr nach Hause gekommen. I came home at 7 oclock.
Bist du schon eingeschlafen? Have you fallen asleep already?
Paul ist ein fleiiger Student gewesen. Paul was a hard-working student.

Once again, practice by making complete sentences. All of these verbs take sein as a helping verb, but some are strong verbs ( ge-stem-en)
while others are weak (ge-stem-t).

1. to come = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Sandra didnt come to class yesterday. ______________________________________________________

2. to travel = _____________________ participle: _____________________

We travelled to Europe last year. ___________________________________________________________

3. to fly = _____________________ participle: _____________________

Have you ever (=jemals) flown to Australia? ___________________________________________________

4. to be = _____________________ participle: _____________________

I have never (=niemals) been in China. ______________________________________________________

5. to go = _____________________ participle: _____________________

They went to the movies on Saturday. _______________________________________________________

Now we need to mix things up. Below are blanked out sentences: some verbs take sein as a helping verb, others take haben. Try to
determine which helping verb to use.

1. Wir _______________ nach Hause gegangen.

2. Paul _______________ uns gesehen.
3. Wir _______________ Pizza gegessen.
4. _______________ ihr um zehn Uhr eingeschlafen?
5. _______________ du gestern Fuball gespielt?
6. Tante Uschi _______________ Pharmazie studiert.
7. _______________ Sie zur Uni gelaufen?
8. Meine Gromutter _______________ im Jahre 1978 gestorben.
9. Ich _______________ nach Madison gefahren.
10. Sie _______________ ihr Fahrrad gefahren.

Finally, lets mix everything together. Below are sentences with missing verbs. Fill in the helping verbs (either haben or sein) and also the
participles (either strong or weak). Take it slow! Its hard at first, but it will get much better with a little bit of practice.

1. arbeiten / lernen: Wir _______________ den ganzen Tag _______________________, aber wir _______________ nichts
2. aufstehen / essen: Ich _______________ heute um 6 Uhr _______________________, und dann _______________ ich Frhstck
3. fragen / sagen: Du _______________ mich _______________________, und ich _______________ nein _______________________.
4. mitkommen / bleiben: _______________ Georg zur Party _______________________? -- Nein, er _______________ zu Hause
5. passieren / fahren: Was _______________ hier _______________________? -- Mein Auto _______________ gegen einen Baum
6. schneien / regnen: _______________ es gestern _______________________? -- Nein, aber es _______________ _______________________.
7. tanzen / lachen / trinken: Auf der Party _______________ wir viel _______________________, _______________________ und auch sehr
viel _______________________.
8. sprechen / verstehen: Er _______________ mit mir _______________________, aber ich _______________ ihn nicht verstanden.



Handout: Adjektivendungen

Adjective endings are usually the least favorite part of learning German, from both the students' and the teacher's viewpoints. I can't make
them fun, but I can at least make them a little easier. Yes, they do require some memorization, but there is a logic to them. With some effort,
you should be able to put the correct endings on adjectives without having to refer to a massive diagram or chart.

When does an adjective need an ending?

There are two ways to use adjectives in a sentence: as a descriptive adjective ("the house is nice"), or as an attributive adjective ("it is a nice
house"). All attributive adjectives -- that is, adjectives that precede a noun which they modify -- MUST show declension, i.e. they must have an
ending in German. If an adjective does not precede a noun, but rather occurs as a descriptive adjective after the noun, then it does not have
any ending. Compare the following:

Descriptive Adjective = no ending Attributive Adjective = with ending

Das Haus ist schn. Das ist ein schnes Haus.
Meine Katze ist alt. Ich habe eine alte Katze.

What ending does it take?

This is of course the hard part. There are many ways to understand and learn adjective endings: if you were to simply memorize a chart, you
would need to memorize 48 different possible combinations -- but it would work, if that's what you prefer. (I don't.) Instead, let's try to
approach adjective endings from a more logic-oriented framework, with a set of rules.

Keep in mind 1: Something -- either an article (der/ein/dieser/etc.) or the adjective itself -- must show what gender the noun is. For example,
der Mann clearly shows that Mann is masculine; ein Mann, on the other hand, does not show this, because ein could also be applied to a neuter
noun (ein Kind).

Keep in mind 2: Some articles show that a noun has changed from its original nominative case, others do not. For example, in the sentence
"ich sehe einen Mann", einen shows clearly that Mann is no longer in the nominative case. In the sentence "ich sehe ein Buch", however, the
neuter accusative ein does not differ from its nominative form, which is also ein. This distinction will be important in deciding which adjective
ending to use.

With those guidelines in mind, we can now set up a flow chart of rules that will give you the correct adjective ending.

Question 1: Does the adjective have an article in front of it?

(Articles are words like der, die, das, ein, mein, unser, dieser, jeder, etc.)

If NO (if there is no article): add the ending that would occur on a der-word for that noun. For instance:
Deutsches Bier schmeckt gut. (it would be dieses Bier, so we add -es to deutsch)
Ich trinke kalten Kaffee gern. (it would be diesen Kaffee, so we add -en to kalt)

If YES (if there is an article already), move on to question 2.

Question 2: Is the article in the standard, unchanged form?

(This references the second keep in mind described above. "Ich sehe ein Buch", even though Buch is in the accusative, uses the
same ein form as the original nominative, so it is in the original form.)

If NO (if the article is different from its original form), add -en.
Ich kenne einen guten Mann. (einen, masculine accusative, has changed from the original ein)
Ich spreche mit der netten Frau. (der, feminine dative, has changed from the original die)

If YES (if the article is in its original form), move on to question 3.

Question 3: Is the noun singular?

If NO (if the noun is plural), add -en.

Ich sehe die jungen Kinder. (die, plural accusative, is in its original form, but it is plural, so an -en is
added to jung)
Keine schnen Frauen waren da. (keine, plural nominative, is in its original form, but it is plural, so an -en is
added to schn)

If YES (if the noun is singular), move on to question 4.

Question 4: Does the article show gender?

(This references the first keep in mind above. Der Mann, den Mann, dem Mann, einen Mann, and einem Mann all show the
gender of Mann, but ein Mann does not. Das Buch, dem Buch, and einem Buch all show the gender of Buch, but ein Buch does
not. Die Frau, der Frau, eine Frau, and einer Frau all show gender. As you see, pretty much the only articles which do not show
gender are ein and its equivalents ( mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, Ihr ).

If NO (if the article is ein/dein/etc): add -er for masculine nouns, -es for neuter nouns.
Das ist ein gutes Buch. (something needs to show the -s that is inherent to das Buch -- since ein does
not show it, -es is added to gut)
Sein alter Hund war in der Kche. (something needs to show the -r that is inherent to der Hund -- since sein
does not show it, -er is added to alt)
If YES (if the article already shows the gender): add -e.
Hier ist eine kleine Lampe. (eine shows that Lampe is feminine, so only -e is added to klein)
Wo ist der rote Mantel? (der shows that Mantel is masculine, so only -e is added to rot)

That's it! If you follow these rules correctly, then all adjective endings will fall into place for you. To summarize in a more graphical form:

There are, of course, a few things you should watch out for -- not exceptions, merely common misperceptions.

Common problem 1: UNSER. Remember that the -er in unser is part of the article unser (our), it is NOT an ending itself. ( Unser Buch ist gut;
unsere Mutti ist nett; unser Vater ist alt.) Unser Vater is equivalent to mein Vater, and therefore Question 4 applies: when adding an adjective,
it must be unser netter Vater to show the -r inherent to Vater; or unser gutes Buch to show the -s inherent to Buch. Similarly, EUER (your, pl.)
is also an ein-word, the -er is part of the article itself. In their base forms, then, unser and euer do not show gender.

Common problem 2: What qualifies as an article? Articles in German include all der/die/das words, all ein-words, and all the dieser, jeder,
mancher, and solcher words. Alle (only ever seen as the plural form as an article) and beide (both) are also articles. Thus a complete list of
der, die, das, den, dem (the)
dieser, diese, dieses, diesen, diesem (this/that/these)
jeder, jede, jedes, jeden, jedem (each/every)
mancher, manche, manches, manchen, manchem (some)
solcher, solche, solches, solchen, solchem (such)
welcher, welche, welches, welchen, welchem (which)
ein, eine, einen, einem, einer (a/an)
kein--, mein--, dein--, sein--, ihr--, unser--, euer--, Ihr-- (no, my, your, his/its, her, our, your, Your)
alle, beide (all, both)

Common problem 3: VIELE (many) is not an article -- it is simply another adjective. The same is true of EINIGE (a few, some), MEHRERE
(several), and WENIGE (few, not many). Thus these words as well as any adjectives following them must be declined according to Question 1,
using the der-endings (viele gute Bcher, einige nette Leute).

Common problem 4: When there is more than one adjective modifying the same noun (the nice old man), each adjective acts independently
and takes the appropriate ending (der nette alte Mann, ein netter alter Mann ). Thus all adjectives in a string will have the same endings.

Common problem 5: Forgetting Question 3 is common -- remember to check if the noun is plural. If it is, and it has any article before it, the
ending will be -en. Plural nouns without an article, following Question 1, will have -e or -en depending on their case.



Handout: Nominative, Accusative, and Dative: When to Use Them


for the subject of a sentence: who or what is doing this?

Der Student lernt Deutsch.

for predicate nouns: when the main verb is sein or werden, use the nominative for both subject and predicate nouns.

Das ist ein Tisch.


for the direct object of a sentence: who or what is being <verbed>?

Ich habe einen Tisch. What is being had? A table.

Note that the very common expression "es gibt" (there is/are) requires that the noun be in the accusative case because it is grammatically a
direct object.

Es gibt einen Stuhl da drben. There is a chair over there.

after the accusative prepositions and postpositions: durch, fr, gegen, ohne, um (memory aid: dogfu), as well as the postpositions bis
and entlang . If a noun follows these prepositions, it will ALWAYS be in the accusative!

Er geht um den Tisch. Around what? The table.

Ist das Geschenk fr mich? For whom? For me.

time expressions in a sentence are usually in accusative: jeden Tag, letzten Sommer, den ganzen Tag, diesen Abend, etc. We havent
officially learned this yet, but its good to know.

Jeden Morgen esse ich Brot zum Frhstck. Every morning.


for the indirect object of a sentence. An indirect object is the beneficiary of whatever happens in a sentence. Its usually a person,
although it doesnt have to be. If you ask yourself: TO whom or FOR whom is this being done?, the answer will be the indirect object, and in
German it will need the dative case. Remember that not every sentence will have an indirect object -- only some verbs allow an indirect object:
to give (to), to bring (to), to tell (to), to buy (for), to send (to) are some examples of verbs that will almost always have an indirect object. In
English, we don't distinguish the direct and indirect object in the forms of words; instead, we often use "to" or "for" to mark these.

Ich gebe der Frau ein Buch. Im giving her a book = a book to her.
Er schenkt mir ein Buch. He's giving me a book.
Ich habe das dem Mann schon gesagt. I already told the man that.

after the dative prepositions: aus, auer, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu (memory aid: Blue Danube Waltz). A noun immediately following
these prepositions is ALWAYS in the dative case. There are many possible translations of these prepositions, depending on exactly what the
context of the sentence is. Please refer to your textbook, pp. 239-240, for more detailed explanation of the meanings of each preposition.

Sie haben ein Geschenk von ihrem Vater bekommen. From their father.
Auer meiner Mutter spricht meine ganze Familie Deutsch. Except for my mother.
Ich fahre am Wochenende zu meiner Tante in Minnesota. To my aunt's.

after dative verbs: helfen, danken, gefallen, gehren, schmecken, passen. See your book for more details on each verb. There's no direct
translation that explains why these verbs take a dative object, it's just an idiosyncrasy of German -- it's best just to memorize these verbs as
requiring the dative, even though the following noun doesn't 'feel' like an indirect object.

Ich helfe dir mit deinen Hausaufgaben. I'm helping you = I'm giving help to you.
Wir danken Ihnen, Herr Stein. We're thanking you = we're giving thanks to you.

with some adjectives which describe a condition. You'll just need to know these as fixed phrases.

Mir ist warm. To me (it) is warm / I'm warm.

Wie geht es dir? How's it going / How are you doing?

the preposition in often uses the dative case. Later this week you will be learning more about this preposition and how to use it
correctly. For now, the most you need to know is that when in is used with a stationary verb (e.g. Hes in the house), it takes the dative case.
Der Tisch steht in der Kche. Where is it? In the kitchen.
Mein Schreibtisch ist im Arbeitszimmer. Note that im = in dem
Die Kinder sind in ihren Zimmern. The children are in their rooms, plural.

Summary: When to use which case

So, when you're trying to decide which case to use, consider the following things:

1. Is it a fixed expression? (such as Mir ist kalt, or Es tut mir Leid)

2. Does the noun follow either an accusative or a dative preposition? If so, this should be easy, since the preposition determines
the case. Just make sure you know which prepositions take the accusative (dogfu) and which take the dative (Blue Danube
Waltz). Once you have the accusative and dative prepositions memorized, these are your friends when it comes to case -- they
tell you exactly what to do. (Next semester you will learn some other prepositions which aren't quite so easy.)
3. Is the verb a dative verb? If so, the object will be in the dative.
4. If none of the other conditions apply, then you need to determine which noun in the sentence is the subject, and put that in
nominative. Then look for a direct object (put in accusative) and indirect object (put in dative). Remember that not every
sentence necessarily has a direct object and an indirect object: some have only one or the other, or none at all.

If you need reference to these, here's a table of the different endings and pronouns in the three cases:

Nom Akk Dat (Poss)

1 sg ich mich mir (mein_)

2 sg du dich dir (dein_)

3 sg er ihn ihm (sein_)

3 sg sie sie ihr (ihr_)

3 sg es es ihm (sein_)

1 pl wir uns uns (unser_)

2 pl ihr euch euch (euer_)

3 pl sie sie ihnen (ihr_)

form Sie Sie Ihnen (Ihr_)

masc der den dem

fem die die der
neut das das dem
plur die die den (+ _n)

masc ein einen einem

fem eine eine einer
neut ein ein einem
plur keine keine keinen (+ _n)

masc unser unseren unserem

fem unsere unsere unserer
neut unser unser unserem
plur unsere unsere unseren (+ _n)

masc dieser diesen diesem

fem diese diese dieser
neut dieses dieses diesem
plur diese diese diesen (+ _n)

It may help you to remember these changes with the mnemonic device rese nese mr mn -- in other words, der-die-das-die, den-die-das-die,

The question words wer - wen - wem

To ask who in German, you need to decided whether the who is the subject, the direct object, or the indirect object. The forms of wer are
just like the masculine article: wer - wen - wem.

Wer ist das? Who is that?

Wer kommt morgen zur Party? Whos coming to the party tomorrow?
Wen hast du eingeladen? Whom did you invite?
Wem hast du das Buch gegeben? To whom did you give the book?


Verbtabelle: Starke und schwache Verben im Perfekt und Prteritum
Starke und Schwache Verben: Unten sehen Sie eine Liste von den Verben, die Sie schon gelernt haben. Das heit natrlich nicht, dass Sie alle
Partizipformen und Prteritumsformen schon wissen! Diese Liste enthlt starke und schwache Verben.

anfangen fing an angefangen (to begin) leihen lieh geliehen (to lend/borrow)
antworten antwortete geantwortet (to answer) leiten leitete geleitet (to lead, head)
arbeiten arbeitete gearbeitet (to work) lernen lernte gelernt (to learn, study)
rgern rgerte gergert (to annoy) lesen las gelesen (to read)
aufrumen rumte auf aufgerumt (to clean up) lieben liebte geliebt (to love)
aufwachen wachte auf ist aufgewacht (to wake up) liegen lag gelegen (to lie, be lying)
aussehen sah aus ausgesehen (to look like) machen machte gemacht (to do, make)
baden badete gebadet (to bathe) meinen meinte gemeint (to mean, think)
bauen baute gebaut (to build) nehmen nahm genommen (to take)
beeilen beeilte beeilt (to hurry) nennen nannte genannt (to name, call)
beginnen begann begonnen (to begin) ffnen ffnete geffnet (to open)
bekommen bekam bekommen (to get, receive) packen packte gepackt (to pack)
bestellen bestellte bestellt (to order) passen passte gepasst (to fit, suit)
besuchen besuchte besucht (to visit) passieren passierte ist passiert (to happen)
beten betete gebetet (to pray) planen plante geplant (to plan)
bewerben bewarb beworben (to apply) probieren probierte probiert (to try, attempt)
bezahlen bezahlte bezahlt (to pay for) putzen putzte geputzt (to clean)
biegen bog ist gebogen (to turn, bend) rasieren rasierte rasiert (to shave)
bieten bot geboten (to offer) reden redete geredet (to talk, converse)
bitten bat gebeten (to ask for) regnen regnete geregnet (to rain)
bleiben blieb ist geblieben (to stay) reisen reiste ist gereist (to travel)
blicken blickte geblickt (to look, glance) reiten ritt ist geritten (to ride)
brauchen brauchte gebraucht (to need, use) rennen rannte ist gerannt (to run, race)
brechen brach gebrochen (to break) reservieren reservierte reserviert (to reserve)
bringen brachte gebracht (to bring) retten rettete gerettet (to save from)
brsten brstete gebrstet (to brush) rufen rief gerufen (to call)
danken dankte gedankt (to thank) sagen sagte gesagt (to say)
dauern dauerte gedauert (to last) schaden schadete geschadet (to harm, hurt)
denken dachte gedacht (to think) schaffen schaffte geschafft (to manage, do)
diskutieren diskutierte diskutiert (to discuss) schauen schaute geschaut (to look, glance)
drcken drckte gedrckt (to press) scheinen schien geschienen (to appear)
duschen duschte geduscht (to shower) schenken schenkte geschenkt (to give)
empfehlen empfahl empfohlen (to recommend) schicken schickte geschickt (to send)
entscheiden entschied entschieden (to decide) schlafen schlief geschlafen (to sleep)
entschuldigen entschuldigte entschuldigt (to excuse oneself) schlagen schlug geschlagen (to hit)
entspannen entspannte entspannt (to relax) schlieen schloss geschlossen (to close)
erinnern erinnerte erinnert (to remember) schmecken schmeckte geschmeckt (to taste)
erklten erkltete erkltet (to catch a cold) schminken schminkte geschminkt (to put on makeup)
erkennen erkannte erkannt (to recognize) schneiden schnitt geschnitten (to cut)
erklren erklrte erklrt (to explain) schneien schneite geschneit (to snow)
erlauben erlaubte erlaubt (to allow, permit) schreiben schrieb geschrieben (to write)
erleben erlebte erlebt (to experience) schreien schrie geschrien (to yell)
erzhlen erzhlte erzhlt (to tell about) schwimmen schwamm geschwommen (to swim)
essen a gegessen (to eat) sehen sah gesehen (to see)
fahren fuhr ist gefahren (to drive, go) sein war ist gewesen (to be)
fallen fiel ist gefallen (to fall) setzen setzte gesetzt (to set down)
fangen fing gefangen (to catch) singen sang gesungen (to sing)
faulenzen faulenzte gefaulenzt (to be lazy) sitzen sa gesessen (to be sitting)
fehlen fehlte gefehlt (to be missing) sparen sparte gespart (to save)
feiern feierte gefeiert (to celebrate) spielen spielte gespielt (to play)
finden fand gefunden (to find) spinnen spann gesponnen (to spin)
fliegen flog ist geflogen (to fly) sprechen sprach gesprochen (to speak)
folgen folgte gefolgt (to follow) springen sprang ist gesprungen (to jump)
fnen fnte gefnt (to blow dry) stehen stand gestanden (to stand)
fotografieren fotografierte fotografiert (to photograph) steigen stieg ist gestiegen (to climb)
fragen fragte gefragt (to ask) stellen stellte gestellt (to place, put)
freuen freute gefreut (to be happy) sterben starb ist gestorben (to die)
fhlen fhlte gefhlt (to feel) stimmen stimmte gestimmt (to be right)
geben gab gegeben (to give) strecken streckte gestreckt (to stretch)

converted by W
gefallen gefiel gefallen (to be pleasing, like) studieren studierte studiert (to study)
gehen ging ist gegangen (to go) suchen suchte gesucht (to look for)
gehren gehrte gehrt (to belong to) surfen surfte gesurft (to surf)
gewinnen gewann gewonnen (to winn) tanzen tanzte getanzt (to dance)
glauben glaubte geglaubt (to believe, think) teilen teilte geteilt (to share)
gratulieren gratulierte gratuliert (to congratulate) tten ttete gettet (to kill)
haben hatte gehabt (to have) tragen trug getragen (to wear, carry)
halten hielt gehalten (to stop, hold) trumen trumte getrumt (to dream)
handeln handelte gehandelt (to deal with) treffen traf getroffen (to meet)
hngen hing gehangen (to hang) trennen trennte getrennt (to separate)
heiraten heiratete geheiratet (to marry) treten trat getreten (to step, kick)
heien hie geheien (to be called) trinken trank getrunken (to drink)
helfen half geholfen (to help) trocknen trocknete getrocknet (to dry)
hoffen hoffte gehofft (to hope) tun tat getan (to do)
holen holte geholt (to fetch) verdienen verdiente verdient (to earn)
hren hrte gehrt (to hear, listen) vergessen verga vergessen (to forget)
interessieren interessierte interessiert (to interest) verlieben verliebte verliebt (to fall in love)
joggen joggte ist gejoggt (to jog) verlieren verlor verloren (to lose)
kmmen kmmte gekmmt (to comb) verloben verlobte verlobt (to get engaged)
kaufen kaufte gekauft (to buy) verstehen verstand verstanden (to understand)
kennen kannte gekannt (to know people) vorbereiten bereitete vor vorbereitet (to prepare)
klettern kletterte ist geklettert (to climb) vorschlagen schlug vor vorgeschlagen (to suggest)
klingen klang geklungen (to sound) wachsen wuchs ist gewachsen (to grow)
kochen kochte gekocht (to cook) wandern wanderte ist gewandert (to hike)
kommen kam ist gekommen (to come) warten wartete gewartet (to wait)
konzentrieren konzentrierte konzentriert (to concentrate) waschen wusch gewaschen (to wash)
kosten kostete gekostet (to cost) weinen weinte geweint (to cry)
kriegen kriegte gekriegt (to get) werden wurde ist geworden (to become)
kssen ksste geksst (to kiss) werfen warf geworfen (to throw)
lcheln lchelte gelchelt (to smile) wiederholen wiederholte wiederholt (to repeat)
lachen lachte gelacht (to laugh) wissen wusste gewusst (to know facts)
lassen lie gelassen (to let, leave) wohnen wohnte gewohnt (to live, dwell)
laufen lief ist gelaufen (to run, walk) wnschen wnschte gewnscht (to wish)
leben lebte gelebt (to live) zahlen zahlte gezahlt (to pay)
legen legte gelegt (to lay/put down) zeigen zeigte gezeigt (to show)
ziehen zog gezogen (to pull )


converted by W