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German

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German Numbers

When traveling in a German-speaking area, you need to know numbers for shopping, dining, transportation, and exchanging money. With this list, you can start practicing German numbers. [more…]

German For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Whether you’re planning a trip to Germany or another German-speaking country, you’ve heard an unfamiliar German phrase and want to know what it means, or you just want to get into the spirit for your town’s [more…]

Getting a Feel for German Modal Verbs

Modal verbs help you convey your attitude or explain how you feel about an action in German. They usually accompany another verb and appear in the second position of a sentence. The verb they assist generally [more…]

Asking Questions Politely in German

When you’re in a German-speaking country, you’re bound to find yourself in a number of situations where you need to ask a lot of questions as you find your way around — for example, where the nearest bank [more…]

Enjoying a Traditional German Breakfast

In most German hotels, dasFrühstück (dâs frue-shtuek) (breakfast) is generally included in the room price of the hotel accommodation. In smaller towns, if you’re staying at a [more…]

Identifying a German Word’s Gender

German grammar has some striking differences to English grammar. One difference that newcomers to German notice right away has to do with word gender.

Basically, you have three genders in German — masculine [more…]

Using Word Order to Express Yourself Clearly in German

In English and German, you purposely arrange words in a certain order to communicate clearly. After all, putting words together in an unusual or inappropriate word order can cause confusion or, even worse [more…]

Definite and Indefinite German Articles and Their Cases

German has three words — der, die and das— for the definite article the. To make matters more confusing for someone learning German, these three definite articles change spelling according to the case [more…]

German Personal Pronouns and Their Cases

The biggest difference between German personal pronouns and English personal pronouns is that you have to distinguish among three ways to say you: du, ihr [more…]

Understanding the Basics of German Cases

In grammar, cases indicate the role that nouns and pronouns play in a sentence. Case is important in German because four types of words — nouns, pronouns, articles, and adjectives — go through spelling [more…]

German All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

All languages have ways of showing what role a noun plays in a sentence. In English, a noun’s position in the sentence tells you how it’s being used. In German, the endings on the adjectives and articles [more…]

Basic German: A Visit to Someone's Home

This section provides you with useful German vocabulary so you can describe the activities you do at home both during the week and on the weekends. It also explains what you need to know about being a [more…]

German Cognates: Start with What You Already Know

Because German and English are both Germanic languages, quite a few words are either identical or similar in the two languages. Words that share a common source are called [more…]

Learn German: Near Cognates

Many words, like the ones shown in this table, are spelled almost the same in German as in English and have the same meaning. The table also shows you a few common German spelling conventions: [more…]

German: False Cognates

Like every language, German contains some false friends — words that look very similar to English but have a completely different meaning. As you read the following list, you can see why you have to treat [more…]

Words Lent to and Borrowed from German

A few German words have been adopted by the English language and have retained their meaning, such as Kindergarten(kin-der-gâr-ten), Angst (ânkst), kaputt [more…]

Popular German Expressions

Just like English, German has many idioms, or expressions typical of a language and culture. When you translate these idioms word for word, they may sound obscure, silly, or just plain meaningless, so [more…]

Basic German Pronunciation

Speaking a foreign language correctly is all about mastering the basics of pronunciation. The key to mastering pronunciation is to start small by figuring out how the individual letters sound. Then you [more…]

Basic German Pronunciation: Vowels

In German, vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) can generally be pronounced in two ways — as short or long vowel sounds. The short vowel sounds are “clipped,” meaning they’re pronounced shorter than their English [more…]

Basic German: Pronouncing ä, ö, and ü

German has three extra vowels: ä, ö, and ü. The German word for those curious double dots over the vowels is Umlaut (oom-lout) (umlaut). Umlauts slightly alter the sound of the vowels [more…]

Basic German: Pronouncing Consonants

Ahh, relief! The sounds of German consonants are easier to master than the German vowel sounds. In fact, they’re pronounced either almost the same as their English equivalents or like other English consonants [more…]

Basic German: Pronouncing Consonant Combinations

The German language has a few consonant sounds that are either different or don’t occur in English. Fortunately, most of them are easy to pronounce.

The German letter combination [more…]

Basic German: Cardinal Numbers

Chances are you’ll encounter German numbers in all kinds of situations: when you’re trying to decipher prices, for example, or street numbers, departure times, exchange rates, and so on. Knowing German [more…]

Basic German: Large Numbers

Not surprisingly, German numbers have a few of their own oddities that keep native English speakers on their toes. Here are some of the most common spelling and pronunciation changes related to numbers [more…]

Basic German: Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are the kinds of numbers that show what order things come in. You need ordinal numbers when you’re talking about das Datum (dâs dah-toom) [more…]

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