31
votes
11answers
7k views

Resources for learning German

Since they have same questions on different language learning SE websites(resources for learning Russian), I'd like to write one for German language since it's a great idea to have all kinds of ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is there a definite article precedent to a name?

I was talking to a native German speaker and he tends to introduce himself like this: Ich bin der Philipp. Why "der"?
114
votes
18answers
21k views

How can I better learn noun genders?

One of the things that I really liked about German, as I was studying it in college, was the very orderly grammar, which actually helped me to understand my native English better. As a non-native ...
62
votes
13answers
4k views

How can a native English speaker know when it is appropriate to use the polite (Sie) or the familiar (Du)?

In a language such as English, where there are no "built-in" (so to say) polite and familiar forms, what are some simple tips or guidelines for when to use the polite or the familiar forms? Are there ...
22
votes
4answers
826 views

For new words which are often nouns who sets the gender?

I think the title sums it up but since every single thing in the universe can be referred to as a noun and German assigns every noun a gender who gets to decide the gender? Furthermore, other ...
17
votes
3answers
330 views

Same noun, same case, same adjective, different ending – what are the rules behind this?

Adjective endings in German seem inconsistent, even if one is aware that adjective endings depend on case, gender and number. For example: Ein roter Apfel liegt auf dem Tisch. Der rote Apfel ...
21
votes
17answers
7k views

What is a good way to start learning German?

There is already a question that asks for free resource for learning German. However, I would like to know what resources are good for learning German regardless of their cost. The online sources I'...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a rule which preposition to use for a place?

Is there a rule for choosing between the prepositions zu, in, bei, nach, an for a special place or does one have to memorize all of them? For example: Beim Arzt An den See Nach Berlin Zur ...
37
votes
4answers
34k views

When to use Perfekt and Präteritum?

What's the guideline as to when to use Perfekt and Präteritum? I was always taught that the simplest rule is Präteritum (mostly) for written forms, and Perfekt is most common in spoken language. But ...
38
votes
3answers
6k views

Where is exactly the position of “nicht” in the sentence?

A question came to my mind while I was reading a conversation in German: Ich bin krank, Ich kann nicht einkaufen. Ich kann nicht mit Jonas zum Arzt gehen. Ich kann Anna nicht in den ...
39
votes
12answers
5k views

How is the ending -ig pronounced, and where?

I've heard the following alternatives for pronouncing the ending -ig of words like fertig and lustig: /ɪç/ (as in mich) /ɪʃ/ (as in Fisch) /ɪg/ /ɪk/ Where are the different pronunciations used? ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Gibt es Rotwelsch mittlerweile auch in der gehobenen Sprache?

Als Rotwelsch wird schon im Mittelalter die Geheimsprache der Gauner und Bettler bezeichnet. Mittlerweile sind viele Ausdrücke des Rotwelschen fester Bestandteil der deutschen Umgangssprache geworden: ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Free online resources for beginner course [duplicate]

Along the lines of the same question on French Language & Usage, what are good, free online resources for an English-speaker to learn German properly from scratch? Ideally, important areas such ...
10
votes
2answers
20k views

When to use “gibt es” and “es gibt”, respectively?

Being new to German, I am not properly affiliated with the correct grammatical use of gibt es and es gibt. All I know is that they both mean there is in English. So in what scenarios do I use each one ...
26
votes
14answers
3k views

In welchen Regionen ist die dem-sein-Form gebräuchlich?

Als Alternative zum Genitiv gibt es das dem-sein-Konstrukt. (Keine Ahnung, wie man es sonst nennen sollte): Der Frau ihre Handtasche. Dem Fritz sein Schwager. Wo ist diese Form gebräuchlich?
24
votes
7answers
10k views

Where can I find a parsable list of German words?

I'm looking for a list of German words in a digital format that is simple and easy to parse by a computer. It should encompass almost all words, but it doesn't matter whether inflections are included. ...
12
votes
1answer
227 views

Grammaticality of “original italienisches Eis”

Something you will often find is a phrase like the one given in the title: original italienisches Eis. What kind of word is original here though? An adverb? Shouldn't this phrase either read "...
40
votes
20answers
8k views

What are good online dictionaries for translation between German and English?

What are good online dictionaries for translation between German and English?
54
votes
9answers
3k views

Wonach richtet sich das Geschlecht eines Anglizismus?

Wenn ich das Geschlecht eines Anglizismus bestimmen muss, orientiere ich mich an drei Gegebenheiten: Hat das Wort ein echtes Geschlecht (the mare, die Stute)? Welches Geschlecht hat die Übersetzung ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Why no perfect participle? “Sie hat sich scheiden lassen”

Sie hat sich gestern von ihm scheiden lassen. This sentence uses the infinitive lassen instead of the perfect participle gelassen. Which grammatical rule causes this?
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of Perfekt and Präteritum in the spoken language

I have read the question When to use Perfekt and Präteritum? but it doesn’t answer my question. I am looking for a rule for beginner/intermediate level learners which tells when to use perfect (...
25
votes
3answers
658 views

Beugt man jemand oder niemand mit Endung?

Diese Wörter und ihre Varianten findet man ja in vielen Büchern endungslos gebeugt, zum Beispiel: Ich habe jemand gesehen. Ist das niemand aufgefallen? Dies ist absolut korrekt, klingt für mich ...
13
votes
3answers
17k views

Sind „Ich denke, dass [Nebensatz]“ und „Ich denke, [Hauptsatz]“ auswechselbar?

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen den folgenden Konstruktionen? Ich denke, dass die Katze süß ist. Ich denke, die Katze ist süß. Sind sie immer auswechselbar, oder hängt es vom Nebensatz/...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

German dictionary with detailed declensions, audio pronunciations, and IPA

I'm looking for a German dictionary that'll give me the following things for, of course, as many words as possible: Audio files of pronunciation. IPA. All declensions. The definition of the word in ...
33
votes
2answers
27k views

Wann kann man “in Deutsch” und wann “auf Deutsch” verwenden?

Ich kenne die beiden Ausdrücke "auf Deutsch" und "in Deutsch" (oder "auf Englisch" und "in Englisch"). Sind die beiden Präpositionen in diesen Formen immer miteinander austauschbar? Kann das jemand ...
13
votes
3answers
867 views

Wie kann man wissen, ob ein Verb trennbar ist?

Gibt es eine bewährte Regel um zu entscheiden, ob ein Verb trenn- bar ist?
3
votes
0answers
318 views

Was ist mit »Österreichisch« gemeint (in sprachlicher Hinsicht)? [duplicate]

Gelegentlich liest man hier im Deutsch-Forum Fragen und Antworten, in denen es darum geht, ob ein bestimmtes Wort ein österreichisches Wort sein könnte. Das halte ich für problematisch, wenn nicht ...
57
votes
17answers
118k views

What’s the difference between “Ich habe dich lieb” and “Ich liebe dich”?

What’s the difference between Ich habe dich lieb and Ich liebe dich? Both are defined as “I love you” in many dictionaries, as I’ve checked.
30
votes
6answers
6k views

“Nicht” vs “Kein”

This question reminded me of a question that I met when learning German, and I still kind of have it. What are the differences between these words usage? I thought that "nicht" was used to "deny ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Zum „Hieressen“, „hier Essen“ oder „Hier-Essen“?

Wenn man was nicht in einem Restaurant, sondern anderswo bestellt, lautet oft die Frage: Zum Mitnehmen oder (zum) hier essen?¹ (Bestellt man z. B. einen Döner, so hört man ausnahmslos diese ...
42
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the origin of the rules about the capitalization of the first letter of each noun?

To my knowledge, German is the only language which capitalize the first letter of each of its nouns. Why is there such a rule? Meines Wissens ist Deutsch die einzige Sprache, in der der erste ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Where to place “sich” in an elaborate sentence?

I've been studying German for some time and still I'm always unsure where to put the sich particle; this insecurity slows down my speech, in particular. Can somebody give a rule and an example with ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a rule that dictates whether to use the eszett (scharfes S) or double s?

It's clear in the case of compound nouns, double s should be used e.g. Bundesstraße, but with other words I cannot see a pattern. To me it appears to be used somewhat randomly, e.g.: besser ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

How to use the “hin” and “her” prefixes?

I just realized that I don't know how to use hin and her. Beyond "woher kommst du?" I haven't learn to use them. As I understand, one can just juxtapose them to Ort prepositions: (he­r­ü­ber, ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Zusammengesetzes Wort: Bindestrich oder nicht?

Wie ist die korrekte Schreibweise für zusammengesetzte Wörter. Werden diese mit einem Bindestrich getrennt oder nicht? Mir geht es vor allem um Leichtathletik-Verein / Leichtathletikverein oder ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Position of “nicht” in following contexts

I went through the article The Position of Nicht and the question Where is exactly the position of “nicht” in the sentence?. I would like to know if I am correct in the following sentences and if ...
5
votes
6answers
375 views

Online dictionary where I can search for second half of compound noun

For example die Wertsachen, I want to find all words which end in die Sache. Other example, nouns ending in -gerät or -dienst?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What’s the difference between “möchte”, “will”, “lieber”, “würde”?

Each of the expressions möchte, will, lieber, würde seems to mean I want / I wish / I’d like. For example: Was würden Sie gern essen? Can you help me to understand the difference between them?
59
votes
36answers
35k views

Simple but interesting German literature

This question is present as a matter of historical interest. While you are encouraged to help maintain its answers, please understand that "big list" questions are not generally allowed on German ...
34
votes
6answers
24k views

What is the correct way to denote a quotation in German?

In English quoted text is normally written in speech marks, "like this," or occasionally 'like this.' However on this site I have seen people writing German quotes like »this« and „this“ What is the ...
27
votes
6answers
1k views

Why use Konjunktiv I in mathematics?

Konjunktiv I is mostly used for indirect speech and wishes. The following sentence is neither: Die Funktionen ψn(x) seien Eigenfunktionen eines Hamiltonoperators Ĥ. Why is the Konjunktiv I used ...
20
votes
6answers
1k views

Unterschied zwischen einer Sprachvarietät und einem Dialekt am Beispiel Österreichisch?

In einer Diskussion um »korrekte« Aussprache wurde angemerkt, dass das in Österreich gesprochene Deutsch kein Dialekt sei, sondern eine »Standardvarietät der deutschen Hochsprache«. ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between “Es sind” and “Es gibt” for asserting existence of something

In English we say There are... and I know that I've seen es gibt used in German. I've also seen es sind. Are these phrases identical? There are many flowers in the garden = Es gibt viele Blumen ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

“Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod”: is German really losing Genitiv? (evolutionary viewpoint)

"Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" is an interesting German phrase which originates this question. I'm interested in knowing how true is it/will it be. Has German always had four cases? Or were ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

What is the proper position of “gern”?

For example, which of these is correct: Ich esse gern Pizza or Ich esse Pizza gern
12
votes
6answers
561 views

How can I translate the adverb “doch” in sentences?

What is the difference between "Dann mach doch das Fenster zu" and "Dann mach das Fenster zu"? Further examples: Ich fahre doch nur 90. Sieh doch im Korb nach.
17
votes
7answers
18k views

How is “ch” pronounced correctly?

I'm interested (or rather "re-interested") in learning German. When I looked up some basic lessons to get myself started, I found this on about.com. If you click on any of those words, you can hear ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Looking for comprehensive, parsable table of conjugated German nouns

I'm looking for a reasonably comprehensive, and "script-parseable", list/table of German nouns with their conjugations (the four cases for all applicable forms). I.e., the desired information for ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should one necessarily learn, when a verb goes with Dativ and when with Akkusativ?

Should one necessarily learn, when a verb goes with Dativ and when with Akkusativ, or can it be deduced? How to determine if a verb in question induces akkusativ or dativ? If there are direct object ...
6
votes
2answers
639 views

Welchen Fall benutzt man mit Phrasen wie “last year”?

Zum Beispiel im englischen Satz "Last year I visited Germany.", welchen Fall benutzt man? Letztes Jahr habe ich Deutschland besucht. Letztem Jahr habe ich Deutschland besucht. Ich glaube ...

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