31
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
606 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
53
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
93
votes
18answers
14k 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 ...
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 ...
33
votes
12answers
3k 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? ...
20
votes
13answers
2k 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?
9
votes
4answers
863 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"?
31
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
28
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?
7
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
57
votes
36answers
30k 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 ...
14
votes
16answers
5k 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 ...
47
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
7k 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. ...
22
votes
3answers
571 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
629 views

Wie kann man wissen, ob ein Verb trennbar ist?

Gibt es eine bewährte Regel um zu entscheiden, ob ein Verb trenn- bar ist?
4
votes
6answers
326 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
0answers
311 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
948 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
468 views

Ist die Benutzung des Wörtchens “wo” in Zusammenhang mit Zeitangaben korrekt?

Hier ist ein Zitat aus dem Buch Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher von Walter Moers: Es gibt Momente beim Schreiben, wo die Dinge in Fluß geraten und im Fluß bleiben müssen, und das geht nur, wenn ...
41
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as ...
25
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 Perfekt or ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
11k 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
6answers
604 views

Warum wird “weil” zur nebenordnenden Konjunktion?

Gibt es wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen darüber, warum die Konjunktion weil derzeit einen Sprachwandel erlebt? Mein Eindruck ist, dass die anderen Konjunktionen vergleichsweise statisch sind. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the gender of new words established?

When words are borrowed into German, how is it decided what gender that word should be? I can think of examples with all three genders: der Latte, die Jeans, das Internet. Are there ever ...
21
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
229 views

“zum Zahnarzt” or “zur Zahnärztin” for female dentist?

I'm going to see the dentist today. If the dentist is female, should I say (a) Ich gehe heute zur Zahnärztin. or (b) Ich gehe heute zum Zahnarzt. I think (a) should be the correct ...
4
votes
1answer
422 views

Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter? In einem E-Mail an meinen Kunden schreibe ich immer ...
3
votes
3answers
289 views

Deutscher Schäferhund or Deutsche Schäferhund?

Which is correct: Deutscher Schäferhund or Deutsche Schäferhund? I am still trying to get a hang of the language. I am not able to find an equivalent usage of an English adjective which has two ...
58
votes
7answers
5k views

How to use “doch”

I know "doch" is used to contradict a negative statement: A: Das ist nicht wahr. B: Doch! It's a great word for this usage and some languages really lack this word. But, I found it hard to ...
25
votes
6answers
9k views

What's the difference in usage between “machen” and “tun”?

Is there any rules or guidelines when to use which one? Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich machen soll. or Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich tun soll. I find a big overlap in their usage: ...
39
votes
4answers
998 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
411 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.
22
votes
10answers
5k views

How do Germans refer to people without caring about the gender

In German, a noun always has its own gender. However, there is a case I don't know. Suppose that there is a class with many students, both males and females, and then when I want to refer to all ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

Wie ist die richtige Schreibweise – “geliket”? “geliked”?

Offen gestanden denke ich, dass es eher geliket sein müsste, da deutsche Partizipien gewöhnlich auf t enden, wie z. B. gemacht, getanzt, etc. Dagegen spricht meine Beobachtung, ich habe geliket fast ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Why it is “Eines Tages” and not simply “ein Tag”?

In a story I read recently, there was a sentence: Eines Tages fand Peter eine Schatzkarte! And I wonder why it is "Eines Tages" and not "ein Tag", because "ein Tag" is what I would say normally. ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Bedeutungsunterschied zwischen “hätte machen sollen” and “sollte gemacht haben”

Ich bin in der letzten Zeit einige Male korrigiert worden, als ich die zwei Verbformen im Titel benutzt habe. Deshalb vermute ich, dass es einen Bedeutungsunterschied gibt, den ich noch nicht ...
15
votes
6answers
10k views

Wann schreibt man Zahlen aus?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: When does one write numbers with words, when with figures (e.g. "drei" statt "3")? Es scheint, dass man (in einem ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Warum Infinitiv anstatt Partizip-Perfekt? (“Ich habe dich gar nicht kommen gehört” vs “Ich habe dich gar nicht kommen hören”) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why no perfect participle? “Sie hat sich scheiden lassen” Die folgende Frage kommt von dem Einstufungstest des Goethe Instituts. Die richtige Antwort ist a) ...

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