31
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
108
votes
18answers
18k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
697 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 ...
15
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"?
59
votes
14answers
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 ...
35
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
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 ...
37
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
17answers
6k 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 ...
32
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?
17
votes
3answers
284 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 ...
24
votes
14answers
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?
12
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
58
votes
36answers
33k 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 ...
53
votes
9answers
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
8k 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. ...
24
votes
3answers
620 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
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 ...
30
votes
2answers
21k 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
764 views

Wie kann man wissen, ob ein Verb trennbar ist?

Gibt es eine bewährte Regel um zu entscheiden, ob ein Verb trenn- bar ist?
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
355 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
316 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 ...
54
votes
17answers
102k 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.
25
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
534 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 ...
37
votes
10answers
38k views

Why is “Fräulein” considered offensive, as opposed to “Frau”?

Does Fräulein imply that the woman being addressed is not fully a Frau? Does it imply a lower class status?
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, ...
13
votes
3answers
590 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 ...
43
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 ...
29
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
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 Perfekt or ...
20
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
515 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
15k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
463 views

Benutzung der Abtönungspartikel »halt«

Ich verstehe noch nicht, wie halt als Abtönungspartikel zu verwenden ist. Aus dieser Antwort lässt sich herausfinden, dass halt durch eben und einfach ersetzbar ist. Da wird auch Folgendes erwähnt: ...
11
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
762 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. ...
4
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
282 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
10k views

Is “Mir ist kalt” correct? Did I hear it correctly?

While listening to Rammstein, in particular the song named "Keine Lust", I heard the phrase "Mir ist kalt, so kalt.". I thought it would have been "Ich bin kalt". Did I hear it incorrectly, or is ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Ist das Adjektiv “dämlich” von “Dame” abgeleitet?

In dieser Antwort und der darauf folgenden Diskussion kam die Vermutung auf, dass dämlich "unhöflicherweise" von Dame abgeleitet sein könnte. Ist das tatsächlich der Fall? Ich habe das gleich ...
5
votes
1answer
489 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 ...

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