In Episode 138 of Easy German at approximately 5:40, the guest speaker says, "Ich wusste nicht, wie die Grammatik zu lernen...", but the subtitles say, "Ich wusste nicht, wie die Grammatik zu lernen (ist)...", as if he missed the word "ist". Should that word be there? If so, please explain.

  • youtu.be/ZqObBG-NYPI – Carsten S Oct 27 '16 at 8:32
  • In the subtitles, grammatical errors like that are usually corrected, so the subtitles are easier to read and follow. Unlike a book, you usually do not have the time to read the whole senctence again and again till you understand the meaning. – ammoQ Oct 27 '16 at 13:59

I watched the video and the guest speaker is not a native speaker. Some of his sentences are grammatically wrong or at least they sound unnatural.

For example

Ich wusste nicht, wie die Grammatik zu lernen und dann hab ich einfach gedacht... (5:40)

is wrong. They tried to correct the sentence by adding the ist:

Ich wusste nicht, wie die Grammatik zu lernen (ist) ...

As a nativ, I still would reformulate the entire sentence, but with ist it is at least not wrong anymore. So the words in the brackets are corrections that can be easily be made while keeping the transkript as similar to the spoken words as possible.

There are definitely more errors in his German sentences, but most of them can not be easily corrected!

  • Yes; my question presumes that he has made a mistake and asks why it is a mistake. Also, how would you reformulate the sentence? – cs47511 Oct 27 '16 at 12:40
  • @user33698, zum Beispiel so: "Damals wusste ich noch nicht, wie man am besten die (deutsche) Grammatik lernt, aber dann habe ich diese (neue/spezielle) Methode gefunden..." – Iris Oct 27 '16 at 12:46

Well, even if the guest speaker doesn't say it (while he should), it's only one part of a video course and it's not a big deal to exclusively get referred to; in Extra video course also you see some mismatches, because written language and speaking language are not necessarily the same, in written language you must write just correctly and precisely, but in spoken language you can skip or shorten some vocabularies because of talking fast.

Secondly, you must know that some conjunctions like "wie", "weil", "bevor", "dass", "als", etc make the second clause (after the comma and one of these conjunctions) as subordinate clause! In this case, it's a subordinate clause (Nebensätze), so the auxiliary verb should be at the end. For example:

Es ist nicht Fakt, dass Deutsch leicht zu lernen ist!

Here you can see list of conjunctions that make subordinate clause with example and definition.

  • 1
    I wouldn't use "Es ist nicht Fakt, dass" except as an answer to "Es ist Fakt, dass" and with the emphasis on "nicht". More common is "Es stimmt nicht, dass Deutsch leicht zu lernen ist." – Roland Oct 27 '16 at 7:34
  • Ok @Roland, you're right, both are true based on situation, but in this simple example it's better to focus on the main topic which is "subordinate clause", so i edited the example to the more common way of "Es stimmt nicht, dass..." – Armin Oct 27 '16 at 7:49

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