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Introduction

GERMAN
It is a member of western group of Germanic branch of Indo-European
languages, spoken by about 120 million people in the world, with
Germany, Austria and Switzerland as the three main centers of usage.
It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
GERMAN CHARACTERS
1. GERMAN has 26 characters as in English, but their pronunciations
are different. In addition, German has a character (- ss) called
eszett. (we use double s as a substitution of )
Aa
Be
Ce
De
Ee
eF
Ge
Ha
Ii
Jot
Ka
eL
eM
eN
Umlaut

ah
bay
say
day
ay
eff
gay
haa
yi
yot
kah
ell
emm
enn
ay
ooh
yuu

Oo
Pe
Qu
eR
eS
Te
Uu
Vau
We
iX
Ypsilon
Zet

oh
pay
koo
err
ess
tay
ooh
fow
Vay
ixx
oop-see-lohn
zett

Diphthongs
ei
ai
u/eu
ie

eszett
eye
eye
oy
eeh

NOUNS AND GENDER


1.
A noun is a word which represents a person, place, thing or idea.
In German, all nouns are capitalized (Haus, Mann, Tisch) It is to
make the nouns easy to spot when determining the grammatical

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structure of a sentence. Verbals and adjectives which function as


nouns are also capitalized. (Hobbys: Schwimmen, Singen)
2.

All German nouns belong to one of the three grammatical


genders: Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter. Often you must
memorize the gender of a noun when you learn its meaning.
The gender is most easily identified by the nouns definite article in
the nominative case: der (masculine), die (feminine), and das
(neuter).
Nouns formed with the following suffixes are always or
usually Masculine:
-er, -ner, -ler, -ich, -ig, -ling, -ast, -or, -tor, -ismus, -us, -and, -ant, n, - r at, -et, -eur, -iker, -ist, -oge, -nom.
Exceptions: die Butter, das Fieber, das Labor
Nouns formed with the following suffixes are always or
usually Feminine:
-in, -ung, -t, -keit, -schaft, -sion, -tion, -heit, -ie, -ei, -a, -ade, -age,
-anz, -enz, -ik, -ine, -it is, -ose, -sis, -tt, - re, -ur.
Exceptions: das Sofa, der Papagei, das Genie, der Atlantik, das
Abitur
Nouns formed with the following suffixes are always or
usually Neuter:
-chen, -lein, -sel, -erl, -li, -tel, -eau, -icht, -ett, -ma, -il, -in, -ing, -um,
-tum, -ment, -ium, -it.
Exception: der Profit, die Firma

3.

Definite Article The

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The genders of German nouns are typically shown by way of an


accompanying definite article: der (masculine), die (feminine),

or das (neuter).
The plural form is identical to the feminine form in the
nominative and accusative cases (die)

Nominative
Accusative
Dative
Genitive
4.

Masculine
der Mann
den Mann
dem Mann
des Mannes

Feminine
die Frau
die Frau
der Frau
der Frau

Neuter
das Kind
das Kind
dem Kind
des Kindes

Plural
die Kinder
die Kinder
den Kindern
der Kinder

Indefinite Article- a/an


Indefinite article cannot be used with the plural form of a noun.

Nominative
Accusative
Dative
Genitive

Masculine
ein Mann
einen
Mann
einem Mann
eines
Mannes

Feminine
eine Frau
eine Frau

Neuter
ein Kind
ein Kind

Plural
Kinder
Kinder

einer Frau
einer Frau

einem Kind
eines
Kindes

Kindern
Kinder

5. Kein- to negate a noun

The german article kein, which is infected similarly to ein and

means no, not a, is often combined with plurals.


Kein is usually used to negate a noun with an indefinite article
preceding the noun.
If no article precedes the noun, kein is used.
Er hat ein Auto --- Er hat kein Auto.
He has a car. ----He doesnt have any car.
Hast du Zeit? ---Nein, Ich habe keine Zeit.
Do you have time? ---No, I dont have time.
Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Plural
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Nominative

kein Mann

keine Frau

kein Kind

Accusative

keinen
Mann
keinem
Mann

keine Frau

kein Kind

keiner Frau

keines
Mannes

keiner Frau

keinem
Kind
keines
Kindes

Dative
Genitive

keine
Kinder
keine
Kinder
keinen
Kindern

keener
Kinder

NOUNS AND CASES


The case of a noun or pronoun signifies its function in the sentence,
that is, whether it is acting as the subject or an object, or whether it is
acting in some other capacity.
Case allows the word order in a German sentence to be more flexible,
as seen in the example below, in which the nominative (subject) case
is black:
Der Mann isst den Apfel
Den Apfel isst der Mann.
In German the word order can be changed for emphasis (as shown
above)- without altering the basic meaning of the sentence. There are
four different cases:
1. Nominative Case. The nominative case is the subject of the
sentence; it performs the action of the verb.
2. Accusative Case. The accusative case is the object of the verb.
This case is also used after accusative prepositions and some
time expressions.
3. Dative Case. The dative case generally indicates the indirect
object of the sentence. It is a person or thing toor for whom an
activity is done. The dative case is also used after dative verbs
and dative prepositions.

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4. Genitive Case. The genitive case establishes a relationship


between two nouns but is also used in some idiomatic
expressions.

YOU- DU UND SIE


Like several other languages, German has two sets of pronouns that
can be used to other people, all of which mean you. We have the
formal and
1. Du
2. Ihr
3. Sie

informal you. and the singular and plural you.


Singular informal
Plural informal
Singular/Plural formal

When to use familiar/ informal you


- when speaking with family members
- when speaking with friends
- when speaking with pets
- when speaking with children
- when speaking with people who start addressing you as Du
(but if the person who starts addreassing you as Du is
someone in a position of authority over you, you should not
-

respond in the informal form)


when speaking with someone who asks you to (sich duzen)
address him/her in informal form.

When to use formal form?


In situations other than those mentioned above.

Introduction 5