German GrammarPod explains the world of German grammar. Its aim is to be accessible to all levels of learner and to give you tips to help you achieve maximum effect for minimum effort.
Cases: The Genitive Case
The genitive case is used to indicate possession, like of or apostrophe-s ('s) does in English. However, apart from in formal, written texts (and in its version of adding 's, which is just to add an s to the end of proper nouns), German tends to avoid the genitive. Most of the time in spoken German, Germans use a von plus the dative instead of a genitive to mean of. The genitive is unusual in German, because as well as affecting determiners (words like the and a) and adjectives, it also affects nouns, adding an -s (or -es) to the end of neuter and masculine nouns. To listen to my podcast directly on your computer, click here.
The Gender Podcast
I finally have my first podcast up and running. You wouldn't believe how complicated publishing podcasts is, and I thought the long bit was going to be writing the podcast :) Anyway, I'm all up and running now, so welcome to the first episode. First of all in this episode you get a bit of an introduction to the podcast and who it's aimed at (basically everyone who wants to learn German, but I'm hoping to get some feedback to make sure I'm not overstretching myself a bit there. So if you think the podcast isn't right for your level, but you'd like it to be, add a comment or email me at the email address given at the end of the podcast and tell me about it). Anyhow, after that, we go onto the grammar. This time I'm covering gender: What is gender? How does it work in German? How does that affect me? Tips and tricks for working out what gender a word is What effect does gender have on German?I've also put some tables, some lists of endings and a transcript of the podcast up on my other German GrammarPod website - you can use the link up on the top left of this blog under LINKS to get to it or just click here. To listen to the podcast, you can either subscribe or click here: MP3 link
Relative Pronouns 2
This podcast covers relative pronouns after prepositions and some other special cases. To listen to this podcast directly on your computer, click here.
The present tense
The present tense is pretty simple in German: there's only one. So where English has to choose between Sarah is walking to work and Sarah walks to work, German has only Sarah geht zu Fuß zur Arbeit. However, whereas English only has two different forms of each verb in the present tense (apart from for the verb to be), e.g. walk and walks, have and has, German verbs have lots of different forms in the present tense (typically four or five), depending on which personal pronoun you're using. (Personal pronouns are words like I, you, we and they.) This podcast explains more about the present tense and the different forms the verbs you use in it take. To listen to the podcast on you computer, click here.
The Accusative Case
The accusative case is used for the direct object (that's the noun or pronoun to which an action is done). It's like the shark in Peter ate the shark where shark is the noun that gets eaten. It also follows certain preopstions (words like for, through and without). Only singular (i.e. not plural) masculine nouns change in the accusative. All the determiners and adjectives that stand before these always end in -en. The other nouns stay the same as in the nominative. Some pronouns also change. The most important ones to remember are ich (I) becomes mich (me) and du (you) becomes dich (you). As you can see, that means that not all pronouns change in English to mark the object either. If you want to listen to this podcast directly on your computer, click here.
Cases: The Nominative Case
This podcast is about cases, which are a way of showing what role the different words are playing in a sentence. German has four cases: NominativeAccusativeDativeGentitiveThis podcast describes how cases work in general, then goes on to look at the nominative case in more detail. To listen to the audio file directly on your computer, click here. Or, if you'd like to subscribe to the podcast, click the link on the top left of this blog.