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Thread: German for Starters

  1. #1
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.

    German for Starters



    To get some life in here, and to get our English friends acquainted with our lovely language, I thought it would be best to start a German course.
    Lessons will be one a day, consisting of a dialog, exercises and grammar.
    It shouldn't be too hard for an English speaker to learn German, since English actually originated from early German. You can read more about this here.

    Pronunciation
    Before we start, I'll lose some words on pronunciation, since it differs notably on some letters. I'll leave out the letters which are the same.

    a - always like ah in "father", never like a in anvil
    ä - "a umlaut", equals normal English a (anvil, absolutely, action etc.)
    au - Diphtong, like ow in "now"
    ch - never like k as in English! There are two versions, voiced (as in Scottish "Loch" or "Bach"), and a more hissing voiceless version (e.g. in Chemie)
    e - never like i as in evil, always like eh as in nebula
    ei - Diphtong, similar to ai
    eu - Diphtong, like oi in noise
    g - always like g in garlic, never like g in George
    j - never like English j, always like y in boy
    o - always like o in normal
    ö - o umlaut
    r - soft sound, not a thrilled troathy sound like in English
    s - refers to English s as well as to English z
    u - never like English u as in unity, always like uh
    ü - u umlaut
    v - either like w or like f (not always like w as in English)
    z - always like ts in Tsunami, never like English z
    ß - "sharp s", always like normal English s

    Lesson 1
    Dialog
    Lina: Hallo, ich bin Lina.
    Frank: Angenehm. Ich bin Frank.
    Lina: Angenehm. Wie geht es dir?
    Frank: Danke, gut, und dir?
    Lina: Danke, auch gut.

    Lina: Ich bin Deutscher. Bist du auch Deutscher?
    Frank: Nein, ich bin kein Deutscher. Ich bin Amerikaner.

    Vocabulary 1
    Hallo Hello
    ich bin I am
    Angenehm literally: "comfortable". Here, it means something like "Nice to meet you."
    Wie geht es dir? How are you?
    Danke Thanks
    gut good
    ..., und dir? short for "...und wie geht es dir?" - "...and how are you?"
    auch "also" or "..., too"
    Deutscher German
    Bist du...? Are you...?
    Nein No
    kein not a, no
    Amerikaner American

    Exercise 1(solution will be provided tomorrow)
    Fill in the blanks.
    1. Hallo, ___ ___ Frank.
    2. ________, ich bin Lina.
    3. Wie ____ es dir?
    4. _____, gut.
    5. ___ ___ Amerikaner.

    Grammar 1
    The personal pronouns:
    1st person singular: ich (I)
    2nd person singular: du (you)
    3rd person singular: er (he), sie (she), es (it)
    when adressing someone formally: Sie (you) - note the capital S

    1st person plural: wir (we)
    2nd person plural: ihr (you)
    3rd person plural: sie (they)

    Conjugation of the auxiliary verbs "sein" (to be) and "haben" (to have)
    sein (to be)
    ich bin I am
    du bist you are
    er, sie, es ist he, she it is
    (formal address) Sie sind you are

    wir sind we are
    ihr seid you are
    sie sind they are

    haben (to have)
    ich habe I have
    du hast you have
    er, sie, es hat he, she, it has
    (formal address) Sie haben

    wir haben we have
    ihr habt you have
    sie haben they have


    Ok, that wraps it up for today. Comments welcome.

  2. #2
    Traveler of eternity dreamer's Avatar
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    O_o?
    Bist du ein Deutsches Lehrer ??
    One of the most adventurous things left for us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams....

  3. #3
    THE CRAZY OLD GUY !! Frank D. White's Avatar
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    Thanks For Taking The Time To Do This !!

    I printed it off and will study it ! Looking forward to future training, thanks again !

    Frank

    TAKE WHAT I SAY WITH A GRAIN OF SUGAR !!

    I USED TO BE FUNNY, BUT MY WIFE HAD ME NEUTERED!

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    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    hmm maybe i should scan my old worksheets and post them

    this is a neat idea lina
    Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

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    KAWAII ME Mayura's Avatar
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    yeah, it is indeed! lol ^^

    dreamy - isn't it: "bist du ein deutsch Lehrer?" '-'
    I just noticed this forum today... o.O
    *~Mayura~*

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    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer
    O_o?
    Bist du ein Deutsches Lehrer ??
    Du meinst "Deutschlehrer"? Das ist ein Service nur für euch

    @jeisan
    Sicher doch, nur zu!

  7. #7
    KAWAII ME Mayura's Avatar
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    oh yeah, right... ^^; well... my spelling seems so bad... ^^;

    hmm... *peeps answeres fromt eh top*

    1. Hallo, ich bin Frank.
    2. Angenehm, ich bin Lina. (<--- I don't normally say that... o.O lol ^^)
    3. Wie geht es dir?
    4. Danke, mir geht es sehr gut! (lol)
    5. Ich bin nicht Amerikaner. (v.v;)

  8. #8
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayura
    oh yeah, right... ^^; well... my spelling seems so bad... ^^;

    hmm... *peeps answeres fromt eh top*

    1. Hallo, ich bin Frank.
    2. Angenehm, ich bin Lina. (<--- I don't normally say that... o.O lol ^^)
    3. Wie geht es dir?
    4. Danke, mir geht es sehr gut! (lol)
    5. Ich bin nicht Amerikaner. (v.v;)
    to 2. Well, you can use several levels of formality... I tried to balance it somewhat...
    most formal: "Guten Tag, ich bin..." - "Sehr erfreut, ihre Bekanntschaft zu machen." literally: "Good day, I am..." - "(I am) very pleased to make your acquantance."
    formal: "Guten Tag..." - "Angenehm."
    somewhat formal: "Hallo..." - "Angenehm."
    informal: "Hallo..." - "Hallo."
    Also for "How are you?", you have a formal and an informal version:
    formal: "Wie geht es Ihnen?"
    informal: "Wie geht es dir?"

    to 5. well, not quite... instead of "nicht", you'd rather use another word. Look at the vocabulary.

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    Traveler of eternity dreamer's Avatar
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    lol I see ^^'
    Dang think I need to practice a lot more ^^

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    Tenshi Ten'shi-no-Shippuu's Avatar
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    Lina....Brauchst du ein bisschen hilfe um zu lehren?
    Mein Deutsch ist etwas verschieden, aber die Grundlagen sind gleich!
    Ich bin immer verfügbar!!
    Make that the dream devours your life so that the life does not devour your dream.

    下手の横好き Heta no yoko zuki


    My blog where I will post drawings(french)

  11. #11
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten'shi-no-Shippuu
    Lina....Brauchst du ein bisschen hilfe um zu lehren?
    Mein Deutsch ist etwas verschieden, aber die Grundlagen sind gleich!
    Ich bin immer verfügbar!!
    Danke für's Angebot... wenn ich Schwyzertütsch brauche, laß ich's dich wissen

  12. #12
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Great post, Lina! Would have to add something about pronunciations, though.

    All vowels have a long & a short sound, the pronunciation then differs a bit.


    ch - never like k as in English!
    With some exceptions, eg. Christus (Christ). In some regions (eg. parts of Bavaria, I think) the pronunciation in initial position is always 'k'.
    Another pronunciation for ch is 'tsch' as in bachelor, which is also used in German.

    j - never like English j, always like y in boy
    Except for loanwords, that is, eg. Jeans or Jeep.

    r - soft sound, not a thrilled troathy sound like in English
    Depends where in Germany you are. Where I live, it is often spoken like 'ch' in Rauch.

    sch - like 'sh' in shine

    tio - as in Nation is pronounced like 'tsio'

    tsch - like 'ch' in bachelor

    u - never like English u as in unity, always like uh
    Pronunciation usually like 'u' as in rule or bull. Again except for loanwords, eg. computer.

    Actually, exceptions apply for many letters, esp. in loanwords. If you see a word that looks like English, then in most cases you can pronounce it the English way & will be understood.

    A good English-German-English online translator is Leo:
    http://dict.leo.org/?lang=en
    You can find (High German) pronunciation sound files for many German words.

    If you ever come to Germany be prepared to encounter some strange regional varieties of pronunciation.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Mr. Manji's Avatar
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    WOW, thank you for doing this! :) i always wanted to teach myself some german, this will be a great way for me to start :)
    thanks again!
    "its best not to think about it"
    the best advice I ever got

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    Knight Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Auf Wiedertypen !

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    KAWAII ME Mayura's Avatar
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    hmm... how bout:

    Ich bin kein Amerikaner. ??? o.O oh well... ^^ dun really care... haha~ as long as I get good grades in school, everyhting's fine with me... lol j/k j/k...

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    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    Great post, Lina! Would have to add something about pronunciations, though.

    All vowels have a long & a short sound, the pronunciation then differs a bit.

    ch - never like k as in English!
    With some exceptions, eg. Christus (Christ). In some regions (eg. parts of Bavaria, I think) the pronunciation in initial position is always 'k'.
    Another pronunciation for ch is 'tsch' as in bachelor, which is also used in German.
    That's only valid for foreign loan words which were taken from foreign languages, and where the original pronunciation has been kept. Bavaria I'd also call a foreign country, so this fits as well

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    j - never like English j, always like y in boy
    Except for loanwords, that is, eg. Jeans or Jeep.
    Same as with the ch, loanwords keep their original pronunciation.

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    r - soft sound, not a thrilled troathy sound like in English
    Depends where in Germany you are. Where I live, it is often spoken like 'ch' in Rauch.
    Never heard of that - where in Germany would that be?

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    sch - like 'sh' in shine
    Indeed, not like 'sk' as an English speaker could assume.

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    tio - as in Nation is pronounced like 'tsio'
    The German word is meant here, not the English one.
    German pronunciation: nah-tsee-ohn
    Same with German 'Information': een-fohr-mah-tsee-ohn

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    tsch - like 'ch' in bachelor
    Yes. Example here would be Matsch, which rhymes on the beginning of 'bachelor': Matsch - bachelor

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    u - never like English u as in unity, always like uh
    Pronunciation usually like 'u' as in rule or bull. Again except for loanwords, eg. computer. Actually, exceptions apply for many letters, esp. in loanwords. If you see a word that looks like English, then in most cases you can pronounce it the English way & will be understood.
    Pretty much the only exceptions made are for loan words from foreign languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    A good English-German-English online translator is Leo:
    http://dict.leo.org/?lang=en
    You can find (High German) pronunciation sound files for many German words.

    If you ever come to Germany be prepared to encounter some strange regional varieties of pronunciation.
    Indeed, it can vary a bit from region to region - with the big exsception being Bavaria. The dialect there, Bavarian, should better be regarded as a language of its own, as it's totally unintelligible to any normal German - but Bavaria is pretty much like a foreign country anyway, they even call themselves "Free country"

    @Mayura:
    That's absolutely correct!

    Ok folks, ready for round two?

    Lesson 2
    This time, we'll take a closer look at the conjugation of the verbs.

    Dialog 2 - Unterwegs nach Deutschland
    (On the way to Germany)

    Lina: Packst du die Koffer ins Auto?
    Frank: Ja, ich packe die Koffer ins Auto.
    ...
    Frank: Fertig. Fahren wir.
    Lina: Ja, fahren wir.
    (schaut auf die Uhr) Es ist schon spät.
    Frank: Ja, es ist schon spät. Beeilen wir uns!

    Am Flughafen
    Lina: Schnell, beeilen wir uns!
    Frank: Ja, schnell! Gehen wir zur Gepäckabfertigung!

    Bei der Gepäckabfertigung
    Personal: Wieviele Koffer haben Sie?
    Lina: Wir haben zwei Koffer.
    Personal: Stellen Sie die Koffer bitte aufs Band.
    Lina: Sofort. (stellt die Koffer aufs Band)
    Frank: Fertig?
    Lina: Ja, fertig.
    Frank: Dann komm schnell!
    Lina: Ich komme.
    Frank: Unser Flugzeug steht schon da!
    Lina: In der Tat, es steht schon da! Laufen wir!

    Vocabulary:
    note: Verbs will only be listed in the infinitive form.
    packen: to pack
    Koffer: baggage
    Auto: car
    ja: yes
    fertig: ready
    fahren: to drive
    schon: already
    spät: late
    beeilen: to hurry
    Am Flughafen: at the airport
    schnell: quick
    gehen: to go
    zur: to the
    Gepäckabfertigung: baggage check-in
    Personal: staff
    wieviele: how many
    zwei: two
    stellen: to put
    aufs: onto the
    Band: (here) conveyor belt
    dann: then
    kommen: to come
    unser: our
    Flugzeug: airplane
    stehen: to stand
    da: there
    in der Tat: infact, really
    laufen: to run

    Grammar 2:
    Verb conjugation (present)

    packen (to pack)
    Infinitive: pack-en
    Singular:
    ich pack-e
    du pack-st
    er,sie,es pack-t
    (formal) Sie pack-en
    Plural:
    wir pack-en
    ihr pack-t
    sie pack-en
    Imperative: (command)
    singular: pack!
    plural: pack-t!

    fahren (to drive)
    Infinitive: fahr-en
    Singular:
    ich fahr-e
    du fähr-st (note: a becomes ä!)
    er, sie, es fähr-t (note: a becomes ä!)
    (formal) Sie fahr-en
    Plural:
    wir fahr-en
    ihr fahr-t
    sie fahr-en
    Imperative:
    singular: fahr!
    plural: fahr-t!

    gehen (to go)
    Infinitive: geh-en
    Singular:
    ich geh-e
    du geh-st
    er,sie,es geh-t
    Plural:
    wir geh-en
    ihr geh-t
    sie geh-en

    Exercise 2:
    Conjugate the verbs stellen (stell-en), kommen (komm-en), stehen (steh-en), laufen (lauf-en).

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    Knight Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayura
    hmm... how bout:

    Ich bin kein Amerikaner. ??? o.O oh well... ^^ dun really care... haha~ as long as I get good grades in school, everyhting's fine with me... lol j/k j/k...
    John F. Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner" in a speech in Germany.

  18. #18
    Regular Member fixelbrumpf's Avatar
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    About the German "ch" sound in words like "Chemie" and "China": It sounds quite a bit like the "hissing" "hi" sound in "hito" in some Japanese dialects. The video game character Richter Belmont's name is written "リヒター" in Japanese for a good reason. In the English version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, they pronounce it "Righter", which is -- you may have guessed it -- totally wrong.

    I used to know the address of a web site with a few audio examples, perhaps I'll manage to dig it up again.

    Edited bcuz eye kant spel
    Last edited by fixelbrumpf; 15-05-04 at 12:00.
    ƒCƒPƒƒ“‚Á‚Ä“úŒnƒƒ“!

  19. #19
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    John F. Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner" in a speech in Germany.
    I know. There's even a popular joke about this over here:
    "Recently, they exhumed Kennedy and filled him with jam. Why?" - "Because he said: 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' "
    For this, you need to know that there is a bakery product over here called "Berliner" which is somewhat like a doughnut, but without a hole in the center, and always filled with jam

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    Knight Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Then there's the joke about a dozen Polish guys attacking a German woman, and she screams "Nein ! Nein !" and three of the Polish guys left.

  21. #21
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lina Inverse
    Same as with the ch, loanwords keep their original pronunciation.
    As long as they are not "eingedeutscht". That's a matter of language distance & time.


    Never heard of that - where in Germany would that be?
    Niederrhein (Lower or Nether Rhine). We pronounce eg. "warten" like "wachten". Another regional feature is the missing sch-sound, most of us can only pronounce it like 'ch' in "ich".

    BTW, 'ch' as 'k' is not restricted to loanwords. Take the examples "höchstens" or "nächstes Mal".


    Pretty much the only exceptions made are for loan words from foreign languages.
    Loanwords are always from foreign languages, else they are not called loanwords, for what I know.



    Indeed, it can vary a bit from region to region - with the big exsception being Bavaria. The dialect there, Bavarian, should better be regarded as a language of its own, as it's totally unintelligible to any normal German - but Bavaria is pretty much like a foreign country anyway, they even call themselves "Free country"
    Hmm, you really have an issue with Bavaria, it seems. Don't be too negative! They are human, too. BTW, don't forget that there is more than one dialect in Bavaria.
    Pretty much every dialect in Germany could be regarded as a separate language, for being unintelligible with some other German dialects. If I would speak Jläbecker Platt (the dialect of my hometown) to you, you probably wouldn't understand very much either. Luckily for you, I myself cannot really speak it (& even have problems understanding parts of it).

  22. #22
    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    ok the alphabet with my generic proncitations, used them til i could remember when i was learning. german letter left, english sound on right. letteron right = english letter if you were to say.

    A - ah
    B - bay
    C - say
    D - day
    E - A
    F - F
    G - gay
    H - ha
    I - E
    J - yot
    K - K
    L - L
    M - M
    N - N
    O - O
    P - pay
    Q - coo
    R - air
    S - S
    T - tay
    U - oo
    V - fay
    W - va
    X - ix
    Y - upsilon
    Z - tzet

    and numbers for ya

    1 - ein
    2 - zwei
    3 - drei
    4 - vier
    5 - fünf
    6 - sechs
    7 - sieben
    8 - acht
    9 - neun
    10 - sehn

  23. #23
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Jeisan, this should be very useful for English native speakers. Almost all correct (although, of course, the pronunciation is not 100% German), only a few mis-pronunciations.

    C - tsay

    V - fow ('ow' as in eyebrow)

    1 - eins

    10 - zehn (pronounced something like 'tsayne')


    'C' is a bit ambiguous in German. It can be pronounced as 'ts', 'k', 's' & even 'tsch' (in loanwords from Italian mainly).

  24. #24
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    Niederrhein (Lower or Nether Rhine). We pronounce eg. "warten" like "wachten". Another regional feature is the missing sch-sound, most of us can only pronounce it like 'ch' in "ich".

    BTW, 'ch' as 'k' is not restricted to loanwords. Take the examples "höchstens" or "nächstes Mal".
    Nope, that's not valid. In both cases, the 'ch' is clearly not pronounced as 'k' - as long as you don't come from the Nether-Rhine, that is :baka:
    My area, the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area) also has its pecularities. 'ch' and 'sch' are always pronounced as such.
    'g' at the end of a word is always pronounced like a voiced 'ch': Tag -> Tach.
    't' at the end of a word is omitted: nicht -> nich, ist -> is.
    'er' at the end of a word is pronounced like 'a': Futter -> Futta.
    There are also a few contractions of frequently used words, like haben -> ham und wir -> wa.
    So, the sentence "Haben wir nicht" would be pronounced "Ham wa nich"

    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    Hmm, you really have an issue with Bavaria, it seems. Don't be too negative! They are human, too. BTW, don't forget that there is more than one dialect in Bavaria.
    Pretty much every dialect in Germany could be regarded as a separate language, for being unintelligible with some other German dialects. If I would speak Jläbecker Platt (the dialect of my hometown) to you, you probably wouldn't understand very much either. Luckily for you, I myself cannot really speak it (& even have problems understanding parts of it).
    Clearly, this isn't true for all dialects, only for a few, most notably Plautdietsch (Low German), Frisian and Bavarian. You can see an exact list here as to which dialects are regarded as separate languages:
    Languages of Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by jeisan
    ok the alphabet with my generic proncitations, used them til i could remember when i was learning. german letter left, english sound on right. letteron right = english letter if you were to say.
    Hate to tell you, but your pronunciation scheme is off by a good measure
    I'll give a proper one below:

    a - ah
    b - beh
    c - tseh
    e - eh
    f - ehf
    g - gheh
    h - hah
    i - ee
    j - yot
    k - kah
    l - el
    m - em
    n - en
    o - oh
    p - peh
    q - kuh
    r - ehr
    s - ehs
    t - teh
    u - uh
    v - fow
    w - weh
    x - iks
    y - ipsilon
    z - tset

  25. #25
    Hentai Koutaishi Lina Inverse's Avatar
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    Ethnic group
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    Country: Germany



    Lesson 3
    Today we'll take a look at the German articles.

    Dialog 3

    Im Flugzeug
    Lina: Hast du alles?
    Frank: Ja, ich habe alles
    Lina: Bist du sicher?
    Frank: Ja, ich bin sicher.

    Lina: Was ist mit dem Paß?
    Frank: Ja, ich habe den Paß mit.
    Lina: Was ist mit der Kreditkarte?
    Frank: Ja, ich habe die Kreditkarte mit.
    Lina: Was ist mit dem Rasierwasser?
    Frank: Ja, ich habe das Rasierwasser mit.

    Lina: Hast du auch eine Zahnbürste?
    Frank: Ich habe auch eine Zahnbürste.
    Lina: Hast du auch einen Kamm?
    Frank: Ich habe auch einen Kamm.
    Lina: Hast du auch ein Erste-Hilfe-Set?
    Frank: Ich habe auch ein erste-Hilfe-Set.

    Frank: Bist du jetzt zufrieden?
    Lina: Ja, jetzt bin ich zufrieden.

    Vocabulary 3:
    alles: everything
    Bist du sicher? Are you sure?
    was: what
    Paß: passport
    Kreditkarte: credit card
    Schlüpfer: slip
    Rasierwasser: after shave
    Zahnbürste: tooth brush
    Kamm: comb
    Erste-Hilfe-Set: first aid kit
    jetzt: now
    zufrieden: satisfied

    Grammar 3
    The definite articles
    male singular
    Nominativ: der Paß
    Genitiv: des Passes *
    Dativ: dem Paß
    Akkusativ: den Paß
    plural
    Nominativ: die Pässe *
    Genitiv: der Pässe *
    Dativ: dem Pässen *
    Akkusativ: den Pässen *

    * ß becomes ss when the two s are pronounced separately

    female singular
    Nominativ: die Kreditkarte
    Genitiv: der Kreditkarte
    Dativ: der Kreditkarte
    Akkusativ: die Kreditkarte
    plural
    Nominativ: die Kreditkarten
    Genitiv: der Kreditkarten
    Dativ: den Kreditkarten
    Akkusativ: die Kreditkarten

    neutrum singular
    Nominativ: das Rasierwasser
    Genitiv: des Rasierwassers
    Dativ: dem Rasierwasser
    Akkusativ: das Rasierwasser
    plural
    Nominativ: die Rasierwässer
    Genitiv: der Rasierwässer
    Dativ: den Rasierwässern
    Akkusativ: die Rasierwässer

    The indefinite articles
    For plural, the article is omitted.
    male singular:
    Nominativ: ein Kamm
    Genitiv: eines Kamms
    Dativ: einem Kamm
    Akkusativ: einen Kamm

    female singular
    Nominativ: eine Zahnbürste
    Genitiv: einer Zahnbürste
    Dativ: einer Zahnbürste
    Akkusativ: eine Zahnbürste

    neutrum singular
    Nominativ: ein Set
    Genitiv: eines Sets
    Dativ: einem Set
    Akkusativ: ein Set

    Exercise 3
    Give the appropriate answers (as in the dialog).

    1. Was ist mit der Zahnbürste?
    A: Ja, _________________________
    2. Was ist mit dem Kamm?
    A: Ja, _________________________
    3. Was ist mit dem Erste-Hilfe-Set?
    A: Ja, _________________________

    4. Hast du auch einen Paß?
    A: Ich _________________________
    5. Hast du auch eine Kreditkarte?
    A: Ich _________________________
    6. Hast du auch ein Rasierwasser?
    A: Ich _________________________

    Ok, that's it for today

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