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Diglot
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Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Portuguese, Mandarin, Yiddish, German

 
 Message 1 of 60
19 November 2010 at 10:19pm | IP Logged 
About 2 years ago I proved on the now-defunct "Michel Thomas Forum" that the German case system could easily be taught in the Michel Thomas way (and without bringing in vague concepts like "victim of the verb" as Hodder did in their “Vocabulary Course”. Since then Hodder show absolutely no sign of teaching it properly, and now a certain person seems to be marketing a watered-down version of the method. For this reason, and in spite of the fact that my bad German is more painfully obvious to me than ever, I reproduce it below, almost warts-and-all (I cleaned it up just a little to aid understanding), and extended to near completion, in the hope that, by posting corrections, suggestions, and comments in the thread below, those whose German is much better than my own, and who are familiar with MT and his method will help me correct my errors, re-write my explanation for adjective rule No (3), and polish the examples. I can then edit this original post (I will correct all errors that are pointed out, and take up what suggestions are consistent with MT) to produce a free "German Case System 'patch'" to the MT German Course for those who have completed it. I claim no originality for what follows, none of the ideas are mine, I merely brought them together from various different sources, and the teaching method was my best attempt (at the time) to reverse-engineer what MT was doing, nevertheless it seems such a clear and logical way to teach something usually seen as somehow difficult that I thought it worth posting. It is very much a work-in progress, and the lesson on adjectives I just now cobbled together as a rush-job, so please be gentle! The course itself assumes learners have completed both levels of MT German (and if they've done the "Language Builder" even better). Anyone can correct my mistakes (and those of any others on this thread) but please only post suggestions if you are familiar with MT and have preferably used one of his courses (not necessarily German!), for instance the low number of vocabulary items introduced is intentional, I have no intention of increasing this, although I am absolutely open to suggestions of BETTER items to introduce, anyone familiar with MT will know this. THANKS TO ALL IN ADVANCE!


(there is plenty difficult in German, but the case-system doesn't have to be!). Throughout MT = Michel Thomas, and any answers in a seperate paragraph are meant to represent the MT “question-pause button-answer” cycle, answers NOT in a seperate paragraph are illustrative examples, and should be read straight through.

************************************************************ **********

The German case system is simple and logical, do you remember Michel Thomas teaching you “mit mir”, “von mir”, “bei mir” etc but “für mich”? If you do and you can speak English then you already know enough to use the German case system correctly.

Lesson 1

Cases exist in English too, but only for pronouns and few other words such as who versus whom

for instance we say HE goes, but I see HIM

now MT already taught you how to do this with pronouns, how do you say "he goes"?

er geht

and how do you say, "i see him"?

ich sehe ihn

now you already know how o do this (and if you don´t you need to go back and revise the mt foundation and advanced course before continuing), here are a few more examples to check you know this

how would you say, "she is coming"?

sie kommt

what about "can you see her"

können Sie sie sehen?

similarly "I can´t hear you but you can hear me" would be?

ich kann Sie nicht hören, aber Sie können mich hören

finally "we want to visit them, but they do not want to visit us" would be?

wir wollen sie besuchen, aber sie wollen uns nicht besuchen

Now MT also introduced you to "to me" "to him" etc: "to me" was mir, "to him" was ihm, "to her" was ihr and "to you" and "to them" were Ihnen and ihnen respectively


this you should already know, like I say, if you do NOT then you need to go back and revise.

One thing that MT did not cover was "to it", which is also “ihm”, let´s quickly practice this: how would you say "it is not possible to do it that way"?

es ist nicht möglich es so zu tun

and how would you say, "I did it (already) yesterday"?

ich habe es schon gestern getan

but "to it" is the same as "to him" that is to say: ihm

so if book is DAS Buch "I have given him the book" meaning "I have given the book TO him" is, as you know:

ich habe ihm das Buch gegeben


So how would you say, "I have given IT the book" meaning "I have given the book TO it"?

ich habe ihm das Buch gegeben

not a very likely thing to say admittedly, which is probably why mt did not teach it, but not as unlikely in German as it is in English as you will see


lesson 2

mt taught you that all German nouns have a gender, and that this has to do with endings (though it is true that most people go in the gender you would expect) again this is something you already know, former world memory champ Domonic O' Brian suggested the following mnemonic to help you remember whether to use der, die, or das:-

“der” remimnds you of a particularly stupid male pupil unable to remember anything
“die” is a female name (Dee)
and “das” is like a well-known washing powder that neutralises smells (i.e. neuter).


Now as I keep saying German is nothing if not ultra-logical so if a noun is masculine then even though in common sense it is an "it" logically it has to be a "he", right?

so if the dog is der Hund (c.f. the English word hound), how would you say, "the dog is tired"?

der Hund ist müde

and now, still speaking about the dog, "it is tired" would be?

er ist müde

because in German a masculine noun has to be a he

like I say I do not argue that German is sensible, but you cannot deny that this is logical, and this logic makes it easy to learn as you will see


similarly if the newspaper is as mt taught you die Zeitung (c.f. "tidings" in English b.t.w) how would you say, "the newspaper" is very good?

die Zeitung ist sehr gut

and still speaking about the newspaper how would you say, "it is very good"?

sie ist sehr gut


finally if “house” is das Haus, how would you say “it is sold”?

es (das Haus) ist verkauft


with me?




now I rather like this mnemonic of O' Brian´s, but there is in fact an even easier way which shows just how logical German is

what is “he”?

er

and what is "the" for masculine nouns (use the above mnemonic if it helps)?

der

“der “and “er”, hmmm, same ending (remember MT saying it had to do with endings)

what about “it”?

es

and the neuter word for “the”?

das

es and das, both end in "s"

actually the German word for "that" comes from the neuter word for the, that is why they are both "das"

finally what is “she”?

sie

and what is the femenine word for "the"?

die

die and sie both end in ie

so we have die and sie, er and der and es and das, all of which makes perfect sense because in German all masculine words take he (er) and all feminine words take she (sie)

now, let´s see whether we can extend this: what is the German for "they"

sie

so if the German word for they is sie can you guess the plural word for the?

die!!!!!!!

Interesting pattern, isn´t it, but it gets even better because German is logical to a fault, as we will see in the next lesson.


lesson 3

Now MT did not just teach you the German for “he”, “she”, “it”, and “they”; he also taught you the German for “him”, “her”, “it”, and “them”, and for "to him", to her", "to them", and I just taught you "to it".

All of this is very exciting because IF you already know this,(and you do), and IF the same pattern that we have just been looking at holds (and it does!) then we know how to produce the German word for "the" in all circumstances!!!!!!!


Quick review, whenever you would use “he” (er) the word for "the" in German is?

der

and whenever you would use “she” (sie) the word for "the" in German is?

die

and whenever you use “it” (es) in German the word for "the" in German is?

das

finally whenever you use they (sie) in German the word for "the" is?

die

der and er, sie and die, es and das and sie and die


they are tired = sie sind müde
What about: the men (männer) are tired?

the men = they, therefore: die männer sind müde


are you all happy with this? if not go and revise the last few sections before continuing.

Now, what is "I see her" in German?

ich sehe sie

that´s right, it does not change, hmm...so try to figure out the following in German:- how would you say: "I see the newspaper"?

ich sehe die Zeitung

that´s right “sie” does not change, so neither does “die”.


what about, "I can hear it"?

ich kann es hören

so what about, "I can see the house"?

ich kann das Haus sehen

“es” does not change, so neither does “das”

what about, "I buy them"?

ich kaufe sie

so I buy the houses (Häuser) would be?

ich kaufe die Häuser

“sie” does not change, so neither does “die”

Finally, if to hate is "hassen" how would you say: "I hate him"?

ich hasse ihn

ah, now here the “er” changes to an ihn (as you already know)

so if German uses “der” where it uses “er” (he) can you try to guess what it uses for “ihn” (him)?

den

so I hate the man would be?

ich hasse den Mann

and I hate the dog?

ich hasse den Hund

so now we have:-

er and der
es and das
sie and die

and finally

ihn and den

easy, no?



lesson 4

let´s recap:

1) MT already taught you how to use pronouns (he she it him her etc)

2) mt already taught you that all German nouns are masculine neuter or feminine, and that this has to do with endings

3) German chooses logic over common sense and insists that every masculine noun is a he, every feminine noun is a she, and every neuter noun is an it

4) the endings of the words for the match the endings of the pronoun for that gender: “er” and “der” or “ihn” and “den”, “sie” and “die”, and “es” and “das”.


It´s that simple!


Now to you remember how to say "to him" in German?

ihm

and "to her"?

ihr

and I taught you earlier that "to it” was also "ihm", so “I give him the book” is?

ich gebe ihm das Buch

now if “er” matches with “der” and “ihn” matches with “den”, can you guess what “ihm” matches with?

dem

So I give the man the book (I give the book TO the man) would be?

ich gebe dem Mann das Buch


Now if girl is “das Mädchen”, and bearing in mind that "to it" is also ihm can you figure out: "i give the girl the book"?

ich gebe dem Mädchen das Buch

do you remember the word for "to her"?

ihr

now “ihr” matches with “der”, I suppose it should really have been “dier” but if you try saying this really fast it´s quite hard to pronounce- try it, you´ll see, so they shortened it to “der”

so how would you say: I am giving it to her?

ich gebe es ihr

and therefore I am giving it to the woman (die Frau) would be?

ich gebe es der Frau

Finally do you remember how to say "to them"?

ihnen

now again ihnen should have matched with denen but it got shortened to den to make it easier to pronounce

so "I am giving it to them" is?

ich gebe es ihnen

and "I am giving it to the women (Frauen)" would be?

ich gebe es den Frauen


And that´s it, you now know how to say "the in German"

we can boil it down to one simple rule, match the with the German word for him her or it etc,.

er always gives you der
sie always gives you die
es always gives you das
ihn always gives you den
ihm always gives you dem
ihr always gives you der
and
ihnen always gives you den

See how the endings match? since MT already taught you how to use er sie etc you now have an easy way to figure out the word for the, so even if memory fails you will never forget


One last quick test

if "with me" is “mit mir” what is "with him"

mit ihm

so with the man would be?

mit dem Mann

and “with her”?

mit ihr

so with the woman would be?

mit der Frau

and “with it” is “mit ihm” too, so “with the girl (das Mädchen)” would be?

mit dem Mädchen

finally “with them” is?

mit ihnen

so “with the women (Frauen)” would be?

mit den Frauen

One quick subtlety, German nouns which don't ALREADY end in "n" in the plural add it in this case (unless they end in "s" because that would be too hard for even Germans to pronounce!), so "with the men (Männer) would be: mit den Männern. But don't worry as we'll explain this later.


lesson 5

To say "this" in German you use the word "dies" plus an ending, and the ending matches the pronouns again

er = der = dieser

so this man = dieser Mann

es = das = dieses

so this book =dieses Buch

can you figure out what this newspaper (die Zeitung) is?

diese Zeitung

because sie = sie = diese

similarly ihn = den = diesen

so “I hate this man” would be?

ich hasse diesen Mann

ihm = dem = diesem

so “I give it to this man” would be?

ich gebe es diesem Mann

ihr = der = dieser

so “I give it to this woman” is?

ich gebe es dieser Frau

finally

ihnen = den = diesen

so “I give it to these women” would be?

ich gebe es diesen Frauen


To say "that" in German, as in "that man", you just say "the man", but put the stress on "the", let me illustrate:-

the man is tired = der Mann ist müde (stress on Mann)
that man is tired = DER Mann ist müde (stress on den)

easy no?

so “I am giving it to that woman” would be?

ich gebe es DER Frau (with stress on der)


At this point I left it, but below is how I would have finished



Lesson 6

The word for “a” in German is “ein”.

How would you say “a man”?

Ein Mann

And how about “a house”?

Ein Haus

So, for instance, how would you say in German: “I bought a house”?

Ich habe ein Haus gekauft

If “to bite” is “beissen” and “bitten” is “gebissen”, how would you say, “A dog has just    bitten me”?

Ein Hund hat mich gerade gebissen

This is all pretty easy, but I want you to forget it for a minute, while we play with a different system.
What we have been playing above with the German word for “this” we can also play with “ein”. So “ein” also changes to match the pronoun (he, she, it, him, her, etc), in exactly the same way as the German word “dies” did above. If you are unsure how to use “dies” revise lesson 5 above.

Let's take an example and this will become clear.

How would you say, “I have bitten him”?

Ich habe ihn gebissen

And now, remembering that “Hund” is masculine, how about, “I have bitten this dog”?

Ich habe diesen Hund gebissen

So can you work out how to say, “I have bitten a dog”?

Ich habe EINEN Hund gebissen

You see that you just add the exact same endings to “ein” as you have been adding to “dies” when you want to say “this”.

So, how would you say, “I have given it to him”?

Ich habe es ihm gegeben

And how about, “I have given it to this man”?

Ich habe es diesem Mann gegeben

So, “I have given it to A man,” would be?

Ich habe es einem Mann gegeben

If you are struggling with this revise lesson 5.

What was “to it” again?

ihm

So how would you say, “I have given it to IT”?

Ich habe es ihm gegeben

So what about, “I have given it to the girl”?

Ich habe es dem Mädchen gegeben (because a girl is an “it” in German: DAS Mädchen).

And, “I have given it to THIS girl”?

Ich habe es diesem Mädchen gegeben

And you can now say: “I've given it to a girl”, which would be?

Ich habe es einem Mädchen gegeben

If the football is “der Fussball” how would you say: “I have given the football to this lady (die Dame)”?

Ich habe den Fussball dieser Dame gegeben

So, “I have given the football to A lady” would be?

Ich habe den Fussball einer Dame gegeben

Let's practice this a while:-

If to recommend is “empfehlen” then how would you say, “can you recommend a wine to me?”?

Können Sie mir einen Wein empfehlen

And still speaking about this wine (and using schenken to mean “give as a present) say: “I want to give it to a lady”:

Ich will ihn einer Dame schenken

Did you remember to say I want to give HIM to a lady in German? Because you are talking about DER Wein.

Now try: “I sold the house to a man”-

Ich habe das Haus einem Mann verkauft

If car is der Wagen how do you say, “I just bought a car”?

Ich habe gerade einen Wagen gekauft

So again you see we are just matching the pronouns him her etc, to summarise we have

Ihn = den = diesen = einen
Ihm = dem = diesem = einem
Ihr = der = dieser = einer

But we have two exceptions, the only two illogical things you have to memorise for the entire German Case System! And to think that some grammars give over 50 endings to memorise!

We had earlier: er = der = dieser, and you would expect the word for “a” to be “einer”, but it isn't, it's “ein”

Similarly we had es = das = dieses, and we would expect eines, but it isn't, it's “ein”

So you see even this is easy, because you just have to remember not to add ANYTHING at all, which is easy for us because it's what we do in English. In fact if you remember I already showed you this earlier, and you had no trouble! Do you remember how we said “I bought a house”?

Ich habe ein Haus gekauft

And how did we say “A dog has just bitten me”?

Ein Hund hat mich gerade gebissen

So it's the same as English, and in ALL other instances the German word “ein” for the English word “a” behaves with impeccable German logic.

You also need to know that the German word “kein” (= “not a” or “no” as in no problem) and the possessive adjectives (my, his, her, your, their, our, etc) behave exactly like “ein”. We'll come back to this later.

Try making up sentences of your own until you are comfortable with all of this, before moving on to the next lesson


Lesson 7

We're now going to look at adjectives. Before we do, let's summarise what we know so far.

1)The German Noun System shows the pronoun that the noun replaces by adding an ending to the word for “the” “this” “a” “my” etc
2)The only exceptions are when a noun is BOTH preceded by ein (or kein or a possessive adjective, see above) AND replaces “er” or “es”. Here ein just stays the same...it doesn't add anything. This is the only thing in the entire German Case System that isn't logical, and that you just have to memorise

In Summary (* means “careful!”)

er = der = dieser = ein(careful!)         ;We're going to call this the ER SITUATION
es = das = dieses = ein (careful!)     We're going to call this the ES SITUATION
sie = die = diese = eine            The SIE SIUATION
ihn = den = diesen = einen            The IHN SITUATION
ihm = dem = diesem = einem     The IHM SITUATION
Ihr = der = dieser = einer            The IHR SITUATION
Ihnen = den(*) = diesen            The IHNEN SITUATION

Now, back to adjectives:

Adjectives in German follow 4 simple rules

1)You usually add “e” unless rules (2), (3) or (4) apply
2)After the verb to be you do NOTHING! Der Hund ist braun (The dog is brown)
3)If the noun replaces ANY pronoun except the original 3 (he/she/it) the adjective adds “en”
4)If the noun is not preceded by some word (such as “the” or “this” or “a”) that shows which pronoun it is replacing then the adjective has to do it

These are 4 very simple rules, but I just threw them at you all at once so it might seem more complicated than it is, so let's take them one at a time

The first rule states that the normal resting state for the German adjective is to add “e”
Think of adding that “e” as putting its clothes on. A German adjective would no more go out without its “e” than you would stark naked.

So how would you say: “the good man”

Der gute Mann

How about: “I love a bad cat”?

Ich liebe eine schlechte Katze

And finally: “I am drinking this German beer”?

Ich trinke dieses deutsche Bier



The second rule simply tells you that after the verb to be you do exactly what you do in English...nothing!

How do you say: “the dog is brown”, (try to guess brown)-

der Hund ist braun

What about, “the girl is beautiful”

Das Mädchen ist schön

OK, if you want you can imagine that adjectives are all married to the verb “to be” and so don't mind being naked around it, or that the verb “to be” is a nudist beach, whatever tickles your fancy, but actually you don't even need to, because this is REALLY easy, absolutely everyone picks it up naturally no matter HOW bad their German, and actually you have already been doing it without realising (see above!), so let's leave it there, and just forget about it.

Rule (3) is probably the hardest of the 4, but it's still not THAT difficult


to see what is happening here we have to go back to the pronouns.

Do you remember I told you that all German nouns are a “he” a “she” or an “it”?
If you look them up in a dictionary you will find them with der, die, or das. This is to show what “gender” the noun is, in other words, whether it is a “he” a “she” or an “it”.

We're going to call these 3 pronouns (he/she/it) are the ORIGINAL pronouns, they tell you what gender the noun is; and all the other pronouns (they/him/her/them etc) we are going to call the CHANGED pronouns, they tell you SOMETHING ELSE. What that something else actually IS is really quite difficult to describe, but we don't have to because the same thing happens in English, so you know this.
Whenever we have a noun that replaces one of the CHANGED pronouns the German adjective takes an “n” on top of the usual “e” to mark the occasion, think of it as wearing a little hat for dress occasions- WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS.
Let's look at some examples, to make this clear.

the brown dog sees me = der braune Hund sieht mich

Here “der Hund” is replacing “er”, which is one of the original pronouns- it tells you that dog is a “he” in German, so the adjective stays in its everyday normal form, with an “e” on the end.

but I see the brown dog = ich sehe den braunen Hund

braunen to mark the occasion of “er” changing to “ihn”

Ihn is a CHANGED pronoun, it doesn't just tell you that a dog is a “he” in German, it tells you more, so the adjective gets its little hat out to mark the occasion, and takes “en” on the end: den braunen Hund

Let's try a few more to really make it sink in

How would you say: “I see the brown House”

Ich sehe das braune Haus

(das Haus) is replacing “es” (“it”), which is an original pronoun. Nothng happens so “braune”


Here's one to think through carefully:

How would you say, “I see thebrown cat”?

Ich sehe die braune Katze

This was tricky, because “she” changes to “her” in English, but as we have seen above in German it stays “sie” (“she”), so we have an original pronoun, so braune

You should be getting the hang of it now, so the next few should be easy.

How would you say, “I am giving the dog to the small man”?

Ich gebe dem kleinen Mann den Hund

(dem Mann replaces “ihm” (to him), which is a changed prnoun, so kleinem)

and, “I am giving the dog to the beautiful Lady”?

Ich gebe der schönen Dame den Hund

(der Dame replaces “ihr” (to her), which is a changed pronoun, so schönen)

and finally (remembering that a girl is an “it” in German), “I am giving the dog to the beautiful girl” would be?

Ich gebe dem schönen Mädchen den Hund

(Dem Mädchen replaces “ihm” (to him), which is a changed pronoun, so schönen)

One last thing to be aware of, when Germas use “sie” to mean “her” it is the same pronoun, as we mentones above, so, “I love” the beautiful cat” would be?

Ich liebe die schöne Katze

Because Germans say (literally) “I see she”, so we have an original pronoun here

BUT ACHTUNG! When “sie” means “they”, or “them” it is NOT the same pronoun. It no longer means she, it means they! Another way to look at this is that it does NOT show you whether the noun is a he, a she, or an it, because ALL nouns are “sie” in the plural, we say die häuse (the houses) even though it is das Haus, and die Männer (the men) even though it is der Mann.

So how would you say, “the small men have just arrived”?

Die kleinen Männer sind gerade angekommen

here “die Männer” (the men) replace “sie” meaning THEY, and that means it is a changed pronoun, so kleinen

how about, “I love the beautiful girls”?

Ich liebe die schönen Mädchen

Here again, die Mädchen replaces “sie” meaning “they”, so we have a changed pronoun, and that means schönen

One last one, using “nett” for nice, try to say: “I have sold the cat to the nice Ladies”

Ich habe den netten Damen die Katze verkauft


Rule (4) is also really easy...it only says that we just have to carry on playing the same game we have been playing up until now, but if none of our other words are around to do it, then the adjective MUST pick up the slack, no matter what else it was doing, so this rule takes precedence over ALL the above.

The German word for beer is “Bier” and it is neuter, so we have an ES SITUATION, so now let's play our game with it: how would you say (about the beer) “it is good”

Es ist gut

So how about “the beer is good”?

Das Bier ist gut

because we have es = das = dieses etc

So how do you say, “this beer is good”?

Dieses Bier ist gut

OK and if German is “Deutsch” AND CARRYING ON PLAYING THE SAME GAME, can you figure out how to say: “German beer is good”

deutches Bier ist gut

Did you get it right. Even if you didn't, as long as you understand where the “es” came from you are doing fine- the es is there to show it's an ES SITUATION. We're just playing the same game as we have been playing with der and dieser etc

Let's try another, this time you should easily work it out (if not you need to go back to the start of the Lesson). Wine is “der Wein” so we have an ER SITUATION.
How do you say (about the wine): “it is very bad”?

Er ist sehr schlecht
And “THE wine is very bad”?

Der Wein ist sehr schlecht

And “THIS wine is very bad?”

dieser Wein ist sehr schlecht

So now: “German wine is very bad”

Deutscher Wein ist sehr schlecht


So you see we carry on playing the same game UNLESS there is already an ending on another word to show what situation we are in (what pronoun the noun is replacing), because then there would be no point in the adjective showing it too (German efficiency in action!).

An example should make this clear If I say, “dieser Wein ist gut” there is already “er” on the end of “dieser” to show it is an ER SITUATION, so if I wanted to say “this German wine is good” it would be a complete waste of effort to say dieser deutscher Wein, so the adjective just goes back to it's resting state, which is (as I hope you remember!) to add “e”.

dieser deutsche Wein ist gut.

Only one ting to watch out for. Do you remember what I asked you to memorise- the only two things you have to memorise in the entire German Case System?

When “ein” is used before a noun replacing “es” or “er” it doesn't play the game, it stays “ein”

Ich habe EIN Haus, EIN Mann hat angerufen etc

So here again there is nothing to show that we are in an ES SITUATION, or an ER SITUATION, so the adjective has to pick up the slack

So how would you say, “the good man”?

Der gute Mann

Here we have an “er”situation, but we already know that because of the “der”, so the adjective can relax

What about, “A good man”?

Ein guter Mann

here the “ein” does not show that we are in an ER SITUATION, so the adjective has to do it.
Did you get this right? Even if you didn't, as long as you got the “AHA” feeling, and understand WHY it was “guter” you are doing fine!

You should get this one quite easily (if not, you need to go through this section again).

How would you say, “I am drinking this German beer”?

Ich trinke dieses deutsches Bier

Das Bier, so we have an ES situation. Now try to say, “I am drinking A German beer”

Ich trinke ein deutsches Bier

Ein doesn't show that it is an ES situation, so the adjective (deutsch) has to- deutsches


And that's how adjectives work in German, or you can memorise 50+ endings and when to use them ha ha!


TO FINISH

1) practice kein mein etc
2) teach that German nouns add "n" in plural unless already end in "n" or end in "s"
3) show that Genitive still alive in English, not "foreign" to English speakers
4) Oddly English genitive going stronger than German
5) German names same as English names in Genitive Maria's = Marias
6) Genitive as POSSESSION case, English has two patterns: 's and "of"
7) German genitive follows pattern of English possessive adjectives his its her and their

the end

Edited by Random review on 28 November 2010 at 3:57am

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BartoG
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 Message 2 of 60
20 November 2010 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
Thanks much for this. The way you have broken things down really does feel like what Michel Thomas might have done. Now all you need are a smart student and a slow student to try this out on!
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CheeseInsider
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 Message 3 of 60
20 November 2010 at 3:54am | IP Logged 
I'll be the slow student that everyone laughs at ^_~
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Andy E
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 Message 4 of 60
20 November 2010 at 10:20am | IP Logged 
A single vote seems inadequate for the above. That is one of the most useful posts I've seen on this forum in a long time. When I think back to how I was taught this in school...

Once all is done and dusted, it would be worth turning this into a downloadable PDF. I'd be happy to host it if required rather than sticking it on one of those file sharing sites.


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Andy E
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 Message 5 of 60
20 November 2010 at 10:23pm | IP Logged 
I've just been reading through the lessons and I'm up to lesson 6...

Ich habe den Fussball dieser Dame gegeben

If there's one thing they did manage to teach in school it was PAD + NDA:

PAD = pronoun is accusative + dative
NDA = noun is dative + accusative.


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Random review
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 Message 6 of 60
21 November 2010 at 1:15am | IP Logged 
Andy E wrote:
I've just been reading through the lessons and I'm up to lesson 6...

Ich habe den Fussball dieser Dame gegeben

If there's one thing they did manage to teach in school it was PAD + NDA:

PAD = pronoun is accusative + dative
NDA = noun is dative + accusative.




Yes, I noticed that too on re-reading it last night, it just SOUNDED better to me that way. My understanding is that what you describe is the neutral word order, but that it is not mandatory, but rather by deviating from it you add emphasis to different parts (I even googled it for confirmation e.g here). To me the way I wrote the German sentence puts more emphasis on lady, which is how the English sentence sounds in my head. I did also use the neutral word order earlier in the course (e.g. ich gebe dem Mann das Buch ). Long story short, I left it in after giving the matter some thought (which is not to say I was right!). However, as I alluded to in the post, one of the disadantages of writing this before I was really ready (in terms of the standard of my German) is that I can't be sure that these sentences are correct (I know in theory that you can change the word order, but not whether the way I have done it is correct). Basically it just sounded better to me that way, what do you think? Does it sound wrong to you? This is exactly the kind of thing I need help with to make this work! Oh, and thanks for your kind offer to host a pdf, that sounds brilliant!

Edited by Random review on 21 November 2010 at 1:25am

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Random review
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 Message 7 of 60
21 November 2010 at 1:22am | IP Logged 
Hmmm, thinking about this further, I still REALLY want to know whether my sentence is OK or not (because in my head the English sentence has emphasis on "lady"), but regardless perhaps I should have stuck to the neutral word order to avoid confusing learners, under the MT principle of introducing one thing at a time. And if the sentence is wrong, or if it puts emphasis in a very unusual place then of course it will have to be corrected. If this is to work we need more of this kind of probing please guys!

Oh, and slightly off topic but have you seen the latest posts on the DLI thread? It has an amazing link, which includes (along with other brilliant stuff!) the audio (and almost all the pdfs) for the DLI Spanish course that used to be published by "The Language Warehouse"! I know your Spanish is already probably at too high a standard for using it, but now you can add the audio to those sentences you put on your srs system!

Edited by Random review on 21 November 2010 at 2:44am

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OlafP
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 Message 8 of 60
21 November 2010 at 2:21am | IP Logged 
Ich habe den Fußball dieser Dame gegeben. (ok, emphasis on the lady)
Ich habe dieser Dame den Fußball gegeben. (ok, sounds more neutral)

When the nouns are replaced by pronouns then it gets messy. In general it should be possible to change the order of the objects as above, but some combinations sound weird. If there is only one pronoun it should precede the noun:

Ich habe ihr den Fußball gegeben. (ok)
Ich habe den Fußball ihr gegeben. (sounds very strange)
Ich habe ihn dieser Dame gegeben. (ok)
Ich habe dieser Dame ihn gegeben. (sounds wrong)

If both objects are pronouns then it sounds better with the direct before the indirect object:

Ich habe ihn ihr gegeben. (ok)
Ich habe ihr ihn gegeben. (sounds strange)


BTW, the spelling "Fussball" is fine if you don't have the ß on your keyboard, but the u is long, so it really should be "Fußball". According to the spelling reform the ß was replaced by ss only after short vowels, like das Faß -> das Fass (the barrel).



Edited by OlafP on 21 November 2010 at 2:30am



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