German Grammar

By taking the time to understand how the German language works, you'll be able to speak German naturally, and read and write in German. We know this can be one of the more challenging parts of your course, and we’re here to help! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new topic at the bottom. Don’t be shy!

Macht -- as in Es macht spaß

In lesson 2.2, on a tour, we see "It's good fun" in German as "Es macht spaß".   We also see "The tour will be fun" in German as "Die Tour macht spaß." Why?  Is it the word spaß?  How can macht be "good" and "will be".  I am confused.  

3 replies - Last post by Badger -
Oct 20, 2018

ist es

In lesson 2.1 it says "ist es geschlossen". should it be "es ist" (it is), or is this common practice?

5 replies - Last post by Badger -
Oct 18, 2018

würde and wären

I am struggling a bit with why a tense has been chosen (which may be more to do with my poor grasp of English grammar than anything else). One sentence is given as: "Wieviel würde das kosten?" (How much would that cost?), which I think I understand. However, the response to that question...

9 replies - Last post by Richard--246 -
Oct 8, 2018

Use of Ganz und Ganzen

When to use Ganz und Ganzen . Which is the diference ?

4 replies - Last post by RobertR34 -
Oct 3, 2018

singular versus plural verb conjugation

Why is the following verb, to be, in the 3rd person singular (not plural)? Das ist beides im Zentrum.  German Lesson 3.3

2 replies - Last post by Gay-Lynn-B -
Sep 27, 2018

The mystery of ß or ss revealed

I think a lot of people find the use of ß and ss confusing There is a good explanation of it on the German with Jenny channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvd_TfvI1po  

0 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Jul 14, 2018

confusion with "an"

I am having a problem with the use of “an”, when to use accusative and when dative. Also when to use “an” in the sense of “to” which would usally be zu , in, or nach. The following phrases are from 9.3 Fahren Sie am Hauptbahnhof vorbei und dann die Leipzigerstraße ‘runter. Nach...

2 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Mar 30, 2018

Lesson 3.3 - Going into Town

Hallo! In lesson 3.3 (Going into Town) when Nik says "Ich moechte das Rathaus und die Kirche sehen", Paul replies "Das ist beides im Centrum" Should it not be "Sie sind besides in Centrum"? because we are talking about 2 places not one. 

1 reply - Last post by sfpugh -
Feb 17, 2018

Modalpartikeln - what the heck are they?

Throughout the course I have been puzzled by words that seem to be thrown into sentences at random, but don't change the meaning such as ja, denn, mal etc. Then I came across this Easy German video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Awhco_VHWE&t=358s then I found that if you google...

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Feb 16, 2018

Ja, und als Belohnung für die harte Arbeit haben wir beschlossen heute nett zum Abendessen zu gehen.

18.4 Going out for dinner. Ja, und als Belohnung für die harte Arbeit haben wir beschlossen heute nett zum Abendessen zu gehen. I am puzzled by the function of nett  in this sentence it seems to stuck on its own and not attached to Abendessen and it has no ending like an adverb.  

2 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Feb 5, 2018

German question. Was or Wie?

I understand that this course teaches a few sentences that sound odd. "Wie ist dein name?", which SUPPOSEDLY translates to "what is your name?". If "Wie" means "how", shouldn't "Was" be used instead because it translates to "what". Someone please clear up this confusion!

2 replies - Last post by Rspring33 -
Jan 9, 2018

"an" in these sentences

Hey there, would anyone be able to shed some light on this?  What does the "an" suppose to represent in these sentences.....Können Sie sich an mich erinnern or Erinnern Sie sich an mich? (Do you remember me/can you remember me) I understand when they are separated as in a separable verb but on...

2 replies - Last post by Grant-K1 -
Dec 28, 2017

why ist es instead of es ist

In lesson 2.1 Die Touristeninformation ​Why do we say  ist es instead of es ist. "Ja, aber heute ist es geschlossen" instead of "Ja, aber heute es ist geschlossen"  Thanks

3 replies - Last post by Grant-K1 -
Dec 23, 2017

12.3 die hochzeit

Hello,  why in the sentence (geht es mit dem Fotografen zum Schlosspark) did we use (geht es) to refer to "we are going" instead of (gehen uns/wir) ??

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Dec 14, 2017

Adjective endings

in 10.8, there is an example sentence (Ein alter Mann fährt mit dem Rad) this is (1. indefinte) (2.singular) (3.masculine) (4.nominative) yet in the tutorial example there is no extra ending to ( Ein Rotwein ) so why is there a (er) at the end of (alter) when it should be plain (alt) ???

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Nov 28, 2017

Der Hund des Nachbarn bellt viel - why is Nachbarn not Nachbarnes?

I've just been looking at the genitive case and read the rules about endings - el, er, en or ending in a vowel taking an s ending while vowels ending in a consonant take es. So I'm a bit confused at why in the following statement why the word Nachbarn does not have an es ending as it is...

4 replies - Last post by CraigM12 -
Nov 22, 2017

9.4 Lost luggage

Earlier in the same lesson I learned that matthias refered to (Koffer) as (er) given it is a masculine in (er ist nicht da) then sandra later refered to it as (ihn) in (Können sie ihn beschreiben). why haven't we remained consistent in the following sentence in the same lesson and begin the...

8 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Nov 14, 2017

Ich möchte gerne 1 Stunde lang das Internet benutzen.

From 21.1 Ich möchte gerne 1 Stunde lang das Internet benutzen. I would like to use the Internet for 1 hour. In this phrase the tutor clearly says eine Stunde which seems correct as Stunde is feminine . Yet the only way to score 100% with the speech recognition is to say ein Stunde. It seems...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Oct 24, 2017

Absicht v Zweck

The words Absicht and Zweck appear in the course, but they seem to mean much the same thing - purpose or intention. Is there any difference in the way they are used? I noticed that Langenscheid also gives cause as an additional meaning for Zweck.

2 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Oct 13, 2017

Ich mach doch nur Spaß.

From 15.2 Ich mach doch nur Spaß. I'm only joking. Should this be mache?

6 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Oct 10, 2017

Lassen Sie uns doch auf unseren exzellenten Koch anstoßen?

From module 21.1: Lassen Sie uns doch auf unseren exzellenten Koch anstoßen. I don't understand why this sentence contains  Sie and not wir, I put the sentence into Duden's checker and it didn't like Sie but accepted wir. http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibpruefung-online  

17 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Sep 19, 2017

Der Bruder eines/des neuen Nachbarn arbeitet bei Mercedes Benz.

 I am confused by this sentence from 10.8 on adjectives. Der Bruder eines/des neuen Nachbarn arbeitet bei Mercedes Benz. The new neighbor's brother works for Mercedes Benz. My problem is "eines/des neuen Nachbarn" Leaving aside that there is no hint that eines/des alternatives are...

2 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Sep 15, 2017

Nur wegen einem lächerlichen Strafzettel.

I am confused by the following sentence which appears in 11.1 Nur wegen einem lächerlichen Strafzettel. And all because of a ridiculous ticket. I thought wegen takes the genitive but einem lächerlichen Strafzettel. appears to be dative?

5 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Sep 15, 2017

Bis take accusative but what about Bis zum Morgen grauen

In module 20.5 there are some examples of prepositions that take the accusative. But the first example is this: Bis / Bis zum Morgen grauen Until / Until dawn Isn't zum short for zu dem - dative? What is going on here?  

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Aug 14, 2017

Use of the esszet

Does anyone know if there is any underlying logic as to when the esszet is used in German as opposed to the double ss?  I find it confusing to remember in the Write It part of Rocket German which way a word is spelled.  For example, weiß and wissen.  It is also confusing that the spelling...

4 replies - Last post by Graeme -TE1q -
Aug 4, 2017

Das Thema der Ausstellung waren die Höhlenmenschen.

I am puzzled by the grammar in this sentence: Das Thema der Ausstellung waren die Höhlenmenschen. The theme of the exhibition was cavemen. Why "waren" the subject appears to be "das Thema" (singular), or is it "die Höhlenmenschen" (plural).

8 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Jul 29, 2017

Hallo Matthias, wie war ihr Segelausflug?

Hallo Matthias, wie war ihr Segelausflug? This sentence comes in 19.3. I am pretty sure that Sabine says dein not ihr. Which is right? I notice that later on she uses "du" when speaking to Matthias

0 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Jul 25, 2017

Deine Mutter darf der Mann trotz ihrer Art nicht beleidigen!

I don't get this sentence from 14.8: Deine Mutter darf der Mann trotz ihrer Art nicht beleidigen! It is translated as: Your mother shouldn't /may not be insulted by the man in spite of her ways! Shouldn't der Man be dative?

3 replies - Last post by sfpugh -
Apr 12, 2017

In die Schule vs. zur Schule

What's the difference between Fährt er dich zur Schule? and Fährt sie dich in die Schule? The translation appears to be the same (Module 5.5).  "Does he/she drive you to school?" Danke :) -Jordan

3 replies - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Feb 26, 2017

Besichtigen vs. Besuchen

Can someone describe the differences in usage between besichtigen and besuchen? I just want to make sure I use them correctly.  Thanks, Jordan

1 reply - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Feb 10, 2017

3.5 Verbs for the word want

In lesson 3.5  Peter möchte länger im Urlaub sein -> Peter wants to be on holidays for longer.  Previously möchte has been used for would like. I would like to know why either wollen or will are not used for the verb want.  

5 replies - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Jan 20, 2017

ein vs eine vs einen

Could you please kindly help explain using the below ein / eine / einen ? How to use them in the various situation ? ein Taxi eine Pause einen Kaffee / einen Tee Thanks

1 reply - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Jan 18, 2017

Habe ich viele Fehler gefunden?

Why are all the "it" references in the Neuter (es) when they should clearly be in the Masculine - männlich (er, ihn, oder ihm) or the the Feminine - weiblich (sie oder ihr)?  Case in point,  in Einheit 3.1, Auf der Autobahn, Paul sagt, "Der BMW ...". Nik sagt, "Ja, ich sehe Ihn.  Der ist...

4 replies - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Nov 18, 2016

Why Warmes "W" is in upper case?

Sentence "Ich will etwas Warmes zu essen" Why is the character "W" in Warmes in upper case ? Thanks.  

1 reply - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Sep 25, 2016

Why is it Dem?

Hi just came across this sentence. "Sind Sie mit dem Hotel zufrieden?"  Why is it dem in stead of das?  Dunke!

5 replies - Last post by David K -
Sep 4, 2016

kennen vs. wissen

3.8 Did you know? The example shows: "Ich weiß viel über amerikanische Geschichte." (I know lots about American history.) However, the explanation says: "...When referring to knowledge about a subject that you know well, or something you are familiar with, and places kennen is...

6 replies - Last post by David K -
Aug 17, 2016

Is the word order in this clause correct in exercise 10.2

At first I thought this was an error for a (denn) clause which I thought kicked the verb to the end of the sentence.  But, as I write this question, i'm almost remembering a rule about independent clauses like this one retaining natural word order?  Because denn is not capitalized i presume it...

0 replies - Last post by David K -
Aug 14, 2016

Is the word order in sentence an error?

I am confused that the second clause is ordered "habe aber."  Should the conjunction "aber" come first then followed by the verb which should be in second position?   Ich bin in Stuttgart geboren, habe aber die meiste Zeit meines Lebens in Hamburg gelebt. I'm was born in Stuttgart, but lived...

0 replies - Last post by David K -
Aug 4, 2016

why ist es instead of es ist

In lesson 2.1 Die Touristeninformation ​Why do we say  ist es instead of es ist. "Ja, aber heute ist es geschlossen" instead of "Ja, aber heute es ist geschlossen"  Thanks

1 reply - Last post by David K -
Aug 4, 2016

In 7.6 Why is "Is that your suitcase? (polite) Ist das Ihr Koffer? the suitcase not in accusative case?

Is that your suitcase? (polite) Ist das Ihr Koffer? Google translate confirms your answer is correct but this confuses since Der Koffer is masculine the answer implies Der Koffer is in the nominative case in this sentence while to me it seems like it is in the accusative.  Is it not the...

4 replies - Last post by David K -
Aug 2, 2016

Kein vs Nicht

Guten Tag! Ich habe eine frage, bitte.... What is the difference between using "nicht" and "ken"? Can they be used interchangeable? Example: Ich bin nicht müde  --could you use "kein" here? I understand that kein can be used when there is an indefinite article, but there are lots of...

6 replies - Last post by David K -
Jul 30, 2016

Is "Der" "that" in this sentence?

Hi there, in this particular sentence, is "der" supposed to translate as "that" because it seems to me that it does. I've noticed in other sentences it does seem to translate as "that" which is confusing to me Ich wohne leider nicht am Meer, aber die Gegend aus der ich komme...

2 replies - Last post by Grant-K1 -
Jul 22, 2016

4.3 Is this a mistake?

How do you say "a table (m) for two" in German?   ein Tisch für zwei Personen  eine Tisch für zwei Personen  einer Tisch für zwei Personen  einem Tisch für zwei Personen In the lesson it is: "einen tisch fur zwei personen".  So, what's the correct answer?

3 replies - Last post by errant-italian-knight -
Jul 15, 2016

asking about a past event

Many examples show to to ask "would you like" but how do you ask a question in the past tense, for example,  "did you like going to the movie with ...."

1 reply - Last post by Paul-Weber -
Jul 14, 2016

"hat" and "ist"

"Im Mund hat alles gejuckt und meine Zunge ist angeschwollen" (I had an itchy sensation in my mouth and my tongue was swelling) Can someone please help me out with getting a grip with sentences like these? I can't seem to understand the "hat"in sentences like these ones. Also the "ist" as...

2 replies - Last post by Grant-K1 -
Jul 13, 2016

"ab" and "nach"in this sentence

An der großen Kreuzung biegen Sie dann nach rechts ab. In this sentence, what does the "ab"mean? I don't think it is meant to split off Oh by the way, while we're at it, what is "nach"there for as well? I know "nach"can mean "turn" but I thought "biegen"was there for that? There are times...

5 replies - Last post by Grant-K1 -
Jun 22, 2016

Warmes

In the sentence Ich will etwas Warmes zu trinken, why is Warmes capitalized?  I thought warm was an adjective and 'twas is a pronoun.  Doesn't warm modify something?

0 replies - Last post by ksfarmer -
Jun 7, 2016

Written Resource

While going through 1.2, Nik mentioned that we can learn more about the uses of die, der, and das by looking at the written resources or something like that. I have looked and maybe I'm just missing it, but does anywhere know where that resource is? 

2 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages -
Jun 3, 2016

Humour in lessons

Hi all If anyone fancies some humour in their lessons check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/comedy there are some humorous videos of Henning Wehn giving some german lessons also lots of other info and language courses mike

1 reply - Last post by errant-italian-knight -
Apr 19, 2016

an?

Hi, please tell me the purpose of "an" at the end of sentences such as....Ich rufe morgen an According to GT, "an"means to, at, on, by I'm wondering if it's a filler or just a German quirk that we just have to accept

7 replies - Last post by Fred-C14 -
Apr 14, 2016

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