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 conversation. Don’t be shy!

Grammar question

In an early lession, there is the extra vocabulary:“Er trifft sie am Flughafen”.Yet, I don't see anyplace in levels 1, 2, or 3 where the “am” is really explained in context. The extra vocab section doesn't seem to offer grammar explanations.I'm assuiming ...

4 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - September 7, 2021

für or dative?

In Lesson 14.7 (German Cases part 2) there is a sentenceIch kaufe ein Buch für meinen Bruder - I buy a book for my brother.I think this is to provide an example of how für takes the accusative.(Different prepositions take different cases. A bit like Latin...

5 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - August 23, 2021

Accusative vs dative question

This sentence appears in Lesson 10.2:Am besten schauen sie in die Samstagszeitung."In die Samstagszeitung" appears to be using the accusative.  Why isn't it dative (in der Samstagszeitung)?  There doesn't seem to be a "change in state" or "movement toward...

11 replies - Last post by gottahaveajava - August 19, 2021

Die Woche/ Dad Wochenend

Am intrigued as to why these have different genders. Does anyone know why, or is it just an idiosyncrasy?

4 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - August 9, 2021

Placement of the conjunction "aber" in a conjoining sentence

I am aware that the word “aber” is a coordinate conjunction that does not influence the word order of a sentence, (that is, it does not send the verb to the end of a sentence). However, the word “aber” itself does not always appear in the same position wi...

8 replies - Last post by HugoM5 - August 9, 2021

Use of the german word (Scwierig)

Can I use the word Schwierig  in the phrase.Deutsch ist ein schwierige Sprache.    Please correct me in this sentence.

2 replies - Last post by HugoM5 - August 9, 2021

Use of the verb "werden"

I hope that I'm not violating any rules here by enquiring about something that was not specifically covered in this course; however, owing to the fact that my question pertains to level A2/B1 level German, I will stick my neck out!The verb “werden” is one...

4 replies - Last post by HugoM5 - August 9, 2021

in die Schule or in der Schule (Lesson 14.4)

Lesson 14.4 has the sentence Wir sind zusammen in die Grundschule gegangen. We went to primary school together.After going through the grammar lesson on the dative case I half expected it to be in der Grundschule…Can I assume that the accusative is used h...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - August 2, 2021

Flexibility in word order using "gespannt"

In lesson 23.4, we are presented with the following sentence:“Ja, ich bin schon sehr gespannt, vor allem auf die Zeremonie in der Kirche.”If I wanted to shorten this sentence and simply say, “I'm very curious regarding the ceremony in the church”, I could...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - April 25, 2021

Lesson 13.2: position of definite article?

One of the lines in the conversation is:“…dass ich die für Ihre Stelle ​erforderlichen Kenntnisse und Qualifikationen habe.” which is translated as:“…that I have the necessary skills and qualifications for this position.”Does the word “die” in this contex...

2 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - April 19, 2021

Lesson 12.4: Query re "ein Danke"

There is a sentence “Und das ohne je ein Danke zu hören.” which is translated as “Without ever getting thanked for it”.A literal translation looks like “And that without ever hearing a thanks”  (or “a thank you”).I just wondered, as I thought “a thank you...

3 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - April 6, 2021

15.3 Ich erinnere mich gerne daran, wie ich mit meiner Oma im Garten gespielt habe.

From 15.3Ich erinnere mich gerne daran, wie ich mit meiner Oma im Garten gespielt habe.I remember happily how I played with my grandmother in the garden.This is a question about daran in this sentence.In my general reading, I have noticed that da words of...

4 replies - Last post by sfpugh - March 25, 2021

Example of German genitive in lesson 12.7 incorrect?

In this lesson we have the sentence Sarah’s Hochzeitsanzeige wurde vor zwei Wochen veröffentlicht. which meansSarah's wedding notice was published two weeks ago.In English, of course the apostrophe + s denotes possession, but I thought that in the German ...

2 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - March 18, 2021

Verbs-come-second exceptions

I am trying to understand when small words & interjections at the start of a sentence get ignored with regard to the "verb comes second" rule.In this sentence it gets ignored.  You say:"Hey, du siehst ja nicht gerade sehr fröhlich aus!"...instead of "Hey,...

4 replies - Last post by RobertD50 - February 25, 2021

Error?

Der Deutsche for male and Die Deutsche female Germans? (Level 1 — Nationalities)According to other sources it's Der Deutscher and Die Deutsche.For multiple Germans, Die Deutsche and sometimes Die Deutschen depending upon a few of the whole country.Is this...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - February 22, 2021

noch immer vs. immer noch

It is my understanding that the meaning of the “noch immer” and “immer noch” is generally the same, but may have different connotations. Is this true? If so, I would appreciate hearing what the fine line is between them and an example or two to illustrate...

3 replies - Last post by PaulS108 - December 30, 2020

Use of Singular Nouns Without an Article

In lesson 21.2, we are presented with the following sentence:Es (das Haus) hat ein Doppelzimmer und zwei Einzelzimmer, Wohnzimmer mit Kochnische und eine wunderschöne Terrasse.If I break this down into 3 separate sentences, it would read:Es hat ein Doppel...

3 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - December 23, 2020

Lesson 9.11

In lesson 9.11 one of the examples is: “Dem Mann gefällt das Hotel nicht.” Why is the man being treated as an indirect object?

6 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - December 22, 2020

Making a decision. Why not "Entscheidung machen?"

In lesson 12.1, in the introductory conversation, the following sentence is presented:Aber zuerst muss ich noch eine wichtige Entscheidung treffen.  The translation is: But first I must make an important decision.The verb treffen, has already been introdu...

1 reply - Last post by PaulS108 - December 14, 2020

in mein Handgepäck

In the Lesson 9.4 sentence "Ich packe deshalb immer ein paar wichtige Dinge in mein Handgepäck," why is it "in MEIN Handgepäck" instead of "in MEINEM Handgepäck"?  It looks like to me that would be dative, not accusative.  Is the act of packing considered...

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - December 8, 2020

Word order in lesson 9.8

One of the phrases is“Können Sie mir bitte sagen wie ich dort hinkomme?” meaning“Can you please tell me how I get there?” (formal).Just wondering, why isn't the verb in the second clause in 2nd place, as normal?i.e. why isn't it “Können Sie mir bitte sage...

6 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - December 5, 2020

Conjugation of the linking verb "sein" with a subject and subject compliment

In lesson 19.4, we are presented with the sentence, "Das Thema der Ausstellung waren die Höhenmenschen." I'm confused. I would have used "war" instead of "waren" based on the fact that the subject ("das Thema") is singular, even though the subject comple...

4 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - November 16, 2020

So, why the extra words that don't seem to translate?

Lesson 11.1 starts out with the sentence: “This Hey, du siehst ja nicht gerade sehr fröhlich aus!”  which is translated: Hey, you are not looking very happy!   There are two words, ja and gerade, which don't seem to be translated so I'm curious as to why ...

6 replies - Last post by DeanC7 - November 3, 2020

5.5 Talking about Your or Mine(Grammar)

Hallo Alles, I am learning Level 1 lesson 5.5.  Have some questions on how to differ:  - ES: Sein for His/Its  with  ES: Sein "Its" - SHE: IHR "Her/Its"  with SIE: IHR "Your(Formal)  and  SIE: IHR "Their" Any idea/clue on how to differ if the sentences ...

2 replies - Last post by Linie - October 29, 2020

worden

Hi  can anyone explain the difference between worden and geworden  Thanks

1 reply - Last post by sfpugh - August 29, 2020

Articles and adjectives

In 5.8 I found it difficult to remember the Case, Adjective ending and Articles associated with one another. I then realised that the 3 separate groupings could easily be combined and made my learning easier. Thought I'd share it. It's now just a single g...

2 replies - Last post by sfpugh - August 23, 2020

Trockenen oder trockener

I just wonder if someone could clarify this for me.  In Rocket Language  Lesson 4.4 (Im Restaurant), in the dialog, Nik says ‘Ein Glas trockenen Weißwien' but in the Quiz, it says ‚ 'Ein Glas trockener Weißwein'.  One way or the other, there is an error a...

2 replies - Last post by Herbert-L - August 19, 2020

adjectives

Hallo . Have a question as follows-  It is 'der Stern' for the star  and for plural 'die Sterne' for the stars .  However in the sentence - Siehst du die kleinen Sterne? Wie schön! ... why is it 'kleinen' and not 'kleine' ? Danke schön.

3 replies - Last post by VidyaMS - August 16, 2020

überlegen

Hallo . Ich habe eine Frage .  For 'let me think' ...Mal überlegen, can we use 'Mal denken ' also ? Vielen Dank für Ihre Hilfe.

3 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - August 4, 2020

sagen vs. erwähnen

In lesson 14.3, we are presented with the following sentence: German: Matthias hat zwar am Telefon was von einer Überraschung gesagt, ... English: Matthias did mention a surprise on the telephone, ... I'm struggling with the grammatical structure "sagen...

9 replies - Last post by PaulS108 - July 23, 2020

Word Order - Grammar Rules regarding Direct and Indirect Object in the Same Sentence

In regard to sentences in which there appears both a direct and indirect object, I found online the following general rule: a) If both the direct and indirect object are nouns, the indirect object comes first.   b) If both the direct and indirect object a...

13 replies - Last post by PaulS108 - July 9, 2020

12.9 reflexive pronouns

Ich suche mir morgen eine neue Arbeit. I am looking for a new job tomorrow.   Ich werde mir morgen eine neue Arbeit suchen. I will look for a new job tomorrow.   Sie suchen ein neues Au Pair Mädchen. They are looking for a new au...

2 replies - Last post by RobS49 - July 6, 2020

12.9 wird

Ich gehe nachher Milch kaufen. I am going to buy milk later.   Es wird spät. It is going to be late.   Es wird spät werden. It will be late. I am looking for insight to help the translations above less confusing. The first example clea...

2 replies - Last post by RobS49 - July 6, 2020

Placement of the Time Element in German Sentence Structure

It's not clear to me where the time element should/can be placed in German sentence structure when the sentence contains a direct and/or indirect object. I thought that direct and/or indirect objects were placed BEFORE the element of time, e.g. Ich möchte...

4 replies - Last post by RobertR34 - June 29, 2020

Insertion of a Prepositional Phrase between the Definite Article and the Noun Phrase of a Direct Object

In lesson 13.2, entitled Das Bewerbungsgespräch, the following sentence is presented: "Ich bin auf jeden Fall der Meinung, dass ich die für Ihre Stelle erforderlichen Kenntnisse und Qualifikationen habe."  I assume that the word "die" is the definite arti...

2 replies - Last post by PaulS108 - June 29, 2020

Tun

In Lesson 4.6 If 'Ich tue' = 'I do' ​Why is 'Ich tu dir nichts' correct for 'I won't hurt you'? Why isn't is 'Ich tue dir nichts'?

1 reply - Last post by Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor - June 22, 2020

Nicht & helper verb word order

In Lesson 6.9, I'm having trouble understanding the proper word order, especially with regard to "nicht" or the specification of a time or place.  I'm not sure when a word order is incorrect, vs just one of several acceptable alternatives. ~~~~~ In the se...

3 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - June 20, 2020

Free Translation from German to English

I wish to express a certain frustration that I have experienced more than once with Rocket German regarding translations. I realise that many sentences between German and English do not translate literally, especially if the course is teaching an expressi...

7 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - June 16, 2020

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

From 18.4 Going out for dinner Ja, und als Belohnung für die harte Arbeit, haben wir beschlossen, heute nett zum Abendessen zu gehen. Yes, and as a reward for the hard work, we have decided to go out for a nice dinner today I am puzzled by the p...

3 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - June 10, 2020

Mein Bruder is schlechter als deiner.

In lesson 6.5 we have: Mein Bruder ist schlechter als deiner. Since the two items being compared take the same case, why isn't it: Mein Bruder ist schlechter als dein. In nominative case you'd say "dein Bruder," not "deiner Bruder," wouldn't you?

7 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - May 29, 2020

Mach dir keine Sorgen

Perhaps this is something that will be explained later, but in Lesson 6.1, in the sentence "Mach dir keine Sorgen," what is the subject?  My impression is that it is an implied "du," such that the literal translation would be "You make yourself no worries...

5 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - May 28, 2020

How do you say in German What can I do for you?

How do you say in German           What can I do for you?

4 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - May 25, 2020

Ich freue mich über das Wetter.

Hallo . In the sentence above , why is 'mich' needed ? Also , can not we say - Ich bin glücklich über das Wetter .  Vielen Dank.

2 replies - Last post by VidyaMS - May 24, 2020

hatte gern

Hallo . Why is that we see 'hätte  gern ' and sometimes 'hätte  gerne ' ? What does the ending 'e' depend upon ?  Because in the sentence -  Wir hätten gerne den Bericht über die Untersuchung.  And Wir hätten gern drei Stück Käse kuchen. Vielen Dank. Vidya

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - May 12, 2020

Use of mir with kaufen

Lesson 10.8 includes the following two examples: Ich kaufe mir die/eine neue Hose. Ich möchte gerne eine neue Couch kaufen. Two questions: It makes sense to me that "mir" would appear in the first sentence, but I don't understand why it doesn't appear ...

5 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - May 12, 2020

Use of auf - Lesson 10.8 Adjective endings

In lesson 10.8, there are two examples in a row that use auf. One takes the dative case and one takes the accusative case.  Der junge Mann fährt auf dem neuen Fahrrad. (Dative) Die jungen Eltern passen auf das kleine Kind auf. (Accusative) Consider add...

7 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - May 6, 2020

Lesson 9.4

Regarding Lesson 9.4: I understand the concept of using masculine pronouns to describe nouns such as "der Koffer". However, the application doesn't seem to be consistent. Early in the conversation, Matthias says, "Ich glaube, ich habe meinen Koffer verlor...

10 replies - Last post by RobS49 - April 17, 2020

Harmful English Words

hallo, I was wondering if there are any words that in English are harmful but in German could be taken offensive? just curious, Jeremy

2 replies - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - March 11, 2020

4.6: Ich tu dir nichts

In this lesson we are given the conjugation of "tun"  which starts with "Ich tue", but in the examples we have "Ich tu dir nichts" which is translated I won't hurt you.  Is that an error or an alternate form of 1st personal singular?

8 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - February 25, 2020

Use of zum vs. an den

In lesson 9.3 "Nach dem Weg fragen", the question asked was "Wie komme ich zum Friedrichsplatz?" The answer was "Nach ungefähr 200 Metern, kommen Sie an den Friedrichsplatz."  This is confusing from two standpoints: (1) I would have answered with a like-p...

1 reply - Last post by Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor - February 12, 2020

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