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WRITTEN BY

Jonas @howwedu


CATEGORY

German

 

Did anyone ever tell you that German is incredibly difficult? First of all, we believe that with the right method you can learn any language easily. But actually, learning German is easier than you might think.

1. The incredible all-round present.

In German, you’re never doing anything, you just do it: There is no present progressive, there’s only one, simple present! And although there technically is a future form, it’s practically never used (except for some interesting exceptions). We just use the present as well! Yes: For the will future, the going-to future, for everything! So learning the German simple present is really useful and a rewarding experience for every German learner. Plus, you can also use it when you tell stories in the past. Not for facts like: “Yesterday I went shopping.”, but if you have a story to tell like: “You won’t believe that! Yesterday I went shopping, nothing special, but then I went to this café in Schiller Street and guess who I met there? … J. K. Rowling!” using the present here is totally alright and even adds some drama to what you want to say. (Literal translation: (try to only read the bold words to get an impression of German Grammar without being confused by the German words) „DasThat glaubstbelieve duyou nichtnot! GesternYesterday geh’go ichI einkaufenshop, nichtsnothing besonderesspecial, aberbut dannthen geh’go ichI inin diesesthis Cafécafé inin derthe SchillerstraßeSchillerstreet undand rateguess malonce, wenwho ichI dathere treffemeet: … J. K. Rowling!“)

2. The unbelievably easy past tense.

While learners of English often complain about choosing the right past form (is it “I went” or “I was going” or “I have gone…?” or …), German can - again - be pretty straight forward. In colloquial spoken German, especially in South Germany, it's common to use only the perfect (Ich habe gekauft), except for auxiliaries like sein (be), haben (have), wollen (want)… and some very common verbs like wissen (know) that appear in a different past form (Präteritum).

3. Handy adverbs.

Compared to the universality of the German Präsens (present) and Perfekt (close to the English present perfect in forms), this is not really a big thing, but it’s good to know that basic adjective and adverb forms are the same in German! You’ll never worry whether it’s easy or easily, whether something sounds good or well, it’s always easy and good!

To be continued…

Best wishes

Jonas

Image attribution: Johan Viirok https://www.flickr.com/photos/viirok/3896309393

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