Rank #1: Cases: The Nominative Case
To listen to the audio file directly on your computer, click here. Or, if you'd like to subscribe to the podcast, click the link on the top left of this blog.
Oct 28 2012
Rank #2: Word Order - Multi-Clause Sentences
Apr 05 2011
Rank #3: Past Tenses: How to Use The Perfect
Ich habe ein Eis gegessen - I have eaten an ice cream
Ich bin in die Schule gegangen - I've gone to school
You can listen to this podcast directly on your computer by clicking here.
While I was researching this podcast, I found a couple of particularly useful websites. Here are the English ones:
A description of when to use the different German past tenses:
A description of how to use the German perfect tense:
Exercises (particularly suitable for beginners) to practise using the perfect tense:
And here are the German ones (two descriptions of when Germans say you should use the perfect tense and when the simple past (also known as the imperfect tense or the preterite)):
Oct 22 2007
Rank #4: General Tips & Tricks
To listen to this podcast on your computer, click here.
Apr 05 2010
Rank #5: The Conditional - Part 2
Aug 12 2011
Rank #6: Adjectives and Adjectival Endings
Apr 05 2011
Rank #7: Word Order in a Standard Main Clause
* nominative subject,
* conjugated verb,
* accusative then dative pronoun,
* nouns with definite determiners, in the order dative, accusative
* most adverbials
* nicht – or other negation particles
* adverbials of manner
* nouns with indefinite determiners, in the order dative, accusative
* the complement, and finally
* any other verbs.
My podcast on German word order contains more information about what those terms mean, and also a more detailed version of word order. You can listen to the podcast directly on your computer by clicking here.
Apr 06 2008
Rank #8: Adjectival nouns
Aug 19 2012
Rank #9: When to Use the Perfect Tense
As a rule of thumb, Germans use the perfect tense to express the past tense in spoken German, except with certain verbs and except in certain situations. The verbs with which the perfect tense is usually not used (apart from for situations for which the perfect tense is the preferred tense) are the auxiliary verbs, modal verbs and, in Central and Northern Germany, also certain other common verbs. These are used in the simple past instead.
If you'd like to listen to this podcast on your computer, you can do so by clicking here.
I've put a list of which verbs aren't generally used in the perfect tense on my geocities site, where I put grammar tables and transcripts of the episodes: http://sites.google.com/site/germangrammarpod/past. The website also includes a table showing the information I've given in my podcasts so far about when to use which tense.
It's always tricky to describe when a tense should be used in a foreign language, and there's a lot of seemingly contradictory information out there. To compile this episode, I mainly used German-language Wikipedia:
which, slightly disturbingly, both seem to have been rewritten since I used them for information (although a native speaker did recommend the sites at the time I used them, so at least one native speaker did think they were supplying correct information as they were).
I also used the book Hammer's German Grammar and Usage (in my case the second edition). Here's a link to the fourth edition on Amazon: Hammer Grammar, although I recommend any edition of it that you can get your hands on.
I also liked the information in about.com on this topic: http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb_past.htm
Jul 21 2009