How German Grammar Can Be Learned With Simple, Fast, Quick To Recall Techniques
Many people dream of being fluent in a new language. Achieving this is no easy task as learners do not want to spend all their time poring over grammar textbooks while trying to understand difficult conjugations. This is the same whether it’s trying to master German or any other global language. Learners are always looking for shortcuts or quick ways to memorise vocabulary and learn the structure of German grammar.
Shortcuts for Learning German
German is not really that difficult as there are some shortcuts learners can take. This makes learning German grammar far quicker.
10 Hints to Boost the Speed of Learning German Grammar
Group verb conjugations
Place rules for verb conjugation into groups which you can then apply to several different verbs.
For all regular verbs when the stem does not alter with different forms of the verb like trinken which means to drink, suchen which means to search and machen which means to make/do
Get the infinitive and take away the –en. You will have the stem left. Then to the stem add the ending:
Ich (I) which is-e
Du which is informal for you -st
Ihr which means you all and es, er, sie, which mean she, he, it: -t
The conjugation for sie, which is the formal you, wir, meaning we and sie, meaning they, stay exactly the same as with the infinitive. This rule is correct for all German verbs both irregular and regular.
Machen as an easy example
Machen is the infinitive, while mach is the stem. These are the conjugations.
● ich mache
● du machst
● er/es/sie macht
● ihr macht
● Sie/sie/wir machen
Verbs that change stems
There are verbs where the stems change in different forms. It gets much easier to recall these verbs by putting them into 3 groups:
Stem changes e to ie. Example: lessen, meaning to read:
● ich lese
● du liest
● es/sie/er liest
● ihr lest
● wir/sie/Sie lesen
Stem changes a to ä. Example: fahren meaning to drive:
● ich fahre
● du fährst
● es/sie/er fährt,
● ihr fahrt,
● sie/Sie/wir fahren
Stem changes e to i. Example: geben meaning to give:
● ich gebe
● du gibst
● es/sie/er gibt
● ihr gebt
● Sie/sie/wir geben
You can see that rules for verb conjugation are fairly similar to those found with the regular verbs with the only difference being that the stem changes in the forms for du and es/sie/er.
The verbs sein and haben
These are the key German verbs, haben meaning to have, while sein means to be. You must know these conjugations before anything else when learning German.
There is a simple method for doing this which is putting a die made out of wood or cardboard and labelling all pronouns which are ich meaning I, du meaning you, er meaning he, sie meaning she and es meaning it. You can throw the dice and say the right conjugation out loud for whatever pronoun you can see. This simple trick works wonders for verbs whose conjugations must be memorized.
What to do with Irregular Verbs
A simple answer to this question is to place them in your verb book. There are many irregular verbs that need to be learned so you have to begin somewhere. You could make up a verb book using excel on your computer but you can make up a manually created work book as well. All you need to do is to get a hand sized from a stationery store. In this you draw up with a ruler 4 columns. One is for English translations, another for present tenses, another for past tenses and the fourth for future tenses. This will suffice for you as a beginner. Now all you need to do is through using your preferred conjugation app look up the conjugations. You can add these into your verb book for easy reference. Don’t forget them as every day you should be reviewing them and a good way to do this is to say them out loud.
Shortcuts for the position of verbs
In W Fragen which are the W Questions, verbs are 2nd following a question word.
Example: Woher kommen Sie? Which means ‘where are you from?’
In a statement, again the verb takes 2nd position following the subject.
● Example: Ich komme aus Österreich, which means ‘I am from Austria.’
In any no/yes questions which are Nein/Ja Fragen then the verb is first.
● Example: Kommen Sie aus Österreich? which means ‘are you from Austria?’
A comma which splits up 2 clauses typically means the verb following comes last. When using German, clauses are split up by a comma, which isn’t essential in English. The commas need to be seen because they are like signposts as they are informing the learner that the verb following must be positioned last in the sentence.
One tip that is particularly useful in order to memorize the word order is to put a circle, box or underline or even write out the verbs using different colours in a sentence. It will help you to form an image in your mind that tends to make you feel that something isn’t quite right whenever you have misplaced a verb and gives you a prompts to position it in the right place.
These are just a few quick shortcuts to show you that the German language isn’t as difficult to learn as you may previously have thought.