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Now you look back at the verb. If it is a being verb am, are, is, etc. An easy way to figure this out is to write an equation. If it can't be replaced by an equals sign, refer to the next paragraph. The predicate noun is also always in the Nominative Case , so the same rules apply to it. If the verb of the sentence is an action verb playing, throwing, making, eating , find what the subject is doing the verb to.

For example, if the verb is "makes" macht , you look for what is being made. That is the direct object. The direct object is always in the Accusative Case , so it takes on the den, die, das, die, or einen, eine, ein. The indefinite articles, when you just look at their endings, select e, -, e for nominative case, and en, e, -, e for accusative. Remember, between nominative and accusative, the only third-person change is in the masculine form.

The pronouns experience a much bigger change than the articles. This is also true in English, as the articles a, an, the do not change ever, but I goes to me , we goes to us , etc. Not everything is the same, though. While me is mich and us is uns , the second and third persons undergo different changes. In third person, as in the articles, the only change is in masculine singular. Following the "der goes to den" rule, er goes to ihn when in the accusative case. The second person in English never changes.

In German, du goes to dich and ihr goes to euch. Sie , the formal version of either, stays the same. Remember, Sie 2nd person formal and sie 3rd person plural only differ in their meanings and the fact that the former is capitalized and the latter is not. This stays true throughout German grammar. Note: This is just a quick lesson in English grammar applied into German. If you already know all about antecedents in English, skip the first paragraph. When using a pronoun, you have to know what it is for it to work. There are some rare exceptions, such as in mysteries or drama, but otherwise this is always true.

Sometimes in dialogue this is taken care of by pointing or making some other gesture, but most of the time, the pronoun modifies something already mentioned. In German this is very useful. You can't simply say 'it' any more. Many food words are masculine and feminine, and when you turn them into pronouns, they turn into 'he', 'she', 'him', and 'her', not always 'it'. For example, the sentence "The cheeseburger tastes good. It's very crunchy.

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He's very crunchy. Why is it "he"? This is where the antecedent comes in. Because there are foods that are masculine and feminine in German, you can't assume the 'es'. You have to look back at the previous sentence, at the antecedent, der Cheeseburger. Of these five verbs, only trinken and bekommen are regular. Essen is irregular that's what the "I" means. Do you remember from the last lesson 'lesen' and 'sehen'? Well essen experiences the same change, except that it changes to 'i', not 'ie'.

Also, it acts the same as 'lesen' in the du-form: You don't have three s's in a row. Isst sounds and looks a lot like ist. The minute difference happens to be in the way you pronounce the s. When you mean eats it is sometimes an overstressed hissing i. In normal life Germans, too, can only tell which verb is meant from knowing the context. The last two verbs marked M are modals. They will be discussed in the next section. In the introduction , you learned that German has no helping verbs.

Instead, they have modals , words that basically do the same thing. Modals are conjugated very differently from normal verbs. Most modals experience a vowel change from singular to plural, and the rest is the same. Here is the complete conjugation:. However, will can also mean an intent or a document showing what one wants to happen.

So it is not so different from 'to want' as possibly originally presumed. This is very important. When you need to use another verb with a modal such as expressing you would like or want to perform an action , the sentence's word order is somewhat different than it would be in English. In English, you would state the subject pronoun such as "I" , an English equivalent to the modal verb such as "want" , the action you want to perform such as "to eat" and then what the action will be performed on such as "hamburger" , making the sentence "I want to eat a hamburger.

In German, instead of saying, "I'm hungry. Here are the German translations of the corresponding nouns:. Like in English, these two words do not have a plural form. When using them, you don't need to worry about the 'der'; you can just say, "Ich habe Hunger" to say "I am hungry" and "Ich habe keinen Hunger" for "I am not hungry.

Somewhat archaic but still in use are the adjectives hungrig and durstig. In Lesson 1 , you learned how to talk formally, using phrases like "Guten Morgen! There are, however, a few words that are 'survival words' in Germany, specifically:. Twice you have been taught that the ending of the indefinite article for plurals would be eine for Nominative and Accusative cases , if there was an indefinite article for plurals. Now that lesson applies. The k ein-words have the same endings as the ein-words, and they mean the opposite: no, not any, none.

For example, "kein Cheeseburger" means "no cheeseburger". Notice the 'e' at the end of 'keine'. There are many restaurants you might find in Germany. Much like in English-speaking countries, you would more likely use the name of the restaurant than name what kind of restaurant. If you want to address the wish to eat a certain food, there are two ways:.

There are few American restaurants, in Germany and they are mostly referred to as " American Diner", so it is not used like "zum Italiener". You read at the beginning of this lesson that the Accusative Case covers the direct object and the objects of some prepositions. Here are those prepositions that always fall under Accusative Case. You learned um last lesson, and ohne earlier this lesson. Up until this point, you have only worried about the Accusative Case in third person.

Here's an example:. In German as in English there are several ways of telling how food tastes. You can do this with 'gut' and 'schlecht' from Lesson 1 to say:. But this is bland. Hopefully the food has more flavor than the description of it. You can use the following words to more colorfully describe how the cheeseburger tastes:. The first and second persons really shouldn't be used. No one is going to say, "You guys taste salty" or "I taste creamy. You can use 'schmeckt' and 'schmecken' or 'ist' and 'sind' to state how the food tastes. Just use whichever one you would use in English and it'll usually be correct.

Although the English meaning of schmecken is simply to taste , "Schmeckt der Cheeseburger? In other words, schmecken alone can mean to taste good. You could be talking about a cheeseburger that is not directly in front of you. It just isn't clear. Now, if you said, " This cheeseburger tastes good. It changes forms in different situations: different genders and different cases. It can also mean 'these' when modifying a plural.

Here are its forms:. As you can see, dieser is only appropriate for modifying masculine nouns in nominative case. But 'Cheeseburger', which is masculine, is the subject of the sentence, "Dieser Cheeseburger schmeckt gut. Jeder means 'every'. It acts exactly like 'dieser' in its endings, so it should be easy to remember. Here are the different forms:. Notice the absence of the plural form. When you think about this, it's the same in English: no one says 'every books'. However, because the general subject has to be specified, welcher must be inflected before use: "Welcher Hamburger ist seine?

You might want to say 'every day', 'this week', 'every morning', or 'which Tuesday night? But to do this, not only do you need to know the jeder-forms, but also the genders of the times and the cases. The second one is easy: Whenever you do something at a certain time, that time is put into Accusative Case.

Last lesson, you learned the gender of one time: der Tag. So now you know everything to say 'diesen Tag', 'jeden Tag', and 'welchen Tag? Here are the cases of all the times in Lesson 2 :. When extending to 'which Tuesday night?

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Changing families and their lifestyles

Likewise, you can say 'every June' the same as 'every month': 'jeden Juni'. Look at the second sentence of each of these German dialogues. What's missing? That's right, instead of "Der Cheeseburger schmeckt sehr gut. We're left with just the articles, only in this case, they aren't articles. They're demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns aren't scary. They're just the same as the normal pronouns, only they give more oomph to the sentence. They can be translated as either 'this' or 'that' "I'd like a cheeseburger.


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That tastes very good. These I like. Demonstrative pronouns are exactly the same as the definite articles well, there is one change in dative, but that will be covered in Lesson 7. If you are not sure of the gender meaning in context, the speaker doesn't know, not that you've forgotten that it's 'der Cheeseburger' , use 'das', like in "Was ist das? One Euro is worth Cents.

If you say "Ich habe vier Euros. Because the backsides of euro coins look different in each country, many people in Europe have started collecting foreign euro coins. In this case you can say "Ich habe irische Euros. There is not yet a rule whether or not the word "Cent" has a different plural form. The majority of Germans are using the word "Cent" as a plural form, but when they don't it is simply "Cents". For "Cent" there are two pronunciations: you can either pronounce it as in English or you say "tzent".

The latter version seems to be preferred by older people. You can also say, " Herr Ober , die Rechnung bitte! The term "der Ober" is the waiter, but this sounds very old fashioned and is hardly ever used today. To address the waiter you would probably say "Entschuldigen Sie, The test will be located here , but the test for this lesson is not yet completed.

In fact, almost all words with the ending -chen are neuter. In every Lesson from 7 - 15 there is going to be a featured German-Speaking city, which will be the theme of the lesson. For 7 - 8 it is Berlin. Also in each lesson there will be facts, so if you ever travel to a German-Speaking country, it'll be like you are a native! That means that they are 6 hours ahead of E. If it's pm in New York City, it's pm or locally.

Please note that Germany changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U. In contrast to many other countries where waiters sometime 'live on the tips' in German-speaking countries service personnel always receive a regular wage usually per hour and the tip is always an extra for good service. Not to give a tip will probably give the waiter the impression that either service or product were not that good and you are too polite to admit this, but not tipping is not considered 'rude'.

Also, tipping is only expected when you get served, i. Only when having a large party, like celebrating your birthday in a restaurant, you do extra tipping. In many restaurants it is normal the tip is shared with the kitchen personnel. Paying with credit card or debit card makes tipping difficult, because there is no line on the bill to fill in the tip.

Always tip when paying, don't leave money on the table. There are two major shopping locations. It continues eastwards for about three hundred yards where you can visit KaDeWe , the biggest department store in Europe. Shops are generally open 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday. In the outskirts most shops close at 4pm on Saturdays.

There is a lot to say about shopping, places to shop at, money and items to buy. In this lesson we will cover most of it. There are two big shopping locations in Berlin. Another shopping location is das KaDeWe, an upscale department store in Germany. It has six floors, and Is also called "The department store of the west" Kaufhaus des Westens because it is the largest and most magnificent department store on continental Europe.

Since we already have most of the general shopping phrases and vocabulary down, we are going to get into more detail in the next few sections. First is electronics: it might seem a little sparse, but electronics and much other stuff will be featured in Lesson If you look at the word order of this sentence, you will see that you've already learned everything you need to make these sentences, and you, yourself can customize these sentences if you want.

The bedding section is also quite bare, but that is because it will be discussed further in Lesson Currently 1 EUR is 1. Even though in the vocabulary we list the 1, 2, 5, 10, Euro there are more Euro notes.

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The twenty, fifty, two hundred, and five hundred Euro notes are the ones we didn't list, also there are cent coins. In written German, a comma is used e. The reverse is also true. Where as English uses a comma to split up large numbers, German uses a dot. Now if you try something on or you're looking for a soft shirt with a tight fit, you find it, feel it, try it on, but it's fairly expensive you might say this In English: The shirt looks great! The shirt feels soft, fits tight. The shirt is very comfortable.

How much does it cost? Oh no! The shirt is expensive! In German: Das Hemd sieht prima aus! Das Hemd ist sehr bequem. Wieviel kostet es? Oh nein! Das Hemd ist teuer! Now, the bold words are verbs that are one part in describing how the shirt is. The other half of describing it is the adjectives like soft, tight, great, etc. And as you can see the verb "looks" is separable, but we will get into that later.

And now getting into verbs - here are some of the verbs, and also some of these are Separable-Prefix Verbs, like aussehen, anprobieren, and anhaben. But we will study those in more detail later. Also we will be learning about "tragen". Many German verbs change their meaning by adding prefixs, which are often preposition such as ab-, an-, auf-, aus-, bei-, ein-, mit-, vor-, or zu-.

The verbs anhaben to wear and aussehen to look are both verbs with separable trennbar prefixes. That is, when used next to the subject pronoun, the prefix is separated from the verb and put at the end of the sentence or clause. Or, better put, In the present tense and imperative, the prefix is separated from the infinitive stem.

However, when the separable-prefix verb is put at the end of the sentence, such as when used with a modal verb, the verb in question and its prefix are not separated. Instead of "anhaben" the verb "tragen" is often used. The sentences from above would then be:. The verb "tragen" has two meanings: "to wear" and "to carry".

So if someone says "Ich trage Schuhe" only the context will tell you whether the person is carrying the shoes in his hands or actually wearing them. Tragen is a different kind of irregular verb -- one that not only changes at the end of the word, but also changes internally. Other verbs with similar conjugation patterns include fahren, graben, schaffen, and waschen.

Color are also another great way to describe clothes like Das rote Hemd passt gut. Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald. Die Reise war lang. There are many banks of all kinds throughout the country. Banks are open Mon-Fri 9ampm and pm. On Thursdays, they are open until or 6pm. Changing money is best done at a bank because their rates will be better than exchange services located at a Bureau de Change.

Major post office branches and travel agents also offer currency exchange. Germany is one of 15 European countries that have replaced their national currencies with the Euro, which is stronger to the U. Dollar, but weaker than the British Pound. Home is where the heart is, they say. And what is in the home? It'll give all vocabulary for the family, and later in a different section, you'll learn how to describe your brothers and sisters or any person! And now to get started lets do some vocabulary Now even though many of these are common phrases you and I would say in everyday life, some of these are rather used when you are on a visit to grandmother's, or things your mother would say.

Maybe you notice some of these in the dialogue. Now you might be asking "How am I going to speak fluent German, if I just learn phrases? Okay let's get started on these common phrases Some very conservative families might still use Sie with grandparents or even parents! This is sometimes practiced in families of nobility or exterritorial cultural islands in which older German customs have survived.

However, using "Sie" feels very outdated to the vast majority of people. In practically every family all members use du with each other. I can't describe in words how important this section of the lesson is. Even though you have already learned to describe to some degree, here we will introduce a new aspect of describing, and we will review. But how could we describe if we didn't have vocabulary?

Here it is The verb used most often for describing is " to be " which we learned in the first lesson. Some examples are: He is wet, This is stupid, I am lazy.


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  • But you do use other verbs like feel, look, etc. This lesson we will be sticking mostly with the verbs we've learned in the past. We will, however, learn one new verb. All sentences we will create will be in the nominative case. Okay, let's get started! In term of beauty, you can say four basic things. These aren't the all but these are the easiest and simplest ones.

    These two use the verb to be , and the next one will use the verb to look which would need something else in order to make sense. And in the last sentence it says "ausgesehen. So since you get the idea of describing, let's learn a new verb! And the new verb is klingen which is to sound. As in "He sounds weird. It's works just like other verbs. Exactly like in English. For right now, that's all for describing things.

    We are going to have some small describing lessons with some parts of this lesson. Okay we just went over the verb in the previous section. This will basically be a list that will help you memorize them better, and there is not a lot. The "Er sieht aus" is to show you it is a separable-prefix verb. This is also a large section of this lesson: nationality, and it's very important.

    There are many nationalities, too many to go over in this lesson, but you will learn more nationality as this level and book goes on. Right now we are just going to have a vague little list, and as this section goes on there will be more. Finally, gentlemen, get ready to have your minds blown It is no surprise you can describe people with nationality, most times, it's stereotypical, like Norwegians are blonde, tall, etc. However you can just use it for what it is, a nationality.

    If you do describe people by nationality this will help. Okay, you should already know how to describe, right? This part we will get more in to detail later, but right it is an important part of describing people with nationality, even though in English we most times don't do this, in German they do. The difference between nationality and language, like in English, French and French. This also is how it works for nationality describing by noun or adjective, which we are going to learn right now. There are two ways to describe someone. With a noun-based nationality word or an adjective-based nationality word.

    But note that in German the noun-based form is used more often. Now we are all familiar with the word " alt' ", which means old. And in English, to find out somebody's age we ask " How old are you? In German it is exactly the same. The " alt " kind of belongs to the interrogative adverb, so in both German and English it may be in front of the verb:. To ask this important question in the 2nd person.

    First, we will learn the biggest question here, " How old are you? You should all ready get the pattern for this, but we are going to keep on doing this list, if you aren't sure of something or you are confused. So for the 3rd person Now with some people you might be able to guess their age, and you could ask them directly about it. This is usually pretty of rude, but it illustrates nicely how the phrase has to be changed if you ask a yes-no-question, so let's get started, anyway! Note the inversed order between "Wie alt bist du? Note : 'Euer' is irregular.

    When 'euer' has to have a different ending the e before r is dropped, so it turns into 'eur-'. Don't let the weird order of the words disturb you, even if the phrase seems totally incomprehensible at first. I'll try to construct this bit by bit:. Note that the "to" is already included in the German word "rechnen". This is one of the main reasons why complicated conjugations can survive, they contain information that doesn't have to be expressed otherwise then To be a little more polite or at least seem like it, since our teacher probably wouldn't take a no for an answer.

    This is another example for brevity by conjugation. Don't be discouraged, many Germans don't realize this, and many don't use the Konjunktiv correctly, if ever. This is a direct object, "Aufgabe" is in the accusative case. Because this is a feminine noun, this is not so obvious, but the structure is the same as in:. Now, we also have an adverbial expression of the place. This is an expression that defines the verb, thus ad-verbial. Note that the order expressions is widely interchangeable. You can emphasize something by putting it closer to the end of the question.

    Note that after "zu" follows the dative case, so "der" is not the masculine but the feminine article. It is often used when writing legibly on a large, visible surface such as blackboard or a flipchart. So, as you might have guessed, plus and minus are the same as in English - they are just pronounced German. The verbs "addieren" and "subtrahieren" are probably not difficult either This is also used in every day phrases, such as "mal habe ich dir gesagt Between single classes, there is usually a break of five minutes to allow teachers and students to go from one classroom to another.

    In most schools, classes such as German, English, History, Philosophy are taught in the classroom. Classes that use special equipment, such as all sciences, music and arts and of course computers and sport are being taught in a specialized lab classes. Roughly every second break is 15 minutes long, and if there are lessons in the afternoon, there's often a break of 45 to 60 minutes for lunch. This sentence sounds strange. This is, because in everyday German, sometimes the verb gehen can be left out, if it is clear what is meant.

    But since Torsten will not think Silke is going to fly there, there will be no misunderstanding. Additionally, the word "class", or "course" is missing, which is the usual way of students to talk about their subjects. Note: In English, the phrase might be "We have to go to the music room" instead of must. The German translation "Wir haben in den Musikraum zu gehen" would be understood, but is quite formal.

    Additionally, there is a connotation that the speaker distances himself from the order he is being given. Let's start at the beginning. It has nothing to do with the German equivalent of "ouch! It is reflexive such as in "I help myself", because the subject and the object are the same. Some phrases simply are constructed like this, even if there seems to be no real reason to this, and many languages know this phenomenon. The "sich" here is technically the accusative of "he, she, it" and is being changed depending on the person:.

    This is kind of self-explanatory. But "sich auf etwas freuen", literally "to be happy on something " means "to look forward to". This is a common phrase that uses the on in the same wide sense as in " on drugs", or "living on something" - there is no spatial relation here In "darauf" you recognize the "auf". The "da" is a demonstrative prounoun such as in " that place". The "darauf" is referencing the word "Musik" from Silke's sentence. So "Au ja, darauf freue ich mich schon" or "to-this look-forward I myself already" just means "Great, I'm already looking forward to that".

    Maybe it comforts you a little that the English phrase in a word-by-word translation to German would be just as unintelligible Note that adding a "glaube ich" is another common phrase, exacly as "I think" or "I believe" can be added to an English phrase. Never mind the word order, this is because Alcohol is the object, so the verb is at the second position in the text. Better not think about "under" and "right" here, which you might have correctly recognized as the word's components "richten" literally means "to correct".

    As in English, "Komm" can be used to motivate others. There is yet another contraction here "ins" is derived from "in das", meaning "in the". This lesson deals with the Christmas time in the German language countries, where you learn some traditions and vocabularies about Christmas. You'll also learn about "there is" and "there are" in German and about the dative case. Read and listen to the following dialogue between mother and daughter: Roswitha and Anja.

    Both of them want to decorate for Christmas. In Germany the advent season begins on Sunday four weeks before Christmas. It's the day where many families decorate their houses or flats, begin to bake some biscuits and start to sing some Christmas carols. One typical decoration is the advent wreath, which has four candles - one candle is lit in the first week, two candles in the second week, etc. Another tradition, especially for children, is the advent calendar that you hang on the wall. They've often got 24 doors and you're only allowed to open one a day. Most Christmas markets start in the first week of Advent.

    There you can buy some little Christmas presents, decorations, ride some carnival rides, and often drink some hot spiced wine - the children drink punch for children, listen to carolers and enjoy a warm, snowy atmosphere. On the 6th of December, German children celebrate St. Nicholas Day. The children put a boot in front of the door and wait until St. Nicholas brings little presents that are often sweets, walnuts, apples, tangerines and oranges.

    Bad children get birching by Knecht Ruprecht which is now forbidden in Germany. Pupils do a secret Santa with other pupils on the last school days before the Christmas holidays, which are often two or three weeks long. Nicholas looks similar to Santa Claus who brings big presents on the evening of the 24th of December; in Southern Germany Christkind brings the presents. Most families decorate their Christmas trees on this day with Christmas baubles and tinsel and candles and so forth. After the Christmas dinner, the whole family sits next to the Christmas tree and exchanges gifts.

    In Switzerland they call it Guetsli. The others, of course, would be useful to know for the weather forecast or when someone talks with you about weather. But you aren't forced to know Schniesel. Because many people don't know this word. We have learnt about different materials. The accusative case is that of the object of a verb. Only transitive verbs take direct objects. The pronoun and noun in two cases object in each of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:. Note the order of the pronouns in this last sentence.

    If the direct object here: ihn is a personal pronoun, it precedes the dative dir ; if it were a noun, the dative would precede it, as in these sentences:. Other uses of the accusative case in German will be explored in future lessons. Tables of the personal pronouns in all cases are summarized in Pronoun Tables.

    The dative case is that of the indirect object of a verb. The pronoun indirect object of these sentences is underlined in the German and the English:. Whether singular or plural must be established by context. This next sentence translates with ihnen as 'them':. Another use of the dative case in German is after these prepositions: aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu.

    You will be introduced to the meanings of these prepositions over many future lessons rather than all at once, because some have many meanings in English. Indeed, because each language associates specific prepositions with many common sayings and these often do not correspond in German and English , these "little" words can be troublesome for students.

    Nonetheless, you should memorize now the list of prepositions above to always remember their association with the dative case. Tables of the pronouns in all cases are summarized in Appendix 2. Word order in a German sentence with an indirect object depends upon whether that direct object is a pronoun or a noun. If the direct object is a noun, the dative precedes the accusative ; if the direct object is a personal pronoun, the accusative precedes the dative :. Er spricht mit einer fremden Frau:. Der Name St. Die Altstadt befindet sich dort, wo vom 2.

    Das Marktrecht erhielt St. Bis stand St. Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Most adjectives are stand-alone words; however, present and past participles can also be used as adjectives. Numbers are also adjectives, though they do not decline. Attributive adjectives precede the noun that they are describing, and are always declined. Learning the adjective endings is a central part to the study of German. The adjective endings are frequently one of the hardest topics for new students to learn. It is best to commit the declension tables to memory, while attempting to speak independently.

    Proper use of adjective endings, especially in speaking, will come with repeated use. They are described in the next part of this chapter. This section will make use of the mnemonic Oklahoma , which denotes the fields of nominative masculine; nominative neuter; accusative neuter; nominative feminine; and accusative feminine, which resemble the state of Oklahoma in the tables used below.

    The endings of attributive adjectives can be divided into two groups: strong endings and weak endings. The strong adjective endings are nearly the same as the der-word endings, with the exceptions of masculine and neuter adjectives in the genitive case marked in bold. Make note of the region, Oklahoma , in the nominative and accusitive cases, for weak endings.

    The principle guiding adjective endings is that a noun, when possible, should have a primary case ending. Definite articles and der-words always provide a primary case ending. Indefinite articles and ein-words provide primary case endings outside of Oklahoma. Sometimes nouns have no article, in which case adjectives provide the primary case ending. This terminology - strong and weak endings - is confusing for many students.

    As the student develops, he or she will develop an ear for case endings, and will recognize when a noun has and has not received a case ending. Nonetheless, it is worth providing the three declension tables that result from this principle.

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    Adjectives following a definite article or der-word always have a weak ending. Within Oklahoma, that is "-e", and outside of Oklahoma, that is "-en". Also dies.. Note how, within Oklahoma, adjectives take strong endings, and outside Oklahoma, they take weak endings. This is because indefinite articles provide primary endings only outside of Oklahoma.

    Also mein.. Forms of nouns without articles are rare compared to those with definite and indefinite articles; however, one must still know the strong declension. Note that the strong adjective declension is almost the same as the der-word endings, with the exceptions of masculine and neuter in the genitive case in bold.

    Adverbs based on adjectives are one of the simplest parts of German grammar. Any adjective can be used as an adverb simply by placing its uninflected form within the sentence, usually towards the end. Some adverbs are formed by adding -weise to adjectives and nouns in the plural form, and mean "regarding", "with respect to", or "-wise" in English. Construction of new adverbs of this sort is usually frowned upon. Much of the material in this section will be explained in greater detail in the chapter on prepositions. German has a complex system of adverbs based on prepositions, which are used to indicate direction of motion, location, time, and other concepts.

    English also possesses such a system, though it is used less. Consider the following sentences in English:. In both English and German, prepositions and particles derived from prepositions are treated as adverbs. In many cases, these prepositional adverbs are associated with specific verbs. In the first two examples, the italicized prepositions are used as adverbs of motion; in the first example, the word "out" indicates the direction "out of the apartment"; in the second case, "over" not only means means the direction "towards", but also implies visitation of a residence.

    The third and fourth examples correspond to separable-prefix verbs in German. The word "up" is integral to the verb, which would have a different meaning without the adverb. In the fourth example, it is not even possible to "look someone", whereas it is possible to "look someone up," or "look a candidate's resume over". English even has inseparable prepositional prefix verbs; compare "to look s. The adverbs in the fifth example correspond to da-, wo-, hin- and her- compounds in German.

    Such compounds are often used in legal texts in English. In such compounds, the object of the preposition is replaced with the words "there" or "here", compounded with the preposition. The German system of adverbs based on prepositions is considerably more rigorous, and forms the basis of a large part of the language's morphology.

    A remnant of this in English can be found when describing a child's upbringing. As in English, prepositional adverbs in German to varying degrees alter the meaning of their associated verb. Separable-prefix verbs. This topic is better explored in the chapter on verbs. Separable prefixes are themselves adverbs. As in English, many of them are integral to the meaning of the verb.

    Fangen means "to catch," whereas anfangen means "to begin". Most prepositional adverbs are treated as part of the root word in the infinitive, and are used as such in the construction of participles. However, not all possible separable-prefix verbs are lexical; "vorbeikommen" to come over , "vorbeibringen" to bring over , and so on, may not all be listed in a dictionary. It is better to learn "vorbei" as an adverb implying visitation. The German prefix in is of note. It has two adverbial forms. As in it describes location; when describing movement, it becomes ein.

    Thus, for example, darin means "in there", whereas darein means "in to there". Another example is the word, einleiten , to introduce. Hin- and her-. Prepositional adverbs of motion are usually based on hin- , implying motion or direction away from the speaker, and her- , implying motion or direction towards the speaker. Hin and her are themselves stand-alone adverbs meaning the same thing, and describe less-specific motion or direction. One example in which hin is an integral separable prefix is the verb hinrichten , which means "to execute.

    Not all verbs formed from hin- and her- compounds are lexical. Some examples of hin- and her- compounds are:. Da- compounds are also adverbs, corresponding to "there-" compounds in English. They replace specific prepositional objects. Although are used principally in legal texts and therefore sound formal in English, they are often employed in written and spoken German and are convenient replacements for long and complicated prepositional phrases.

    Their comprehension and active use are essential in German. Da- compounds are formed by adding da- before the preposition, with an "r" inserted before prepositions starting with a vowel. There are exceptions to this, and da- compounds are given a fuller treatment in the chapter on prepositions. Hier- and dort- compounds also exist in German, though they are used less frequently. As in English, they are considered formal, and are used primarily in academic and legal texts. They are best memorized as vocabulary.

    A noun is a word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or idea, that is, a part of speech. It can serve as the subject or object of a verb. For example, a table ein Tisch , eine Tafel or a computer ein Computer. What makes nouns in German special is that they must start with a capital letter in the written language. German, unlike English, has more than one way to make nouns plural, and plural form, like gender, must be memorized with every noun.

    There are twelve different ways to form plurals in German. They are formed by affixes at the end of the word, and the umlaut of the vowel of the stem. When German nouns are used in the plural, their gender becomes irrelevant. The plural can almost be thought of as a gender on its own. In the plural, the definite article is always "die" when using the nominative and accusative cases. When using the dative case, "den" is the definite article of all plurals. All plurals not ending in -n or -s affix an -n. I saw the old men as they played chess.

    I played chess with the old men. The old men's chess game was not very exciting. Although gender and plural form are often arbitrary, there exist certain suffixes whose gender and plural form are regular. They are mainly feminine. Many masculine nouns are formed by verbal stems without a suffix. Many of these receive an umlaut in their plural form. German, like many other languages, gives each noun a gender: Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter. Plural nouns also act differently not only with the verb of the sentence, but the article preceding it.

    However, not all German Nouns are randomly allocated a gender. The following notes will apply to most nouns but not all. This is derived from the diminutive form of Maid old, rarely used - Maidchen. There are far more masculine nouns than of either of the other genders. The masculine nominative definite article is der. The feminine Gender article is die.

    It is used in the nominative and accusative singular case. It is also used to indicate nominative and accusative plural for nouns of any gender. The definite article of neuter countries is only used when there is an adjective, e. The definite article of masculine and feminine countries is always used, e. As most German articles can not be attributed to certain rule, it is best to always learn the article when learning the noun. You may think of the article as necessary information belonging to every noun. You avoid a lot of looking-up-time that way. Most dictionaries do not give the article.

    Instead, you find different sets of abbreviations which tell you to which class the noun in question belongs. Note: The possessive is not a case of the personal pronoun; rather, it's a pronoun itself. This table shows the possessive pronoun's stem, which is declined as an ein- word that is, like the indefinite article "ein".

    The genitive case indicates possession or association, and is equivalent to, and replaces, the English word "of". Strict replacement of the genitive case with the word "of" maintains the word-order of the German nominal phrase: possessed - possessor in genitive. The genitive case also replaces "'s" in English, though reversing the word order possessed then possessor, vs. English: possessor then possessed. German itself also uses an "s" though without the apostrophe to indicate possession, in the same word order as English.

    It is used mainly with proper nouns, such as "Goethes Heimat", as well as for compounding words. Standard genitive constructions are used with nouns and modifiers of nouns such as articles and adjectives, and the inflection they receive implies possession. The first noun may be in any case and may occur in any part of the sentence; the second noun, which possesses the first noun, immediately follows the first noun, and is in the genitive case.

    The noun in the genitive case need not have any modifiers - e. Proper treatment of the genitive case, including all of the declensions, is found in another part of this book. German pronouns have genitive forms, but they are used only rarely nowadays, mostly in archaic or formal German. In many cases, a preposition can be added to allow a different case to be used. The possessive pronouns mein-, dein-, unser-, etc. Alternatively, one could think of possessive pronouns, for example, "mein-", as replacing the phrase, "of me".

    Directly translated, "mein-" means "my" in English. The car belongs to the friend, and the friend belongs to "him". For illustrative purposes, one could conceivably rewrite the prepositional phrase as "without the car accusative case of the friend of him". German's rendering is far less awkward. Because this article seeks to explore the heritage of Lutheran convents, and because Lower Saxony has the largest and liveliest cluster of them,8 the discussion here will focus on those. A brief overview of them with their founding dates and the year in which they became Lutheran is provided below.

    Some still wear traditional garb, eat communally, and practice a form of the canonical hours. Some have a form of prayer and work Ora et labora , and some at one time or another adapted to orders regula such as the Benedictine, Cistercian or Augustinian even if they never actually joined them. Some host a local parish as a part of their compound Fischbeck, for example.

    One has recently experimented with married couples Wennigsen. Because of this, many tourists and pilgrims seek out these convents in order to gain a personal appreciation for the heritage they possess. Stift Fischbeck alone receives 10, visitors a year. In many cases, the women are encouraged to serve as tour guides for the visitors, and some have done this for many years. The Ministry provides support for churches, convents and schools.

    The Klosterkammer is the largest foundation in Lower Saxony and it has roots going back to the Sixteenth century. When Elizabeth von Calenberg in attempted to provide titles for the convents that became Lutheran after the Reformation, she created a process through which the convents were given respect and support. When other geographical areas, e. Today the Klosterkammer Hannover has responsibility for a large number of treasures including some buildings and some 10, works of art.

    Some are of more recent vintage, primarily dating from the time after World War II. A discussion of these and other recent communal movements within the Lutheran church will be offered in the third section of this article. Lutherans in general have, historically, too often assumed that faith and discipline have no relationship to one another within the Christian life. For that reason, it may have been, some might assume, theologically necessary for Luther to call for the abolition of monasteries or convents.

    Dorothea Wendebourg, professor of church history at Humboldt University of Berlin. It is generally accepted that Luther was both a conservative and a radical reformer. Such Christian lives could be known, reproved, corrected, cast out, or excommunicated, according to the rule of Christ, Matt.

    They were justified through faith in Jesus Christ. The monastic life is a lifestyle that faith uses; it is an exercise of that faith. One of the choices open to the baptized is monasticism. Monasticism is for those who believe that this is the best way for them to complete their baptism.

    The financial revenue for the nuns in the convents depended in part on money given for prayers offered for the deceased. On the one hand, it was said that if monasticism was to be practiced according to the new Reformation understanding, there was no need to abolish it. Many convents explored the new understanding of grace and discipleship, but continued their obedience to the abbess, practiced celibacy, observed the canonical hours, and wore the habit.

    2.3 Social need

    They received communion in both kinds, they replaced private masses with petitions for the church, they ceased to call upon the saints and Mary and they rejected the permanent commitment involved in a vow. Prayers for the deceased were replaced by prayers for the living. To overcome confusion and misunderstanding, sermons by the visiting, now evangelical, priest were increased and instead of reading the rules of the Order or the lives of the saints at table, they read Holy Scripture and the Confessions of the Lutheran reformation.

    As long as the traditional elements in convent life were free of attempts to merit grace and did not contradict the Gospel, they were to be found acceptable. A Roman Catholic vistor to a convent, however, might have thought that daily activity and practice appeared to have changed little, and that all was well. At the Ebstorf Convent, for example, Canonical Hours were retained, although reduced to gatherings at 6, 10 and daily. Readings from Scripture took place at communal meals. A meal plan from still shows attention to countless fasts and festivals.

    The habit hood, collar, neck scarf, cope and apron was worn at prayer, worship and meals, and dark clothes at all other times. By the late Seventeenth Century, however, records show that indifference had set in, affecting the regularity of worship, alertness in prayers, and a positive spirit about Spartan meals and lack of comfort. In the Eighteenth Century, revitalization took place. For example, in the rule at Calenberg from , a new spiritual accountability is assumed.

    The Abbess is to assure that prayer, petitions and thanksgivings are offered every morning and afternoon for an hour. The books of the New Testament are to be read as lectio continua, not just according to preference. The women are to follow along in the prayer books so as to keep focus during the reading. Given that the Thirty Year War brought devastation to the convents during this century, new buildings had to be erected which focused on the trends of the time.

    The custom of admitting primarily women of noble birth had led to haughtiness, and a comfortable lifestyle. This was modified in the renovations. In many cases, only the abbess and senior women lived together in residence, and others lived in local communities. This was especially true for women of noble birth. In many cases, a class status similar to that of local officials was given to the women living in the community. In varying years, convents assumed social and educational roles in the community.

    This involvement in the communities came to be explained practically and theologically in the convent rule of They were all Lutheran pastors who took the leadership to provide opportunities for women to receive training, to live together in a spiritual community, and to reach out in service through education, nursing and pastoral service. I go in peace, not in worry. The women became state functionaries Staatliche Damenstifte , the convent rules being replaced by secular rules. When the Third Reich came to an end in , these policies were quickly removed because the convents had never in principle accepted them.

    It was a time of societal breakup and people were seeking alternative structures and new spiritualities. With time, during much of the Twentieth Century, groups developed profiles that had some aspects of traditional monastic life. Participants often sought freedom from traditional family structures and occupational obligations. They explored communal spiritual life with daily liturgical rhythms including worship and prayer.

    They welcomed guests to their settings in which grace embraced all. Their roots in the Lutheran church continued to shape them, but they also had their own influence on structural changes in the Lutheran church. Interestingly, the Evangelical Church of Germany EKD today includes twenty-seven such groups within its constituency, thus demonstrating a willingness to embrace new non-traditional forms rather than to exclude such expressions from the Church. There are similar groups in Denmark and in Finland.

    However, they are not as astonishing, historically, as the persistent commitment of those communities in Lower Saxony that have existed almost five centuries as Lutheran convents, and, before that, during another five centuries as convents in the Western Church. Given their remarkable heritage, and the contemporary continuing interest in the communal experience in society, one wonders what the future will hold for these convents. The discussion within the Lutheran Church as well as within the convents themselves has energized both. In a presentation to the membership of the Lutheran convents, former bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hannover, Dr.

    On the one hand, Christians are free to discover the lifestyle that completes their baptism. In considering such choices, however, it is clear that the needs of the neighbor need to be taken into account. The challenge for Lutheran convents is to maintain a constructive tension between convent and community. Vacation in a Convent Urlaub im Kloster 34 invites guests to spend meaningful time in reflection and devotion while experiencing the treasures of the convent and the neighboring areas.

    The course of the day can be organized around prayer, working in the convent garden and serving in the community. The emphasis lies on discovering how to reduce the importance that material matters play in life. The route takes one week, passes ancient churches and convents, and makes overnight stops at four of them.

    Pilgrims can travel independently, or a guided tour can be arranged. People who have no interest in prayer and meditation can also participate if they are at least open to explore what a convent has to offer. The Reformation brought about a radicalization and an interiorization of the Christian life. Just as no member of the church is exempt from discipleship, so no member of a convent merits more grace by choosing an alternative form of discipleship. It is a tradition that the Lutheran churches in Germany want to nurture. However, the English form of that word, evangelical, has a totally different meaning in English-speaking countries today.

    Therefore, the English term cannot be used to identify the church of the Reformation. For this reason, I have used the word Lutheran wherever terms evangelisch or evangelisch-lutherisch appear in the original texts. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, ,