German/Q&A

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German Lessons: 50%.svg Level I50%.svg Level II25%.svg Level III00%.svg Level IV00%.svg Level V

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GrammarAppendicesAbout (including print versions) • Q&APlanning

Welcome to the German Questions and Answers page.
Feel free to post any questions you have while learning or encountering German. Please sign and date your entries by inserting -- ~~~~ at the end.
If you have questions about this book, post them on the German discussion page
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Ask a question!

Pronounce[edit]

Q:How do you say German ß

A: The symbol is equivalent to "ss". See Eszett.

A (revised): To make it more clear on the pronouncion part, it is pronounced like the ending of "nice."

Pronouncing 'ch'[edit]

How do you know when to pronounce 'ch' as shh or as hhhhhc? -- 17:55, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

A lot of the time, when you have sch, it makes a shh sound. Otherwise, it is mostly hhhhhc. There are exceptions though. -- 16:28 EST, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

A (revised): The hhhhhc is after a, o, u, au. The shh is after e, i, ä, ö, ü, äu, ei and i.e. However the real "sh" sound is made by sch. -- Je suis 05:19, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I (as a native speaker) never pronounce "ch" like shh and I always pronounce "sch" like sh. In some local accents "ch" is pronounced like "sch" but those are local accents. There are differences in the pronunciation of "ch" depending on the vowel before it but my advice would be not to worry about it. --Martin Kraus (talk) 18:28, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

How do you write <ß>?[edit]

Could someone point me in the direction of an article explaining how to handwrite <ß>? I don't know how to make <ß> look different from <B>. Thanks!

A : On Windows/PC use Alt+225 using numeric keyboard. -- AwenStormFool 11:19, 06 October 2006 (UTC)

This might help - Rappo 16:07, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

A when writing "B" I beginn with a vertical stroke at the top and stop at exactly at the line. Then the right part is added, beginning again at the top. The result is a bit edged. "ß" starts at the bottom (some mms below the line, that's probably most important), and is then drawn without any stop, what makes it look curvy at the top. You can see this very cleary in these pictures:

PressoAlla.JPG

Gruesse-Schneidler-Legende.png

hope that helps... --Tigerdrake 18:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC) (German native speaker)


A There is a second way to write this. Here you have a picture of this one:

Handwrote german ss.png

Do you have any good links to help with improving reading/listening skills?[edit]

In http://ilovelanguages.com/index.php?category=Languages%7CBy+Language%7CGerman you have directory of resources for the German language. If you don't find them useful, try asking in a language forum like unilang.org or performing a google search with terms you expect to appear in the results (eg, add "grammar" or "excercises" or whatever)--Pfc432 04:06, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

could you give some indication of time phrases?[edit]

Q: I know there is a note about where time is placed in a sentence, but what case are time phrases usually given in? And what about 'seit' ?

A: In a sentence, time can be placed wherever you want. However, it's customary to use the order Temporal, Kausal, Modal, Lokal, when you have more than one complement in a predicate. In that case, the first complement should be the on indicating time (eg. Ich bin gestern nach München gefahren. instead of 'nach München gefahren gestern').
Time phrases are usually given in Akusativ. Eg, Jeden Tag gehe ich arbeiten.
The preposition Seit always requires Dativ. So, we say: Seit einem Jahr besuche ich die Wikipedia.
Hope this helps. --Pfc432 04:03, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Translations[edit]

Q: Is there anyone who can maybe tell me a few tiny German phrases? As in writing, how do you say "Shh!" or "Hahaha!" ??? I know they differ in languages. Danke! <3 -t

A: In German you also use "Hahaha" to signify laughter. Alternatively, it could also be "hehehe", or a more giggly "hihihi", or a Santa Claus-y "hohoho", depending on the specific sound of the laughter you want to emulate. "Shh!" (as in telling someone to be silent) can be "Sch!" (sounds the same) or "Psst!". "Shh" to soothe someone is also "Sch" in German. 217.95.246.44 (talk) 21:14, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
"er" is "äh". "um" is "hm". "uh-huh" is "aha". "oh" is "o" or "oh". "ah" is "ah" (but for disgust you would use "äh" or "bäh"). "phew"/"whew" is "puh". --Martin Kraus (talk) 18:22, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Standard pronunciation[edit]

Q: In what city (area) of Germany do they speak the most "prestigious" form of German in terms of pronunciation? I'm thinking about moving to German for a short while to master the language but I don't want to get stuck with some local accent? I mean something similar to English RP. --81.15.33.134 (talk) 04:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

A: I think the city of Hannover might be a good place to avoid strong local accents. --Martin Kraus (talk) 18:03, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Article of Dienstagnacht[edit]

Q: What is article of "Dienstagnacht"? --41.232.176.138 (talk) 13:17, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

A: Your answer can be found here: Connection with Time. Nacht is feminine, so it is die Dienstagnacht in the nominative case.-- Neet (talk) 13:09, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

akkusativ and dativ[edit]

Q: Give a brief explanation about akkusativ and dativ. (unsigned comment by 122.183.232.130) 14:30, 03 March 2010 (UTC)

A: This might be what you are looking for. German/Grammar/Cases. Regards, Recent Runes (talk) 19:37, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Practice writting skills[edit]

Q: Hello, do you know where can I practice my written German. I can speak pretty well by now, but when I write I make tons of grammatical mistakes. I believe that it is a matter of practice. What would you recommend I do?

Thanks for your time and the great reference source.

Nina.

A: Try internet communities like http://livemocha.com, http://www.correctmytext.com, http://lang-8.com, http://www.babbel.com, http://www.busuu.com, or search for web sites to find a language partner who tries to learn your native language (this is also called tandem learning). --Martin Kraus (talk) 18:09, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

please translate to english[edit]

Franz Ich heiße Franz. Danke Herr Schwarz. Ich bin spät dran.

Herr Schwarz Bitte, Franz. Ich bin auch spät dran. Bis später!

Franz: My name is Franz. Thanks, Mr. Schwarz. I'm late.
Mr. Schwarz: You are welcome, Franz. I'm also late. See you later.
--Martin Kraus (discusscontribs) 14:51, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Why Not Accusative?[edit]

In sentences like this: Dann steht Mutti im Zimmer. I see that Zimmer stands in dative (in dem Zimmer), and I am really confused. Shouldn't it stand in accusative, because it is the direct object of the sentence?

Accusative and dative don't always correspond to direct and indirect objects. For example, "lehren" (to teach) takes two accusative objects: jemanden etwas lehren (to teach someone something). In principle, you have to learn for every verb whether it is used with accusative or dative object(s). In the case of locations, the general rule is that dative is used for positions (in the room: in dem Zimmer) and accusative is used for directions (into the room: in das Zimmer). Hope that helps. --Martin Kraus (discusscontribs) 20:50, 20 November 2013 (UTC)