Sunday, 19 August 2012
Monday, 24 October 2011
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Friday, 1 April 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Monday, 5 April 2010
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Sunday, 1 February 2009
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Sunday, 13 July 2008
This podcast focuses on the most productive rules about exceptions to standard word order, the ones that have a big effect on sentence structure and apply to lots of sentences. It also gives suggestions about what approach to take if you want to be right all of the time instead of most of the time (plus a guide to the level of effort that could take), or what to do to be right enough of the time to be fully understood, without attempting perfection (learning the most productive rules). It also gives some further detail on how standard word order works.
To listen to the podcast on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
* 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.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
If anyone knows any good German learning resources, it'd be great if you could add to it too.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
It's my aim to put a podcast out every calendar month, but I won't be able to make it this month (February 2008). In part I've had a lot on (I'm getting married in May and the wedding's taking up a lot of my time), but in part the topic I've chosen has taken a lot more work that usual (even more work than the past tense podcasts). That's because the topic is word order, and it's one of the most complex grammar topics there is. I had no idea how much existing knowledge of some things you needed to understand others, before I started writing. Because I try and write my podcasts so that beginners can listen to them too, this has made it an extremely hard topic to approach.
I'm now on my third attempt to write the podcast - and I'm a lot happier with this attempt than I was with the first two, but unfortunately I still haven't managed to finish it. I've decided that instead of rushing and getting more stressed, I'm just going to turn this into March's podcast. I hope when I do manage to finish it, you'll all think it's been worth the wait.
Thanks for listening, everyone.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Basically, where you would use the pluperfect in English, you also use it in German. There's one exception to this though. Where you are referring to a situation that started in the distant past, but which is still ongoing at a point in the nearer past that you are talking about, although you'd use the pluperfect in English, in German you'd use the simple past. For instance: Since I had lived in Munich, I had been visiting him every Saturday = Seitdem ich in München wohnte, besuchte ich ihn jeden Samstag.
To listen to this podcast on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Also, I just want to point out that in Latin, the perfect tense refers to actions that have completed (are perfect) by the time of speaking and the imperfect tense refers to actions that have not yet completed or are repeated or continuous (are imperfect) - which is where the names come from. But this doesn't apply to German, which can make using these names for the tenses confusing (particularly for anyone with a background in Latin grammar) and is one reason I decided not to refer to the ich tat es tense as the imperfect tense in my podcasts.
Unfortunately, having written all that, it turns out that you can't put tables in this blog (or at least not by any method I can work out), so here's a link to the table on my grammar and tables website.
Monday, 31 December 2007
The German simple past is mainly used in written German, where it can express most past tenses expressed in English by either the I have done or the I did forms. It also crops up in spoken German, where it is preferred over the perfect tense for the auxiliary verbs (particularly haben and sein) and the modal verbs (müssen, sollen, mögen, können, dürfen, wollen) and also - in Central and Northern Germany - for some other common verbs.
To listen to my podcast on your computer, click here.
Saturday, 24 November 2007
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
Monday, 22 October 2007
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)):
Sunday, 30 September 2007
It's been longer than I intended yet again, but I've finally managed to finish another episode of German GrammarPod. This episode is about the future tense and also about the verb werden in general.
The future tense is pretty simple in German. Most of the time you can just use the present tense form. But where this would be ambiguous, you add the verb werden (conjugated into one of its present tense forms) in the same way English adds the verb will to make the future tense.
Werden also has another couple of important uses. When used as a main verb instead of an auxiliary verb, then it means to become or a related verb. It also has another use as an auxiliary verb: instead of the future, it can be used to create the passive.
Whether it's being used to form the future or the passive can be seen from the form of the main verb that's used with it. When it's used to mean the future, then the main verb will be in the infinitive. If it's a passive, then the main verb will be in the form of a past participle.
To listen to the podcast directly on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
Hello blog readers,
A couple of weeks ago, I had a request from Chris in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, asking if I could recommend any good podcasts for learning German in general. I don't listen to any other German podcasts, so I'm no use for giving a recommendation on that. But I thought, if anyone can, my listeners can.
So I promised I'd ask if any of you have a recommendation. If you do, please could you add it as a comment to this blog (along with a quick word about what level of German you're at, so others will know which podcasts are best for their level)? No negative recommendations please, so I don't get angry emails from makers of other podcasts. I'm sure there are some fantastic learn German podcasts out there, and if anyone knows about them, it'll be my listeners. So if you have a spare moment, can you list which ones you like on my blog and why? Also, if they're not in the iTunes podcast directory, can you say where people should find them?
I meant to put this request in my podcast itself, but I've just put another episode of German GrammarPod up on air, and I'm afraid I completely forgot. I will try and remember to put a request in the next one. But until then, if anyone has a recommendation, this is the place :)
To listen to the podcast on you computer, click here.
Sunday, 1 July 2007
To listen to my podcast directly on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 27 May 2007
I was planning to do another German Grammarpod this weekend, but my laptop's been stolen, so I'll have to wait till I get a replacement before I can do the next one. Hopefully that will be within two or three weeks. (I'm currently writing on a borrowed laptop, but I can't download the software I need to make the recording onto it.)
Just so everyone knows, it's my plan to do one episode each calendar month. It's easier for me to keep track like that and I seem more or less to be able to write and record them quickly enough to keep up with that time scale.
Sunday, 6 May 2007
To listen to my podcast directly on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 18 March 2007
Only singular (i.e. not plural) masculine nouns change in the accusative. All the determiners and adjectives that stand before these always end in -en. The other nouns stay the same as in the nominative.
Some pronouns also change. The most important ones to remember are ich (I) becomes mich (me) and du (you) becomes dich (you). As you can see, that means that not all pronouns change in English to mark the object either.
If you want to listen to this podcast directly on your computer, click here.
Sunday, 25 February 2007
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.
Sunday, 21 January 2007
- The first thing you have to do is click the link up in the top left-hand corner of this blog that says subscribe to my feed.
- This will take you to http://feeds.feedburner.com/germangrammarpod
- On the right-hand side, simply click Add to iTunes
- Then open up iTunes in your computer
- German GrammarPod will appear under Podcasts (you can get to that page by using the menu on the left hand side)
- Plug your iPod (or other MP3 player) into your computer via a USB port
- Your iPod/MP3 player will appear in the menu on the left. Drag episodes of German GrammarPod across to your iPod/MP3 player in the menu.
Alternatively, instead of simply clicking Add to iTunes, you can:
- Copy the web address shown in feedburner (the one on the right, under the Add to iTunes button)
- Open up iTunes
- In the menu across the top click Advanced,
- then Subscribe to Podcast...
- then add the web address (also known as a URL) to the window that appears
- then click OK
After that, it's the same as if you'd clicked the Add to iTunes button.
After I've listened to a podcast, I like to delete it from my iPod. I do that by going into the podcasts part of my iPod in iTunes, using the menu on the left of iTunes. I left click the podcast once, then click the Delete button on my keyboard, to get rid of it from my iPod. If I want it back, I just download it again from my computer, as I've got my iTunes set up to hang onto my podcast downloads unless I decide to get rid of them.
Thursday, 11 January 2007
- What is gender?
- How does it work in German?
- How does that affect me?
- Tips and tricks for working out what gender a word is
- What effect does gender have on German?
Monday, 1 January 2007
Grammar itself provides an understanding of a language that takes you from being able to parrot phrases someone else has given you to being able to use the words you've learnt as building blocks to create new sentences. And this podcast will provide you with the grammar you need to do that.