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German Grammar

German, like all languages, has rules and exceptions. So long as you don't take exception to the rules, you should be alright!

dass, daß oder das?????

Although still common, and definitely stylish and special, the alte Rechtschreibung character ß [HTML: (&)szlig;] has been deemed unsuitable for dass. Pity, but, mind you, a lot faster to type..

Ich weiß, dass er Deutsch gut sprechen kann.

Much confusion exists in the use of the single or double s, as in das or dass?

das is an article (like English the) or a pronoun (like English who, which and that) for a independent relative clause (non-essential information for understanding the sentence). das can be substituted by welches, dieses or jenes

dass is a conjunction, and starts an object clause.

Before (or while) you panic, some examples:

Ich trinke das Wasser, das ich in meiner Flasche habe.

Ich weiß, dass er Deutsch gut sprechen kann.

Quick check: Ich trinke das Wasser, welches ich in meiner Flasche habe. That works. Solution: das.

Ich weiß, welches er Deutsch gut sprechen kann. That does not work. Solution: dass. Was weiß ich? Ich weiß, dass .....

Das habe ich schon gewußt.

das is used for the neutral demonstrative pronoun. In this case, das can be replaced by diesjenes.

Dass ich schon gewußt habe, freut dich sehr.

dass ich schon gewußt habe is the subject of the main phrase: 'Etwas freut dich sehr.' Wer oder was freut dich?

Compare:

Ein Mädchen, das sehr jung war, hat seiner Lehrerin einen Apfel geschenkt.

Das Geschenk, dass das junge Mädchen seiner Lehrerin geschenkt hat, war ein Apfel.

Bindestrich.

German nouns which have multiple parts use hyphens. e.g. Das New-York-Erlebnis war sehr schön.

Imperative

The imperative in German exists for all three second person forms: du, Sie, ihr

  • Sie form: invert the verb and pronoun
  • Lesen Sie mehr um Deutsch gut zu lernen!

    Exception: Seien sie ruhig bitte!

  • Du form: like the second person but without the ending and without the pronoun:
  • Lies mehr um Deutsch gut zu lernen! Iss mehr Frucht!

    Exception: Sei ruhig!

    Verbs that end in d, t, ig, m, n: retain the e: Antworte mir bitte! Öffne das Fenster!

    Irregular verbs: without the umlaut. Gebt mir eure Hausaufgaben! Seid vorsichtig!

    Content © Andrew Bone. All rights reserved. Created : October 1, 2015 Last updated :June 7, 2016

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