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How To Say “I’m Sorry” In German

It is always hard to say sorry. Having to say sorry in another language makes the task even harder. “Es tut mir leid.” This is the standard sentence for an apology. You can use it in all situations, private and public. The impersonal subject, “es” gives the sentence a universal meaning. “Es” does not refer to the person […]

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Telling (Or Guessing) The Time In German

Children learn reading the time in kindergarten. But sometimes there are regional variations that hinder even native speakers from understanding each other. In Germany, you can notice such a borderline, running south from Brandenburg to Bavaria. One thing fortunately always remains the same: the official time. When in doubt, always use the official time. The Official Time – […]

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How To Say “I Love You” In German

A look, a smile – and it simply happens. You’ve fallen in love. But the beloved understands only German. How can you say that you are in love? German culture – May I Say That I Love? In Germany, it is socially acceptable to talk about love. You can confess your feelings to the person you love. […]

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Verbs With An Accusative Object

One of the most difficult questions in German Grammar is to decide whether a verb has an accusative or dative object. There are no rules. Example: Ich frage ihn. (accusative) – Ich antworte ihm. (dative) Ich treffe ihn. (accusative) – Ich begegne ihm. (dative) Mostly Accussative … Fortunately, most German verbs have an accusative object. Example: bauen […]

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When Is My German Appointment? Letzte Woche, Diese Woche

Three German-speaking mothers are waiting for their children’s choir rehearsal to end. They talk about the date for the next concert which was announced in the music teacher’s last letter. “Im Brief steht, dass der Auftritt nächste Woche ist”, says one mother. “Aber letzten Dienstag, hat er gesagt, dass der Auftritt diese Woche ist”, contradicts another […]

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My Old German Dictionary And The New Rules Of Writing Correctly

If you have learned German before 1998, you have perhaps noticed many errors in newer German texts. This is neither on account of your memory of the German spelling nor of a lack of education in young people nor even on account of the superficial medium internet. Since 1998, the German spelling has seen several […]

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Dass Or Das? The Easy Way To German Subordinate Clauses

You can hear no difference but you write them differently: das and dass. Fortunately,dass is only used as a subordinate clause-conjunction. But das can start a subordinate clause, too. Example: Sie sucht das Handy, das ihre Freundin bei ihr vergessen hat. Ihre Freundin glaubt, dass sie ihr Handy vergessen hat. Das – Everything Is Relative When the word […]

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German Umlauts In Dictionaries and Alphabetical Lists

Languages have different sounds. Even languages that use the Latin alphabet sometimes need special characters to express special sounds. Special sounds in German are the umlauts ä, Ä, ö, Ö, ü, Ü. 1. Umlauts At The Beginning Of Words Only a few words begin with an umlaut. These words have no separate section in the dictionary as […]

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One For Two: Compound Verbs

You can take two German words and use them to create one new word. Such compound words allow speakers to make up new words other speakers can understand although they have never heard these words. Compound verbs are similar to separable verbs and inseparable verbs. How Do You Create A German Compound? A compound word […]

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To Request Or To Order: The Difference Between “Antrag” And “Auftrag”

The two words are very similar, so it is easy to confuse them: der Antrag (pl. Anträge) and der Auftrag (pl. Aufträge). The distinction is nevertheless important for everyday life in German speaking countries. Der Antrag – An Official Request Der Antrag (pl. Anträge) is an official request. You submit an application either at a […]