Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Learn German Together - Lesson 5 (Grammar)

Ok. Time for some grammar.
This is in response to a comment here.

We will only focus on verb forms in present tense only.

First the easy past. Notice how the verb changes.

gehen = to go (called the infinitive form)

ich gehe --------- I go (it took me a while to realise that there is no present continuous tense in German language. "I am going" is same as "I go"

du gehst --------- you go
sie/er/es geht ---- she/he/it goes
Sie gehen -------- you go (formal you)
wir gehen -------- we go
ihr geht ----------- you (plural, informal) go
sie gehen ---------- they go

Ok! now for confusion points. You (formal), she, they are "Sie", "sie" and "sie" in German. In other words, identical in spelling and pronounciation. Note that for "you" (formal), "Sie" is written with a capital "C".

She (=sie) is easy to make out as the verb has a different form. However, the formal you (=Sie) and they (=sie) take the same verbs. The only way you can make out the difference is by context. I have also commented on this in Lesson 0.

Let's now go to some other verbs. Another example of a verb that is similar to "gehen" (see above).

trinken = to drink
ich trinke --------- I drink
du trinkst --------- you drink
sie/er/es trinkt ---- she/he/it drinks
Sie trinken -------- you drink (formal)
wir trinken -------- we drink
ihr trinkt ----------- you (plural, informal) drink
sie trinken ---------- they drink

Prost! (Cheers)

Now for some irregular verbs. These are irregular because they do not take the normal form. These have to be learnt as we go.

essen = to eat
ich esse --------------- I eat
du isst --------------- you eat
sie/er/es isst ---------- she/he/it eat
Sie essen ------------- you eat (formal)
wir essen ------------- we eat
ihr esst ---------------you (plural, informal) eat
sie essen -------------- they eat

Here are the two most used verb: sein (to be) and haben (to have). Unfortunately "sein" is highly irregular. Fortunately, its English equivalent "to be" is also irregular. Does that make things easy?

Here we go.

sein = to be
ich bin ---------------- I am
du bist --------------- you are
sie/er/es ist ---------- she/he/it is
Sie sind -------------- you are (formal)
wir sind -------------- we are
ihr seid -------------- you (plural, informal) are
sie sind -------------- they are

haben = to have
ich habe ---------------- I have
du hast ----------------- you have
sie/er/es hat ---------- she/he/it has
Sie haben -------------- you have (formal)
wir haben -------------- we have
ihr habt -------------- you (plural, informal) have
sie haben -------------- they have

Now, to address Madhu's problem.

When there is an auxiliary verb in the sentence, like möchten, the main verb goes to the end, and takes the infinitive form.

Ich gehe dort - I go there
Ich möchte dort gehen - I would like to go there.

Pronounciation key:

gehen -- gay-hen
gehst -- gay-st
geht -- gay-t
trinken/trinkst/trinkt -- pronounced exactly the way it is written
prost - pr-o-st
esse -- essay
isst -- east
essen -- aye-ssen
bin -- bin
bist -- bisst
ist - isst
sind - zint
seid - zye-t
habe -- haa-bay
hast - haast
hat - hut
haben - haa-ben
habt - haa-bt

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1 comment:

Paul Weber said...

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