Pulls Hair Out: Toughest Sentence so far
"After he had eaten, he was no longer hungry."
Seems easy enough, but no! Starting with a subordinate clause in the past perfect really tests your grammar. 1. Subordinate conjunction (nachdem) places main verb at end of clause 2. And that verb is the past perfect (gegessen hatte) 3. And the main clause is now in the second position, so it has to start with the verb. 4. And its a negation. If you think of "hungry" in the main clause as "haben Hunger," then you've got "kein" in the accusative case. 5. UGH! Answer: "Nachdem er gegessen hatte, hatte er keinen Hunger mehr"
Es ist zu früh am Morgen dafür!
It's amazing how quickly that word order becomes intuitive. A native German-speaking 5 year-old would manage this with ease, but would have no idea what a subordinate clause or the past perfect is. The human brain is a wonderful thing!
I have the opposite problem. I never remember to capitalise my nouns anymore.
I am always delighted, and I have witnessed it a few times, when a toddler forms a sentence in which words like "toothes" occur. She knows grammar! She knows how to form a plural.
I was really hurt when I was accused of translating from English into German since I am a native German speaker. But that happens after having lived for 30 years in the US, you cannot speak either language correctly any more.
If I come in to German after doing Spanish or Portuguese recently, I get dinged for dropping the pronouns. :)
you're probably doing much better than you think. Every once in awhile go back and redo or strengthen a lesson. It will make you feel much better about what you have retained.
Just reading this highly amusing discussion has given me encouragement. Whilst I am enjoying my daily flirtation with Duo, I'm somewhat ashamed to know that my actual real life knowledge and understanding of this wonderful language bears no resemblance to my reasonable XP count and 595 streak plus the 130 I lost together with many much shorter ones before I realised the value of daily lessons, even whilst on holiday.
Which brings me to the point of my chat. I will soon be going on holiday with my husband and two friends - none of whom have any knowledge of German - and we will be staying in a predominantly German oriented hotel on one of the Greek islands. My question is this: is it better to speak only English with perhaps a bitte, danke and Guten Morgen/Abend here and there, or risk my very dodgy grammar and try to engage a little more with the many German nationals who will no doubt be able to speak English as well as we do?
No question: try speaking in German at every opportunity. That sort of immersion is the most amazing way to learn fluency. Let's face it, the brain is pretty much hard wired to learn language via immersion with its trial and error. The native German speakers will both love your attempts to speak German to them, and being to correct you! :-)
Thanks Steve. Many years ago someone told me that native German speakers were offended by foreigners who didn't use the correct grammar so I shall bear in mind your comment that they will enjoy being able to correct my mistakes and report back on my return mid May.
I've never met a German offended by my bad (well, awful) German grammar, so perhaps your friend just got unlucky! Have a great time, and I will be interested to hear how you get on :-)
That is a misconception, most of us can speak English better than most foreigners can speak German, so when we notice you have an English accent we usually talk to you in English to make communication easier. If you have that problem just tell them you are trying to learn the language.
Yes, definitely speak German when you can. We always feel so embarrassed to mess up, but it's the best practice you can get.
Thank you for your support Ima, I will do my best and hope I don't offend if/when I get it wrong.