1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Hallo! I'm understanding the …


Hallo! I'm understanding the grammar and doing the research, but i just need a wee bit more help!

Ok so i understand the 4 cases... OK. Decent. Like, i understand fully that: dem mann gebe einen apfel tüh ich is the same as ich geben einen apfel tüh dem mann Ez. So now all the issues im having, is i STILL can't quite grasp some verbs and why they change, is there any other knowlege that i should know? extra stuff that not just the cases explain? Or do i need a more extensive knowlege on the cases? I read all of the stuff about habe, haben, hat, and it just doesnt seem to click. i need just one more epiphany, i feel that im so close to having a strong grip on the grammar, but just a smidge too uninformed. also, tips are welcome! Thanks for reading this whole thing you brave soul! Danke

April 23, 2018



1.verbs change because of the conjugation. you have to learn how to conjugate verbs and you have to go deeper into the cases.

2.what do you mean with the tüh that you are writing in your german examples?

3.for your first german example: Ich has to be at the beginnig of the sentence: Ich gebe dem Mann einen Apfel.

4.your second example is completely wrong. it has to be gebe not geben and you can not set einen Apfel directly before dem Mann.

plus: remember to capitalize the nouns an the first words of a sentence in german.


Hi, you said you can't switch this sentence: Ich gebe dem Mann einen Apfel. This is definitely wrong because you can change the word order here. It is also correct to say:

Dem Mann gebe ich einen Apfel. AND: Einen Apfel gebe ich dem Mann.

Both of these sentences are used as well as your first sentence. ;-)


you are right. i am sorry


Don't worry. German is natural for us and then we just don't think of everything at once. ;-)


Here is a quick table concerning which endings to use.

Er/sie/es uses "hat"

Sie/sie uses "haben"

Ihr uses "habt"

Wir uses "haben"

Du uses "hast"

Ich uses "habe"

I quote from a comment:

It's a matter of person. Ich (I) is first person; Du (singular you) is second ; person; Sie, Er, Es (She, He, It) is third person. So trinke is first, trinkst is second and trinkt is third.

Maybe this will help remembering: if you read books in archaic English, such as old Bible translations, you may have noticed that there are sentences such as "thou drinkest". In today's English it's "you drink", but notice how similar "thou drinkest" is to "du trinkst".

Did I answer your question? Hope it helps.


hm, interesting. thanks for your comment, that was extremely helpful. im planning on moving to berlin for engineering so ill take any help i get


Sure, I can give you all I have, though not all of it concerns what you asked for in your post though.


So happy I could help. Please ask anything, I'll do my best to help!


that's fine, like i said, ill take what i can get, and extensively research the rest. i dont want to be at some resturaunt in Berlin, and sit with a blank look on my face at the waiter, so, ill do anything in m power to learn, this is just a shortcut! Danke mein freund


I'm quoting from someone else's post:

usw. = und so weiter = and so on (etc.)

u.v.a.m. = und viele andere mehr = and many others

u.a. = unter anderem = among other things

u.U. = unter Umständen = possibly

m.W. = meines Wissens = as far as I know (AFAIK)

m.E. = meines Erachtens = in my opinion (IMO)

m.M.n., mMn = meiner Meinung nach = in my opinion (IMO)

bzw. = beziehungsweise = (see the note below)

bzgl. = bezüglich = with regard to, concerning

d.h. = das heißt = that is to say (i.e.)

z.B. = zum Beispiel = for example (e.g.)

m.a.W. = mit anderen Worten = in other words

z. Zt., z.Zt., zZt., zzt. = zur Zeit, zurzeit = at the moment

vgl. = vergleiche = compare (cf.)

s.o. = siehe oben = see further up

s.u. = siehe unten = see further down

s.a. = siehe auch = see also

S. = Seite = page (p.)

f., ff. = und folgende = and the following one, and the following ones (et seq., et seqq.) - used in contexts such as "S. 46f." = pages 46 and 47; "S. 50ff." = page 50 and the next few pages

i.A. = im Allgemeinen = in general

i.e.S., i.w.S. = im engeren/weiteren Sinne = specifically / broadly

u.A.w.g. = um Antwort wird gebeten = please reply (RSVP)

LG = Liebe Grüße = cordial letter closing

MfG = Mit freundlichen Grüßen = polite letter closing

hdl = hab' dich lieb = love you

hdgdl = hab' dich ganz doll lieb = love you lots

WIMRE = wenn ich mich richtig erinnere = if I recall correctly (IIRC)

Note: "bzw." is difficult to translate into English! It sometimes means "respectively" (die erste und zweite Klasse haben am Montag bzw. Dienstag ihren Elternabend = the first and second grades have their parent-teacher conferences on Monday and Tuesday, respectively) and sometimes "as the case may be" (Die Kinder haben den Zettel ihrem Vater bzw. ihrer Mutter gegeben = The children gave the note to their fathers or their mothers, as the case may be = depending on which of their parents had accompanied them to the event). Note that "bzw." comes between the nouns or phrases that are connected whereas the English translations usually come afterwards.

NOTE: If you see someone writing "resp." in an English text, especially if it's between two things, you can be pretty sure that it's written by a native speaker of German -- "bzw." is used a lot more often than "respectively" is in English, and I've never seen "respectively" abbreviated to "resp." except by Germans.


we germans would not use a shortform for Mit freundlichen Grüßen in a polite Letter. the MFG makes the Mit freundlichen Grüßen appear very casual.

  • i. A. = im Auftrag
  • i. Allg. = im Allgemeinen


"i. Allg." is ridiculous. How is it easier to type "i." instead of "im"?


Well, that is the common abbreviation. : )


Small examples on when "ihr" and "ihre" are used.

der Becher (masculine) "ihr becher" (her cup)

die Schlange (feminine) "ihre schlange"

das Haus (neuter) "ihr haus"

Oh, and something else too: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zVhe3yxpJon_rP77aLDMchNlWHFuGVad


You can also go to German with Jenny . She has a Youtube channel as well as a website (In my opinion her Youtube channel is best).


All verbs change form (conjugate) according to subject (I, you, they, it) and tense (present, past, etc.).

Cases influence nouns (der/den/dem Mann) and pronouns (dir/dich). Cases do not influence verbs. Often, the case a noun takes has to do with the preposition (nach, an, auf, etc.) it comes after. If you are interested in learning more about cases, I would take some time to learn each preposition and which case(s) it forces the noun to take. This is one of the hardest things to master as a German learner.


im more confused than i was. i dont know where to begin and now i have to backtrack


Hi, sorry! I think my comment confused you. I thought based on your initial post that you were a little more advanced, but I see from the comments since then that maybe I jumped a little too far ahead!

I am a native English speaker and learned Spanish as my first foreign language. Learning Spanish forced me to learn about some grammatical concepts like direct and indirect objects. Although we have similar concepts in English, and may have learned some of them as children, we are mostly unaware of the rules behind what we say. It just comes naturally.

I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I have found that my first foreign language did not just involve learning the language, but was also a crash course in grammar concepts that I just didn't know existed. We may have discussed subject-verb-adjective-object while diagramming sentences in 8th grade English, but you don't REALLY need it until you're trying to figure out a foreign language.

For me, my initial foray into Spanish ended up being a good building block for German. When it came time to learn about cases, the idea wasn't totally foreign to me. When trying to figure out which word was the direct object (aka needed the accusative case), I was able to think back to Spanish and which word could be shortened to lo/la. I have no idea how I would have managed German if I hadn't already had some inkling.

I'm not trying to say you need to study another language before German! I'm just saying that sometimes you need to have patience with yourself, because you're not only trying to pick up new letters, sounds, and vocabulary - you're also delving into a whole world of grammar that can be really difficult to wrap your mind around!


Sorry. Was that my fault?


nein, i just made a mistake and interpreted google's explanation of the cases in some spots and now im more confused


you see, i never learned a language before, this is new to me, and i just get frusturated and get things wrong and make it harder :I


That's okay. Learning a language is hard, even more if it's your first foreign language. :)

And don't expect german native speakers to say and write everything correctly. ;)

We are also confused by which case to use and how to build it correctly. (For example where to put the 'm' and 'n' in 'in einem kleinen Haus'. And there's a horrible Genitiv-or-Dativ-discussion.)

And it is hard to buil a correct sentence when you use grammatical structures that use many verbs (can't think of a good example right now).

The Konjunktiv is also hard to do right (when to use which form and how to build it correctly). I think most Germans do this 'wrong', especially when they are talking and don't think about it too much.

Sooo, I don't want to demotivate you or frustrate you even more. ;)

But I want to show you that it's okay to be confused about (not only) this language and make mistakes. Natives are also often confused and make mistakes, but people still understand each other (even when we're talking grammatical bs :D ) and they will understand you and won't notice every little mistake.


also, how do i know when to use sondern and when to use aber? i thought they both meant "but"?


If you know Swedish, then it will help to think of "aber" being as "men" and "sondern" as "utan".

If you don't know Swedish: I like to think "Can I use 'however' here?" if I can, then it is "aber". If I can't, then it's "sondern".

  • Ich mag den Fisch nicht, aber ich muss ihn essen.
  • I don't like the fish, but (however) I must eat it.

Here you can't use "however" instead of "but":

  • Es ist kein Apfel, sondern eine Orange.
  • It's not an apple, but an orange. (idk if this is grammatically correct in English, but I hope you still get the point)

If anyone finds mistakes in what I've written, feel free to correct me!


dude, that was amazing


Beautiful explanation! Thanks! Have a lingot!


Just a tiny mistake: er isst (if you don't have an sz, use ss) keinen Apfel. But even better would be: Er isst nicht einen Apfel sondern eine Orange.


You sure? I wrote ”It’s not an apple” not ”he doesn’t eat an apple”. :)


Sorry to butt in. But you are right. If you say: he eats you would say: er isst.

But if you say: It is you would say: Es ist



Thanks for butting in, hehe!


Don't forget the comma before sondern. ;)


Other comments have explained it well, but I would also like to add that "sondern" is similar to "but rather" in English. To steal eineSchlange's example:

Es ist kein Apfel, sondern eine Orange. It's not an apple, but rather an orange.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.