Some tips on German word endings
I have made a cheat sheet for myself that includes the pronouns, the articles, and the word endings for dieser and ein/kein/mein words plus the adjectives. I keep this by my computer and find it helpful. I've color coded it to show some relationships, and amazingly...things don't look so difficult any more, when you really study the it all fits together.
Anyway, for anyone who would like a copy, I have it on my blog as a pdf file, here: http://www.pettingtheraven.com/blog/2014/some-german-grammar/
12/28/17: For some reason, the link above stopped working. Here is a more recent link: http://www.pettingtheraven.com/blog/?p=248
Hope you find it helpful!
Hey I'm sorry but if someone could by any chance just explain some of that page for me, it would be pretty helpful. I'm kind of young, so I don't really understand like the second half of it. I understand the singular and plural pronouns, and the definite articles, but I just don't really see what it means by strong, weak, and mixed words. And also the comparing dieser vs ein/kein/mein and relative and demonstrative pronouns. And I don't get the nouns category either.
Hi vincesaro! There is a lot packed into the cheat sheet, but probably the most important thing to understand first is the cases (nominative, accusative, dative and genitive). After that, what I think is interesting is the similarities and differences between which endings you use. Once you study it for awhile, you begin to see patterns emerge. Sort of like one of those pictures where a 3-D image will pop out at you if you stare at it long enough.
The thing about the adjective endings is that German really wants to KNOW the case and gender of its nouns, and it insists that they be displayed in the sentence. - A "strong" adjective has to have strong (more distinct) endings because there is no article in front to give a clue. - A "weak" adjective follows an article (der, die, das) or another dieser word and it has simplified endings because the other word is doing the heavy lifting of telling us what gender and case the noun is. - And finally, a "mixed" adjective is one that follows a ein/kein word, which has many but not all of the distinct endings provided by the deiser words, so the adjective has endings a little more complicated than weak adjectives, but not as complex as the strong adjectives.
Not sure if that helps at all, but that's how I think of it.
Wow thanks! I definitely understand what weak, strong, and mixed adjectives are much more now. Its great to have people nice enough to help. Good luck with your german!
Sorry but I forgot to ask this question: Are ein/kein words, words that end with the "ein" sound? Or am I just making it up in my head? And the same goes with dieser words, but ending with "er"?
Good guess. :) These are actually spelled out on the cheat sheet, which I fixed a little after mhaas pointed out an error. If you didn't download a new copy, you might want to do that.
The ein/kein words are ein, kein and the possessives: mein, dein, sein/ihr/sein, unser, euer, ihr and Ihr.
The "dieser" words are the definite articles and a whole set of words that use the same endings as dieser: aller, jener, jeder, mancher, solcher and welcher.
All of this, of course, is subject to correction. I am not a native German speaker, so I have to depend on my reference books.
Hi Vincesaro I really sympathise with you, since I have been learning German on and off for years but I had no idea about the difference between strong, weak and mixed adjectives until I saw this chart. Basically I think that "weak" means easy and regular, "strong" means awkward and irregular, and "mixed" well, a bit of both.
I think that the chart is really useful, and I have printed it off, but it does assume a lot of knowledge already. Duo is great for practising what you have already learned, but on principle it wants us learn without studying any grammar - which is impossible for German. There is a lot of grammar you need to know to make progress in German, and you can either learn it the hard way by using old fashioned tables or you can look for short cuts on the web.
I find these six rules useful for the endings of adjectives when they come between an article and the noun:
- After EIN and before a Masculine noun -ER
- After EIN and before a Neuter noun -ES
- After DAS just -E
- After DER and before a Masculine noun just -E
- After EINE or DIE and singular just -E
- After any other article -EN
This blog is also pretty useful with five other rules for you to learn http://germangrinds.com/2011/06/14/the-slightly-easier-way-to-learn-german-adjective-endings/.
Are you interesed in feedback to polish it up a little bit more and remove the few grammatical mistakes still present? :-)
The last row of the first table is wrong - the table contains possesive pronouns, not personal pronouns in the genitive case - those would be (in the same order than in the document): meiner, deiner, seiner/ihrer/seiner, unser, euer, ihrer, Ihrer.
The rest is nomenclature and nitpicking - the table called "Relative and Demonstrative Pronouns" only contains demonstrative ones - the relative ones were covered in the dieser-Word tables. So nothing major.
The formatting and color-coding is very nicely done and undoubtely quite useful; I hope it can be flawless in content as well.
mhaaz: thank you. I'm absolutely interested in feedback like this. I've developed the cheat sheet over a long period of time, and maybe I got something mixed up in the course of many revisions.
I will have to make sure I understand possessive pronouns vs personal pronoun better and then fix the sheet. Are you saying that personal pronouns in the Genative case have no gender based endings, that they are all "er"? Could you be so kind as to give an example? I'm trying to wrap my head around the difference.
Also, I wonder if the title "Relative and Demonstrative Pronouns" is misleading. I was probably trying to compare relative and demonstrative pronouns, and that's why both are in the title. If I understand you correctly, relative pronouns are actually the same as definite articles.
Thanks again for the feedback. I would like it to be flawless. :)
Thanks again for the feedback. I think I've fixed it, but I trust you will let me know if you see any other problems. Have a few lingots for your helpfulness!
Thank you for the kind words (and lingots!) everyone. I have made a few small changes to the cheat sheet based on the feedback I got here. It can be reached from the same link you used before if you would like the updated version. I put a date at the bottom of the new version so you know you have the latest one. All I can say is...those possessives are tricky creatures!
Thank you. My German teacher also had "UNG takes always DIE" for when the word ends in ung.
Except for "der Sprung". That is the only exception I know of, and believe me, I've looked.
It may take a while for me to decipher it all but thanks a lot. It's really helpful. Finally something that can help me unlock the mystery of German!
For some odd reason, I'm unable to access the blog site. Was the page taken down by any chance?
Would it perhaps be possible to share this file again? The link no longer works. Vielen Dank!