https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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!

June 24, 2014

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vincesaro

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.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vincesaro

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!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vincesaro

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"?

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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.

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killary45

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:

  1. After EIN and before a Masculine noun -ER
  2. After EIN and before a Neuter noun -ES
  3. After DAS just -E
  4. After DER and before a Masculine noun just -E
  5. After EINE or DIE and singular just -E
  6. 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/.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vincesaro

Thanks for all the advice! It was really helpful and the website is cool too.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhaaz

Are you interesed in feedback to polish it up a little bit more and remove the few grammatical mistakes still present? :-)

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

I don't know if the OP is interested, but I, for one, am.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhaaz

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.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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. :)

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pmm123

You have not only created and shared a very helpful resource (which sits by my computer and which I consult frequently), you're gracious about accepting suggestions for improvements. Please accept a couple more lingots in gratitude!

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

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!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

That is helpful. Thank you.

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erchenswine

Ah, finally I don't have to dig through Wikipedia! :D

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nick-king

A great idea

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iBeef1990

Danke :)

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belberg

Thanks. Have a lingot!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Very well formatted for fast and clear check up. Thank you!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robstar1a

Schön! Danke!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoCoVerspoor2013

Thank you!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hectorlqr

Time to replace the mediocre sheet I made

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LJoyF

AliceMarie, this is wonderful and you are so kind to share. Vielen Dank!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ACatterpillar

Wunderbar!

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamaraHowarth

That is so thorough and helpful. Thank you

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hyexla

Yeah :D thanks

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AileanMacRaith

Thank you

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AileanMacRaith

Have a lingot :)

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pmm123

Wow, this is great! Thank you so much for sharing it and have a couple lingots, which seems insufficient but is better than nothing. ;-)

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michellesusar

Thank you. My German teacher also had "UNG takes always DIE" for when the word ends in ung.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhaaz

Except for "der Sprung". That is the only exception I know of, and believe me, I've looked.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlie__T

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!

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/demoksaputra

Woo thank you so much!! :D

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/possum404

This is fantastic. Thank you so much!

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RatInAMaze

The PDF name is Geman-grammar. :)

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/makemusic

This is a fantastic! Excellent job on it :)

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarleyEberly

Danke schon!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueConner

I think I should try it.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elz.tima

This is great! Thanks!

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helix_Vaetis

For some odd reason, I'm unable to access the blog site. Was the page taken down by any chance?

January 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Filipa804086

Would it perhaps be possible to share this file again? The link no longer works. Vielen Dank!

December 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceMarie

Thanks for the heads up, Filipa804086. I must have redesigned the blog and inadvertantly changed the name. Here is the fixed link: http://www.pettingtheraven.com/blog/?p=248

December 28, 2017
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