To correctly pronounce the a with the umlaut (ä), think of saying a long a while forming an e with your tongue and mouth. It will be some form of both vowels when you get it right; it takes quite some practice, but this is how my professor told us to do it and she was straight off the boat. I'm German living in the states since I was a kid, but natives tell me my dialect sounds native.
Oh, and I didn't say or mean to imply this was about the ä by itself. In a few other places I state explicitly it applies when the ä is part of a vowel grouping; when it's succeeded by another vowel. Or it applies when there are two other vowel groupings and the first has the umlaut.
Point is, pronunciation is slightly different from what you and a few others are saying. Thankfully, some of the back information explains that Germans will always tell you exactly what they're thinking and that it's nothing personal. And it isn't. Cheers. :)
http://www.nemet-alapszokincs.info/szotar/laufen.html?c=1&n=s&s=l%C3%A4uft Tessék, remélem ez segít. :)
I've read some people explain that ä makes an "e" sound, but that's not what I'm hearing Duo pronounce. I hear almost a "uh" sound.
Third person singular is has an umlaut on the a; however, second person plural does not. So does that mean "läuft" should be pronounced ~ luhft and "lauft" should be pronounced ~ lowft?
I am so confused. So there is present continuous in German? So "lauft" is the present continuous of "run". Then what is "run" in German? Please give me a clear explanation. I'll give you a lingot, if it's very clear. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you're asked to translate a German sentence into English without any context, then you can't tell them apart, and generally both versions will be accepted.
If there's a certain context that makes only one of them appropriate, then English grammar will show which one of them makes sense.
For example, Julia läuft jeden Tag zur Schule. can only be "Julia runs to school every day", because we use the present simply for things that happen regularly, repeatedly, or habitually. So here the key phrase is jeden Tag "every day".
Conversely, Julia läuft gerade raus can only be "Julia is running outside right now", because we use the present continuous for things that are happening at the moment of speaking. So here the key phrase is gerade "right now, at the moment".
These facets of English grammar are not, of course, taught in the Duolingo German course.
Some nouns change the vowel in their stem in the du and er, sie, es forms:
- e to i: ich gebe, du gibst
- e to ie: ich sehe, du siehst
- a to ä: ich trage, du trägst
- au to äu: ich laufe, du läufst
It’s not predictable, as far as I know, and you simply have to remember which verbs this applies to.
Compare ich lebe, du lebst; ich gehe, du gehst; ich sage, du sagst; ich kaufe, du kaufst which are very similar to the examples above but are regular, without vowel change.
Not also that this change is limited to the du and er, sie, es forms; thus er läuft and ihr lauft have a different vowel, for example.