https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender

Memorizing German Case Endings

As I've worked my way through the first part of the German tree, I've tried various mnemonic devices to help remember all the different case endings. I eventually ended up with a couple of tables that helped me a lot. It's the same information you can find in lots of sources, of course; I've just arranged it differently and come up with some different ways to think about it.

To try to share that with others, I've written up a description of what I'm doing on my blog. (Which is not monetized in any way.) I'd appreciate it if a few people could have a look and see if it all sounds correct--and if it seems helpful.

Most of the value is probably in the tables, not the text, but it didn't feel right to offer zero explanation. Suggestions on what to trim (or even to augment) would be welcome too.

Thanks.

http://gregreflects.blogspot.com/2015/02/how-to-memorize-german-cases.html

February 19, 2015

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

Your tip about not trying to learn this all at once is dead on. It really is a puzzle you are assembling step by step. Since I memorized this in another order it's a bit hard to be at ease with this order, for me, but if that works for ya that's great! (I learned everything Masc/Fem/Neut/Pl. not Masc/Neut/Fem/Pl. I'm stuck that way and can't break it. Oh, and did you know that verbs are associated with cases too? Lemme see if I can find you a sample list of that. Okay, here is a lil something: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/reference/dative-verbs/ It's also good to know that particular prepositions pair up with particular verbs. More pieces of the puzzle! :)

This scared the heck out of me when I first saw it, but it eventually WILL become second nature. http://www.mein-deutschbuch.de/lernen.php?menu_id=23

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

I think it is actually easier to know that Nominative is the basic default case. Your simplest sentences will be in this form. The Accusative case is only distinguishable from the Nominative when you look at the Masculine. Feminine, Neutral, and Plural are exactly the same. That basically pairs those two up and makes them very simple. Next you introduce Dative. Here things change more, but you can learn the endings. My trick was my own silly mneumonic. Dem, Der, Dem, Den. Using the last letter of each of those I say to myself "My Rat Munches Nuts. That was just odd enough I could remember it, and quickly pull up the ending I needed. I could never settle on an unforgettable mneumonic for Genitive. Ya got anything for S, R, S, R? I tried "Some Rats, Some Rats." :) But it hasn't fully stuck yet. Some Rats Sip Rum. Maybe. ;)

Maybe you can streamline something like this to help people have a systematic way to get this case stuff? http://marathonsprachen.com/german-cases-understanding-verbs-subjects-and-objects/

And maybe this helps you too: http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases_nominative.htm

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/pont

Thanks, this is a great compendium -- I wish I'd had it when I (re)started learning German a couple of years ago. I like the method of presenting the "mixed" adjective endings: I always thought it was a little wasteful having separate weak and mixed tables with mostly identical content. The only suggestion I can think of at the moment is to add a brief note that predicative adjectives don't bother agreeing with the subject. This was something I found rather counterintuitive when I first encountered it.

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Andresc-g

it is an awesome contribution take 30 lingots

February 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender

Why thank you very much!

February 21, 2015

[deactivated user]

    That's some great helpful insight! I hope I'll get to the point where everything in those charts is just old hat to me. Feel free to reflect here anytime!

    February 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/volumniax

    Thanks -- I will definitely check this out, as I'm struggling mightily with this.

    February 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/gisberth

    I think you shouldn't use a masculine word to point out the use of ein with a feminine one.

    eine Tisch ??? ;-)

    February 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender

    Yikes! I changed it to Katze. Thanks!

    February 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/ObiJuanKenobii

    This helped me out greatly - So I appreciate you taking the time to assemble the work. I'm currently in German 2 at my school, so I'm still a beginner and starting to learn cases, and this definitely eased the confusion of cases and when to use the different cases. So thanks!

    February 19, 2015
    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.