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German Grammar Glossary
English and German Grammar Terms
Explained in Plain English


HOW TO USE THIS GLOSSARY: Each grammar term is listed alphabetically in English, along with its German equivalent (often Latin-based) and in some cases the Germanic term. Words in ALL CAPS refer to terms that are also defined in this glossary. Noun gender is indicated by r (der), e (die), or s (das). Most entries have a link to a related lesson or grammar guide.

German Grammar Glossary
Deutsches Grammatik-Lexikon
  English   Deutsch   Explanation
CAPITALIZATION e Großschreibung   German is the only language that requires that all nouns be capitalized. > Capitalization
CARDINAL NUMBER e Kardinalzahl   A number or amount such as 1, 2, 3; 153 or 5,280. Also see ORDINAL NUMBERS. > Numbers and Counting
CASE r Kasus
r Fall
  A German noun or pronoun can be in one of four cases (ACCUSATIVE, DATIVE, GENITIVE or NOMINATIVE), depending on its function in a sentence. PREPOSITIONS and VERBS also govern a certain case for nouns or pronouns. > Cases
CLAUSE r Teilsatz   Part of a sentence that can be CONDITIONAL, DEPENDENT or RELATIVE, usually set apart by a comma. Such clauses can affect the word order of a sentence. > Word Order 2
COGNATE urverwandtes Wort   A COGNATE is a word that has the same original source as a similar word in another language and is therefore related to that word. The German word Haus is a cognate related to the English word "house." A FALSE COGNATE is a word that may appear to be a cognate but is not (e.g., bald or fast in German). > English-German Cognates
e Umgangssprache   Common, everyday language or vocabulary, as opposed to elevated or refined usage. Also see REGISTER.
r Imperativ
e Befehlsform
  A verb CONJUGATION used for indicating commands. German has both FORMAL and FAMILIAR command forms. > Command Forms
COMPARISON e Komparation
e Steigerung
  Adjectives and adverbs can be in one of three comparative forms, as in "good" (positive), "better" (comparative) or "best" (superlative). > Comparison
COMPOUND s Kompositum
e Zusammensetzung
  The combining of two or more words or phrases to form a new word, a verb tense or a compound sentence (e Satzreihe).
CONDITIONAL r Konditional
  A sentence (Bedingungssatz), CLAUSE or verb form used to express a conditional situation, often with "if" (wenn) and "would" (würde). Also see the SUBJUNCTIVE. > Subjunctive II
CONJUNCTIONS Konjunktionen
  There are two types of conjunctions: COORDINATING and SUBORDINATING. German conjunctions like aber, oder, und or weil link words, phrases, clauses or sentences. > Word Order 1
CONJUGATION e Konjugation   A VERB used in a sentence must have certain endings or forms in order to agree with the SUBJECT. German VERBS fall into three main conjugation groups: WEAK, STRONG and MIXED. > German Verbs
CONTRACTIONS e Kontraktion   Words or combinations of words that have been shortened by dropping certain letters, sounds, or elements. Examples include "I'm" for "I am" in English, or im for in dem in German.
  A CONJUNCTION that joins two independent and equal CLAUSES or sentences. The most common German coordinating conjunctions are aber, denn, oder, and und. Also see SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION. > Word Order 1


Index | A | C | D | E-F | More Terms

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