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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
EIN-WORDS ein-Wörter   Besides their use as an INDEFINITE ARTICLE (a/an), ein-words are used as POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS. Examples of ein-words: dein, euer, kein, mein, ihr - "Hast du dein neues Heft?" (Do you have your new notebook?) > Gender & Nouns (L3)
EMPHASIS e Betonung   Emphasis or stress can be applied to a syllable within a word, as well as to a word or word-phrase in a sentence. The placement (e Stellung) of a word or phrase at the beginning of the German sentence often serves to emphasize or call greater attention that element. > Word Order 1
ENDING/SUFFIX e Endung/s Suffix
e Nachsilbe
  German word meaning is often indicated by endings or suffixes. Endings in German are more important than in English because they indicate CASE, GENDER, NUMBER and other meanings. Their correct use is vital for avoiding confusion.
FAMILIAR familiär
  Unlike English, the German forms of address (you) can be FORMAL or INFORMAL (familiar). It is important to learn the correct use of the PERSONAL PRONOUNS du/ihr (familiar) and Sie (formal). > Sie und du
FEMININE s Femininum
  One of the three German noun GENDERS. The feminine articles are die (DEFINITE) and eine (INDEFINITE). > Gender Hints
FINITE VERB finites Verb   When a VERB is CONJUGATED, i.e., has its proper form/endings, it is called a finite verb - as opposed to the INFINITIVE. Example: haben (infinitive of "have"), er hat ("he has," a finite form of "have"). > Verb Conjugation (L4b)
FIRST PERSON erste Person   The PERSONAL PRONOUNS are categorized into three "persons." The first person singular is "I" (ich). The first person plural is "we" (wir). > Personal Pronouns (L2)
FORMAL formell   See FAMILAR above. > Sie und du
e Zukunft
  The German future tense is formed with werden plus the INFINITIVE of the verb. But the future tense is used less frequently in German, since the PRESENT TENSE can be used instead when an adverb makes the meaning obvious. Examples: pres. tense - "Morgen fahren wir nach Berlin." (Tomorrow we're driving/we'll drive to Berlin.); future tense - "Er wird wohl das Geld finden." (He'll surely find the money.) > Verbs


Index A-F | D | E-F | G-H | Index G-P

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