English and German Grammar Terms
Explained in Plain English
O-Pl | Pos-Punc
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
|A NOUN, noun phrase, or PRONOUN that is the object of (acted on by) a VERB or a PREPOSITION. In German an object is in either the accusative, dative, or genitive CASE. Examples: Wir finden ihn. (acc.), Gib ihr das Geld. (dat.), mit meinem Bruder (prep.).|
|ORDINAL NUMBER||e Ordinalzahl
|A ranked number such as 1st (first), 2nd (second), 3rd (third) or 15th (fifteenth) indicating the order of an item. Ordinal numbers in German end in -te or -ten (der erste, der 1.) and are used in dates (am vierten Mai, am 4. Mai). Also see CARDINAL NUMBERS. > Numbers and Counting|
|PARTICIPLE||s Partizip||A VERB form that can be either a PRESENT PARTICIPLE (das Partizip Präsens) or a PAST PARTICIPLE (das Partizip Perfekt). Examples of present participles: auffallend, sprechend, zitternd. Examples of past participles: gefahren, gemacht, gesprochen.|
|PARTICLE||e Partikel||A word that can not be DECLINED. Some particles (aber, denn, ja) are often inserted into a sentence for emphasis, stylistic reasons, or to modify the meaning in some way. > Particles|
|PASSIVE VOICE||s Passiv
|As opposed to the ACTIVE, the passive VOICE is the form of a verb whose subject is the recipient of (acted on by) the verb's action. Example: Das Haus wurde gebaut. (The house was built.) > Passive Voice|
|PAST (Tense)||e Vergangenheit||German has two past tense forms, the SIMPLE PAST (preterite, narrative past) and the COMPOUND PAST (perfect). Also see NARATIVE PAST. > German Verbs|
|PAST PARTICIPLE||s Partizip Perfekt||The form of a VERB form used to form the PAST PERFECT (das Plusquamperfekt), PRESENT PERFECT (das Perfekt), or the FUTURE PERFECT TENSE (das Futur II). Examples of past participles: gefahren, gemacht, gesprochen. > German Verbs|
|PAST PERFECT||s Plusquamperfekt
|A German COMPOUND PAST TENSE indicating a past event completed prior to another more recent past event. > German Verbs|
|PAST SUBJUNCTIVE||r Konjunktiv II||This German MOOD is better referred to as the SUBJUNCTIVE II because it has very little to do with TENSE and more to do with "contrary to reality" or "wishful thinking" situations. > Subjunctive II|
|Verbs are CONJUGATED according to the person and NUMBER of the SUBJECT. There are three grammatical PERSONS: first (I, we), second (you), and third (he, she, it; they), each of which can also be SINGULAR or PLURAL. Also see PERSONAL PRONOUN below. > German Verbs|
|PERSONAL PRONOUN||s Personalpronomen
|A PRONOUN that refers to a person (he, they, I). In German the personal pronouns include: ich/mich/mir, du/dich/dir, sie/ihr, and Sie/Ihnen.|
|More than one. German nouns form their plural forms in at least seven different ways. Verbs must be CONJUGATED to reflect a SINGULAR or plural SUBJECT. ADJECTIVES must also be DECLINED to reflect the singular or plural noun they modify. Also see NUMBER (Numerus). > Plural & Singular|
|MORE > Pos-Punc|
N E X T > Pos-Punc
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