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


Q-R | Se-St | Su-Sy | Index 3 (Q-Z)

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
  > Continued from Q-R
SEMANTIC semantisch   Adjective - having to do with the meaning of words and language. From Greek semantikos, significant. Semantics is also one of the three divisions of SEMIOTICS (below).
SEMIOTICS e Semiotik   The study of signs, words and their relationships. From Greek semeiotikos/semeion, sign. SEMIOTICS is generally divided into the fields of semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics.
SEPARABLE VERB s trennbare Verb   A German verb with a stressed PREFIX that separates from the VERB STEM when the verb is conjugated. Example: ankommen - Wann kommt er an? = When is he arriving? Also see: Separable and Inseparable Prefixes
SIMPLE PAST einfache Vergangenheit
das Präteritum
  Also called the PRETERITE or NARRATIVE PAST, the simple past is so called because it is a SIMPLE TENSE formed with the verb alone, as opposed to a compound tense using a helping verb. Examples: backte, baked; fiel, fell; gab, gave; machte, made; war, was.
SIMPLE TENSE einfache Zeitform   German has two simple tenses: the PRESENT (Präsens) and the PRETERITE (Präteritum) or SIMPLE PAST. The other six German tenses are all COMPOUND TENSES formed with more than one word.
SINGULAR e Einzahl
der Singular
  One in number. German NOUNS, PRONOUNS, and VERBS must agree in number, either SINGULAR or PLURAL, indicated by their ENDINGS or FORMS.
STRESS e Betonung   In its language sense, STRESS refers to how the syllables, PREFIXES, or other elements in a word are pronounced, either STRESSED or UNSTRESSED. In any word of more than one syllable, one is stressed. This can have grammatical implications. For instance, a stressed verb prefix is SEPARABLE, while an unstressed prefix is INSEPARABLE.
STRONG ENDING starke Endung   A German ADJECTIVE in front of a NOUN takes one of three types of endings: STRONG, WEAK, or MIXED. A STRONG ENDING is used when there is no ARTICLE to indicate the GENDER and CASE of the noun. Examples: guter Wein, gute Suppe, gutes Bier. Also see: Adjective Endings
STRONG VERB starkes Verb
unregelmäßiges Verb
  A verb that forms its principal parts (PRETERITE and PAST PARTICIPLE) in an irregular way, often with a stem vowel change. Its PAST PARTICIPLE ends in -en. Examples: beginnen/begann/begonnen, finden/fand/gefunden, schreiben/schrieb/geschrieben
  NEXT > Su-Sy

MORE > Index 3 (Q-Z)

Q-R | Se-St | Su-Sy
Index 1 | Index 2 | Index 3 (Q-Z)


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