• Negation

    Negation: Nicht and kein

    In German, we can negate sentence elements with the words nicht and kein. It is important to know when to use nicht and when to use kein. Activity 1 Let’s explore examples with these negation words using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Read the corpus examples below. Each example sentence uses either nicht or kein. A. B. Which rules best describe the examples in A? Activity 2 Let`s explore these negation words by using the DWDS corpus. Below is an image that shows concordances of the negation words nicht and kein from the newspaper Die Zeit.  If you…

  • Voice

    Passive 2

    In this second module on the Passive Voice, you will learn more about the Passive with modal verbs in the present tense and past tense. We learned how to form these passive constructions in the module Passive 1, but here we will go over more examples and rules. Activity 1 A. First, let’s pay attention to the verbs and review how the passive is being formed in the present tense with modal verbs by reading the examples below. They are taken from Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus. B. Which rule best describes the formation of the present passive? Activity 2 Read…

  • Voice

    Passive 1

    In this module, you will learn more about the Passive Voice. Just like in English, action is typically expressed in German using transitive verbs in the Active Voice with the subject of the sentence indicating the agent (i.e., who is doing the action). For example: In an active sentence (1), you will see an acting subject in the nominative case and an object in the accusative case: Die Studenten lesen das Buch. The students are reading the book. In a passive sentence (2), the object from (1) becomes the subject in the nominative case, and the active subject from (1) becomes a prepositional object with von / durch or can…

  • Connectors

    Connectors 4

    In module Connectors 1, you learned about different types of connectors of clauses: coordinating and subordinating conjunctions as well as adverbs. In this module, you will learn about one specific type of connectors: question words. They are used to form indirect questions to ask for information in a more polite way than with direct questions. Many indirect questions consist of a main clause such as Ich möchte wissen…, Weißt du…, Ich frage mich…, Ich weiß nicht…, Kannst du mir sagen… and of another clause connected to the main clause with a question word such as wer, wo, was, wann, wie. Activity 1 First, let’s review the meaning of some frequent German…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 16: feiern

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about celebrating (feiern) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus. Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about celebrating. Go to DWDS homepage and type feiern in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. DWDS word profile for “feiern” retrieved June 27, 2022. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word feiern.…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 15: essen

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about eating (essen) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about eating. Go to DWDS homepage and type essen in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word essen. They are called collocates of essen. The larger the word is in the…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 14: backen

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about baking (backen) and baked goods using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about baking. Go to DWDS homepage and type backen in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word backen. They are called collocates of backen. The larger the word…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 13: Umwelt

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about the environment (die Umwelt) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus. Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about the environment. Go to DWDS homepage and type Umwelt in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word Umwelt. They are called collocates of Umwelt.…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 12: Internet

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about the internet (das Internet) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus. Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about the internet. Go to DWDS homepage and type Internet in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. DWDS word profile for “Internet” retrieved December 19, 2021. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 11: Kunst

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about arts (die Kunst) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  One of the most prominent arts is music (die Musik). Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about music. Go to DWDS homepage and type Musik in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 10: Hobby

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about hobbies (das Hobby – die Hobbys) and leisure (die Freizeit) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about their hobbies. Go to DWDS homepage and type Hobby in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word Hobby.…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 9: Familie

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about family (die Familie) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about family and family members. Go to DWDS homepage and type Elter (‘parent’; the singular form of Eltern, ‘parents’) in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 8: wohnen

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about living (wohnen = to live) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about wohnen. Go to the DWDS main page and type wohnen in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the word cloud, which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. This word cloud shows the words that commonly occur with the verb wohnen; such words are known as collocates. The larger…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 7: Schule and Universität

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about school (die Schule) and university (die Universität) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about school. Go to the DWDS homepage and type Schule in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the word cloud, which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows the words that commonly occur with the word Schule; such words are…

  • Vocabulary

    Vocabulary Module 6: Kleidung

    In this module, you will learn some vocabulary to talk about clothing (die Kleidung) using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Let’s explore what words German speakers use to talk about clothing. Go to DWDS homepage and type Kleidung in the search box. You will be taken to a page that gives you a lot of information about this word, but we will focus on the so-called ‘word cloud’ which is available in the Typische Verbindungen section. The word cloud above shows words that commonly occur with the word Kleidung. They are called collocates of Kleidung. The larger the word is in…