top of page
  • minervatuition

The Peculiarities of the German Language!

The German language has several peculiarities and anybody who has taught German will know that they can cause sheer delight for some learners and sheer confusion for others! Once mastered, though, the rewards are immense. Here is a small selection of interesting intricacies of the German language.

๐๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ฌ All nouns in German are proper nouns. All nouns therefore must be capitalised, so โ€œmy dogโ€ becomes โ€œmein Hundโ€, โ€œthe booksโ€ become โ€œdie Bรผcherโ€, etc. At first this is a difficult thing to come to terms with for non-natives. Oddly enough, though, when nouns become adjectives or adverbs, they lose their โ€œpropernessโ€ and drop the capital. So: โ€œOn Mondaysโ€ becomes โ€œmontagsโ€.

๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐‹๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก One of the more fun aspects of German is the fact that words are just added together to create one enormous word. A quick internet search on German word length will throw up several sites with some interesting words. And so, โ€œmotorway speed limitsโ€ becomes โ€œAutobahngeschwindigkeitsbegrenzungenโ€. And โ€“ apart from anything else โ€“ donโ€™t forget the capital letter because it is a noun!

๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐Ž๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ The verb goes in second place. So, โ€œI go into townโ€ is โ€œIch gehe in die Stadtโ€. To keep the second place rule, in a longer sentence the word โ€˜Iโ€™ is moved. And so: โ€œNormally I go into townโ€ becomes โ€œNormalerweise gehe ich in die Stadtโ€.

๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐Ž๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ Many conjunctions send the verb to the end. To keep this simple, weโ€™ll use the same concept of going into town. Look at the sentence below which starts with the word โ€˜Ifโ€™. โ€œIf I go into townโ€: the German equivalent becomes โ€œIf I into town goโ€ฆโ€ (โ€œWenn ich in die Stadt geheโ€ฆโ€). But wait for it - the clause that follows then needs to have the verb in first place! You need to think of this as a balancing act. โ€œIf I into town go, see I my friendsโ€ = โ€œWenn ich in die Stadt gehe, sehe ich meine Freundeโ€. Sending the verb to the end of a sentence can wreak havoc for live interpreters who need to wait until the end to translate what is being said.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐š ๐“๐ฎ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ก๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ. At Minerva we have vast experience in teaching such peculiarities โ€“ and the rest of them. One-to-one tuition to help explain these rules is an invaluable way of eventually mastering them.

๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐š ๐“๐ฎ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐…๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ก, ๐†๐ž๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ง, ๐’๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ง ๐ˆ๐†๐‚๐’๐„, ๐€ ๐‹๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ / ๐ˆ๐๐ƒ๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ-๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐.

For details of how we can help your child, please contact Valerie Weston on: Email: Phone: +852 6156 5705. We would be delighted to hear from you.

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐จ: ๐ฌ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  Some of our tutors successfully use Class Do software for their lessons with their pupils. Class Do gives teachers the opportunity to provide

๐๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก ๐›๐จ๐š๐ซ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฌ: ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐-๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ Parents considering sending their children to British Boarding Schools are ast

๐‡๐š๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง โ€œ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญโ€? As we possibly emerge from the pandemic there is much debate as to whether learning has been โ€œlostโ€. Undoubtedly, some pupils have been left with a learnin

bottom of page