How to Learn New German Words

If you learn German, you must have heard that it is advisable to learn German NOUNS with their ARTICLES. Have you ever thought why and how important it really is? Here is the explanation and more:

The best way to learn a  German noun is:

To learn the word with two articles, for example eine/die Prüfung.

Why?

In order to correctly decline a noun and an adjective that precedes the noun, you must know its article. Article in German tells you a grammatical gender of a word (masculine, feminine, neuter).

For example, in order to write a sentence ‘Die Gesetze, die den Erhalt des Arbeitsplatzes sichern’ you must know that Erhalt is a masculine noun, consequently der Erhalt in accusative is den Erhalt, and Arbeitsplatz is also a masculine noun, so der Arbeitsplatz in genitive is des Arbeitsplatzes.

Moreover, you shall learn nouns with their plural forms , for example das Gesetz – die Gesetze.

Why?

In this case, later, you won’t be surprised seeing some nouns whose singular and plural forms look the same and you won’t try to find a plural form of nouns that do not have it. For example,

das Abenteuer pl. die Abenteuer

der Bewohner pl. die Bewohner

der Wissenschaftler pl. die Wissenschaftler

die Beute (no plural)

Some nouns in German have a great variety of its meaning in English (and other languages). For example,

der Bezug (cover, pillowcase, buying, taking, etc.)

die Einstellung (employment, adjustment, attitude, setting, etc.)

Make sure not to mix those meanings up when learning and come back to the dictionary when you see more examples of the word usage in different situations.

The best way to learn a  German verb is:

Learn 3 forms of a German verb together, for example

sprechen (infinitive)

spricht 3 Person Präsens

sprach 3 Peson Präteritum

hat gesprochen Hilfsverb +Partizip II

Pay attention to the auxiliary verb (haben or sein)!

Why?

It will help you to be aware of exceptions on an early stage of your studying and will help you to learn Passiv and Konjunktiv II forms easier in the future, not to mention that it will be easier for you to conjugate the verbs.

Learn verbs together with prepositions

Why?

It is useful for your future exams (for example Goethe certificate exam) and helps you to speak better without any doubts. Shall I use halten für or halten von ? Knowing right preposition makes your life easier. You have to choose from the options, not to guess.

Notice if a verb is a reflexive one

Is that sich bedanken bei ? Better to learn it in advance than to think about it during the exam or a simple conversation.

Notice if a verb has an inseparable prefix (be-, ge-, er-, ver-, zer-, ent-, emp-, miss-) . That’s important for its conjugation:

arbeiten – ich habe gearbeitet

bearbeiten – ich habe bearbeitet

The best way to learn a German adjective is:

Learn adjective together with nouns

Why?

So you won’t be confused later if this or that adjective is appropriate to use in a sentence. A simple example is:

a tall tree/building hoch

a tall man/girl groß

If you have time, review the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives you learn.

Learn the exceptions such as:

gut/ besser/ am besten

jung/ jünger/ am jüngsten

teuer /teurer /am teuersten

Learn konjuntionaladverbs, konjunktions and subjunktion with an example.

Sie ist glücklich, denn sie hat Urlaub

Sie macht Urlaub in Spanien, weil sie da Freunde hat

Sie will Paella essen, deshalb ist sie jetzt im Café

Mind the verb position!

Happy studies!

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “How to Learn New German Words

    • The more the better, of course, but it all depends on your schedule. Physiologists recommend you to study at least 45 min a day (when you have a busy lifestyle). Good luck with your future studies!

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