German doesn’t have a reputation for being “easy to learn.” German vocabulary, sentence construction, and grammar can make for a deadly combination. But the language does have some “weak spots” that make it… not quite as complicated as you think. Today we’re revealing those, plus some tips on how to make it easier to learn German grammar. Stick around until the end (or scroll down now if you’re impatient), because our German teacher Laura prepared a video with her best tips.
Why German Grammar Isn’t as Hard as It Seems
Many people think that German is a difficult language. Some even say that “life’s too short to learn German!” But the only people who say that are people who don’t know about MosaLingua and haven’t heard our tips and tricks for learning German grammar. 🙂
We try our best to simplify German grammar, and simplify your learning experience. With our hacks, you’ll learn grammar more easily, and it won’t take you a lifetime! We promise. Some aspects of German grammar are even easier than in other languages. Here are a few reasons why…
1. No conjugation groups
Some languages have verb groups, and all of the verbs that belong to a certain group take different endings when conjugated. For example, in French, there are verbs that end in -er, -ir, -ar, etc. German has no conjugation groups, which makes your life much easier! All verbs have the same endings and are almost always conjugated the same way. You don’t have to remember a bunch of different groups, and that will save you a lot of time and energy.
2. One infinitive ending, almost no irregular verbs!
Next, all verbs have the same ending in the infinitive, and there are almost no real irregular verbs. Most verbs can be categorized into groups because they generally follow a certain pattern. You don’t have to learn every single verb, you just have to know which group they belong to, and then you can conjugate them easily. There are very few real irregular verbs left over.
3. Quick conjugation
In German, there aren’t as many tenses as in most other languages. For example, there is no tense for
actions that are happening at this very moment, and there also aren’t as many forms that describe things a that are impossible, improbable, or uncertain.
That minimizes the number of tenses that you have to learn and also makes it much easier to figure out which verb form to use for which tense. In spoken German, there are even fewer tenses! Some tenses are only used in literature, so you don’t need to know them in the beginning. You only actually have to study one present tense and one past tense. We almost always use the present tense to talk about the future. So if you know just two tenses you will be able to express and understand about 80% of what you need to.
4. Hey, that looks familiar…
There are lots of similarities between German and other European languages. When you hear words like “die Butter” or “das Bier” you can see the resemblance to English. But there are also a lot of words with Latin roots that look like words in Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese, for example “die Generation,” “die Alternative,” or “die Kapazität.”
5. Vocab? Easy!
Some people get scared when they see long German words, but there’s no reason to be frightened. In German, you just connect words you already know to make other, more descriptive words. You don’t have to think much about syntax. A long word can be composed of three or more words.
For example: in English you might say, “the key to the door of the room.” In German, it’s just one word: “Zimmertürschlüssel,” which literally means “roomdoorkey.” You simply need to read the separate parts of the word in order to understand what it means. Maybe one day you can even invent your own mile-long German words!
Want more German grammar tips? Download our Learn German app. Our methods focus on helping you develop a foundation of useful vocabulary, everything you need to start speaking the language quickly. You can also take a look at our German grammar guide, which compiles all of the topics you need to know to speak German correctly.
Laura Explains German Grammar
Want a recap of what you just learned? Laura explains everything in the video below. Watch it on YouTube or just scroll down. She recorded the video in German (great for listening comprehension practice) but you can turn on subtitles in English, German, or one of the other languages we offer.
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