All of the resources and tools you need to learn German grammar, to understand it better, and to use it correctly are right on this page. We’ve collected the best links to topics and videos that will help you get started learning German grammar without wanting to tear your hair out!
This page is dedicated to learning German grammar. If you are a beginner or want a more general overview of the language, we recommend this page instead. Or, check out our list of resources for learning German.
What’s Inside Our German Grammar Guide?
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 make your learning experience enjoyable. With our hacks, you’ll learn grammar more easily, and it won’t take you a lifetime to do it! We promise. Some aspects of German grammar are even easier than in other languages. Here are a few things to know that should boost morale…
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.
Next, all verbs have the same ending in the infinitive, and there are almost no truly 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.
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 versus other times in the present. There also aren’t as many forms that describe things 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 if you’re a beginner. 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.
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.”
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!
Laura explains all this 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.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video tips!
Okay, we know: German grammar is not the easiest to learn. Yet at school, this is one of the first things we learn. At MosaLingua, we recommend that you don’t start with grammar when learning German. We think it should come in at a later stage in your learning. Just start with vocabulary, and practice complete sentences… which, in the end, incorporate grammar. By focusing first on the best words and phrases to know, you’ll find the simplest and the most useful elements of grammar.
Only after several weeks, or even months, of regular practice (about 2 months of 10-15 minutes a day) should you start reading about German grammar and learning more about how it works. It’s a personal choice. Essentially, start learning it when you feel like you really need it.
Do you feel ready to start learning German grammar? Do you need to understand grammar to better understand the language? In that case, go for it!
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of German grammar topics, ranging from conjugation to sentence structure. To access the resource and video of your choice, just click the link that goes with it. We recommend reading the grammar sheet first, trying to assimilate it, and then watching the video. Then continue on to the exercises.
➡ We’re working on creating more lessons and videos, so be sure to come back often to see what’s new.
If anything’s hard about learning German grammar, it’s word order… Mostly because it’s pretty different from English sentence structure. To help you find the right sentence structure, we gathered tips in this video: How to Hack German Word Order. Learn some tips in Laura’s video about managing word order, and in particular, where to put your verbs in German.
Articles are a key part of speech in German and one of the elements you need to know to build a sentence, now that you know about German word order. And they can trip some English-speaking learners up because, in English, there’s only one definite article: “the.” In this video lesson, our awesome German teacher Magda gives an overview of definite articles in German, including when to use them and how to memorize them: Definite Articles in German and Hacks for Learning Them.
➡ Other videos and related articles and lessons are under construction. Visit our page regularly to discover new content.
Before you start digging into German verbs, read our handy guide to the basics of conjugation. It covers topics like personal pronouns, regular vs. irregular verbs, the main German tenses, and the best way to go about learning German conjugation (including two super useful tips to help cut down on your workload!). It also includes handy conjugation tables for two of the most common auxiliary verbs: sein and haben.
As mentioned above, one of the reasons that German conjugation is easier is that you don’t have to learn ALL the tenses. At least, not at the beginning. Learning the present in German will allow you to express yourself in the present (for actions that are taking place at this very moment or generalities), and it can also be used to express yourself in the future. The present in German is also the easiest tense to learn. This is where to begin if you’re just starting to learn German grammar. Discover all Laura’s tips to quickly get by in German.
To speak about the past in German, you have to master the German Perfekt. It is the equivalent of our present perfect tense. It’s built using the verb “to have” in the present, and the past participle of the main verb… Of course, there are some exceptions. But Laura explains all of this and more in her video and in our article on the past tense in German.
➡ Other videos and related articles/lessons are under construction. Come back to our page regularly to discover new content.
As we mentioned, we recommend getting into German grammar a few weeks after you start practicing other skills. That way, you won’t risk losing motivation right from the get-go… 🙂 Once you’ve started learning German grammar, it’s also essential to continue learning vocabulary and phrases in natural settings. In other words, watch German films or series, listen to podcasts or the radio, and speak with a conversation partner. This will allow you to better understand the language through examples of everyday life. And between us, it will also make learning a lot more fun.
On our blog, you’ll find several articles to make learning more fun, and to help you find the best resources in German. Check out:
- Our selection of the best TV series to learn German
- The best movies in German
- A selection of the best podcasts to listen to if you’re learning German
Another resource, and another way to enrich your knowledge of German grammar. MosaSeries: Der Mann ohne Namen is an original story, created and written in German to help you improve your understanding of the language while bringing vocabulary and grammar into context. To learn more, visit this page:
On the MosaLingua Premium web platform, you’ll also find lots of resources to support your German grammar study. You’ll find books, videos, films, music and more, all in German, that you can use to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. Plus, you can add all of the new words, sentence structures, and expressions you’ll discover in these resources to your learning list right from MosaLingua Premium.
To learn more, visit our MosaLingua Premium info page. Good news: we’re offering a 15-day free trial so you can test it out before you invest!