The following phrases are for Standard German, and will generally be well understood across the German-speaking world. See the Swiss-German phrasebook for the local variety spoken in Switzerland or the Austrian-German phrasebook for the variety spoken in Austria. In German, the roles of dot and comma are swapped compared to their English counterparts.
The grouping separator in big numbers is a dot. Note that numbers above twenty are said "backwards". Twenty-one einundzwanzig is literally spoken as "one-and-twenty". This takes a bit of getting used to, especially in higher regions. In German speaking countries as in many other European countries, it's usual to use a 24 hour clock, ranging from 0. Okay, Expressing "fractional hours" differs slightly among various regions of Germany. The "normal" way of doing it is:. In the clock time, hours and minutes are separated by a '. Another usual way is to write the minutes raised like an exponent.
Note: It's not a good idea to say this, as it may be taken in an insulting manner. English to German Dictionary. Practice German Online with Natives. Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing! From Wikitravel. Jump to: navigation , search. German phrasebook.
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German nouns are divided into 3 different genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. The article of a noun depends on the gender: der m , die f and das n. While the gender nouns denoting a person usually correspond to their natural gender for example Mutter mother is female and Vater father is male , there are some exceptions. A grammatical rule that overrides this includes the diminutive -chen noun ending which will result in a neuter.
Third-person pronouns also depend on the grammatical gender of the subject: er m , sie f and es n. However, you will generally be understood if you use the wrong gender as there are only a few obscure nouns which mean different things depending on gender, and their correct meaning will always be clear from the context. Furthermore, German nouns are declined. There are four grammatical cases: nominative subject , accusative direct object , genitive possessive , and dative indirect object. Each varies depending on the noun's gender and whether it is singular or plural.
The Dativ article is invoked in the noun Mann to signify to whom I give the apple, while the Akkusativ article is invoked in the noun Apfel to signify what I am giving, and the genitive article is invoked in the noun Frau to signify whose apple I give. In common speech, particularly in certain dialects, the cases - particularly the Genitiv - have a tendency to "disappear" or be rendered in ways that would be seen as "wrong" from the standpoint of prescriptivist linguistics.
A particularly common phenomenon is replacing the Genitiv with Dativ and "sein" in this case a possessive meaning "his" or "its" or "ihr" a possessive meaning "her". A famous work on the supposed or real decline of the German language has thus been titled "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" - which could be rendered "The dative is the genitive his death" in English. All nouns, alongside the word Sie for you, always begin with a capital letter, even in the middle of a sentence. This is an important way to distinguish between some verbs and objects.
It also arguably makes reading easier, though writing is somewhat complicated by the need to find out whether a verb or adjective is used in a substantivized form.
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Statement sentences generally follow the subject-verb-object structure alongside many other rules which are similar to English. Present tense and present continuous however, are not differentiated by default; one must add the word gerade or jetzt to specifically indicate that the action is happening now.
By default, addressing adult strangers and superiors require Sie , unless they explicitly use du when talking to you. The latter is commonly reserved for close friends, children and family members, and people of younger age. As Germans are particularly fond of their academic degrees, a Schmidt with a doctoral degree or as a doctor would be called Herr Doctor Schmidt.
While this usage is more common in writing a letter than speaking, it is expected in a meeting with someone of a superior position if they introduce themselves or are introduced as such. The following phrases are for Standard German, and will generally be well understood across the German-speaking world. A local variation of words such as those limited to Austria or specific regions of Germany are indicated where necessary. See the Swiss-German phrasebook for the local variety spoken in Switzerland.
The latter question, unfortunately, perennially confuses English speakers as there are no specific rules of saying yes to a negative question. The following is formatted with singular and where possible, plural forms. Plural words always use the die article. In German, the roles of dot and comma are swapped compared to their English counterparts.
The grouping separator in big numbers is a dot. Numbers above twenty are said "backwards". Twenty-one einundzwanzig is literally spoken as "one-and-twenty". This takes a bit of getting used to, especially in higher regions. Native English speakers may note that the nursery rhyme 'Four and twenty blackbirds' as well as some older literature Sherlock Holmes for example uses this convention from medieval English. Notation for ordinal numbers are the number followed by a period and then the noun.
All numbers from 1 to 19 use the suffix -te.
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All numbers above 19 end with -ste; numbers that end with 01 to 19 will still use the aforementioned rule. In German speaking countries as in many other European countries, it's usual to use a 24 hour clock, ranging from 0. Okay, In conversation however, a hour format is also commonly used, as long as one understands the context of which time of day it is.
Mentioning the time with the hour and minute is not unlike the English convention. See exceptions below. Expressing "fractional hours" differs slightly among various regions. The "normal" way of doing it is:. The latter form is common in Eastern Germany, Bavaria, and Austria, although the former is universally understood but not without causing cringes. Outside these regions, many have trouble understanding the latter form. In the clock time, hours and minutes are separated by a '.
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