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German GrammarPod Profile

German GrammarPod

English, Education, 1 seasons, 40 episodes
German GrammarPod explains the world of German grammar. Its aim is to be accessible to all levels of learner and to give you tips to help you achieve maximum effect for minimum effort.
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Adjectival nouns

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Reported Speech and Konjunktiv I

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Reciprocal Verbs and Einander

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Where Have All the Posts Gone?

I've taken most of the content of my posts out in an attempt to get round Feedburner's size limits which are stopping my podcasts appearing in iTunes and get my first ten or so episodes of the podcast downloading again. I've moved the content to become comments.
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Reflexive Verbs

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Reflexive Pronouns

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Adjectives and Adjectival Endings

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Must Read German Children's Books

This post has been moved to the comments section for space reasons.
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How to Use a Dictionary

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General Tips & Tricks

This podcast gives you a wide range of tips and tricks for learning a language. It focuses on German, but these tips and tricks could be applied to learning any language.To listen to this podcast on your computer, click here.
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Relative Pronouns3

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Relative Pronouns 2

This podcast covers relative pronouns after prepositions and some other special cases.To listen to this podcast directly on your computer, click here.
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New Web Address
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Relative Pronouns

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The Conditional 3

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The Conditional - Part 2

This episode is about more of the really practical stuff you need to know about the conditional. To listen to the episode directly on your computer, click here.
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The Conditional and Umlauts

The conditional basically means sentences with a would. For instance, if I were rich, I would buy a house. To download this podcast directly on your computer, click here.
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Word Order - Multi-Clause Sentences

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See Comments.
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Word Order - Exceptions to the Standard Main Clause

Word order has a highly complex set of rules in any language. So many, that I'm not convinced anyone has ever managed to write them all down for any given language. For pretty well every rule there is an exception, and there are even exceptions to exceptions.This podcast focuses on the most productive rules about exceptions to standard word order, the ones that have a big effect on sentence structure and apply to lots of sentences. It also gives suggestions about what approach to take if you want to be right all of the time instead of most of the time (plus a guide to the level of effort that could take), or what to do to be right enough of the time to be fully understood, without attempting perfection (learning the most productive rules). It also gives some further detail on how standard word order works.To listen to the podcast on your computer, click here.
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Word Order in a Standard Main Clause

German word order in a completely standard, neutral main clause is a follows:* nominative subject,* conjugated verb,* accusative then dative pronoun,* nouns with definite determiners, in the order dative, accusative* most adverbials* nicht – or other negation particles* adverbials of manner* nouns with indefinite determiners, in the order dative, accusative* the complement, and finally* any other verbs.My podcast on German word order contains more information about what those terms mean, and also a more detailed version of word order. You can listen to the podcast directly on your computer by clicking here.
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Your Recommendations

I've noticed that the blog post about everyone's recommendations for German learning resources on the Internet has slipped off the bottom of the first page of this blog. As I think it's the best and most important post on this blog, I'm putting a link to it in here.If anyone knows any good German learning resources, it'd be great if you could add to it too.
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February's podcast

Hi all,It's my aim to put a podcast out every calendar month, but I won't be able to make it this month (February 2008). In part I've had a lot on (I'm getting married in May and the wedding's taking up a lot of my time), but in part the topic I've chosen has taken a lot more work that usual (even more work than the past tense podcasts). That's because the topic is word order, and it's one of the most complex grammar topics there is. I had no idea how much existing knowledge of some things you needed to understand others, before I started writing. Because I try and write my podcasts so that beginners can listen to them too, this has made it an extremely hard topic to approach.I'm now on my third attempt to write the podcast - and I'm a lot happier with this attempt than I was with the first two, but unfortunately I still haven't managed to finish it. I've decided that instead of rushing and getting more stressed, I'm just going to turn this into March's podcast.
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The Pluperfect

The pluperfect is the ich hatte es getan or I had done tense. You make the pluperfect in German by taking the perfect tense (the ich habe es getan tense) and changing the auxiliary verb (the habe or the bin etc.) into the simple past version of itself (hatte or war etc.). So instead of ich habe ein Eis gegessen – I have eaten an ice cream you get ich hatte ein Eis gegessen – I had eaten an ice cream. And instead of ich bin im Ozean geschwommen – I have swum in the ocean you get ich war im Ozean geschwommen – I had swum in the ocean.Basic
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Names for the Past Tenses

I've recently had an email from Jim who mentions that there are a lot of names for the German past tenses in both English and German, which makes it confusing. So I've decided to give you a table showing all the different names I've been able to find for the different past tenses. I've highlighted the name I use in the podcasts for each tense by making it bold and I've put an example of the past tense type described in each column at the top. I've tried to group names that seem to relate to each other together, but not everyone will favour three names in any one line or use the translations that are near each other.Also, I just want to point out that in Latin, the perfect tense refers to actions that have completed (are perfect) by the time of speaking and the imperfect tense refers to actions that have not yet completed or are repeated or continuous (are imperfect) - which is where the names come from. But this doesn't apply to German, which can make using these names for
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The Simple Past

The simple past - also known as the preterite or the imperfect tense - is equivalent in form to the English I did form (ich tat es). The way that regular verbs form their simple past is by a or being inserted into the present tense ending. For instance ich kaufe - I buy becomes ich kaufte - I bought and du kaufst - you buy becomes du <span class="blsp-spelling-e
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When to Use the Perfect Tense

This podcast is about when to use the perfect tense. The perfect tense is the ich habe es getan tense and corresponds in form to the I have done it tense in English. But the rules on when you use the tense are rather different in German. The German one is often interchangeable with the simple past tense (the ich tat es tense), whereas in English, past tenses are usually not interchangeable with each other.As a rule of thumb, Germans use the perfect tense to express the past tense in spoken German, except with certain verbs and except in certain situations. The verbs with which the perfect tense is usually not used (apart from for situations for which the perfect tense is the preferred tense) are the auxili
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Past Tenses: How to Use The Perfect

The perfect tense is one of three German past tense forms. It's also the one that's most commonly used in spoken German, so very useful to learn. The perfect tense is a compound tense. This means it uses two verbs: an auxiliary (or helper) verb and a main verb. Most of the time, the auxiliary verb is haben, which means to have. But for some verbs, especially intransitive verbs of motion and intransitive change-of-state verbs, the auxiliary verb is sein, which means to be. The main verb then shoots along to the end of the clause and appears in the form of a past participle. As a rule of thumb, you create the past participle of a verb from its infinitive by adding a ge- on the beginning, and sometimes you switch the or the on the end for a . Two examples of how you make a pe
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The future tense & the verb werden

Hallo all,It's been longer than I intended yet again, but I've finally managed to finish another episode of German GrammarPod. This episode is about the future tense and also about the verb werden in general.The future tense is pretty simple in German. Most of the time you can just use the present tense form. But where this would be ambiguous, you add the verb werden (conjugated into one of its present tense forms) in the same way English adds the verb will to make the future tense. Werden also has another couple of important uses. When used as a main verb instead of an auxiliary verb, then it means to become or a related verb. It also has another use as an auxiliary verb: instead of the future, it can be used to cre
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Your recommendations for German podcasts

Hello blog readers,A couple of weeks ago, I had a request from Chris in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, asking if I could recommend any good podcasts for learning German in general. I don't listen to any other German podcasts, so I'm no use for giving a recommendation on that. But I thought, if anyone can, my listeners can.So I promised I'd ask if any of you have a recommendation. If you do, please could you add it as a comment to this blog (along with a quick word about what level of German you're at, so others will know which podcasts are best for their level)? No negative recommendations please, so I don't get angry emails from makers of other podcasts. I'm sure there are some fantastic learn German podcasts out there, and if anyone knows about them, it'll be my listeners. So if you have a spare moment, can
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The present tense

The present tense is pretty simple in German: there's only one. So where English has to choose between Sarah is walking to work and Sarah walks to work, German has only Sarah geht zu Fuß zur Arbeit. However, whereas English only has two different forms of each verb in the present tense (apart from for the verb to be), e.g. walk and walks, have and has, German verbs have lots of different forms in the present tense (
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Cases: The Genitive Case

The genitive case is used to indicate possession, like of or apostrophe-s ('s) does in English. However, apart from in formal, written texts (and in its version of adding 's, which is just to add an s to the end of proper nouns), German tends to avoid the genitive. Most of the time in spoken German, Germans use a von plus the dative instead of a genitive to mean of. The genitive is unusual in German, because as well as affecting determiners (words like the and a) and adjectives, it also affects nouns, adding an -s (or -es) to the end of neuter and masculine
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Gap between episodes

Hi everyone,I was planning to do another German Grammarpod this weekend, but my laptop's been stolen, so I'll have to wait till I get a replacement before I can do the next one. Hopefully that will be within two or three weeks. (I'm currently writing on a borrowed laptop, but I can't download the software I need to make the recording onto it.)Just so everyone knows, it's my plan to do one episode each calendar month. It's easier for me to keep track like that and I seem more or less to be able to write and record them quickly enough to keep up with that time scale.
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The Dative Case

The dative case is used for the indirect object (that's the noun or pronoun which is impacted indirectly by the action, as opposed to the one to which the action is done directly). The classic example is he gives me the book (er gibt mir das Buch), where the direct object is the book and the indirect object is me. The dative also follows certain prepostions (words like with, to and between). All determiners (that's words like the and a) change in the dative, although a couple of personal pronouns are the same as in the accusative. The most important ones to remember are ich (I) becomes mir (me) and du (you) becomes dir (you).To listen to my podcast directly on your computer, click here.
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The Accusative Case

The accusative case is used for the direct object (that's the noun or pronoun to which an action is done). It's like the shark in Peter ate the shark where shark is the noun that gets eaten. It also follows certain preopstions (words like for, through and without). Only singular (i.e. not plural) masculine nouns change in the accusative. All the determiners and adjectives that stand before these always end in -en. The other nouns stay the same as in the nominative. Some pronouns also change. The most important ones to remember are ich (I) becomes mich (me) and du (you) becomes<span style="font-styl
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Cases: The Nominative Case

This podcast is about cases, which are a way of showing what role the different words are playing in a sentence. German has four cases: Nominative Accusative Dative Gentitive This podcast describes how cases work in general, then goes on to look at the nominative case in more detail. To listen to the audio file directly on your computer, click here. Or, if you'd like to subscribe to the podcast, click the link on the top left of this blog.
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How to subscribe

It's occurred to me that not everyone who wants to know about German grammar knows what you need to do to download a podcast onto their iPod or any other type of MP3 player, so I thought I'd better make sure the instructions were in my blog. If you happen not to use iTunes, then I'm afraid you'll have to just use these instructions as a rough guide, as I only know how to use iTunes in detail. If anyone knows how to use the other programs, could you add a note to comments to say if it's very different? I can always add more information to the blog.The first thing you have to do is click the link up in the top left-hand corner of this blog that says subscribe to my feed.This will take you to the right-hand side, simply click Add to iTunesThen open up iTunes in your computerGerman GrammarPod will appear under Pod
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The Gender Podcast

I finally have my first podcast up and running. You wouldn't believe how complicated publishing podcasts is, and I thought the long bit was going to be writing the podcast :) Anyway, I'm all up and running now, so welcome to the first episode. First of all in this episode you get a bit of an introduction to the podcast and who it's aimed at (basically everyone who wants to learn German, but I'm hoping to get some feedback to make sure I'm not overstretching myself a bit there. So if you think the podcast isn't right for your level, but you'd like it to be, add a comment or email me at the email address given at the end of the podcast and tell me about it). Anyhow, after that, we go onto the grammar. This time I'm covering gender: What is gender? How does it work in German? How does that affect me? Tips and tricks for working out what gender a word is What effect does gender have on German?
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About the Podcast

The podcast accompanying this blog is aimed at explaining the world of German grammar. Its aim is to be accessible to all levels of learner, but on its own it's not intended to be enough to teach German - in fact very little German is used in the podcast. That's because I figure there are plenty of places you can find content in German, from elsewhere on the web to schools, evening classes and university. What tends to be in shorter supply is a thorough and easily accessible explanation of German grammar.Grammar itself provides an understanding of a language that takes you from being able to parrot phrases someone else has given you to being able to use the words you've learnt as building blocks to create new sentences. And this podcast will provide you with the grammar you need to do that.