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German für Dummies

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German für Dummies

Paulina Christensen, Anne Fox, Wendy Forster

ISBN: 978-3-527-82500-4 July 2019 384 Pages

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About the Authors 7

Introduction 19

About This Book 19

Conventions Used in This Book 19

Foolish Assumptions 21

How This Book is Organized 21

Part I: Getting Started 22

Part II: German in Action 22

Part III: German on the Go 22

Part IV: The Part of Tens 22

Part V: Appendixes 22

Icons Used in This Book 22

Where to Go from Here 23

Part I Getting Started 25

Chapter 1 You Already Know a Little German 27

The German You Know 27

Friendly allies (perfect cognates) 27

Kissing cousins (near cognates) 29

False friends 30

Lenders and borrowers 32

Using Popular Expressions 35

Chapter 2 The Nitty-Gritty: Basic German Grammar 37

Getting a Handle on Parts of Speech 38

Nouns 38

Articles 39

Pronouns 40

Adjectives 40

Verbs 41

Adverbs 42

Constructing Simple Sentences 42

Arranging words in the right order 43

Putting the verb in second place 43

Pushing the verb to the end 44

Forming questions 44

The Tenses: Past, Present, and Future 45

Looking at the present 45

Talking about the past: The perfect tense 46

Writing about the past: Using the simple past tense of verbs 48

Talking about the future 48

Putting the Language in the Proper Case 49

A quick trip through the different cases 49

Why all these cases matter 50

Chapter 3 Hallo! Pronunciation and Basic Expressions 55

Mouthing Off: Basic Pronunciation 55

Dealing with stress in German 55

Building the alphabet blocks 56

Pronouncing vowels 56

Pronouncing ä, ö, and ü 58

Pronouncing diphthongs 59

Pronouncing consonants 59

Pronouncing combinations of consonants 60

Getting Formal or Informal 62

Saying “Hello”, “Goodbye”, and “How are You?” 63

Asking “How are you?” 64

Replying to “How are you?” 65

Introducing Yourself and Your Friends 67

Introducing your friends 67

Introductions for special occasions 67

Chapter 4 Getting Numbers, Time, and Measurements Straight 73

Juggling Numbers 73

Telling Time 75

Asking for the time 75

Telling time with the 12-hour clock 76

Using the 24-hour system 77

Times of the day 77

Days of the week 77

Naming the Months 79

Measurements, Quantities, and Weights 80

Chapter 5 Talking about Home and Family 85

Living in an Apartment or House 85

Describing life within four walls 85

Asking the right questions 86

Talking about Your Family 87

Part II German in Action 93

Chapter 6 Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk 95

Talking about Yourself 95

Describing your work 95

Providing your name and number(s) 97

Looking at possessive pronouns 99

Conversing about Cities, Countries, and Nationalities 100

Revealing where you come from 100

Using the all-important verb “sein” 101

Asking people where they come from 102

Discovering nationalities 103

Chatting about languages you speak 104

Making Small Talk about the Weather 106

Noting what it’s like out there 106

Discussing the temperature 107

Describing the day’s weather 107

Chapter 7 Asking for Directions 111

“Wo?” – Asking Where Something is 111

“Wie weit?” How Far is It? 113

Going Here and There 114

Asking “How Do I Get There?” 114

Using “in” to get into a location 115

Using “nach” to get to a city or country 116

Using “zu” to get to institutions 116

Describing a Position or Location in Relation to Some Other Place 117

Getting Your Bearings Straight with Left, Right, North, and South 119

Left, right, straight ahead 120

The cardinal points 120

Taking This or That Street 121

Using Ordinal Numbers: First, Second, Third, and More 121

Traveling by Car or Other Vehicle 124

Chapter 8 Guten Appetit! Dining Out and Going to the Market 127

Hast du Hunger? Hast du Durst? 127

All about Meals 128

Setting the Table for a Meal 129

Dining Out: Visiting a Restaurant 130

Deciding where to eat 130

Making reservations 132

Arriving and being seated 134

Deciphering the menu 135

Placing your order 139

Applying the subjunctive to express your wishes 139

Using modals to modify what you say 141

Ordering something special 142

Replying to “How did you like the food?” 142

Asking for the check 143

Shopping for Food 145

Knowing where to shop 145

Finding what you need 145

Chapter 9 Shopping Made Easy 149

Places to Shop around Town 149

Finding Out about Opening Hours 150

Navigating Your Way around a Store 150

Just Browsing: Taking a Look at Merchandise 152

Getting Assistance as You Shop 152

Shopping for Clothes 153

Familiarizing yourself with the colors available 155

Knowing your size 156

Trying on the items you find 157

Paying for Your Shopping Items 159

Comparatively Speaking: Making Comparisons Among Objects 161

Chapter 10 Going Out on the Town 163

What Would You Like to Do? 163

Going to the Movies 164

Getting to the show 164

Buying tickets 165

What Was That? The Simple Past Tense of “Sein” 167

Going to the Museum 167

Talking about Action in the Past 169

Forming the past participle 170

Using “haben” in the perfect tense 171

Using “sein” in the perfect tense 172

Going Out for Entertainment 173

How Was It? Talking about Entertainment 175

Asking for an opinion 175

Telling people what you think 175

Going to a Party 177

Getting an invitation 177

Talking about a party 178

Chapter 11 Taking Care of Business and Telecommunications 181

Phoning Made Simple 181

Asking for your party 182

Making the connection 183

Making Appointments 185

Leaving Messages 186

A Few Words about Dative Pronouns 187

Sending Written Correspondence 188

Sending a letter or postcard 188

E-mailing 190

Sending a fax 190

Getting to Know the Office 191

Mastering your desk and supplies 192

Doing business in German 193

Chapter 12 Recreation and the Great Outdoors 197

Playing Sports 197

Playing around with the verb “spielen” 197

Verbalizing sports you enjoy 198

Inviting someone to play 199

Using Reflexive Verbs to Talk about Plans 200

Getting reflexive 200

Accusing and dating your pronouns 200

Some common reflexive verbs 201

Reflexive verbs that are flexible 204

Exploring the Outdoors 204

Getting out and going 204

Things to see along the way 204

Going to the mountains 206

Going to the country 208

Going to the sea 210

Part III German on the Go 213

Chapter 13 Planning a Trip 215

Getting Help from a Travel Agent 215

Planning Ahead: Using the Future Tense 217

Describing events in specific months 218

Naming specific times in the months 219

Rethinking Dates 219

Dealing with Passports and Visas 220

The all-important passport 220

Inquiring about visas 221

Chapter 14 Making Sense of Euros and Cents 223

Changing Currency 223

Heading to the ATM 226

Getting Imperative 227

Understanding the Euro and Other Currencies 228

Chapter 15 Getting Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis, and Buses 231

Using German at the Airport 231

Getting your ticket 231

Checking in 232

Going through immigration 234

Going through customs 235

Traveling by Car 235

Renting a car 236

Making sense of maps 238

Wrapping your brain around road signs 238

Taking a Train 239

Interpreting train schedules 239

Getting information 239

Buying tickets 240

Knowing When to Separate Your Verbs 241

Navigating Buses, Subways, and Taxis 242

Catching the bus 243

Getting a taxi 244

Chapter 16 Finding a Place to Stay 247

Finding a Hotel 247

Reserving Rooms 248

Saying when and how long you want to stay 248

Specifying the kind of room you want 249

Asking about the price 250

Finalizing the reservation 250

Checking In 252

Stating how long you’re staying 252

Filling out the registration form 252

Getting keyed in 253

Asking about amenities and facilities 253

Checking Out and Paying the Bill 256

Asking for your bill 256

Asking small favors 257

Chapter 17 Handling Emergencies 261

Requesting Help 261

Shouting for help 261

Reporting a problem 262

Asking for English-speaking help 262

Getting Medical Attention 262

Describing what ails you 263

Telling about any special conditions 264

Getting an examination 265

Specifying parts of the body 266

Getting the diagnosis 267

Getting treatment 269

Talking to the Police 270

Describing what was stolen 271

Answering questions from the police 272

Getting legal help 273

Part IV The Part of Tens 277

Chapter 18 Ten Ways to Pick Up German Quickly 279

Labeling the World Around You 279

Organizing Useful Expressions 279

Writing Shopping Lists 280

Thinking in German 280

Using Language CDs and Downloads 280

Watching German TV and Listening to German Radio Online 281

Trying an Interactive German Program 281

Watching German Movies 281

Reading German Publications 281

Eating German Cuisine 282

Chapter 19 Ten Things Never to Say in German 283

Using the Right Form of Address 283

Addressing Service People Correctly 283

Hot or Cold? 284

I’m Not Loaded 284

Speaking of the Law with Respect 284

Using “Gymnasium” Correctly 284

Knowing the Appropriate Form of “Know” 285

Going to the Right Closet 285

Using Bekommen Properly 285

Using the Right Eating Verb 286

Chapter 20 Ten Favorite German Expressions 289

Alles klar! 289

Wirklich 289

Kein Problem 289

Vielleicht 290

Doch 290

Unglaublich! 290

Hoffentlich 290

Wie schön! 290

Genau! 290

Stimmt’s? 291

Chapter 21 Ten Phrases That Make You Sound German 293

Schönes Wochenende! 293

Gehen wir! 293

Was ist los? 293

Das klingt gut! 293

Keine Ahnung 294

Es zieht! 294

Nicht zu fassen! 294

Du hast Recht!/Sie haben Recht! 294

Lass es! 294

Nicht schlecht! 294

Part V Appendixes 293

A: German-English Mini-Dictionary 295

B: Verb Tables 313

Regular Verbs (No Stem Vowel Change) 313

Special Conjugations 314

Irregular and Modal Verbs 316

C: On the CD 325

D: Answer Key 327

Index 331