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German Lll | Grammatical Tense | Semantics

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Learning foreign languages, simple phrases, words and grammar.
    74. Colloquial Expressions and Idioms  In informal speech and writing, es  is commonly contracted with the preceding word by 's . Geht es  =geht 's   Es  is also used as an impersonal pronoun (es regnet, it's raining), but it can also be used as anintroductory word for emphasis or stylistic reasons. Es begins the sentence, and the true subjectfollows the verb. Es ist niemand zu Hause. No one is at home. Es kommen heute drei Kinder. Three children are coming today. Es  can also be used to anticipate a dependent clause or infinitive phrase. This is almost like in Englishwhen we say I hate it when that happens  instead of I hate when that happens  . It has no realmeaning in the first sentence, but it is not incorrect to say it. Ich kann es  nicht glauben, daß er sich vor nichts fürchtet. I can't believe that he's not afraid ofanything. Er haßt es  , nichts davon zu wissen. He hates not knowing anything about it.Other idioms: Sie ist mit ihrem Urteil immer sehr schnell bei der Hand . She makes her judgments rather quickly.(Literally: She is quick at hand with her judgments.) Alles ist in Butter. Everything is fine. (Literally: Everything is in butter.) Er geht mit dem kopf durch die Wand. He does as he pleases. (Literally: He goes with his headthrough the wall.) 75. Word Formation   Noun compounds German uses compounds more often than English and they are formed by simply putting the twowords together (sometimes adding an -n or -s in between), and using the gender of the last word. Die Woche  (week) + der Tag  (day) = der Wochentag  (Days of the week) The prefix un-  As in English, the prefix un- gives a word a negative or opposite meaning. klar (clear) - unklar  (unclear)  The suffix -los  This suffix is often the equivalent of the English suffix -less, and is used to form adjectives and adverbsfrom nouns. das Ende (the end) - endlos (endless) The suffix -haft  The suffix -haft is used to form adjectives from nouns so as to designate related qualities. das Kind  (the child) - kindhaft (childlike) The suffix -ung  This suffix may be added to the stem of a verb to form a noun. All nouns ending in -ung are feminine. wandern (to hike) - die Wanderung (the hike) The suffix -er  This suffix designates a person is from a certain place. Frankfurt (a city) - Frankfurter (a person fromFrankfurt) The suffix -in  This suffix designates a female person and is added to the male counterpart. Architekt (malearchitect) - Architektin (female architect) 76. Adjectival Nouns  When referring to people, adjectives can sometimes be used as nouns. The definite article precedesthe adjective, which is now capitalized because it is functioning as a noun. The adjectival nouns takethe regular adjective endings for adjectives preceded by a der word as well.der Alte - the old mandie Alte - the old womandas Alte - everything that is olddie Alten - the old people 77. Ordinal Numbers  To form the ordinal numbers, just add -te to the cardinal numbers for 1-19, and -ste for 20 and up. Theexceptions are erste, dritte, siebte, and achte.first erste eleventh elftesecond zweite twelfth zwölftethird dritte thirteenth dreizehntefourth vierte fourteenth vierzehntefifth fünfte fifteenth fünfzehntesixth sechstesixteenth sechzehnteseventh siebte seventeenthsiebzehnteeighth achte eighteenth achtzehnteninth neunte nineteenth neunzehntetenth zehnte twentieth zwanzigste  In writing dates, German uses the number followed by a period. On February 2nd would be am 2.Februar. However, when saying this out loud, you would say am zweiten Februar. You must use theconstruction am + -en to answer a question beginning with Wann?  But you use the construction der +-e to answer the question Welches Datum?    Wann  sind Sie geboren? When were you born? Am achzehnte n Mai. On May 18th. Welches Datum  is heute? What is today's date?Heute ist der neunt e Oktober. Today is October ninth. 78. Passive Voice  To change a sentence from the active to the passive, change three things:1. accusative object of active sentence to nominative subject of passive sentence2. active verb to a tense of werden plus the past participle of verb in active sentence3. subject to von + dative object in the passive sentence, if agent is mentioned Present Tense   Viele Studenten lesen diesen Roman. = Dieser Roman wird von vielen Studenten gelesen.  Many students read this novel. = This novel is read by many students. Imperfect Tense   Viele Studenten lasen diesen Roman. = Dieser Roman wurde von vielen Studenten gelesen .Many students read this novel. = This novel was read by many students. Future Tense   Viele Studenten werden diesen Roman lesen. = Dieser Roman wird von vielen Studenten gelesenwerden .Many students will read this novel. = This novel will be read by many students. Present Perfect Tense   Viele Studenten haben diesen Roman gelesen. = Dieser Roman ist von vielen Studenten gelesenworden.  Many students have read this novel. = This novel has been read by many students. Past Perfect Tense   Viele Studenten hatten diesen Roman gelesen. = Dieser Roman war von vielen Studenten gelesenworden.  Many students had read this novel. = This novel had been read by many students.*Notice that in the passive voice, the past participle of werden  is worden and not geworden. Durch can replace von when the agent is an impersonal force (fire, wind, etc.); but it cannot be used ifpreceded by a limiting word (such as an article or adjective.) Passive with modals  Shifts in tense will only affect the modal part of the sentence. The infinitive forms of the pastparticiples are used with modals in the passive voice as well. And where you might expect somethinglike Das Haus hat werden müssen verkauft  , the actual construction is Das Haus hat verkauft werdenmüssen because of the double infinitive construction. Double infinitives always go to the end of thesentence, but you only need to worry about these in the present perfect and past perfect tenses.    79. Problems with the Passive   False Passive  Grammatically, the false passive is the same as sein + an adjective. This construction describes acondition rather than an action. Das Haus ist verkauft is the false passive, while das Haus wirdverkauft is the true passive. The false passive sentence indicates that the house is already sold(condition), while the true passive indicates the house is in the process of being sold (action). Passive with Absentee Subjects  Passive forms may have a definite or indefinite subject, or no apparent subject at all. The accusativeobject of an active sentence becomes the nominative subject of the passive sentence. But sometimesthere is no accusative object. Since a verb cannot be in the first position of sentence without turningthe sentence into a question, es is used as the subject. Man antwortet ihnen nicht  is an active sentence, but if it were turned into the passive, there would beno accusative object. The passive would have to be es wird ihnen nicht geantwortet . (Here werdenagrees with the apparent subject, es.)But if another element, such as a dative object or time expression, can be put in the first position, thenes is omitted. Ihnen wird nicht geantwortet can also be used as the passive. There is no apparentsubject, only an implied es  , so the form of werden remains wird  to agree with es.   80. Avoiding the Passive  1. The construction man + an active verb can be used instead of the passive voice. Man translates toone, you, we, they, people and constitutes the subject.Diese Bluse wird gereinigt. This blouse is being dry-cleaned Man reinigt diese Bluse. They are dry-cleaning this blouse.Der Dieb wurde gefunden. The thief was caught Man fand den Dieb. They caught the thief.2. Man + modal + an infinitive is frequently used with müssen or können.Der Flecken kann nicht entfernt werden. The stain cannot be removed.Den Flecken kann man nicht entfernen . We can't remove the stain.3. Sein + zu + an infinitive can be used with können or müssen to express the possibility or necessityof an action.Das kann schnell gemacht werden. That can be done quickly.Das ist schnell zu machen . That is quickly done.4. Sich lassen + an infinitive can replace können and a passive infinitive.Das kann gemacht werden. That can be done.Das läßt sich machen . That can be done.
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