Better German

Cover for Better German
Better German

This is a delightful book and is aimed at intermediate students who wish to grasp the nuances of the language, including the right way to use ‘problem’ words. In the same way as in English, there are differences in the usage of ‘hi’ and ‘how do you do’, so too in German. Learning the answers to these and a host of other questions can finally steer you to success. Key areas covered include: word order; the basics of sentence building; choosing the right form of the verb; mastering the reflexive verb; verb and stress; nouns for finance, business and work; nouns for education, school and career; nouns for travelling; choosing the right pronoun; adverbs and adjectives; choosing the right preposition; choosing the right conjunction; websites, further information and indexes.

Aimed at students – post-16-Level, vocational, mature or undergraduate students – as well as teachers, tutors and parents who wish to support their children, this book provides an essential aid for successful study. Features one-minute overviews and tutorials throughout.

Reviews
Skylark

4.0 out of 5 stars A very useful book

A very useful book for the serious intermediate student. Divided into chapters such as word order and choice of nouns for different situations. Many well-designed exercises with solutions at the back of the book. Click here to return to the home page

Contents list
Contents 2
Contents 3
Contents 4
Contents 5

Contents
Preface x
How to use the book xii
1 The Basics of Sentence Building 1
One-minute overview 1
Nouns and verbs – the core of a sentence 1
The noun as subject 2
The noun as direct object 3
Nouns and articles 4
The direct object in front position 6
A sentence with two objects 7
The indirect object in front position 8
Using adjectives 8
The use of pronouns 11
Using possessive adjectives 12
Using adverbs 13
The use of prepositions 15
Movement and position – the change of cases 16
The use of conjunctions 17
2 Choosing the Right Form of the Verb 19
One-minute overview 19
The regular endings of the present tense 19
Variants in personal endings 21
The vowel change in the stem of strong verbs 23
Important irregular verbs 25
The past tenses – imperfect (or preterite) 26
The auxiliary verbs – sein, haben, werden 28
The past tenses – perfect 29
Transitive verbs – the position of the object 30
Strong verbs – the past participle with and
without vowel change 32
The past participle of the auxiliary verbs sein,
haben and werden 34
3 Word Order 36
One-minute overview 36
Declarative sentences 36
Word order with compound tenses 37
Placing an adjunct in front position 40
v
Objects in front position with complex sentences 42
Verbs with separable prefixes 42
Compound verbs 44
Separable verbs and compound verbs in subordinate
clauses 46
Yes–no questions 47
Questions with interrogative words 49
Commands 51
4 Mastering Reflexive Verbs 53
One-minute overview 53
The reflexive pronoun sich – -self/-selves (3rd person) 53
Position and function of the reflexive pronoun 55
The reflexive pronoun in the accusative case 56
The reflexive pronoun in the dative case 58
The dative reflexive pronoun used with articles of
clothing and parts of the body 59
5 Verb and Stress 62
One-minute overview 62
Durchschauen and durchschauen 62
Durchdringen and durchdringen 64
Durchlaufen and durchlaufen 65
U¨bersetzen and u¨bersetzen 66
Umgehen and umgehen 67
Umschreiben and umschreiben 68
Umstellen and umstellen 70
Unterstellen and unterstellen 72
Wiederholen and wiederholen 73
6 Choosing the Right Noun – Finance, Business, Work 76
One-minute overview 76
account(s): der Bericht, die Darstellung/das Konto/
die Einnahmen und Ausgaben 76
affair: die Sache, die Angelegenheit/das Verha¨ltnis,
die Affa¨re 77
appointment: die Verabredung, der Termin/
die Ernennung, die Berufung/die Stelle 78
business: das Gescha¨ft/die Branche/der Betrieb,
das Gescha¨ft/die Sache, die Angelegenheit 79
chance: der Zufall/die Aussichten, die Chancen/
die Chance, die Gelegenheit/das Risiko 80
change: die Vera¨nderung, die A¨nderung/die Abwechslung/
der Wechsel/das Wechselgeld 81
vi
company: die Gesellschaft/der Besuch/die Firma, der Konzern/
die Schauspieltruppe/die Kompanie 82
concern: der Konzern/die Angelegenheit/die Sorge, die
Besorgnis/die Bedeutung 83
credit(s): der Kredit/das Guthaben/die Ehre/der Glauben/
der Nachspann/der Schein 84
demand: die Forderung/die Nachfrage 85
hours: die Stunden/die Gescha¨ftszeiten, die O¨ffnungszeiten 86
item: der Punkt/der Posten, das Stu¨ck/der Bericht, die
Nachricht 86
notice: die Benachrichtigung, der Bescheid/das Plakat/
die Ku¨ndigung/die Kritik, die Rezension 87
reason: der Grund/der Verstand/ die Vernunft 88
7 Choosing the Right Noun – Education, School, Career 90
One-minute overview 90
action: das Handeln/die Handlung, die Action/die Tat 90
background: der Hintergrund/der Werdegang, die Verha¨ltnisse,
die Herkunft/die Zusammenha¨nge, die Hintergru¨nde 91
degree: der Grad/das Maß/der akademische Grad, der
Hochschulabschluss 92
education: die Erziehung/die Ausbildung/die Bildung/
die Pa¨dagogik, die Erziehungswissenschaft 93
examination: das Examen, die Pru¨fung/die Pru¨fung/
die Untersuchung/das Verho¨r 94
failure: der Misserfolg/der Versager/der Ausfall, das Versagen 95
faith: das Vertrauen/der Glaube/das Bekenntnis, der Glaube 96
figure: die Zahl, die Ziffer/die Figur/die Gestalt/
die Perso¨nlichkeit 97
mark: der Fleck/der Kratzer, die Schramme/die Note/
das Zeichen/die Zu¨ge 98
note: das Briefchen, ein paar Zeilen/die Notiz/die Fußnote/
die Note/der Ton, der Klang 99
order: die Reihenfolge/die Ordnung/die Disziplin/der Befehl,
die Anweisung/die Bestellung 100
practice: die Gewohnheit/der Brauch, die Sitte/die Verfahrensweise,
die Praktik/das Training, die U¨bung/die Praxis 102
8 Choosing the Right Noun – Travelling 104
One-minute overview 104
address: die Adresse/die Ansprache 104
board: das Brett/die Tafel/die Kost, die Verpflegung/
der Ausschuss, der Vorstand 105
vii
capital: die Hauptstadt/der Großbuchstabe, die Blockschrift/
das Kapital 106
custom(s): die Sitte, der Brauch/die (An-)Gewohnheit/
die Kundschaft/der Zoll 107
gift: das Geschenk/die Gabe 108
guide: der Fu¨hrer/der Stadtfu¨hrer/das Handbuch 108
idea: die Idee, der Einfall/die Meinung, die Ansicht/
die Vorstellung/die Ahnung 109
identification: die Identifizierung/die Ausweispapiere/
die Identifikation 110
issue: die Frage, die Angelegenheit/die Ausgabe 111
line: die (Bahn-) Linie/die Grenze/die Reihe/die Gesellschaft/
die Zeile 111
medicine: die Arznei/die Medizin 113
people: die Menschen, die Leute/die Bevo¨lkerung/das Volk 113
service: der Dienst/die Dienstleistung/der Betrieb/
der Milita¨rdienst/die Bedienung/die Busverbindung,
der Busverkehr/der Gottesdienst 115
vacancy: das freie Zimmer/die offene Stelle, die freie Stelle 116
9 Choosing the Right Pronoun 118
One-minute overview 118
First person singular 118
Second person singular 122
Third person singular masculine 125
Third person singular feminine 126
The reflexive pronoun sich 128
10 Adverbs and Adjectives 130
One-minute overview 130
‘only’ as an adverb: erst/nur, bloß 130
‘only’ as an adjective: einzige(s) 131
‘then’ as an adverb: dann/damals, da/dann, außerdem 132
‘then’ as an adjective: damalig, damalige(n) 133
‘well’ ‘as well’ as an adverb: gut/gru¨ndlich/ohne weiteres,
gut, wohl/auch 134
‘well’ as an adjective: gesund/gut 135
‘late’ as an adverb: lange, la¨nger 136
‘late’ as an adverb/adjective; as a reflexive verb or noun:
spa¨t sein, sich verspa¨ten/Verspa¨tung haben 136
‘late’ as an adjective: spa¨t/verstorben 137
viii
11 Choosing the Right Preposition 139
One-minute overview 139
The correct translation of the preposition ‘at’ 139
The correct translation of the preposition ‘by’ 142
The correct translation of the preposition ‘in’ 145
The correct translation of the preposition ‘on’ 147
The correct translation of the preposition ‘to’ 149
12 Choosing the Right Conjunction 152
One-minute overview 152
Coordinating conjunctions: aber, doch, sondern 152
Subordinating conjunctions (I): wann, als, wenn 154
Subordinating conjunctions (II): ob, wenn, falls 156
Subordinating conjunctions (III): als, da, wie, obwohl 157
Answers to exercises 160
Websites for Students of German 191
Websites about Germany 193
Useful addresses and websites for travellers196
Index of Grammatical Terms 201
Index of German Words 203
Useful Sentences and Phrases for Travellers, Students
and Businessmen 207
Words and expressions a tourist or businessman needs
in Germany 207
Classroom language 207
At the doctor’s 208

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