BASIC GERMAN:A GRAMMAR AND WORKBOOKBasic German: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessiblereference grammar and related exercises in a single volume.It introduces German people and culture through the medium of thelanguage used today, covering the core material which students wouldexpect to encounter in their first years of learning German.Each of the 28 units presents one or more related grammar topics,illustrated by examples which serve as models for the exercises thatfollow. These wide-ranging and varied exercises enable the student tomaster each grammar point thoroughly.Basic German is suitable for independent study and for class use.Features include: Clear grammatical explanations with examples in both English andGerman Authentic language samples from a range of media Checklists at the end of each Unit to reinforce key points Cross-referencing to other grammar chapters Full exercise answer key Glossary of grammatical termsBasic German is the ideal reference and practice book for beginners butalso for students with some knowledge of the language.Heiner Schenke is Senior Lecturer in German at the University ofWestminster and Karen Seago is Course Leader for Applied Translationat the London Metropolitan University.

Other titles available in the Grammar Workbooks series are:Basic CantoneseIntermediate CantoneseBasic ChineseIntermediate ChineseIntermediate GermanBasic PolishIntermediate PolishBasic RussianIntermediate RussianBasic WelshIntermediate WelshTitles of related interest published by Routledge:Colloquial Germanby Dietlinde Hatherall and Glyn HatherallModern German Grammar: A Practical Guide, Second Editionby Bill Dodd, Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper, Ruth WhittleModern German Grammar Workbook, Second Editionby Heidi Zojer, Bill Dodd, Christine Eckhard-Black, John Klapper,Ruth Whittle


First published 2004by Routledge11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EESimultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis GroupThis edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.“To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’scollection of thousands of eBooks please go to” 2004 Heiner Schenke and Karen SeagoAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprintedor reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,or other means, now known or hereafter invented, includingphotocopying and recording, or in any information storage orretrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British LibraryLibrary of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book has been requestedISBN 0-203-64270-8 Master e-book ISBNISBN 0-203-67466-9 (Adobe eReader Format)ISBN 0–415–28404–X (hbk)0–415–28405–8 (pbk)

CONTENTSPrefacevii1 What’s different in German? Basic tips and patterns12 Verbs in the present tense63 Verb variations and irregular verbs124 Irregular verbs: haben and sein195 Separable verbs in the present tense246 Imperatives307 Questions368 Nouns and gender429 Plural of nouns5010 The four cases5611 The nominative case6212 The accusative case6513 The dative case7014 The genitive case7515 Personal pronouns7916 Possessive adjectives8717 Reflexive verbs9218 Negatives9719 Comparison of adjectives and adverbs10220 Modal verbs109

viContents21 The present perfect tense11622 The simple past tense12423 The future tense13024 Prepositions13525 Adjective endings14326 Numbers and dates15127 Conjunctions and clauses15828 Word order167Key to exercises and checklists175Glossary of grammatical terms200Common irregular verbs203Index205

PREFACEBasic German is aimed at absolute beginners and those learners who havesome knowledge of German but who need to refresh and consolidate basicstructures. It can be used on its own or in connection with any major Germancoursebook and it is suitable for self-study, class-based learning or referencepurposes.Presentation of grammarThe book explains the essentials of German grammar in clear and simplelanguage. The format is easily accessible and grammar topics follow a progression, which moves from simple aspects to more complex features. Formore in-depth study, there are cross-references to related grammar items.Explanations are simple and avoid specialised terminology while introducingkey terms. The vocabulary is practical and functional. It is introduced on acumulative basis and builds on vocabulary associated with topics featured inmajor course books.Structure of unitsThere are 28 units. Each unit covers one key grammar topic, which is contrasted with English structures where appropriate. Each topic starts out withan overview. This is followed by detailed explanation in an easy-to-followstep-by-step layout, breaking down complex aspects into simple segments.Examples in English and German illustrate each point and introduce relevantvocabulary.Checklists and exercisesIntegrated exercises allow immediate practice to consolidate each grammarpoint. Exercises are varied and progress from simple recognition to morecomplex application of grammar points.

viiiPrefaceA checklist at the end of each unit reinforces main points and provides anopportunity to self-assess understanding of the material covered.Answers to all exercises and checklists are at the end of the book.Using the book as a grammar referenceUnit headings indicate which grammar point is covered, and the glossaryprovides clear definitions and simple explanations of key grammatical terms.When appropriate, cross-references are provided within units.Extra featuresUnit 1 highlights some basic principles where the structures of German arefundamentally different from English. It explains their characteristics insimple terms and draws attention to underlying patterns. Extra tips on howto learn a language and learning specific grammar points are provided in thisunit and throughout the book.The book is suitable for independent learners GCSE preparation AS/A-level revision beginners’ courses at university and in further education adult education courses.

UNIT ONEWhat’s different in German? Basic tipsand patternsLearning German is often perceived as difficult. In 1880, Mark Twainfamously dubbed it ‘the awful German language’, protesting ‘Surely there isnot another language that is so slipshod and systemless, and so slippery andelusive to the grasp’ (Mark Twain, ‘The awful German language’, The TrampAbroad, 1880 (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1997), pp. 390–402).But is this really the case? One thing that is very helpful in learning Germanis that it is a systematic language, which follows rules. There are many ways tomake these rules easier to learn, and there are quite a few tips which will helpyou in learning the language.If you approach the language step by step you will find that it is mucheasier than you may think at the beginning. Here are pointers to some basicprinciples where German is different from English, and which may be usefulbefore you start out with the grammar proper.Spelling – capital letters and different charactersThere are a few ways in which German spelling is different from English.Capital letters for nounsGerman is one of the few languages which uses capital letters not only atthe beginning of sentences but also within sentences. In English, this appliesonly to proper names, to the personal pronoun ‘I’ and to personifications,such as ‘Love’.In German, all nouns must always be written with a capital letter, regardless of whether they are at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle:Der Mann und die Frau arbeiten jeden Tag am Computer.The man and the woman work at their computer every day.Note that the pronoun ich (‘I’) has no initial capital in German, but Sie(formal form of ‘you’) has.

2Unit 1Different charactersThe German alphabet has some characters which do not exist in the Englishalphabet:ß – the sharp ‘s’The letter ß, called eszett in German, is pronounced like the normal English‘s’, for example in ‘sun’ or ‘basic’.German uses this letter for instance after ei and ie, and after a, o, u if theyare pronounced long:heißenStraßegroßto be calledstreetbigThe umlauts – ä, ö, üThese are very important. They change the pronunciation of a word and,more importantly, its meaning:Mutter means ‘mother’, but Mütter is the plural form and means‘mothers’. Musste means had to, but müsste means ‘should’ or ‘ought to’.Three gendersAll nouns in German are masculine, feminine or neuter. This shows in theirsingular article: der for masculine, die for feminine, das for neuter.It is important to realise that gender in German is grammatical, notbiological as it is in English. This means that objects, concepts etc. which areneuter (‘it’) in English can be masculine, feminine or neuter in German:der Tischdie Türdas Fensterthe table (masculine)the door ( feminine)the window (neuter)Whenever you learn a new noun, always learn it with its gender: the best wayto do it is to learn it with its article. You will find that this will pay off in thelong term.EndingsOne of the principal differences between English and German is that inGerman words take specific endings depending on their relationship to other

Unit 13parts of the sentence. This applies to verbs, articles and possessive adjectivesand adjectives.VerbsThese are words describing the ‘action’ of a sentence, such as ‘to run’, ‘tothink’. For example, the German verb ‘to go’ has different endings when usedwith ‘I’, ‘he’ and ‘they’:Ich gehe.Er geht.Sie gehen.I go.He goes.They go.Articles and possessive adjectivesThese are words linked to a noun such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘my’ or ‘his’. For example,the indefinite article meaning ‘a’ changes in German when it is linked tothe subject of the sentence (ein Mann) or the object of the sentence (einenMann):Ist das ein Mann?Da drüben sehe ich einen Mann.Is that a man?I can see a man over there.AdjectivesThese words, which describe the quality of a noun, such as a ‘new’ computer,an ‘intelligent’ woman, a ‘beautiful’ house, follow a similar pattern when theyappear in front of a noun. In German adjectives can have different endingswhen they are linked to a masculine noun (ein neuer Computer), a femininenoun (eine intelligente Frau) or a neuter noun (ein schönes Haus).CasesOne of the most important features of German is that you can tell whatfunction a noun performs in a sentence by its ending and the form of thearticle. These show its case. For example, a noun can be the subject of thesentence, i.e. the ‘agent’ of what is happening:Der Hund beißt den Mann.The dog bites the man.Or it can be the object, i.e. the ‘receiver’ of the action in the sentence:Der Hund beißt den Mann.The dog bites the man.

4Unit 1The subject and the object are in different cases, which means that the article(‘the’) has a different ending. Both ‘dog’ and ‘man’ are masculine (der) but‘the dog’ is the subject (der Hund) and the man is the object (den Mann).Word orderWord order is much more flexible in German than in English, but there aresome very important rules. The most important apply to the position of thefinite verb. Here are some basic principles, which illustrate the difference toEnglish word order. The finite verb is the second idea in most statements:Er hat zwei Brüder.Morgen fahre ich nachManchester. The finite verb goes at the beginning of a sentence in orders and manyquestions:Öffnet das Fenster!Hast Du morgen Zeit? He has two brothers.Tomorrow I’m going to Manchester.Open the window, please.Are you free tomorrow?The finite verb goes at the end in subordinate clauses:Ich kann morgen nicht kommen, weil ich nach Manchester fahre.I can’t come tomorrow because I’m going to Manchester. If there are two verb forms, one of them goes at the end:Morgen muss ich nach Manchester fahren.Tomorrow I have to go to Manchester.TensesEnglish tenses differentiate between an action happening at the moment(‘I am working’) and an action taking place regularly (‘I work at Harrods’).In German, this difference does not exist. The finite verb form is the same inboth statements:Ich arbeite.Ich arbeite bei Harrods.I am working.I work at Harrods.The past in English is expressed either by the present perfect tense (whensomething happened recently or has a connection to the present: ‘I was

Unit 15working’ or the simple past tense (when something happened at a certaintime in the past or has no link to the present: ‘I worked’). German is simpler:you normally use the present perfect when you talk about the past regardless of when it happened, and you normally use the simple past in writtenGerman.And finally – looking for principlesGerman is a very systematic language, and very soon you will realise thatthere are certain patterns which occur again and again. If you bear this inmind you will see that, after the first few weeks of a fairly steep learningcurve, things will become easier and you will recognise these patterns.Buy a good dictionary. It not only gives you a list of translations butalso tells you how to pronounce unfamiliar words and gives you importantgrammatical information, for example whether a verb takes a certain case orwhat the plural is for a noun. Throughout the book, we tell you how to workwith dictionaries to get this kind of information and how it is relevant.Checklist1 Where do you use capital letters in German?2 When do you use the letter ß?3 Why are umlauts important?4 What is the difference between the use of gender in Germanand English?5 Give an example where a word changes its ending inGerman.6 What is one of the most important principles affectingGerman word order?7 Is there a difference between ‘I am working’ and ‘I work’ inGerman?

UNIT TWOVerbs in the present tenseWhat is a verb?A verb usually describes what a person or any other subject is doing: ‘I go tothe cinema.’ ‘She thinks about her holiday.’ ‘They play football.’ It can alsodescribe a state: ‘He is angry.’ ‘She lives over there.’ ‘They love me.’Verbs in EnglishIn English, verbs take no endings except for the third person singular(‘he’/‘she’/‘it’) in the present tense. You would say: ‘I go’, ‘you go’, ‘he/she/itgoes’, ‘we go’, ‘you go’, ‘they go’. Apart from the third person singularwhere ‘-(e)s’ is added, the verb in the sentence is the same form as theinfinitive, that is the basic form of a verb as it is listed in a dictionary orglossary (‘to go’).Verb FormationGerman has more endings for verbs in the present tense than English. Youtake the stem of a verb and then add the required ending. The stem is theform of the infinitive without -en or -n.infinitivekommenwohnenhörenstemkommwohnhörto cometo liveto hearVerb endings – an overviewHere is an overview of the verb endings in the present tense:

Unit 27ich (I)du (you, informal)Sie (you, formal)er/sie/es renhörtwir (we)ihr (you, plural, informal)Sie (you, plural, formal)sie twohnenwohnenhörenhörthörenhörenA verb with its ending is called a finite verb (as opposed to the infinitive whichdoes not have a meaningful ending). This is an important grammatical term,and you will find it in quite a few of the units.Verb endings in more detailAlthough as a beginner you probably mostly use the first and second personsingular (ich and du or Sie) it is important to know all the endings for theverbs. Here they are in more detail.ich (‘I’)For the first person singular you add -e to the stem:Ich wohne in Frankfurt.Ich spiele Gitarre.I live in Frankfurt.I play the guitar.du/Sie (‘you’, singular)There are two forms of address in German: the informal and the formal. Ifyou are addressing one person, the informal address is du and the formal isSie (always with an initial capital letter). The endings are -st and -en:Wo wohnst du?Where do you come from?(informal)Where do you live? (informal)Woher kommen Sie?Wo wohnen Sie?Where do you come from? (formal)Where do you live? (formal)Woher kommst du?er/sie/es (‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’)To talk about a third person or thing you use er for ‘he’, sie (with small s) for‘she’ and es for ‘it’ in German and add -t to the stem:

8Unit 2Er spielt Tennis.Woher kommt sie?Es schneit.He plays tennis.Where does she come from?It is snowing.wir (‘we’)Overall the plural forms are much easier to learn. ‘We’ (wir) takes -en – thesame form as most infinitives:Wir wohnen in Köln.Wir lernen Deutsch.We live in Cologne.We learn German.ihr/Sie (‘you’, plural)As for the singular, there is an informal (ihr) and a formal way (Sie) toaddress more than one person. These take different endings:Wo wohnt ihr?Was macht ihr hier?Wo wohnen Sie?Was machen Sie hier?Where do you live? (plural,informal)What are you doing here? (plural,informal)Where do you live? (plural, formal)What are you doing here? (plural,formal)sie (‘they’)When referring to several people, German uses sie again (spelled with a smalls!). You have to add -en:Und woher kommen sie?And where do they come from?Jutta und Bernd – was machen sie? Jutta and Bernd – what are theydoing?Uses of sie/SieWhen you start learning German you may be confused by the differentmeanings of the word sie. sie with a small s can mean either ‘she’ or ‘they’.Sie with a capital S is used for formal ‘you’ in both singular and plural.The verb endings for ‘they’ and singular and plural formal ‘you’ areidentical.

Unit 29One present tense in GermanAs we have seen, in German there is only one present tense, which corresponds both to the simple and to the continous present in English:He drinks beer. or He is drinkingbeer.She plays football. or She is playingfootball.Er trinkt Bier.Sie spielt Fußball.ExceptionsAlthough the majority of verbs in German follow the regular patterndescribed above, there are a number of exceptions (irregular forms): Some verbs have slight spelling variations, or their stem vowel changes(see Unit 3).Sein and haben (‘to be’ or ‘to have’) are particularly irregular (see Unit 4).But before you explore the mysteries of German verb endings further, makesure that you have digested all the information from this Unit. For more information on verb endings see Units 3 and 4. See also Unit 15 for more details on personal pronouns (‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’,‘she’ etc.).Exercise 2.1Use the endings from the list below to complete the verb forms. The first onehas been done for you.-en-enich -eduSieer/sie/es-e-st-t-en-en-twirihrSiesie

10Unit 2Exercise 2.2Here is a short interview with Alex Maschke, who lives in Berlin. Completethe gaps with the appropriate verb forms.du? – Ichaus Frankfurt.Example: kommen Woher Woher kommst du? – Ich komme aus Frankfurt.12345du? – Ichjetzt in Berlin.wohnen Wostudieren Und wasdu? – IchPhysik und Chemie.du? – Ichgern klassische Musik.hören Welche Musiklernen Welche Sprachedu im Moment? – IchSpanisch.trinken Wasdu gern? – Ichgern Kaffee.As you have probably noticed, Alex was addressed informally. Rewrite thequestions in the formal mode (using the Sie form).Exercise 2.3Supply the missing endings.aus Wien.Example: Anna komm Anna kommt aus Wien.123456789101112131415161718Ulrike.Ich heißdu wirklich aus London?Kommim Stadtzentrum.Peter wohnDas ist Pia. Sie geh sehr gern ins Restaurant.Wie heißSie?Ich heiß Petra Schmidt.Und was mach Sie beruflich?Ich studierPhysik.Und woher komm ihr?ihr hier?Was machUnd wo wohn ihr?Wir komm aus Süddeutschland.Wir gehzu einem Fußballspiel.Wir bleib drei Tage.Sie (Pier und Jörg) lern Englisch.Basel liegin der Schweiz.Komm ihr aus Freiburg?Und woher komm du?

Unit 21119 Ann und Tina spiel gern Badminton.20 Wir find Berlin sehr interessant.Exercise 2.4Translate the following sentences:123456I live in Berlin.He drinks beer.She plays tennis.Carla and Sophia are playing football.Where do you come from? (Use (a) the du and (b) the Sie form.)Where do you live? (Use (a) the du, (b) the Sie-form and (c) the ihr form.)Checklist1 Can you form the stem of a German verb?2 What are the verb endings in the singular?3 Do you know the endings in the plural?4 How many tenses are there in German for the present?5 Can you define what a finite verb is?

UNIT THREEVerb variations and irregular verbsRegular and irregular formsMost verbs in German follow a regular pattern where the ending is simplyadded to the stem of the verb. But there are some variations where thespelling is slightly different. There is also a group of irregular verbs wherethere are changes in the stem of the verb.Irregular forms in EnglishIn English there is also a difference between regular and irregular verbs, butit usually does not affect the present tense, except for ‘to be’ and ‘to have’.These verbs will be discussed in Unit 4.Spelling variations – an overviewStem endings in -d or -tThere are some German verbs where the stem ends in -d or -t. It would bedifficult to pronounce the -st endings for du and the t ending for er/sie/es andihr if -st or -t was directly added to the stem. This is why an e is put beforethese stredfinite verbdu arbeitestes kostetihr redetto workto costto talkVerbs such as atmen and regnenVerbs such as atmen and regnen, where the stem ends in a consonant n or m,also need the additional e:

Unit 3infinitiveatmenregnenstematmregnfinite verbdu atmestes regnet13to breatheto rainExamples:Du atmest sehr heftig.Herr Maier arbeitet bei Siemens.Es regnet schon wieder!Das Buch kostet 5 Euro.Ihr redet zu viel.You’re breathing rather heavily.Mr Maier works for Siemens.It’s raining again!The book costs 5 euros.You’re talking too much.Only du, er/sie/es and ihr are affectedThe extra e is added only with the endings for du, er/sie/es and ihr: it does notaffect the other verb forms:ich arbeitedu arbeitestSie arbeitener/sie/es arbeitetwir arbeitenihr arbeitetSie arbeitensie arbeitenStem endings in -s, -ss, -ß, -x, -z, -tzNormally the verb ending for du is st, but, if the verb stem ends in s, ss or ß,add a t as the verb ending for du:infinitivereisenküssenheißenfinite verbdu reister küsstdu heißtto travelto kissto be calledExamples:Reist du wieder nach Italien?Du heißt doch Frank, oder?Susi küsst gern.Are you travelling to Italy again?You’re called Frank, aren’t you?Susi likes kissing.For a few verbs where the stem ends in x, z or tz the same pattern applies:faxentanzenschwitzendu faxtdu tanztdu schwitztto faxto danceto sweat

14Unit 3Irregular verbs with vowel changesThere is a group of German verbs where the vowel in the stem changes in thepresent tense. These changes apply only in the du and er/sie/es forms. None ofthe other endings is affected. Here are examples in some frequently enfinite verber schläftsie isstdu sprichstdu liester siehtto sleepto eatto speakto readto seeExamples:Liest du gern Harry Potter?Er sieht ein Fußballspiel.Sie isst gern Pizza.Sprichst du Deutsch?Sie schläft bis elf Uhr.Do you like reading Harry Potter?He is watching a football match.She likes eating pizza.Do you speak German?She sleeps until eleven o’clock.Looking out for patternsThese changes apply only to a limited number of verbs. It is best to learnthese verbs by heart. There are also certain patterns which can help youpredict how a verb changes. They are:a äe ie ieHere they are in more detail.Changes from a to äImportant verbs – apart from schlafen – which follow this pattern are:fahren haltentragenwaschendu fährst, er/sie/es fährtdu hältst, er/sie/es hältdu trägst, er/sie/es trägtdu wäschst, er/sie/es wäschtto driveto hold, to stopto carryto wash

Unit 315Examples:Du fährst morgen nach Hause.Gleich fällt es runter!Er trägt ein neues T-Shirt.You’re going home tomorrow.Any moment now it will fall(down)!He wears a new T-shirt.Changes from e to iYou have seen that sprechen and essen are two prominent verbs which changetheir vowel from e to i. Other verbs which follow this pattern are:gebenhelfentreffenwerfen du gibst, er/sie/es gibtdu hilfst, er/sie/es hilftdu triffst, er/sie/es trifftdu wirfst, er/sie/es wirftto giveto helpto meetto throwExamples:Er hilft Frau Maier.Triffst du heute Angelika?Er wirft den Ball zu Beckham.He helps Frau Maier.Are you meeting Angelika today?He throws the ball to Beckham.The verb nehmen also follows the e to i pattern, but it has greater spellingvariations. Here are all forms:ich nehmedu nimmstSie nehmener/sie/es nimmtwir nehmenihr nehmtSie nehmensie nehmenExamples:Nimmst du Kaffee oder Tee?Er nimmt ein heißes Bad.Do you take coffee or tea?He is taking a hot bath.Changes from e to ieSome verbs such as sehen and lesen, where the e sound is pronounced long,change their vowel e into ie:sehenlesen du siehst, er/sie/es siehtdu liest, er/sie/es liestto seeto read

16Unit 3Another important verb is empfehlen:empfehlen du empfiehlst, er/sie/es empfiehltto recommendExamples:Er sieht Jutta nicht.Sie empfiehlt Tee.He doesn’t see Jutta.She recommends tea.Where to look for irregular formsAll verbs with a vowel change are irregular verbs. You will find a list ofirregular verbs, often also called strong verbs, at the back of most coursebooks and dictionaries, as well as at the back of this one. But beware: not allirregular verbs change their spelling in the present tense.Other irregular verbsThere are also two other groups of verb forms which do not conform to theregular pattern in the present tense: the verbs sein and haben ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ (see Unit 4)the modal verbs (see Unit 18).Exercise 3.1Write out the full present tense of the following verbs (for all persons: ich, du,Sie, er/sie/es, wir, ihr, Sie, sie):1234arbeitentanzenheißenreisenExercise 3.2Here is a list of frequently used irregular verbs. Place a tick against the oneswhich change their vowel in the present tense and a cross against the oneswhich do not. The first two have been done for you. Use a verb list to checkyour answers.

Unit 3bleiben helfenschreibenstehenessen xercise 3.3Here is what Hans Homann, a young television presenter from Austria, saysabout himself. Use this information to write a short portrait of him. The firstsentence has been done for you.12345678910Ich heiße Hans Homann. Er heißt Hans Homann.Ich komme aus Wien.Ich arbeite für das Österreichische Fernsehen.Ich spreche natürlich Deutsch, aber auch Englisch und Spanisch.Ich lese gern Kriminalromane.Ich fahre auch gern Ski und schwimme viel.Ich sehe gern alte Filme mit Marlene Dietrich.Ich schlafe oft lange.Ich reise gern.Und ich helfe am Wochenende alten Leuten.Exercise 3.4Translate the following sentences into German:12345678She reads a book.Peter speaks German and English.We speak German and Spanish.Magda likes eating pizza.I’ll have a beer, please.He has a beer.She is wearing a T-shirt.It is raining.

18Unit 3Checklist1 Can you remember for which endings there is a stem vowelchange?2 Can you identify when you need to use an additional e?3 What do you need to remember if the stem ends in an ssound?4 What are the most common stem vowel changes?

UNIT FOURIrregular verbs: haben and seinIrregular in both languagesThe verbs haben ‘to have’ and sein ‘to be’ are both very important. They arequite irregular in German, as in English.Different patternsAs explained in Unit 3, irregular verbs in German tend to change theirstem vowel. In the present tense this sometimes affects the du and er/sie/esforms:lesenessen du liest, er/sie/es liestdu isst, er/sie/es isstto readto eatSein is an example of an irregular verb where the endings change even moredrastically. This is very similar to English, where ‘to be’ has very irregularforms in the present tense: ‘I am’, ‘you are’, ‘he/she/it is’, ‘we are’, ‘you are’,‘they are’.Haben and sein – an overviewHere is an overview of the verb forms for haben and sein:ich (I)du (you, informal)Sie (you, formal)er/sie/es (he/she/it)wir nd

20Unit 4ihr (you, plural, informal)Sie (you, plural, formal)sie (they)habthabenhabenseidsindsindHere are both verbs in more detail.Haben in more detailDifferent pattern for du and er/sie/esThere are some patterns with haben which may help you remember theendings.The endings for ich, wir, ihr and sie are regular: you add them to the stem inthe normal way:ich hab-e, wir hab-en, ihr hab-t, sie hab-en.It is only for du and er/sie/es that the finite verb form is irregular – you need todrop the b from the stem:du hast, er/sie/es hat.ExamplesIch habe viel zu tun.Claus hat eine Schwester.Haben Sie Wechselgeld?Sie haben ein neues Auto.I have a lot to do.Claus has one sister.Do you have change?They have a new car.Use of habenHaben is an important verb which you will be using a lot. It is used to formtenses just as English uses ‘to have’:Ich habe gesungen.I have sung.Useful phrasesHere are a few useful phrases with haben:Hunger habenDurst habenZeit habenLangeweile habenKopfschmerzen habento be hungryto be thirstyto be free/have timeto be boredto have a headacheIch habe Hunger.Er hat Durst.Du hast Zeit.Wir haben Langeweile.Sie hat Kopfschmerzen.

Unit 421Sein in more detailCompletely irregularThe finite verb forms for sein are completely irregular and need to be learnedby heart: ich bin, du bist, Sie sind, er/sie/es ist, wir sind, ihr seid, Sie sind, siesind.Examples:Ich bin aus Deutschland.Sind Sie Herr Schuhmacher?Du bist sehr schön.Er ist Amerikaner.Sie ist Lehrerin.Es ist schwer.Entschuldigung, wir sind verspätet.Seid Ihr verheiratet?Wir sind aus Großbritannien.I’m from Germany.Are you Mr Schuhmacher?You’re very beautiful.He is an American.She is a teacher.It’s difficult.Apologies, we are late.Are you married?We’re from Great Britain.And there is, of course Shak

BASIC GERMAN: A GRAMMAR AND WORKBOOK Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume. It intro