German Grammar, Here Are 5 Mandatory Rules -
29 May 2023

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German Grammar, Here Are 5 Mandatory Rules – To practice speaking skills, many suggest not to care too much about grammar or grammar. There is nothing wrong with this opinion.

Because if you focus too much on grammar and then forget about speaking practice, you won’t be able to speak fluently. Or even worse, you will be frustrated because of the complicated grammar.

But at a certain level, we still have to learn German grammar. Even if you don’t learn everything.

Because grammar will help convey sentences correctly and avoid some basic mistakes. Don’t let Germans laugh at very basic German grammatical errors.

5 Basic Rules of German Grammar

Fortunately, German grammar is not as complicated as one might think. For simplicity, we can focus on some of the most important rules.

In this way, you can save time and effort. So, do you want to know what are the basic rules that will make you a master in German grammar? Here comes the answer.

1. The verb is in second place

Don’t worry about German verbs. Although not always, but usually the verb or das varb comes second in the sentence.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at some of these examples:

Ich liebe dich (I love you)
Wir lernen Mathematik (we study Mathematics)
Er spielt Fußball (he plays football)
Sie lebt in London (he lives in London)

If you pay attention, the form of the sentence above is similar to English or Indonesian. But if you want to make an interrogative sentence, move the verb to the first position.

Liebst du mich? (Do you love me?)
Lernt ihr Mathematic? (do you study Math)
Spielt er Fußball? (does he play football)
Lebt sie in London? (does he live in London)

For beginners, being able to make simple sentences is great. But next time you’ll be dealing with more complicated rules, like double verbs, conjunctions, modals, etc. But take it easy, live step by step. If you are used to it, there is nothing difficult about German.

german grammar

2. Nouns always start with a capital letter

Look at the example sentences above. Math and Fußball start with a capital letter. Don’t think it’s a typo!

Because in the grammar of the German language, all nouns (which show people, things, and places) must start with a capital letter.

To be clearer, see the sentences below:

Ich spreche Deutsch (I speak German)
Es sind vier Stifte in meiner Tasche (there are four pens in my bag)
Er liebt Winter (he likes winter)
Du hast wunderschöne Augen (you have beautiful eyes)
Mueller hat große Ohren (Mueller has big ears)

Deutsch (German), Stifte (pen), Tasche (bag), Winter (winter), Augen (eye), Ohren (ear) are nouns, so they must be capitalized.

Even though nouns or Das Nomen begin with a capital letter, but not with pronouns. Pronouns are never capitalized, except at the beginning of a sentence.

3. The order of adverbs of time, manner and place

In a sentence, an adverb will provide information about when, how, where, or how often an event occurs.

Now when there are several adverbs that appear sequentially, then in German they must be in order: 1) time (when, how often?), 2) manner (how did it happen, with whom?), 3) place (where?).


Ich fahre um acht Uhr mit dem Bus zur Schule (I take the bus to school at eight o’clock)

The translation above has adjusted to the order of words commonly used in Indonesia. But if translated word for word, the order follows the description of time, manner and place:

1)Description of time: um acht Uhr (eight o’clock)
2) Adverb of way: dem Bus (by bus)
3) Adverb of place: zur Schule (to school)

Another example sentence:

-Ich werde am Dienstag (1) schnell (2) in die Stadt (3) gehen (I’m going quickly to town on tuesday)

4. Gender of the noun

Gender rules are another feature of the German language. For those who are used to learning English, you will be surprised by this rule.

Because every German noun has one of 3 genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter. Then how do we know the gender?

If we read German writing, gender can be identified by the “the” that appears before a noun.

Masculine- Der
Feminine- Die
Neuter- Das

Sometimes the gender can also be identified from the ending of the noun. Example:

Der Lehrer (male teacher)
Die Lehrerin (female teacher)
Der Student (male student)
Die Studentin (girl student)

Unfortunately most nouns don’t have a pattern like the example above. Example:

Der Mann (male)
die Frau (female)
der Baum (tree)
der Fluss (river)
Der Ball (ball)
der Vogel (bird)
die Ente (duck)
die Uhr (hours)
die Camera (camera)
das Kind (child)
das Buch (book)
das Rad (bike)

We don’t know why trees are judged to be male or birds to be female. All that remains is to follow as the Germans have determined.

So like it or not we need to memorize the vocabulary and its gender. And this has to do with habits. The more you interact with German vocabulary, the easier it will be to know gender in learning German grammar.

5. Plural endings

In English, it’s very easy to show plural nouns. We just need to add the -s ending. But in German plural words can be formed in many ways. Among them with the endings -e, -er, -n, -en, and -s.

Again, there is no clear rule on which ending to use. So we can only memorize the plural form of each vocabulary learned.

– Plural form ending in -s
Das Auto (cars), die Autos (cars)
Das Radio (radio), die Radios (radios)
Die Cameras (cameras), die Cameras (cameras)
Die Mutti (mother), die Muttis (mothers)

– Plural form with the ending -n
Der Vater (father), die Vätern (many fathers)
Die Blume (flowers), die Blumen (flowers)
Die Banane (bananas), die Bananen (bananas)
Das Bett (bed), die Betten (many beds)

– Plural forms with the ending -e
Der Hund (dogs), die Hunde (dogs)
Der Teppich (carpets), die Teppich (carpets)
Die Hand (hand), die Hände (hands)
Das Tier (animals), die Tiere (animals)

– Plural forms with the ending -er
Der Mann (Men), die Männer (the men)
Das Kind (children), die Kinder (children)
Das Wort (word), die Wörter (word)
Das Haus (house), die Häuser the houses)

So, I hope this introduction to the 5 German grammar rules will help you understand German. Learning grammar is challenging, but this is actually good for training brain intelligence.

To get used to German grammar, you can practice listening to podcasts or reading books in German.

And even if you’re not too good at grammar, keep practicing and don’t be afraid to speak. Even Germans still understand our grammar mistakes. Have fun practicing!


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