German Basics: Lesson 1

Hello, nice to see you here!

German is known to be a very difficult language due to it’s grammar rules and many "sch" and "ch" sounds, as well as the letters ä, ö, ü and ß but don’t worry!

The German language is actually really similar to the English one and therefor easy to learn.

In this course you will learn how to introduce yourself and to have a first basic conversation in German.

Ready? Go!

Let’s start with something easy.

The English word hello is actually Hallo in German.

That’s not too difficult to remember, is it?

And because this is a very easy one I want to show you another easy expression:

Mein Name ist..

Any guess what this means? Right, mein Name ist is German for my name is, easy huh?

Let’s try if you can get this together and I’ll explain to you what the single words mean.

Imagine your name is Severin. How would you say

?Hello, my name is Severin.I

Good! Now let’s have a look at the single words used above.

Mein means my and shows if something is in your posession.

In this case, think of it as if your name was your posession. In fact, mein even stands for both my and mine, but this is not that important for now.

Name obviously means name. Great for us, because that’s less to learn.

Well, actually there is something you need to remember here if you’re wanting to have a correct written language. You probably realised that the word Name is written with a capital N in the middle of the sentence.

That is because nouns are always starting with a capital in the German language.

There is no real use to it, but it is very imortant to keep in mind.

Just remember that every time you see a word starting with a capital letter it is weither a name or a noun.

Now let’s get to the last word of our sentence, ist.

Ist means is and comes from the word sein in English - to be.

In German, you don’t have the word to in front of verbs, which is great for lazy learners like us, because we can just say the verb, without needing to remember putting something in front of it!

Let’s practise our first sentence again, just so you’re getting the hang of it.

?Hello, my name is Severin.I

Just like mein the word sein also has two meanings.

his or to be

Now you know what his is in German. If I tell you that the rest of the sentence stays the same, can you guess what

His name is is in German?

?His name is Severin.I

Very good! And because you did such a good job I am also going to tell you what her is in German.

Her is ihr in German.

Try it out, this time using a typical female name: Anne.

?Her name is Anne.I

Now you already know how to say mein, sein und ihr.

Let’s continue with their.

We already mentioned it.. Any guesses?

It is ihr again! ..Well just that you add an e to the ending. So it is ihre.

ihre is used to refer to more people and more names, so we need the plural form of our noun.

In this case you simply add an n to the end:

ein (a) Name - die (the) Namen

We’ll get to the a/the thing later on, just ignore it here.

By the way, adding an n to the end of a noun is not the only way to form the plural form of a noun, but one of the most common ones, which is all you need to know for now.

We still need the plural form of ist to complete our sentence, which is sind.

Remember this:

Every time you would use is in English, you use ist in German.

Every time you would use are in English, you use sind.

Not too hard to remember after all.

Now that you know the plural form of sein, let’s put our sentence together.

This time we need two names though, which means we need the help of another very little word, but don’t moan just yet! It is easy, I promise! Und is German for and, easy as that.

Now we can put it together!

?Their names are Severin and Anne.I

There still are plenty of things to know, for example to say "your" and "our" in English, but this is what you will learn in our next course. Also, you’ll learn how to say "I", "You" and so on and how to ask simple questions.

In this course you learned: How to say your name, how to say other peoples names and the German word for "to be". Good job and see you next time, hopefully!