learn-german-online-courseIf you want to learn German by yourself or if you’re looking for something to read along the way… this might be it. Here you can find lectures about all that is important about the German language as a system. We will not do the usual “How to introduce oneself” or “” here but we will eventually cover all the grammar. So… reading this won’t make you talk but I am sure it will help you understand how German works.

I decided to not structure the stuff in a linear way so the sections are pretty much independent of one another.  That means more freedom for you… yeahhh.
Ok…. if you are a complete beginner you should start with the basics…I mean… it makes little sense to read about time as long as you don’t know the past tense. But as soon as you’re done with the the essentials you can read whatever section whenever you feel like finding out more about the question… because it is then that you have a good chance of retaining it :).

So… go ahead, read what you’re interested in and leave the rest for another time. I hope you enjoy it.

The essentials

German personal pronouns Personal pronouns   –   Learn the basis German personal pronouns like I, you, we and so on…
German verb conjugation Verb 1 – present tense   –   Learn how to conjugate about 98 percent of all German verbs in present tense
German modal verbs Verb 2 – present tense   –  well… the other 4 … uh I mean 2%
past tense in German Past Tense 1 –  an introduction to the German past tense
German past tense present perfect Past Tense 2  –  learn how to build the ge-form and when to use haben or sein
color-basics Past Tense 3  –  yet to come
past tense in German Questions 1 –  learn how to ask questions in German… part one deals with all the question words like was, wo, wer, wie, wann and so on… in detail :)
German past tense present perfect Questions 2  –  learn how to ask so called open questions … those without question words.
color-basics Questions 3  –  yet to come


learn about German Time Time 1   –   an insightful (or so I hope) introduction about what ways there are to give time information
learn the German time of day Time 2   –   Learn how to say the time of day
learn about German temporal adverbs Time 3   –  Learn all those “names” for time like today, tomorrow, last week and how to use them
German temporal adverbs future Time 4.1  –  Learn all those vague words like soon, later, at some point and so on… part one looks into the future
color-intermediate Time 4.2  –  And more…. vague words for the past… like just now, recently, a while ago, earlier and so on
German Time prepositions Time 5.1  Time preposition and how to use them… so things like in, since, for
color-intermediate Time 5.2 the rest of the prepositions… shame on me, but this is still pending
German temporal conjunctions Time 6learn how to coordinate actions in time… we’ll look at words like before, after, while and others… it is long but I swear it is worth it


German sentence structure The Box Model   –   A broad  look at what a sentence consists of leads us to the Box Model (©me). The box model is really helpful at understanding and breaking down even the most difficult German sentences. It will be theory and a lot of English but it is definitely worth the read.
color-intermediate zu and um zu   –  find out when to use which and settle the matter once and for all
german da-words meaning The da-words   –  damit, davor, davon, daran… what are they, what do they do and… whyyyyyyy
color-nerd German Participle Constrctions   - scary sounding, not the most useful in daily conversation and yet all over in German. You can be fluent without knowing about this. But it gives you a great inside into the Lego-like character of German and helps you understand German sentence structure a bit better… because actually, you don’t have to move that much :)

Cases and such

what are grammatical cases What are cases   –  find out what cases are, why they exist, how they are in other languages and what cases and prepositions have in common (except that they suck)
German cases explained - nominative and genitive German cases explained 1   find out about the two German cases no one cares about. The bland nominative and the shunned Genitive. But who knows… maybe there is more to them after all??
german case explained - accusative and dative German cases explained 2   –  mich, mir… accusative, dative… find out what’s up with those once and for all.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 1  –  you want to get the endings right? Why not start  today!? with this convenient starter kit you can get about 40% correct … and you don’t even have to bother about gender or case.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 2  - The second step to mastery of the German adjective declension will et you another 40% there with not so much of an effort.
German adjective endings 1 German Adjective Endings 3  

This one fixes the few mistakes that are still there… if you have 2 minutes to think, that is :). Seriously, it’s worth reading just to know what’s going on, but getting it right while speaking… no explanation can do that. Just talk and read and it’ll come :)

And then the ones I haven’t categorized yet:

  • Reflections on reflexive - This post takes a look at what “reflexive” actually means. Then we’ll take a look at English and compare that to how it works on German and do away with some myths they teach in language class sometimes. After reading this, you see German reflexive verbs in a different light… they aren’t that hard actually.

Oh… right… what’s up with the colors? They should give you an orientation what the article is like…

color-basics:  Rated G. This is basic stuff that you can use and apply
even as a complete beginner without knowledge about cases or
sentence structure

color-intermediate:  This is the core of German grammar and structure.
Having read the green stuff you know enough to speak proper
German (of course you need to practice)

color-theory: These articles are more theoretical look at German…
no… not the boring theoretical, the insightful one… so those are
not about “How do I do this and that” but more about the
“Whhhhyyyyyy???” … they give you useful background and
organize things a little.

color-nerd: Rated Nerd. This is advanced stuff. You can speak
German fluently without any of this but you will need it for
writing and if you want to pass language tests higher than the B2.

66 responses to “Online-Course

  1. Im looking forward to The Box Model :-)


  2. I can not wait for the Box Model, I know you can solve the mysterious “sentence structure” problem many of us have.


    • Oh damn the box model :)…. yeah to me this is really a big big big thing about German. I don’t know why I keep procrastinating it but it just needs to “ripen” :)… by the way, thanks for your other comments :). I actually did start this blog because I had this dream of having my own textbook… still a looooong way to go but it is great to see that people like the approach.


  3. When will the box model be released? Your lessons are fantastic and if this is a general application for word order it would be fantastic. :)


    • The box model will probably be the next article to come… it will lay a foundation to talk about sentence structure and it will contain some notes about word order but there will be more detailed discussion of that later on… :)


  4. Can’t wait for the box model either! :)


  5. Don’t forget about German Adjective Endings part 2 though……part 1 was really useful ! :)


  6. You should probably add the new addition “The Box Model” to this index. I’ve just started it, it looks v.good. Thanks for all your work.


  7. I think your blog is brilliant — probably the best thing I’ve read to help me learn; combining many examples + making the boring stuff interesting. A cheeky request would be an additional forum part of this website, where people can ask questions about correct grammar usage, through their example(s), and other forum people reply with an answer?

    Anyway, good luck if you ever do write a book. It’ll definitely be a success if you do!


  8. This blog is great :) I’m a 6th Form Student, doing my A levels, and it’s really helping with the grammar stuff I didn’t understand because we hadn’t been taught it yet. I originally came here for the ‘darum, damit… daholyshitwhat’ article, and it’s nice to finally be able to understand what’s going on.

    I hope you continue doing this because it really helps.


  9. This is an awesome resource. Very happy you’ve created it. I finally have something productive to do during the workday. :)


  10. Hello, I have a doubt and I think you can answer it. For example die katze can be written der cat?. This can sound strange, but in spanish is prefectly logical (“el gato” is the cat masculine, and “la gata” is the cat femenine). I hope you can help me because I can’t found it anywhere. Regards, Juan Macias


    • Hi Juan,

      so the general word for the animal in German is die Katze (feminine). So when you see one and you do not know or care whether it is male or female… say die Katze.
      A male cat is called “der Kater”. What doesn’t work is der Katze (except if it is in Dative case :)… so either die Katze or der Kater. Hope that helps :)


  11. Please tell me german present and future tense . Its so hard and I think that your website can make me learn this please help me in this………………. :( :'(


  12. Hi Emmanuel!

    Found you from a link on Yabla (in their piece on “doch”)! Glad I clicked it :) Everything here has been extremely helpful – thanks to you! Your two pieces on Adjectives, especially, are klasse. How about some help now with Possessive Adjectives – seiner, seinem, ihrer, ihrem,… (the works)? All my gratitude in advance :)


  13. Super! Vielen Dank! I’m so a fan now :) :) :)


  14. Good day, sir. My name is Paul. I’m from the Philippines where we have two official languages, Filipino (which is based on the regional dialect, the “Tagalog”) and English, which we use mostly for academic and official purposes. I never had any inclination to learn another language but my interest in German was piqued when I played Duolingo 3 weeks ago. Duolingo is cool, but to really get a good grasp of German, I realized I needed to learn its grammar. I came across your excellent website while exploring the net and found your explanations really understandable.

    The difficulty that I’ve so far encountered is the use of articles and their variations depending on a noun’s case. In Filipino, the equivalent of Der, Das and Die is “Ang” and if we would want to refer to a plural noun, we only add “mga” (pronounced ma-nga) to “Ang” to have “Ang mga”. The bird is “Ang ibon” and the birds, “Ang mga ibon”. In German, the use of articles depend upon the gender and the case, and they’re driving me nuts. I also find German sentence structure complex; the usual subject-verb-object order in English that I’ve been accustomed to doesn’t always apply, especially in clauses following a conjunction.

    Bookstores here don’t offer that much material on German. Germany (and for that matter, much of the non-English speaking countries in Europe) doesn’t figure much in our universe. So material on the German language here is hard to come by, the bookstores here being limited only to dictionaries and books promising good German in five days.

    I am grateful that there are people like you who share their expertise to put this kind of website out there for learners like me to enjoy and study.


    • Thanks for that nice comment and thanks for taking the time to talk a bit about your own language. It is always fascinating to see how other languages do things. There are just soooo many different way to communicate an idea :). I have deep respect for all the people who come from a completely different language background like from Asia, Afrika or from the Middle East. Because for them the European languages must look like Chinese does look to Germans or Brits or Sweds… different and scary :D… Tell someone you’re learning Chinese or Japanese or Arabic here and you’ll get all kinds of “Wow… so hard, I could never do that”. I have given Japanese a try a year ago but I basically stopped when I had the feeling that I in fact “could” learn it…. but with super effort. So… I have learned French and Italian and English but in the end they are all kind of similar. But I would love to be able to speak a completely different language… it just makes you more aware of how relative everything in language is. Viel Erfolg beim Lernen auf jeden Fall und wenn du mal wieder einen Kommentar schreibst, dann versuch’ ruhig auf Deutsch :)


  15. Pingback: Free online global health courses and learning | Investigate : Health

  16. Hi! Thank you so so much for all the effort you put into your posts. I LOVE your site. I can’t believe you have me giggling whilst learning about separable verb prefixs! Thank-you for making learning german so interesting, fun and informative at the same time. I now visit your site daily. :)


  17. Alexandru Bejenaru

    Heißen vs bedeuten?
    Thank you.


    • So in a nutshell… “heißen” is ” to be called” and in an ancient way also “to call”

      – Ich heiße Emanuel.
      – I am called Emanuel.

      – Ich heiße Thomas einen Lügner. (old)
      – I call Thomas a liar.

      “Bedeuten” means “to signify” and the noun is way more common “die Bedeutung”
      Both words, “heißen” and “bedeuten” have little to do with one another except for this one super common phrasing

      – Das heißt…
      – Das bedeutet…
      – That means…

      The difference here is small and in a lot of occasions both versions are interchangeable but “heißen” is more broad. “Bedeuten” is often used when you talk about the consequences of something.

      – DIe Oper ist zu? Das bedeutet ja, dass wir nicht gehen können?!
      – The opera is closed? Oh that means that we can’t go?!

      “Heißen” can do that too but “heißen” can also just talk about simple names… like…

      – Was heißt “Tisch” auf Englisch?
      – What does Tisch mean in English? (don’t know if this is correct)

      You can’t ask

      – Was bedeutet “Tisch”…

      and you can’t ask

      – Was bedeutet das?

      if all you want is to understand the fact… like… a scientist tells you some things in science jargon.

      – Was heißt das?

      is you want it translated into normal language.

      – Was bedeutet das?

      is asking for what the consequences are of what he just said.
      So… not so “nutshelly” after all but I hope it helps :)


  18. I like this website! I’ll bookmark it and come back to practice my German. Viel dank!


  19. can you explain about genitive?
    your blog is awesome, btw ;D


  20. Pingback: Deutsch | Pearltrees

  21. A teeny tiny flaw in this awesome site: The color icons aren’t helping much, as I am a colorblind.


  22. I’m not.sure what i need to do. i mean i know what to say what i want to in German but dont really know how to say it. i am half German and hakf Irish so i know more Galen than German could use a little help


    • Well, if there is one thing you MUST know then it’s verbs… learn verbs. Along the way learn how to conjugate them and then how the structure of sentences is. And then you can start refining with cases and all that… but I’d start with learning verbs…. think of the ones you use every day and try to find translations for them.


  23. I love to learn German language by hook ur crook,help me to learn it pls.


  24. a Chinese studying in Germany loves your webpage soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thousands of thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! €€€


  25. I am 4 weeks into a German class and I just discovered your site! It looks like so much fun and should really help. Danke, danke, Danke


  26. I hope this message isn’t a duplicate. I just left a comment but Word Press didn’t recognize me. Just wanted to say I found your site after Google-ing “German word ‘los’ ” and read your excellent and witty explanation of why I keep hearing it in so may contexts. I came back today to see what else you’d posted on “German” and I’ll be back. It’s excellent and yes, please write a textbook. You know your stuff, but more importantly, you know how to convey it with humor and in an accessible way! Many thanks.


  27. Just one friendly suggestion, if I may…. I read your comment about people being “lazy” and not making a small donation to the site. Most people are happy to do so, but you should make it clear that it can be easy to do… I am the same way, but when I saw “Maestro” and other credit cards, I thought “what a pain”… “PayPal would be so much easier…” So, after feeling guilty, I got out my credit card and clicked on “donate” — and then I saw that PayPal is in fact an option… So, as you know, most Americans use PayPal for online transactions — so, we are happy to pay a bit for the wonderful service you provide, but you should add the PayPal Badge to show that it is in fact an option — that makes it so much easier than getting a credit card out of the wallet. Just my 2 cents, buddy! I think many more of us “gringos” would donate if we saw up front that you accepted PayPal… Again, thanks for the fantastic information you’re providing us. I’ve learned a ton! Vielen Dank… dK.


    • Man… you are totally right!!! I totally feel the same way. When I see credit card anywhere I’m like “Mehhhh… don’t wanne”. I just didn’t realize that it actually doesn’t even say Paypal although the button is supplied by Paypal. Such a good advice. ‘ll definitely change that. TAUSEND DANK :D!!!


  28. This is the first time I´m really understanding German. I´m Brazilian, so teaching me German in English is really a great acomplishment. Thanks for the blog!


  29. Hello Emmanuel,

    I discovered German is Easy a few days ago and have been stuffing my head full of the many enjoyable facts available on it about the German language. I also sent a donation to the site, which I hope was received. Und jetzt..habe Ich eine Frage. Or would it be “Jetzt hätte Ich eine Frage,” In any case, I’m wondering if you talk about the subjunctive on your site. I googled German is Easy and Subjunctive, but came up empty.

    Could you direct me to the appropriate page on you site, if you do indeed talk about the subjunctive? Vielen Dank!




    • Hey man, glad you like my site.
      The “Subjunctive” has been on my long term to do list and people keep asking so… I think I’ll do it to sort of kick of the new semester in September. Boooh sooo long :)
      Good news is that I have written about it in a nutshell in my “forum” (which I sort of shutdown) so here’s the link:

      It doesn’t get into usage too much but maybe it helps :)
      Oh… I did get a couple of donations recently but I’m not sure if yours made it through as there’s no Taylor in the list and I didn’t check the mail-addresses. In either case, auf jeden Fall vielen Dank!


  30. Hi!
    Thanks so much for your blog, it is so great. Do you have anywhere a lesson on all of the prepositions… auf, in, fur, etc?! V confused about these little words!


  31. Would you consider doing a post on how to make compound words and adjectives? When to put an S, when not to, etc.


  32. Just wanted to say I’m having a wonderfull time at your blog and lerning a lot as well. Keep it up (seriously)!


  33. Hi,
    I am already fluent in 4 languages (but being bilingual two were for free :D), and since my profession brought me to Germany I am willing to learn this challenging language even though it is not my working language.
    Your witty explanations make it fun to study German, and I am understanding and retaining much more Information since I started reading your blog!
    Thank you


    • Ha… damn bilinguals and their skill :)… people say that the more languages you know, the easier it gets to learn a new one, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be up to the challenge. Danke für das liebe Feedback und viel Erfolg


  34. Pingback: Top 3 Websites for learning German Grammar | German Made Easy

  35. This is great and really helpful. Thank you very much.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s