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Lesson 2: Describing yourself and others

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Ich bin in Frankfurt geboren

On this page, you will get to know two German verbs and their conjugations. In English, conjugations are quite easy, since only the third person singular has a verb-form different from the infinitive (we add the 's' to the infinitive e.g. 'he comes'). However, in German as well as in many other European languages, every pronoun has its own ending. Thus, you need to change a verb accordingly, when you use different pronouns with this verb.

Let's go back to Niels, Katrin and Anne, who we have got to know on the previous pages of this lesson. Niels is attending a party at his University in Karlsruhe and meets Katrin and Anne, who introduce themselves to him. Read the following dialog aloud and try to understand what everyone says.



Katrin:
Hi
.
Ich
  heiße Katrin.
Hi
. My name is Katrin.
Katrin:
Und
 
wie
  heißt
du
?
And what'
s
  your name?
Niels:
Ich
  heiße Niels. (to Anne)
Und
 
du
?
My name is Niels. And yours?
Anne: Anne.Anne.
Niels:
Sehr
 
angenehm
.
Woher
 
kommt
 
ihr
?
Nice to meet you. Where are you (guys) from?
Katrin:
Wir
 
kommen
 
aus
  Berlin.
Und
 
du
?
I'
m
  from Berlin. And you?
Niels:
Ich
 
komme
 
hier
 
aus
  Karlsruhe.
Aber
 
ich
 
bin
 
in
  Frankfurt
geboren
.
I'
m
  here from Karlsruhe. But I was born
in
  Frankfurt.
Anne: Ach so!
Ich
 
bin
 
auch
 
in
  Frankfurt
geboren
.
Oh. I was born
in
  Frankfurt, too.
Anne (talking about Katrin):
Aber
 
sie
 
ist
 
in
  München
geboren
.
But she was born
in
  Munich.
<- click here to listen to this dialogue


The previous dialog uses some forms of the verb 'kommen'. Look at the following table, which shows, how 'kommen' (to come) is conjugated in German. A conjugation of a verb defines how this verb changes, when used with different pronouns.

PersonSingularPlural
1stich komme
(I come)
wir kommen
(we come)
2nddu kommst
(you come)
ihr kommt
(you come)
3rder kommt
(he comes)
sie kommen
(they come)

'Kommen' is completely regular. Regular verbs have the following features in German. The 'ich'-form ends with an 'e'. The du form ends with an 'st'. The 'er' and 'ihr' forms end with a 't' and are therefore the same. And finally, the 'wir' and 'sie/Sie' forms end with 'en' and thus are also the same.

You also got to know the expression 'ich bin in ... geboren'. This is a construction that uses the verb 'sein' (to be) plus the German 'geboren' (born). Unfortunately, 'sein' is completely irregular and there are no rules like for 'kommen' or other regular verbs.

PersonSingularPlural
1stich bin
(I am)
wir sind
(we are)
2nddu bist
(you are)
ihr seid
(you are)
3rdsie ist
(she is)
sie sind
(they are)

Now let's do some exercises to further strengthen the newly learned grammar.


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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D] [E]

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