German Language and Culture
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for Marlene
Learn German Online - An Interactive German Course for Adults and Children
Lesson 4: The family and around the house

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Possessive pronouns with things / Genitiv

In one of the previous exercises, Jens was talking about what's his and what's not his (remember that you had to answer with yes or no). As you could see, possessive pronouns work exactly the same way with things as they work with people and family members. The main rules are: Use the table on page 2 and add 'e' if the noun is feminine. Also we use 'eure' instead of 'euere' for pronunciation reasons.

Before we start practicing this further, we would also like to introduce a simple use of the genitive in German. You probably know the genitve in English. You always use it, whenever you say something like:

This is Steven's mom.

Here, the apostrophe (') plus s indicates a possession. In English, this is the way we form the genitive. In German, we can use the genitive for the same purpose. We simply add an s to the end of a name (without apostrophe!). It is very important to note here that in German, we can only use this genitive with people's names or animal names and NOT with any other regular nouns.

Thus, in English you might be able to say 'the boy's sister'. However you CANNOT translate this sentence into German with 'Der Junges Schwester' (wrong!).
Das ist Steffens Mutter.This is Steffen's mom.
Das hier ist Julias Auto.This here is Julia's car.
Detlefs Familie geht in die Stadt.Detlef's family is going into the city.

Try to translate the following sentences into German by using the genitive and/or possessive pronouns correctly.

This is Jürgen's sister.
Das ist Jürgens Schwester.

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1) This is our mother.
2) This is Marlene's pen.
3) This is her pen.
4) This is Marco's car.
5) This is our radio.
6) This is Bernd's teacher (fem.).
7) This is your (pl.) teacher (fem.).

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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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