German Language and Culture
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German for Everyone - An Online German Course for Young and Old
Lesson 8: Epilogue I

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Grammar review: Lesson 4

In Lesson 4, we learned about nouns describing members of the family, such as 'Mutter', 'Vater', 'Sohn', 'Tochter', 'Bruder' and 'Schwester'.

1) Possessive pronouns

Also, we learned how to talk about something that belongs to us by using the following possessive pronouns:
1st personmein (my)unser (our)
2nd persondein (your)euer (your)
3rd person (er)sein (his)ihr (their)
ihr (your (formal))
3rd person (sie)ihr (her)
3rd person (es)sein (its)

All possessive pronouns adopt to the nouns that they belong to, meaning they have to match this noun with regards to gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter), number (singular or plural) and case (nominative, or accusative). But this sounds more complicated than it actually is:

RULE: Possessive pronouns that precede a feminine/singular or plural noun, add an -e. Possessive pronouns of masculine/singular nouns in the accusative case have to add an -en.

It's really that simple:
feminine and plural: -e
accusative: -en

2) The German cases (nominative, genitive, accusative)

Then we introduced the German case system, something which we have repeated in every succeeding lesson as well as in this epilogue many times. However, let us rephrase the most important aspects of the cases that we know so far.

1) Nominative: "the normal case", in which we learn and memorize all new nouns. The nominative is used for the subjects of a sentence.

2) Accusative: "The -en case". The accusative is used for direct objects of a sentence and nouns that describe a direction. The accusative has no effect on the noun itself. The only things it changes are articles ('der' becomes 'den' and 'ein' becomes 'einen') and adjectives (ending: -en) in front of nouns. Again, the noun itself does not change. Additionally, the accusative only affects the articles and adjectives of those nouns that are masculine AND singular. In all other cases (feminine, neuter, plural), the accusative is identical with the nominative.

3) Genitive used with people's names: Simply add an 's' to the person's name. For example: "Regina ist Kevins Mutter." (Regina is Kevin's mom.). Note that unlike in English, there is no apostrophe in German, when using the genitive case.

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      Lesson 4
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