Die Sonne und der Mond The words die Sonne and der Mond, or the sun and the moon, historically shared similar noun case markings or declensions. In Old English the sun and the moon were sēo sunne and se mōna : Sun was feminine; moon was masculine.mōna While German has maintained this complex system of noun case markings, modern English is more simplified.
Comparing Grammar Aspect Temporal flow of action German: does not have the progressive aspect (it uses adverbials to convey aspect). gerade Ich esse gerade ein Sandwich./I am eating a sandwich.
Comparing Grammar Aspect English: has the progressive aspect Present Progressive: I am eating a sandwich. Past Progressive: I was eating a sandwich.
Applications for the Classroom The doctor is attending a conference in Nebraska. [activity in progress] (Glenn & Gray, 2007) Der Arzt besucht gerade eine Konference in Nebraska. [the adverb gerade ‘just now’ conveys the same meaning as the progressive is attending in the English sentence] In the first example above, a German-speaker would just as likely say: Whether the statement expresses an activity in progress or a regularly occurring event (the doctor attends the same conference in Nebraska every year) would be clear to the German-speaker from the context of the rest of the conversation or text. In the first example above, a German-speaker would just as likely say: The doctor attends a conference in Nebraska. Whether the statement expresses an activity in progress or a regularly occurring event (the doctor attends the same conference in Nebraska every year) would be clear to the German-speaker from the context of the rest of the conversation or text.
Applications for the Classroom We are living in a trailer right now. [temporary situation] Im Moment wohnen wir in einem Wohnwagen. [the adverbial prepositional phrase im Moment ‘at the moment or right now’ expresses the same temporary situation as the progressive are living does in the English sentence] In this example, a German-speaker might say: We live in a trailer at the moment. While this construction is close to being accurate in English, most native English speakers will find this statement slightly off, but might not be able to say exactly why.
Applications for the Classroom Helpful Word Lists Simple Present Present Progressive Never used in Progressive everydaynowbelieve always at the moment be usuallytodayknow often this morning love sometimes need neverlike hear
Think Pair Share Look at the picture and think about the differences between present and present progressive aspects. Talk to your elbow neighbor — discuss the questions. Share your responses about the effectiveness of this activity with your table.
Comparing Grammar Tense German: Uses simple past generally only for literature and writing. Present perfect is used in conversation. There is no difference in meaning. verliefen Hänsel und Gretel verliefen sich im Wald. haben verlaufen Wir haben uns im Wald verlaufen.
Comparing Grammar Tense English: Simple past and present perfect have distinctive uses in English and change the meaning when used improperly. I ate a sandwich. (means yesterday) I have eaten a sandwich. (means just now, a few minutes ago)
Applications for the Classroom Tom has had a bad car accident. [expresses an event in the recent past, with a connection to the present] Tom hat einen schlimmen Unfall gehabt. [the German construction uses the present perfect like the English sentence] Tom had a bad car accident. [expresses an event that happened in the past and has no connection to the present] Tom hat einen schlimmen Unfall gehabt. [in German no grammatical distinction is made between these two grammatically different sentences in English]
Applications for the Classroom Vor kürzem hat Tom einen schlimmen Unfall gehabt. Er liegt noch im Krankenhaus. [in the German construction, use of the adverbial prepositional phrase vor kürzem ‘recently’ and the clarification that er liegt noch im Krankenhaus ‘he is still in the hospital’ indicate that he is still experiencing the consequences of his accident] Letzte Woche hat Tom einen schlimmen Unfall gehabt. [the use of the adverbial letzte Woche ‘last week’ indicates that this is an action that happened in the past and the consequences have all been resolved] A German-speaker would in most cases always say: Tom has had a bad car accident, regardless of the connection to the present. Just as likely is the expression: Yesterday, Tom has had a bad car accident. For a native English speaker, this construction is inherently wrong. The adverbial yesterday is a clear sign for the need of the simple past.
Applications for the Classroom past present pastpresent Simple Past Tom had a bad car accident yesterday. Present Perfect Tom has just had a bad car accident. Tom’s accident
Applications for the Classroom Word Markers for simple past: yesterday, last week, last month, a year ago, etc. Word Markers for present perfect: just, now, yet, etc.
Comparing Grammar Verb Conjugation German: very complicated, with different endings for each person and number gehen to go SingularPlural First Person geh e geh en Second Person geh st geh t Third Person geh t geh en
Comparing Grammar Verb Conjugation English: relatively simple, with an “S” added to third person singular to goSingularPlural First Person go Second Person go Third Person go es go
Applications for the Classroom He, she, it—das “s” muss mit ! ‘He, she, it—the “s” has to come along!’ (Schwarz, 1997). Doch sei klug—ein “s” ist genug! But be clever, one “s” is enough! (Schwarz, 1997). ss Does he likes chocolate ? With modal verbs, only one “s” is needed!
Comparing Grammar Singular vs. Plural Noncount Nouns Some are the same: Beans/ Bohnen are countable. (one bean, two beans) Rice/ Reis is not. (one grain of rice, two grains of rice)
Comparing Grammar Singular vs. Plural Noncount Nouns English and Singular German and Plural news Nachrichten information Informationen furniture Möbel United States Vereinigte Staaten vacation Ferien
Applications for the Classroom Practice Practice Practice
Small Group Collaboration Create a short activity for Aspect, Tense or Conjugation Writing Reading Listening Speaking
Questions Jennifer Meyer, Ed. S. Rutherford County Schools Eagleville School/Rockvale Elementary School Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@rcschools.net Website: http://www.res.rcs.k12.tn.us/TEACHERS/MeyerJ/MeyerJ.html http://www.res.rcs.k12.tn.us/TEACHERS/MeyerJ/MeyerJ.html
Sources/Resources Retrieved February 3, 2012 Glenn, C. and Gray, L. (Eds.). (2007). Hodges’ harbrace handbook (16th ed.). Boston: Thomson Higher Education. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_Willem_va n_Gogh_128.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_Willem_va n_Gogh_128.jpg http://www.barewalls.com/ix-post-impressionism- sunflowers.html http://www.barewalls.com/ix-post-impressionism- sunflowers.html http://www.roebuckclasses.com/105/regions/europe /eurohuman/europeanlanguage.htm http://www.roebuckclasses.com/105/regions/europe /eurohuman/europeanlanguage.htm Meyer, J. (2008). A Comparison of German and English Grammatical Structures: Applications for the ESL Classroom. (Unpublished graduate research paper). Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. Schwarz, H. (Ed.). (1997). English G 2000: Band A1 für das 5. Schuljahr an Gymnasien. Berlin, Germany: Cornelsen Verlag.