The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning German, 4E

Book description

The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Learning German, Fourth Edition couches the more academic topics, such as verb tenses, in useful travel-themed chapters dealing with everything from shopping, renting cars, banking, making a phone call, visiting a doctor, going to the post office, to banking.

This editon includes a new audio CD with nearly an hour of listen-and-learn exercises to get you speaking German like a native.

Table of contents

  1. Contents
  2. Introduction
  3. Part 1: Learning German Basics
    1. 1 Learning German
      1. Why Learn German?
        1. Business Benefits of German
        2. Getting Serious About German
      2. Look It Up
        1. Using a Bilingual Dictionary
        2. Time to Change
      3. Compounding Your German Vocabulary
      4. The Genetic Relationship Between German and English
    2. 2 Pronounce It Properly: Vowels
      1. Vowels That May Mutate
      2. Linguistic Stress
      3. Assuming an Accent
      4. A Few Peculiarities of the German Language
        1. The Umlaut
        2. Capitalizing on Nouns
      5. Classification of Vowel Sounds
        1. Say a as in Spa
        2. Say e as in Bed
        3. Say i as in Wind
        4. Say o as in Lord
        5. Say u as in Shook
      6. Modified Vowels
        1. Say ä as in Fair
        2. Say ö as in Fur
        3. Say ü as in the French Word Sûr
      7. Diphthongs
        1. The Diphthongs ei and ai
        2. The Diphthong au
        3. The Diphthongs eu and äu
    3. 3 Pronounce It Properly: Consonants
      1. Conquering Consonants
        1. Same Letters, Same Sounds
        2. Plosives: b, d, and g
        3. Fricatives
        4. Got a Frog in Your Throat? ch, chs, h, j
        5. Familiar Sound, Different Position: z and c
        6. Double or Nothing: kn, ps, qu
        7. The German r
        8. s, ß, sch, st, tsch
        9. Herbie the Love Bug: The Classic vw
      2. Pronunciation Guide
      3. Practicing Pronunciation
    4. 4 You Know More Than You Think
      1. Cognates: What You Already Know Can Help You
        1. Perfect Cognates
        2. How Much Do You Understand Already?
        3. Near Cognates
        4. Cognate Conversation
        5. Verb Cognates
      2. Putting It All Together
      3. False Friends
    5. 5 Idiomatic Expressions: Quintessentially German
      1. Using Idioms
        1. How?
        2. Describing Travel
        3. When?
        4. Expressing Time
        5. Where?
        6. Stating Location
        7. So What Do You Think?
        8. What’s Your Opinion?
        9. How Do You Feel?
        10. How Are You?
  4. Part 2: Ready, Set, Go!
    1. 6 Gender: More Than Male or Female
      1. Determining Gender
        1. Definite Articles
        2. Singular Nouns
      2. Compound Nouns
      3. More Than One
        1. Pluralities
        2. Practice Those Plurals
      4. Noteworthy Plurals
    2. 7 Guiding Grammar: Fitting Form with Function
      1. The Four Cases in German
        1. Naming the Nominative Case
        2. What Gets the Action: The Accusative Case
        3. Indirectly: The Dative Case
        4. Possessing the Genitive Case
      2. Marking Who’s Doing What to Whom
      3. The Case of the Definite Article
        1. Masculine Nouns
        2. Feminine Nouns
        3. Neuter Nouns
        4. Plurals
        5. Identifying Function
      4. Indefinite Articles
      5. Subject Pronouns
      6. Du and Ihr Versus Sie: Informal Versus Formal
      7. Du, Ihr, or Sie?
      8. Er, Sie, or Es?
    3. 8 Nuts and Bolts of German Sentences
      1. What’s the Subject?
      2. Verb Basics
      3. Verbs in Motion
      4. Weak Verbs
        1. Verb Endings
        2. Painless Conjugation
      5. Strong Verbs
        1. Strong Verbs Exhibit Their Strength
        2. Bear the Sound Change and Conjugate
      6. Ask Me Anything
        1. Intonation
        2. Nicht Wahr?
        3. Inversion
        4. Ask Me If You Can
        5. And the Answer Is …
  5. Part 3: Up, Up, and Away!
    1. 9 Making Introductions and Small Talk
      1. Conversation Openers
        1. Formal Greetings and Salutations
        2. Informal Greetings and Salutations
      2. Where Are You From?
      3. To Be or Not to Be?
      4. Finding Things Out
      5. Gleaning Information
      6. Ask Away
    2. 10 Getting to Know Family and Friends
      1. Family Matters
      2. Marking Relations?
        1. The Genitive Case: Showing Possession
        2. Mine, All Mine
        3. Using Possessive Adjectives to Show Your Preference
      3. Introductions
      4. Breaking the Ice
      5. Getting Involved in Conversation
        1. Express Yourself with haben
        2. Using Idioms with Haben
      6. What’s It Like?
        1. Figuring Out Adjective Endings
        2. Adjectives and Their Antonyms
        3. Applying Adjectives
    3. 11 At the Airport
      1. Mainly on the Plane
      2. Negotiating the Airport
      3. Signage
      4. Getting Around
        1. Contractions with Gehen
        2. How Do You Get To …?
      5. You Can’t Get There from Here …
        1. Verbs with Separable Prefixes
        2. Giving Commands
        3. Giving Orders
        4. Prepositions: Little Words Can Make a Big Difference
        5. Prepositions Are Particular!
        6. Pardon Me?
    4. 12 Getting Around Town on Time
      1. Modes of Transportation
      2. Which One?
        1. Welcher with Singular and Plural Nouns
        2. The Third Degree
        3. Using Which
      3. On the Road
        1. Outside the Car
        2. Inside the Car
      4. Numbers
        1. Counting
        2. What Time Is It?
        3. Wie spät ist es?
    5. 13 At the Hotel
      1. What a Hotel! Does It Have …?
      2. Calling Housekeeping
      3. Going Straight to the Top
        1. The Declension of Ordinal Numbers
        2. Ordinal Numbering
      4. Clams or Coal? It’s All the Same in Money
        1. Euro?
        2. Approximations and Oddities
      5. More Action with Verbs
        1. Expressing Knowledge
        2. Verbs with Prefixes
        3. Coming Apart: Verbs with Separable Prefixes
        4. Sticking It Out Together: Verbs with Inseparable Prefixes
      6. Let’s …
  6. Part 4: Out and About in Germany
    1. 14 A Date with the Weather
      1. What’s the Address?!
        1. Identifying International Abbreviations
        2. Call Me (Maybe!)
      2. European Countries, According to Germans
      3. It’s 20°, But They’re Wearing Sandals!
        1. How’s the Weather?
        2. What’s the Temperature?
        3. But the Weather’s Supposed to Be …
      4. Days, Months, Seasons!
        1. What Day Is It?
        2. A Mouthful of Months
        3. The Four Seasons
      5. Measures of Time
        1. Making a Date
        2. Time Expressions
    2. 15 Let’s Sightsee
      1. What Do You Want to See?
      2. May, Must, Can—What Kind of Mode Are You In?
        1. The Power of Suggestion
        2. Making Suggestions
      3. Responding to Suggestions
        1. Just Say Yes, No, Absolutely Not
        2. What Do You Think?
        3. More Suggestions
    3. 16 You’ve Got to Go Shopping
      1. Store-Bought Pleasures
      2. Clothes Make the Mann
        1. Wear It Well
        2. Colors
        3. Fabric Preferences
      3. What’s the Object?
        1. Position of Object Pronouns
        2. Using Direct Object Pronouns
        3. Using Indirect Object Pronouns
      4. Asking for Something
      5. I’ll Take This
      6. Expressing Opinions
      7. What’s Your Preference?
    4. 17 Eating on the Go: Auf dem Markt
      1. Shopping Around
      2. Getting There
      3. Prost! (“Cheers!”)
      4. It’s the Quantity That Counts
      5. A Trip to the Market
      6. Getting What You Want
    5. 18 Restaurant Hopping
      1. Where Can I Get Something to Eat Around Here? (Wo kann ich denn hier etwas zu essen bekommen?)
      2. Dining Out
        1. Something’s Missing
        2. You Need What?
      3. Waiter, I’d Like …
        1. That’s the Way I Like It
        2. Spice It Up
      4. Special Diets
      5. Something Light
      6. How About Some Strudel, Sweetie?
      7. Are You Thirsty? (Hast du Durst?)
      8. Good Morning, Say Cheese
      9. It Was Delicious
    6. 19 You’re Invited: “Would You Like to …?”
      1. Are You a Sports Fan?
        1. What’s Your Game?
        2. Where to Play
      2. Express Your Desire with Mögen
        1. Extending an Invitation
        2. Accepting an Invitation
        3. Refusing an Invitation
        4. Showing Indecision and Indifference
        5. Do You Accept or Refuse?
      3. Let’s Do Something Else
      4. Entertaining Options
        1. At the Movies and on TV
        2. At a Concert
        3. Expressing Your Enjoyment or Disappointment
      5. Adverbs: Modifying Verbs
        1. Exclusively Adverbs
        2. Position of Adverbs
        3. How Well Do You Do Things?
        4. Adverbs in Action
  7. Part 5: Angst: Solving Problems on the Go
    1. 20 What to Say when You’re Looking for Help
      1. A Bad Hair Day!
        1. Beautify Yourself
        2. Expressing Your Style
      2. I Need a Helping Hand
        1. At the Dry Cleaner—in der Reinigung
        2. At the Laundromat—im Waschsalon
        3. At the Shoemaker—beim Schuster
        4. I Need This Fixed
        5. At the Optometrist—beim Optiker
        6. I Have Lost My …
      3. To the Bank!
      4. Comparison Shopping
        1. Adverbs and Adjectives Compared
        2. Irregular Comparisons
      5. Make Degree Evaluations
    2. 21 Doctor, Doctor: “Ich bin krank”
      1. Where Does It Hurt?
      2. Expressing Your Pain
        1. What Seems to Be the Problem?
        2. More Symptoms
        3. What’s Wrong?
        4. Symptoms
        5. How Long Have You Felt This Way?
      3. Finding Medications and Toiletries
        1. Special Needs Items
        2. Have It on Hand
      4. Expressing How You Feel
        1. Reflexive Verbs
        2. Reflexive or Not?
        3. Reflexive Verbs in Action
        4. Commanding Reflexively
        5. Be Bossy
    3. 22 In the Past: Die Vergangenheit
      1. Talking About the Past
        1. Strong Verbs
        2. Forming the Past Participle with Weak Verbs
        3. Forming the Past Participle with Mixed Verbs
        4. Using sein in the Perfekt
        5. Producing the Perfekt
        6. Position of nicht
        7. All You Did
      2. Forming a Question in the Past
        1. Answering a Question Negatively in the Past
        2. Ask Questions
  8. Part 6: When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do
    1. 23 Communicating: Phone, Mail, and Internet
      1. Using the Phone
        1. Making a Call
        2. Phoning Home
        3. An Actual Phone Conversation
        4. Talking to an Operator
        5. I Have Misdialed: Reflexive Verbs in the Past
        6. They’re Busy
      2. Und ein Handy/Mobiltelefon/Funktelefon?
      3. Really Using the World Wide Web
      4. Should You Bring Your Laptop or Tablet Computer to Germany?
      5. Connecting with Social Media
      6. Snail Mail
      7. Readin’ and Writin’—Yesterday
        1. Can You Read This?
        2. Getting It Right
      8. Would You Please …
        1. I’m in a Subjunctive Mood
        2. You Have Three Wishes
    2. 24 The Future Is Now: Staying a While in Germany
      1. Lodgings
        1. Buying or Renting
        2. All the Comforts of Home
        3. Auf Möbelsuche (In Search of Furniture)
        4. German Culture
      2. There’s Hope for the Future
        1. Expressing the Future
        2. Tomorrow’s Plans
      3. So You Want to Live in Germany?
      4. I Need My Wheels!
  9. Appendixes
    1. A Answer Key
    2. B Lexicon: English to German, German to English
  10. About the Reviser
  11. About the Author

Product information

  • Title: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning German, 4E
  • Author(s): Alicia Müller, Stephan Müller, Lisa Graham
  • Release date: May 2013
  • Publisher(s): Alpha
  • ISBN: 9781615643493