As a regular blog reader you know that I often post about different ways to practise your German, so today I’d like to tell you about another way to improve your German grammar. Let’s assume you have just covered the dative case in your lessons, you’ve done all the exercises but would like some reinforcement on the matter. What can you do?
- You may have some other textbooks which also cover the dative case
- You can look for online worksheets about the dative case
- You can look for online games that reinforce the dative case
- Or/ and you can do the following (which is particularly useful for those who don’t like playing games):
Find a German text, any text. It can be any German website or a book or newspaper. Chose an article or even just a paragraph, and start …
reading, no, you don’t even need to do that. Just search for the dative in that text. If possible, write on the text or highlight words. I show you some examples I did online, but you may prefer pen and paper:
– im Sommer = in + dative + and masculine noun because of position, in + dem shortened to im
– aus unserem Nachbarland = aus + dative, again because of position
– in der Hauptstadt = again in + dative but with feminine noun
– am Montag = an + dative, position and masculine noun, an + dem shortened to am
– auf Hausdächern = no article, but auf + position and plural, hence Hausdächern with an extra ‘n’
– am Mittwoch (as Montag above)
– zum Beispiel = zu is always followed by the dative, Beispiel is neuter, zu + dem shortened to zum
– mit Geschenkesack = no article here but mit is always followed by the dative (so if there was one it would be dem or einem)
– auf dem Rücken = auf + position + masculine noun
This is just an example. You could use this technique for any grammar practice. Let me show you the same text with different highlights.
This time I found some accusative situations:
– in die Hauptstadt = this time in needs the accusative as it’s movement (I should have highlighted ‘gekommen’ to show the movement)
– die Parkregeln = no preposition but it’s the object, it’s what the people (subject of the sentence) are discussing
– für Rentiere = für is always followed by the accusative, there is no article here, but if there was it would be die (plural)
– durch den Wichtelwald = durch is always followed by the accusative, Wald is masculine
You may be practising pronouns after prepositions and trying to work out how to do them, when you’re referring to a thing rather than a person – damit, dafür, davon, darauf … I only found two in the text, you may find more or none, depending on the text you chose.
Maybe you have just learned how to form the plural in German, so a good idea would be to look for plural nouns.
Maybe you are practising the genitive.
The possibilities are endless. Depending on how much you like this exercise, you could spend just a few minutes (seconds???) looking through a text or you could sit down with a coffee, pen and paper and highlight whatever you are practising and making notes about it, similar to mine about the dative.
I’m not saying you should do this, or even have to do this, but if you are looking for another way of practising your German grammar, then this may be worth a try.
What do you think?