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LESSON NOTES

LESSON NOTES Beginner #1 Are you Michaela Wucher? CONTENTS 2 Formal German 2 English 2 Informal

Beginner #1 Are you Michaela Wucher?

LESSON NOTES Beginner #1 Are you Michaela Wucher? CONTENTS 2 Formal German 2 English 2 Informal

CONTENTS

2

Formal German

2

English

2

Informal German

3

English

3

Vocabulary

4

Sample Sentences

4

Grammar

5

Cultural Insight

Sample Sentences 4 Grammar 5 Cultural Insight # 1 COPYRIGHT © 2016 INNOVATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING. ALL

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COPYRIGHT © 2016 INNOVATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

FORMAL GERMAN

1. John:

2. Michaela:

Entschuldigung! Sind Sie “Michaela Wucher”?

Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer sind Sie?

3. John:

4. Michaela:

5. John:

Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania

Ahhh! Sie sind John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.

Oh, Entschuldigung!

ENGLISH

1. John:

2. Michaela:

3.

John:

4. Michaela:

5.

John:

Excuse me! Are you Michaela Wucher?

No, I am not “Michaela Wucher”. Who are you?

I am John

Williams. I am from Pennsylvania

Ahhh! You are John Williams! I am “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.

Oh, sorry!

INFORMAL GERMAN

1. John:

2. Michaela:

’tschuldigung! Bist du "Michaela Wucher“?

Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer bist du?

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3.

John:

Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania

4. Michaela:

5. John:

ENGLISH

1. John:

2. Michaela:

3.

John:

4. Michaela:

5.

John:

VOCABULARY

Ahhh! Du bist John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.

Oh, Entschuldigung!

Excuse me! Are you Michaela Wucher?

No, I am not “Michaela Wucher”. Who are you?

I am John

Williams. I am from Pennsylvania

Ahhh! You are John Williams! I am “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.

Oh, sorry!

Ge rman

Entschuldigung

English

apology, excuse me, Im sorry

Class

noun

Gende r

feminine

Sie

you (formal)

personal pronoun

ich

I

personal pronoun; nominative

wer

who

interrogative

sein

to be

verb

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nein

no

particle

nicht

not

adverb

aus

from

preposition

SAMPLE SENTENCES

Ich nehm e die Entschuldigung an.

Haben Sie eine andere Kreditkarte?

I

accept the apology.

Do you have another credit card?

Sie sind Herr Sm ith.

Ich hatte letz te Woche so viel z u tun!

You are Mr. Smith.

I

was so busy last week!

Ich bin Lisa.

Wer ist das?

I

am Lisa.

Who is that?

Ich bin aus Deutschland.

Es ist eine Kam era.

I

am from Germany.

 

It's a camera.

Nein, ich bin nicht aus Köln.

Das habe ich nicht gesagt!

No, I am not from Cologne.

I

didn't say that!

Du bist nicht m ein Vater!

Kom m st du außerhalb?

aus Berlin oder von

You aren't my father!

Do you come from Berlin or from

elsewhere?

Ich bin aus Deutschland.

I am from Germany.

GRAMMAR

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In this lesson, you have seen a generous amount of “ich bin” (I am) and “Sie sind” (you are, formal). If you have access to the extra material, you have even heard “du bist”, the informal equivalent of “Sie sind”. All of these are forms of the verb “sein” (to be), which is irregular in German, just like in English.

Here is a table with all the present tense forms:

sein

to be

ich bin

I am

du bist

you are (informal)

er ist / sie ist / es ist

he is / she is / it is

wir sind

we are

ihr seid

you are (plural)

sie sind / Sie sind

they are / you are (formal)

As you can see, the formal “Sie sind” (you are) is the same form as “sie sind” (they are), except for the capital letter that indicates respect. The formal form in German will always correspond to the “they” form (3rd person plural).

Some examples of this very useful verb in action: Ich bin Michael. – I am Michael. Du bist schön. – You are pretty. Er ist Student. – He is a student. Sie ist aus England. – She is from England. Es ist nicht gut. – It is not good. Wir sind Freunde. – We are friends. Seid ihr bereit? – Are you ready? Wer sind sie? – Who are they? Wer sind Sie? – Who are you (formal) ?

CULTURAL INSIGHT

Use “Entschuldigung” as the equivalent of either “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry”, for example when:

* getting somebody’s attention

* trying to move through a crowd, thus asking them to step aside

* stepping on somebody’s foot

* really screwing up (in that case you’d use further expressions in addition to just “Entschuldigung”)

Do not say it when somebody tells you sad news. Germans do not apologize for things that

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are not their fault, such as a friend not getting a job. Rather, you’d express encouragement there. In severe cases however, such as somebody’s mother being sent to the hospital, you can say “Es tut mir leid” (It pains me; I am chagrined) as a way of commiserating.

The formality of the conversation may seem a bit odd to you, seeing that John and Michaela have known each other through e-mail, but John wasn’t absolutely sure he was talking to Michaela and so he had to make sure he was being polite to this stranger. Using informal language on this occasion already would have been like saying “Hey you, are you Michaela?” and would probably have provoked an annoyed reaction. Especially older people are very sensitive when it comes to how you address them, because they expect to be shown respect, and using formal language is the easiest way of saying “I respect you” in German. That is why sometimes even people who have known each other for a long time use ‘formal’ language with each other.

Generally, you should only use informal language with a new acquaintance if:

* you are talking to somebody under 18

* you and the person you’re talking with are both around student age

* you and the person you’re talking with are relatives

In all other cases, you should wait till you are asked to switch to informal language – it’s up to the older person or the one higher in rank to do so or not. Your boss or teacher will certainly never ask you, as that would diminish his authority in the eyes of everybody. However, even regular acquaintances don’t switch to using first names nearly as quickly as they do in the USA. If you just start by addressing a stranger informally, he may feel offended as you seem to treat him like a child. That being said, as a foreigner you certainly have some leeway in case you should forget.

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