Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baby Steps in Learning German

Today, I learned about a funny German category of verbs. (I just started private tutoring last week. It's amazing. I get to move at my own pace, which is pretty miraculous. I really feel that in two classes, I've already covered the equivalent of two or three weeks in a regular course, because I don't have to wait for other people to finish an exercise, and everything is chop-chop fast.)

Anrufen means to call someone up. When you conjugate it, the prefix comes off of the front of the verb and moves to the back. So, for example, to say "Are you going to call (me) on the weekend?" you say, "Rufst du (mich) am Wochenende an?" with the two parts of the verb separated by the entire rest of the sentence! Or, "Are you going to call him about it?" becomes "Rufst du ihn deshalb an?" Totally crazy cool. (By the way, Germans capitalize all nouns, which is funny and cool to me. Everything is important! Morgen, for example, is capitalized when it's a noun meaning "morning", but not capitalized when it is used as an adverb as in "tomorrow"... All sorts of very interesting, very particular grammatical rules!)

I think if I really work at it, I can cover a lot of ground in a calendar year. I am curious what that ground will look like without anyone else to set the pace, so I have decided to motivate myself to do some extra work every week in review of the last lesson and in preparation for the next, in order to maximize this year. It's so exciting! Ich will bald besser sein! (Is that right? "I want to be better soon!")

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