I’m the type of person who thinks a lot before answering a question. I’d need to put all of what I have to say in perspective and make sure that what’s about to come out of my mouth makes perfect sense. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m good at answering questions, because I’m anything but that.
So, today I learned something that got me really excited. So excited that I started using it right away; ähm.
ähm is an expression that is used before one would answer a question. My friend used it when we were chatting earlier, and when I asked him what it meant, this is what he had to say: “it signals the other one you understood him and you think about what you could answer.” At first, I thought it was something like umm. Basically, he compared it with well in English. You know, like when someone asks, “do you have any plans today?" You go: "Well…" or something of that sort. Though the difference between well and ähm is that when using well, most likely, your answer will come shortly after. Whereas with ähm, you’re given more time and the other person knows that you are still there and are thinking about what to answer. Here's how its pronounced, though you can also elongate the ä part so it can sound something like uuuum.
I know for sure that I’ll be using this expression quite a lot.
OK, so I’ll only cover the 3 basic definite articles that I have learned so far because apparently, there are lots of different ones… but for now:
DER, DIE, DAS.
So, the general rule:
Die goes for ALL things plural & ALL things feminine.
Der for all things masculine singular.
Das for all things neutral singular.
There you have it. The 3 main articles with the 3 German genders.
Now let’s hear it for some examples!
Der Mann ist klein.
The man is short.
Das Baby weint.
The baby is crying.
Die Frau lacht.
The woman is laughing.
Die Männer warten.
The men are waiting.
German is known for being able to string words together to form new vocabulary. You can also do that in English, but not at the same flexibility level and extent that German can.
Here’s an example:
This translates to: beef labeling regulation & delegation of supervision law.
I doubt that I’ll be putting it into use anytime soon. But it’s fun to look them up!