German and English are very close to each other. Here are some major similarities:
- Both languages use the Latin alphabet.
- Normally, sentences follow Subject-Verb order.
- Questions have Verb-Subject order or Adverb-Verb-Subject order.
- Both languages have prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, nouns, verbs, interjections, pronouns, and adjectives.
- Both languages have genders; every noun is either masculine, feminine, or neuter. In German, the gender is often not immediately obivous, eg. das Mädchen (neuter), the girl.
- The indirect object usually comes before the direct object.
- There are contractions in both German and English.
- Many words share the same roots, such as word and Wort, or house and Haus.
- Many words, such as Baseball and Sandwich are the same in English and German.
As you can see, German is very much like English. There are, however, differences:
- German has three different words for “you”, while English has only one.
- German has more verb forms than English.
- German has more letters than and different pronunciations from English (see Lesson 1).
- German is the only known written language where every noun is capitalized, whether or not it is a proper noun.
- Sometimes in German the verb will be the last word of a sentence.
- Adjectives will have different endings based on the noun they are modifying in German.
- German is more ‘guttural’. In German, you talk in the back of your mouth.
- “I” (ich) is only capitalized if it is the first word of the sentence.
- In German, there are four cases; in English, there are three.
However, German is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. The differences will be tackled over the course of the lessons.