If you’re wondering what the best way to learn basic German grammar rules is, look no further! In this guide, we will give you some excellent tips on how to start learning German grammar, including:

  • The best ways to learn German and its grammar;
  • German pronouns;
  • German possessive adjectives;
  • German prepositions and their use;
  • The most frequent German adverbs;
  • German verbs and their conjugations;
  • The best way to learn German grammar with Global General.

So if you’re interested in finding the easiest way to learn basic German grammar rules to improve your German communication, keep on reading!

Let’s get started.

Test My Level For Free

Best Way to Learn German Grammar Topics to Focus On

Learning German grammar rules can be tricky — grammar is literally everywhere in a language. It’s what puts words together into sentences and connects the sentences together into speech or a text. That means, there are quite a lot of grammar rules! But don’t worry, you don’t have to learn them all at once, and you certainly don’t need to know them all before you can start speaking German and practicing what you know.

In fact, the best way to learn German grammar is by focusing on basic grammar rules that you can already use in basic conversation. That way, you can start using the German grammar you know right away and learn the grammar rules much more easily and quickly. In this article, we’ve put together five great tips for how to get started with German grammar so that you can immediately start putting it into use.

However, you must also learn German vocabulary, basic words and phrases at the same time otherwise you will have a hard time figuring things out.

german grammar words

#1: Complete List of All German Pronouns and Cases

By definition, German sentences all have subjects, and most of them have objects too. So it makes sense that one of the first aspects of German grammar you should learn are subject pronouns! German has four cases (nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive) which all affect the form of the subject pronouns in German sentences. However, the genitive case only becomes useful at the more advanced levels, so you can just focus on the grammar rules of the first three cases for now.

The German nominative case is used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence, like in “Ich bin zum Geschäft gegangen” (“I went to the store”) or “Sie ist sehr freundlich” (“She is very friendly”).

The German accusative case is comparable to direct object pronouns in English, where the pronoun in the accusative case is the “object” of the action done by the subject, or the pronoun in the nominative case. For example, “Ich habe sie gesehen” (“I saw her”: I = nominative/subject, her = accusative/direct object).

Lastly, the German dative case is used like indirect object pronouns in English, for example “Ich warf ihm den Ball zu” (“I threw the ball to him”) or “Ich habe ihr die Situation erklärt” (“I explained the situation to her”). In both these cases, the nominative case pronoun “I” is the subject who does the action of throwing or explaining. The objects of the actions, “the ball” and “the situation”, would be in the accusative case. The recipients of these actions are “him” or “her”, and these pronouns would therefore be in the dative case.

Do not forget that it is important to learn the basic rules of German pronunciation while you learn all these new pronouns and cases.

Try to study this aspect of grammar by building sentences with pronouns in different cases, so you can practise using all the words.

Nominative (nom.)Accusative (direct pronouns)Dative (indirect pronouns)
ich (I)mich (me)mir (me)
du (you - singular informal)dich (you - singular informal)dir (you - singular informal)
er (he)ihn (him)ihm (him)
sie (she)sie (her)ihr (her)
es (it)es (it)ihm (it)
wir (we)uns (us)uns (us)
ihr (you - plural informal)euch (you - plural informal)euch (you - plural informal)
sie (they)sie (them)ihnen (them)
Sie (you - singular or plural formal)Sie (you- singular or plural formal)Ihnen (you- singular or plural formal)

#2: Complete List of All German Possessive Adjectives

As we’ve seen in the first grammar rule above, cases are a very significant part of German grammar and affect many words in the German language. This includes German possessive adjectives, another common feature of German grammar that it is extremely useful to learn.

You can see an overview of the three main German cases in the cart below. Notice that all the possessive adjectives all have the same endings for each pronoun gender in a particular case. For example, the feminine or plural possessive adjectives in the nominative case take the ending “-e”.

  ichduersieeswirihrsie
Nommmeindeinseinihrseinunsereuerihr
nmeindeinseinihrseinunsereuerihr
f/plmeinedeineseineihreseineunsereeureihre
Datm/nmeinemdeinemseinemihremseinemunseremeuremihrem
fmeinerdeinerseinerihrerseinerunserereurerihrer
plmeinendeinenseinenihrenseinenunsereneurenihren
Accmmeinendeinenseinenihrenseinenunsereneurenihren
nmeindeinseinihrseinunsereuerihr
f/plmeinedeineseineihreseineunsereeureihre

Here is a simplified version of the chart which just shows you which endings you should add to each German possessive adjective in order to have the correct word for each case.

Simplified Chart Of Possessive Adjectives
Nominativmasculine
neuter
feminine/plural+e
Dativmasculine / neuter+em
feminine+er
plural+en
Accusativemasculine+en
neuter
feminine / plural+e

#3: What Are Prepositions and How Are They Used in German?

Learning the meaning of German prepositions is a rather easy part of learning German grammar. The tough part comes after the preposition… yes, you guessed it, German prepositions use cases too! Fortunately, there are usually clear rules that tell you which preposition uses which case. Then you just have to practice German noun declension so that you can put the other words into the correct case for that particular sentence.

Here is a chart that shows the most common German prepositions for the accusative case and the dative case.

Accusative prepositions
Dative prepositions
bis (by, to, until, up to)
aus (from, out of)
durch (through, across)
bei (at, near)
entlang (along, down)
mit (with)
für (for)
nach (after, to)
gegen (against, for)
seit (since, for)
ohne (without)
von (from, of)
um (at, around)
zu (to)

There’s one more thing you need to know about German prepositions: some of them can take either the accusative case or the dative case, depending on the context and the meaning of your sentence!

Basically, if you are talking about movement or direction towards a place, you use the accusative case. If you are talking about a location or a fixed position, you should use the dative case. Here are the most common two-way German prepositions.

Two-way prepositions
Accusative
Dative
an (to, on)Ich hänge die Gitarre an die Wand. (I’m hanging the guitar on the wall).Die Gitarre hängt an der Wand. (The guitar is hanging on the wall)
auf (on, upon)Ich setze den Teller auf den Tisch. (I’m putting the plate on the table).Der Teller steht auf dem Tisch. (The plate is on the table).
hinter (behind)Wir gehen hinter das Gebäude (We’re going behind the building).Wir sind hinter dem Gebäude (We are behind the building).
in (in, into)Ich gehe ins (=in das) Fitnesscenter (I’m going into the gym).Ich bin im (=in dem) Fitnesscenter (I’m at the gym).
neben (next to)Ich setzte mich neben ihn. (I sat down next to him).Ich stehe neben der Wand. (I’m standing next to the wall).
entlangWir gehen dieser Straße entlang. (We’re walking down this street).Es gibt viele Bäume entlang dieser Straße. (There are many trees along this street).
überIch hänge das Bild über das Bett. (I’m hanging the picture above the bed).Das Bild hängt über dem Bett. (The picture is hanging above the bed).
unterDas Mädchen kroch unter den Tisch. (The girl crawled under the table).Das Mädchen versteckt sich unter dem tisch. (The girl is hiding under the table).
vorSie stellt ihr Fahrrad vor das Haus. (She’s putting her bike in front of the house).Das Fahrrad steht vor dem Haus. (The bike is in front of the house).
zwischenWir fahren zwischen zwei kleine Seen. (We’re driving between two small lakes).Die Stadt liegt zwischen zwei kleinen Seen. (The city is located between two small lakes).

#4: Short List of the Most Frequent Adverbs in German

When language learners hear the word “adverb”, most of us first think of words like “quickly”, “carefully”, “slowly”, etc. But in fact, words like “today”, “here”, and “often “ are also adverbs! We’re talking about adverbs of place (where is something done?), adverbs of time (when is something done?), and adverbs of frequency (how often is something done?). The words mentioned earlier would fall into the category of adverbs of manner — how exactly is something done? As you’ve probably guessed, adverbs are basically any words that can modify a verb.

Below is a chart that summarizes the most common and useful German adverbs, divided into the four categories mentioned above. Like in English, German adverbs can have a quite flexible position in sentences. As you study German, notice where these adverbs are placed in different sentences in relation to the other words and the verb in order to start to get a feel for how they are naturally used by native German speakers.

Lokaladverbien
(adverbs of place)
Temporaladverbien
(adverbs of time)
Häufigkeitsadverbien
(adverbs of frequency)
Adverbs of manner
hier (here)heute (today)manchmal (sometimes)allein(e) (alone)
dort (there)jetzt (now)regelmäßig (regularly)zusammen (together)
links (to the left)morgen (tomorrow)immer / stets (always)lange (long)
rechts (to the right)gestern (yesterday)oft (often)langsam (slowly)
unten (below)gerade (right now)fast nie (almost never)sicherlich (surely)
oben (above)gleich (in a minute)häufig (frequently)genau (exactly)
herein ((to come) in)kürzlich (recently)nie / niemals (never)gern(e) (gladly)
nirgends (nowhere)eben (just now)ab und zu (every once in a while)kurze (briefly)
drauβen (outside)damals (back then)unregelmäßig (irregularly)lieber (rather)
irgendwo (somewhere)schließlich (finally)ständig (constantly)hoffentlich (hopefully)
überall (everywhere)sofort (immediately)selten (seldom)eventuell (possibly)
weg (away)zuletzt (in the end)mehrmals (repeatedly)zufällig (per chance)
nahe (near)zukünftig (in the future)einmal (one time)wirklich (really)

#5: German Verbs and Main German Verb Conjugations

Verbs are often one of the first aspects of German grammar that students start to study — there are a lot of them, after all! Though learning the grammar rules for German verb conjugation may seem tough, there are a few simple tips that can make learning the rules much easier.

Before you start using verbs in the past or verbs in hypothetical situations, you have to be able to use verbs to describe the present. Since German doesn’t have a separate present continuous verb conjugation, you are basically learning two verb tenses in one!

When you study basic German grammar in textbooks or through a course, you’ll notice that there are several grammar rules that tell you how to conjugate different types of German verbs. These are useful to learn, and eventually, German learners should feel comfortable with these verb conjugation rules. However, the best way to start to learn basic German grammar is to just memorize a few very common verbs so that you can start practicing and using them immediately while you keep learning the grammar rules. After all, it doesn’t make sense to first spend several weeks just studying grammar books before you open your mouth and start practicing your German skills!

Below are twenty of the most common German verbs and their conjugations. We recommend that you practice making sentences with the different subjects in order to get used to using them. See if you can use them in your next German conversation!

werden
(to become)
haben
(to have)
sein
(to be)
können
(to be able to)
müssen
(must)
ich werde
du wirst
er, sie, es wird
wir werden
ihr werdet
sie, Sie werden
ich habe
du hast
er, sie, es hat
wir haben
ihr habt
sie, Sie haben
ich bin
du bist
er, sie, es ist
wir sind
ihr seid
sie, Sie sind
ich kann
du kannst
er, sie, es kann
wir können
ihr könnt
sie, Sie können
ich muss
du musst
er, sie, es muss
wir müssen
ihr müsst
sie, Sie müssen
sollen (to be supposed to)sagen
(to say)
geben
(to give)
kommen
(to come)
wollen
(to want)
ich soll
du sollst
er, sie, es soll
wir sollen
ihr sollt
sie, Sie sollen
ich sage
du sagst
er, sie, es sagt
wir sagen
ihr sagt
sie, Sie sagen
ich gebe
du gibst
er, sie, es gibt
wir geben
ihr gebt
sie, Sie geben
ich komme
du kommst
er, sie, es kommt
wir kommen
ihr kommt
sie, Sie kommen
ich will
du willst
er, sie, es will
wir wollen
ihr wollt
sie, Sie wollen
machen
(to make)
gehen
(to go, to walk)
heißen
(to be called)
wissen
(to know)
sehen
(to see)
ich mache
du machst
er, sie, es macht
wir machen
ihr macht
sie, Sie machen
ich gehe
du gehst
er, sie, es geht
wir gehen
ihr geht
sie, Sie gehen
ich heiße
du heißt
er, sie, es heißt
wir heißen
ihr heißt
sie, Sie heißen
ich weiß
du weißt
er, sie, es weiß
wir wissen
ihr wisst
sie, Sie wissen
ich sehe
du siehst
er, sie, es sieht
wir sehen
ihr seht
sie, Sie sehen
finden
(to find)
bleiben
(to stay)
mögen
(to like)
dürfen (to be allowed to)fahren
(to drive)
ich finde
du findest
er, sie, es findet
wir finden
ihr findet
sie, Sie finden
ich bleibe
du bleibst
er, sie, es bleibt
wir bleiben
ihr bleibt
sie, Sie bleiben
ich mag
du magst
er, sie, es mag
wir mögen
ihr mögt
sie, Sie mögen
ich darf
du darfst
er, sie, es darf
wir dürfen
ihr dürft
sie, Sie dürfen
ich fahre
du fährst
er, sie, es fährt
wir fahren
ihr fahrt
sie, Sie fahren

Learn Everything There Is to Know About German With Global General

If you’re still wondering why you should learn German and how to become fluent then you should absolutely take a look at Global General by Global Exam. This online platform helps beginners and intermediate students learn German (as well as four other languages: English, Spanish, French, and Italian) effectively, from the comfort of your home.

Global General divides each language into levels based on the CEFR standards. Each level takes a minimum of 12 study hours to complete (except for English, which takes 25).

Global General will surely make your German-learning journey fun and fast. Here is what our website can offer you:

  • Tons of flashcards to help you train your memory and learn new German words quickly and easily;
  • Simulations for you to practice your German in real contexts, for all four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing;
  • An interesting “did you know” section with tips and fun facts to help you dive deeper into the German language and culture;
  • 5000 detailed corrections;
  • Personalised feedback from our expert German language coaches;
  • Validation of the acquired competencies after every 5 simulations;
  • 150 hours of unique content;
  • 500 audio tracks.

Here’s Why Global General is the Best Way to learn German Grammar

Learning German grammar can feel confusing, but it doesn’t have to be with the right platform! Global General will make learning German grammar quick and painless. Our method is not just comprehensive and accurate, but also dynamic and fun — you’ll never be bored with pages of long charts and tedious explanations! At Global General, we get right down to practicing and focus on what really matters: real-life communication in German. What’s more, you can study from anywhere you want, whether it’s your home, the office, or even the park or a beach! But our team of German language coaches will still be with you every step of the way.

If you’d like to learn German quickly, easily, and effectively, sign up here and start learning basic German with GlobalExam today!

Test My Level For Free