Tuesday, 3 February 2009


I once met someone who was a long-distance lorry driver. Every time that he was held up in a traffic jam he would pick up his classical guitar and practice. Er spielte klassische Gitarre sehr gut. It really doesn't matter what you are doing but try to practice a little and often.

So today is the day to learn a little about the imperative. How do you give commands? Just as there are three ways you can say 'you', there are three ways that you can say the imperative. If you are talking to someone you know and are using the du form of the verb then generally you leave off the -en from the end of the infinitive. Komm her, oder Beeil dich. It is even easier if you are using the Sie form - Kommen Sie her, or Beeilen Sie sich.

You can say 'please' anywhere in the sentence so Beeilen Sie sich bitte sounds so much better. You can also make it a gentler command with the word doch, which gives it a sense of 'why don't you...'. Trink doch Milch.

The ihr form of the verb is used familiarly for more than one person. You just leave out the ihr. So if you want to say 'go', you can say geh, geht or gehen Sie depending on the situation. Similarly 'be good' could be sei gut, seid gut or Seien Sie gut. Ok sein is irregular - you just have to learn it, but the best way of learning it is with an example like 'be good'.

Bis bald

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