Grammar checklist

1. Capitalize all nouns

Remember all nouns and any nominalized adjectives (im Voraus), verbs (das Laufen) etc. are all capitalized.

2. Use correct cases

Depending on the meaning of the sentence, all articles, nouns, pronouns, adjectives can be in either the nominative, genitive, dative or accusative case.

3. Verb in second position

This means that the verb is always the second grammatical element in a declarative sentence. This does not necessarily mean that the verb is the second word.

4. Second part of the verbal phrase last

The second part of a verbal phrase is either the past participle, prefix or infinitive. Keep in mind as well that verbs are last in subordinate and relative clauses.

5. Contract prepositions

For example: an dem => am., in das => ins. etc.

6. Insert commas before dependent clauses

Remember that the German language applies stricter rules in the use of commas.

7. Use German quotation marks

Mostly two types are used. Commonly used are lower and upper quotation marks  („ “) ; In modern books you will also see chevron-style quotation marks   (» «)

8. Use formal forms of Sie as necessary

That would include also Ihnen and Ihr.

9. Proper word order: time, manner, place.

For example: Sie ist heute schnell nach Hause gefahren.
(time – heute, manner – schnell, place – nach Hause).

10. Check for false friends

These are words - either written exactly or similarly - that exist in both languages, but they have different meanings. For example bald/soon, Rat/counsel.

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