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10 Essential German Grammar Topics for Intermediate Learners at B1 and B2 Levels

Updated: Jul 6

First of all, congratulations on reaching the intermediate levels of German proficiency! It certainly required some effort to get you there. As you continue your language journey, mastering key grammar topics is essential for further advancement and fluency. In this blog post, an Oxford-educative native tutor with over 25 years of teaching German as a foreign language explores the 10 most important German grammar topics for intermediate students at B1 and B2 levels, providing clear explanations and examples to aid your understanding.

The 10 Most Important German Grammar Topics at Intermediate Level

Verb Conjugations in All Tenses and Moods

2. Word Order (Syntax):

  • Learning the correct word order in German sentences, including position of verbs, subjects, objects, and adverbs. For instance:

  • Standard word order in main clauses: Subject-Verb-Object (SVO): "Ich esse einen Apfel" (I eat an apple)

  • Standard word order in subordinate clauses: Conjunction-Subject-Object-Verb (SOV): "Ich esse einen Apfel, weil ich Hunger habe" (I eat an apple because I'm hungry)

  • Reversal of main and subordinate clause for emphasis triggers verb comma verb: "Weil ich Hunger habe, esse ich einen Apfel" (As I'm hungry, I eat an apple)

  • Position of adverbs in a sentence: TeKaMoLo: "Ich fahre morgen wegen meiner Arbeit mit dem Zug nach Berlin" (I'm taking the train to Berlin tomorrow because of my work)

  • Tricky subordinate clause conjunctions, such as als and wenn: "Als es stürmte, blieb ich zu Hause (When it was stormy, I stayed at home")

3. Infinitive and Relative Clauses

  • Understanding how to form and use infinitive clauses following verbs that trigger them. Example: “Ich beabsichtige, ein Buch zu schreiben” (I intended to write a book)

  • Relative clauses to describe nouns in more detail. Example: "Das ist der Mann, der mir geholfen hat" (That is the man who helped me)

4. Articles and Genders:

  • Learning the most important gender rules in German, and their corresponding definite (der, die, das) and indefinite (ein, eine) articles. Example:

  • "Der Tisch" (The table), "Die Lampe" (The lamp), "Das Buch" (The book)

5. Cases (Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive):

  • Grasping the concept of the four cases in German and their role in determining the function of nouns and pronouns in a sentence. Example:

  • Nominative: "Der Hund beißt die Katze" (The dog bites the cat)

  • Accusative: "Ich sehe den Mann" (I see the man)

  • Dative: "Ich gebe dem Kind ein Buch" (I give the child a book)

  • Genitive: "Das ist das Auto meines Bruders" (That is my brother's car)

6. Adjective Declensions

  • Since adjectives have to agree with the gender and the case of the noun that follows them, intermediate-level students have to understand and practice German adjective endings after definitive, indefinite, and zero articles. Examples:

  • ”Das gute Buch” (the good book)

  • “Ein gutes Buch” (a good book)

  • ”Gute Bücher” (good books)

7. Comparative and Superlative:

  • Learning how to compare things using comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs. Example:

  • "Er ist größer als ich" (He is taller than me), "Das ist das beste Buch" (That is the best book)

8. Prepositions and Cases:

9. Verbs with Prepositions:

Recognising and using verbs that go with certain prepositions and cases. Examples:

  • "Ich warte auf den Bus” (I’m waiting for the bus)

  • ”Es hängt davon ab, ob ich Zeit habe” (It depends on whether I have time)

  • ”Worauf freust du dich?” (What are you looking forward to?)

10. Passive Voice (Passiv):

  • Understanding how to form and use the passive voice in German to emphasise the action rather than the doer. Example:

  • "Das Buch wird von vielen Menschen gelesen" (The book is read by many people)

Mastering these 10 essential German grammar topics will significantly enhance your language skills and bring you closer to fluency. Practice regularly, and don't hesitate to seek further guidance from teachers, textbooks, or online resources. Viel Erfolg (Good luck) on your language learning journey!



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