Practice Makes Perfect German Problem Solver: With 130 Exercises
This book is aptly named a problem solver. Unlike other approaches to the German language, this book does not look at all aspects of German grammar and structure; rather, it isolates those things in the language that English speakers find problematic. It then describes them, analyzes the complexities that cause consternation, and provides explanations and examples of how the problem areas work. There are nineteen chapters in the book that delve into nineteen specific areas of difficulty. After these areas have been described, explained, and illustrated, they are placed in a wide variety of exercises, in which the reader can manipulate the problem areas and become more familiar with how they function and thereby take control of them. If a particular subject still seems difficult after working through a chapter, the reader should simply repeat the chapter and practice with the exercises again.
German irregular verbs are a special problem for English speakers, even though the English language has numerous irregular verbs that are similar to German verbs. To make working with German irregular verbs more convenient, the reader will find an appendix comprising a list of all irregular verbs in German. This appendix shows the verb in its infinitive form, with any present tense irregularity, in its past tense, in its participial form, and as a subjunctive II conjugation. This resource will prove to be essential for working with verbs in this book.
The twentieth chapter of the book does not discuss a specific problem area or describe any particular linguistic difficulty in German. Instead, it is a miniature linguistic laboratory that the reader can use to practice all aspects of the language simultaneously. German, like any language, is not a random series of conjugations, declensions, and usages of vocabulary. It is a combination of all those things that make communication in the language comprehensible and accurate. Therefore, in the twentieth chapter the reader will be writing creatively and not just practicing with isolated concepts. The exercises are not for grammatical or vocabulary practice; rather, they are a forum for the reader to apply his or her knowledge of German in a personal way. Of course, there will be some guidelines for this type of creative writing, but generally the reader will have ample opportunities to experiment in writing.
This series of books is intentionally called Practice Makes Perfect because that idea is basic to learning and mastering a new language. Übung macht den Meister.
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