Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Chuck:This is Advanced Focus Lesson 4.
Judith: Willkommen!
Chuck:Welcome to another Advanced Focus Lesson. Here, we’ll improve your understand of German vocabulary by analyzing verb prefixes.
Judith: When you’ll understand how a German word came to be, you’ll find it a lot easier to remember this word and to use it correctly.
Chuck:So, which prefix are we looking at today?
Judith: Today we shall look at the German prefix [zer-].
Chuck:That sounds like a very destructive prefix, but before we dive into the lesson, I’ll remind our listeners about the free vocabulary trainer in the learning center.
Judith: Yes, you can practice your vocabulary right there, in the learning center of GermanPod101.com. We’ve even added the words from the lessons already, so you don’t need to enter them yourself.
Chuck:For this lesson, you can find not just the words we mentioned here, but also useful words that use the prefix [zer-].
Judith: I hope you’ll use this tool to improve your German by leaps and bounds, but let’s speak German now.
Chuck:Okay.
Judith: [Die Vorsilbe “zer-” spaltet sich nicht ab].
Chuck:Unlike the other prefixes we covered, this one is not split off.
Judith: [Außerdem hat sie nur eine Bedeutung, nämlich die des Kaputtgehens oder Zerstörens].
Chuck:Only one meaning. “To break down” or “smash up”. Often, one word can even mean both, depending on the context. [Judith, was sind Beispiele für diese Vorsilbe]?
Judith: [Zum Beispiel “zerlegen”].
Chuck:“To disentail”.
Judith: [zerlegen besteht aus “zer-” und “legen”].
Chuck:“To put”. We roughly get “to put apart”, but in English we’d say “disentail”. [Und wie wäre es mit noch einem Beispiel]?
Judith: [zerfallen].
Chuck:“To fall apart”.
Judith: [Oder zerbrechen].
Chuck:“To break into pieces”.
Judith: This is one of the words that can be both active and passive. If I say [Ich habe die Vase zerbrochen] with an object like that, this means that “I broke the vase”. However, if I say [Die Vase ist zerbrochen], this means that “The vase broke”.
Chuck:In one case I’m actively involved, in the other I’m not. And in one case I’m the subject and the other the vase is. The trivial tags of two meanings is the object. This is called transitivity in linguistics. If there’s an object in the sentence, something is done to the object to make it kaput. If there is no object that object is going “kaputt” seemingly on its own.
Judith: And there’s another very interesting feature of these sentences. When there’s an object, the verb will use the auxiliary [haben] for the perfect tense. But, when there’s no object, the verb uses the auxiliary [sein].
Chuck:Amazing, I never paid attention to that before.
Judith: You learn something new every day. Every day that you listen to GermanPod101 that is.
Chuck:And then, you have to make sure you won’t forget it again. Just review the PDFs from the past lessons, occasionally. That’s a refresh of memory.
Judith: Okay. [Okay, also bis nächste Woche]!
Chuck:See you next time!

18 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:35 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Did you know this prefix before?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:46 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Tim,


Thank you for your feedback.


Yes, "zerrissen" is the participle and can therefore

be used when forming the passive voice.

And "zerreissen" is the infinitive. 👍😉


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:36 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Tim,


Thank you for your feedback.


I have to agree with you partly. I just tried it with "ss" and the

system didn't let that pass either. "ss" should be okay in my opinion

and I will forward your comment to our team to see if anything can

be done about that.

"sz" however should definitely not pass. I know that a lot of people when referring to

the letter "ß" call it "eszett" (/ɛsˈtsɛt/) or "sharp S", but that's to have a name for it. You can't use

it in speech or writing that way. It should sound like a double-S. The same is true for the

letter Y (Ypsilon), by the way. 😉

Oh, and here is the link to a website where you can copy + paste any unusual letters:

https://german.typeit.org/


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Tim Børresen
Saturday at 07:21 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I find it a bit difficult to distinguish zerrissen and zerreißen.

I looked the words up on duden.de. Did I understand correctly that zerrissen is passive and zerreiszen is active.

That is after you zerreiszen some thing, then this some thing is zerrissen ?

Tim Børresen
Saturday at 05:09 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The written part of the quiz seems very pedantic when it come to spelling. You should allow for some margin. Written German is much more difficult compared to spoken.


Why can't i use sz instead of ß in the quiz? I don't have a ß on my keyboard. It's rather annoying.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:57 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo robert groulx,


You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Levente

Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Tuesday at 10:22 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson


my favorite is[Und wie wäre es mit noch einem Beispiel]?


robert

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 07:10 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Haley,


Thank you for posting!

😄


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Haley
Wednesday at 04:24 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ich habe nicht das Wort zerquetschen erkannt. Ich mag, wie dieses Word klingt.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:02 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo Ronn,


Danke für den Kommentar und die Frage!


Yes, you can say "Die Vase wurde zerbrochen." if it was broken by someone. If you wanted to say it broke but unsure how and by whom, if by anyone, you would say "Die Vase zerbrach."


It would sound more natural to say "Ich habe die Vase zerbrochen" than "Die Vase wurde von mir zerbrochen", however it would be grammatically correct either way.


Vielen Dank!


Clara

Team GermanPod101.com

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:58 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo Vanessa und Salivia,


Vielen Dank für die Geschichte, Vanessa.


Salivia, vielen Dank für die Korrektur!


:)


Vielen Dank!


Clara

Team GermanPod101.com