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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 19.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome back. I’m excited.
Judith: Excited? Oh, you mean about the dog?
Chuck: Yeah. That seems like an interesting discussion, didn’t it? Neighbor coming to take his dog back, the animal stays with him. I could already see the guns coming out.
Judith: No guns in Germany.
Chuck: Oh. Knives?
Judith: Yeah, I suppose.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: But people aren’t as violent.
Chuck: Not so fun.
Judith: People don’t normally have knives on them.
Chuck: That’s true. They always say the European movies are all about sex and American movies are about violence.
Judith: Maybe. Anyway, weapon laws are quite harsh here.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s true.
Judith: So we’ll have to see about what will happen with them.
Chuck: All right. So let’s see how nice the neighbor is. But first, for those of you who might have missed the last one… I know none of you missed the last lesson, but just in case, perhaps possibly, we’ll review the lessons that I love before, and then immediately jump into the new one.
Judith: You know that you can also listen to the lesson dialogues. The dialogue tracks are separate from the actual lesson and they allow you to quickly just hear the story.
Chuck: Are those free?
Judith: No, they are for our premium subscribers.
Chuck: So you should all become premium subscribers if you’re not already.
Judith: That’s just one of the advantages you get as a premium subscriber, and you support our lessons.
Chuck: Now back to our regular scheduled program.
Judith: Okay. Old dialogue first.
Neighbor: Hallo, ich bin der neue Nachbar! Sie haben ein Paket für mich?
Michaela: Wie können Sie einen Hund als Paket bestellen!
Neighbor: Nun…
Michaela: Der arme Hund!
Neighbor: Ich will einen Hund haben, und ich habe keine Zeit, ihn irgendwo abzuholen.
Michaela: Sie können den Hund nicht abholen? Wie werden Sie dann Zeit für den Hund haben?
Neighbor: Geben Sie mir jetzt meinen Hund!
Michaela: Ich kann Ihnen den Hund nicht geben…
Judith: And then the new dialogue.
Neighbor: Sie können mir den Hund nicht geben? Sie müssen aber! Es ist mein Hund und mein Paket!
Michaela: Na schön, aber IHR Hund hat MEIN Wohnzimmer verwüstet! Bezahlen Sie erst einmal den Schaden, dann kriegen Sie Ihren Hund.
Neighbor: Verwüstet? Wie hoch ist der Schaden?
Michaela: Hmm, müssen wohl etwa 1000 Euro sein…
Neighbor: 1000 Euro Schaden???
Judith: Now read slowly.
Neighbor: Sie können mir den Hund nicht geben? Sie müssen aber! Es ist mein Hund und mein Paket!
Michaela: Na schön, aber IHR Hund hat MEIN Wohnzimmer verwüstet! Bezahlen Sie erst einmal den Schaden, dann kriegen Sie Ihren Hund.
Neighbor: Verwüstet? Wie hoch ist der Schaden?
Michaela: Hmm, müssen wohl etwa 1000 Euro sein…
Neighbor: 1000 Euro Schaden???
Judith: With translation.
Judith: Sie können mir den Hund nicht geben?
Chuck: You can’t give me the dog?
Judith: Sie müssen aber!
Chuck: But you must!
Judith: Es ist mein Hund und mein Paket!
Chuck: It’s my dog and my package!
Judith: Na schön, aber IHR Hund hat MEIN Wohnzimmer verwüstet!
Chuck: All right, but YOUR dog has devastated MY living-room!
Judith: Bezahlen Sie erst einmal den Schaden, dann kriegen Sie Ihren Hund.
Chuck: First pay the damages and then get your dog.
Judith: Verwüstet?
Chuck: Devastated?
Judith: Wie hoch ist der Schaden?
Chuck: How high are the damages?
Judith: Hmm, müssen wohl etwa 1000 Euro sein…
Chuck: Hmm, probably around 1000 euros…
Judith: 1000 Euro Schaden???
Chuck: A thousand Euros of damages???
Chuck: Yeah. Don’t forget if you own a dog, you’re responsible for the damage it makes. It serves him right. That dog must have been crazy traveling in that package.
Judith: Yeah. I can still imagine. Poor dog.
Chuck: Poor doggie.
Judith: Let’s look at the vocabulary.
Chuck: Fair enough.
Judith: The first word is na schön [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Fair enough”.
Judith: Na schön [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Fair enough”.
Judith: Next, müssen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Must or have to”.
Judith: Müssen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Must or have to”.
Judith: This is also covered in the grammar section. Next, Wohnzimmer [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Living-room”.
Judith: Wohnzimmer [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Living room”. Note this is just “wohnen” – “to live”, and “Zimmer” – “room”.
Judith: Yeah, just like in English, living room. It’s neuter because “Zimmer” as the last sub-part is neuter, and the plural is the same. We already saw that all the words ending in –er are the same in plural. The next word is verwüstet [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Devastated”.
Judith: Verwüstet [slowly - broken down by syllable].
Chuck: “Devastated”.
Judith: Next, bezahlen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To pay”.
Judith: Bezahlen [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Bezahlen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To pay”.
Judith: Next, erst or erst einmal [natural native speed].
Chuck: “First”.
Judith: Erst [natural native speed].
Chuck: “First”.
Judith: Next, Schaden [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Damage”.
Judith: Schaden [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Schaden [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Damage”.
Judith: This is masculine, der Schaden, and the plural is “Schäden”. So it only changes the vowel.
Chuck: So stick an umlaut in there and you’ll get “damages”.
Judith: Next, kriegen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Get or receive”.
Judith: Kriegen [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Kriegen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Get or receive”. So that’s the word for “wars”?
Judith: “Krieg” is the word for “war”.
Chuck: And “wars”?
Judith: And plural is “Kriege”.
Chuck: Ah, okay.
Judith: So it’s like “Ich kriege”, “I get, I receive or I war.”
Chuck: So thus “Ich kriege ein Krieg” is “I get a war?”
Judith: Not quite. You have to say “einen”. Next, hoch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “High”.
Judith: Hoch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “High”.
Judith: Next, wohl [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Probably”.
Judith: Wohl [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Probably”.
Judith: This is not literally “probably” but it’s more like an interjection that turns a sentence into a prediction for the future. For example, “Du wießt wohl nicht”, as you probably don’t know or I assumed you don’t know.
Chuck: That’s the difference between this and “warscheinlich”?
Judith: “warscheinlich” means “likely”. So it’s more likely, but also “warscheinlich” is a real adverb.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: Note a modifier like that. The next word is etwa [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Approximately.”
Judith: Etwa [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Approximately”. I think I saw that word most often in the train station with the lateness of trains.
Judith: If they tell you “etwa fünf Minuten”…
Chuck: That means probably around…
Judith: “Verspätung”.
Chuck: It means probably around an hour, right?
Judith: It’s bad.
Chuck: All right. So in that dialogue, tell me, is it common to have disputes like that with your neighbor?
Judith: Well, it’s true that the postal service will try to deliver it to your neighbor if they can’t deliver it to you personally, but sometimes it’s not supposed to but they usually do anyway because they just don’t want to come back the next day. Well, as for disputes, I don’t think there’s many disputes about dogs being delivered in a package, but there are a lot of disputes and I think they’re about the same as in the States, for example, about a tree having branches on the other side of a fence or if somebody is partying rather too loudly at night, you know the police can come out for that. Your neighbor can call a police and say, “Hey, these are partying too loud. They’re disturbing by night’s rest and…”
Chuck: Germans are very particular about noise made at night.
Judith: Yeah. Or also around lunch time, when somebody may have a siesta or whatever.
Chuck: So be careful when you plan to have your late night concerts. So if you want to get all the vacuuming at home, then you can just say, “Oh, it’s lunch time, I better not disturb the peace.”
Judith: Or mowing the lawn. Germany has a lot of people on very little lands, that’s why it’s so disturbing. If you were the only one who live in the next half kilometer, then I don’t think anybody would care if you’ll vacuum whatever. But here in Germany, everything is a bit crowded and the population is rather dense.
Chuck: First, it also has its advantages because public transportations are much easier to develop.
Judith: Of course. The whole train at work, the buses. It wouldn’t make sense if there’s only five people living in this general area. This also means that huge estates are uncommon or big stretches of land where you don’t see anybody or anything, like the highways. The highways are never completely free. Even if you’re traveling at 3:00 AM and far from any major cities, you can still see cars coming at you. Not as many as around the big cities, around there it’s always cramped but….
Chuck: On the other hand, it’s interesting in Germany because of the city limits are so strict here that when you leave a city, very strictly there was a house and then there’s nothing; just cars and road and…
Judith: Well, except in the Ruhrgebiet. The Ruhrgebiet is a metropolitan area where the cities just grew together.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: It’s like 20 of them in one heap.
Chuck: It’s really the exception. Ruhrgebiet], I guess, is more like an American feeling where you’re just going from, like, town to town; and here, it’s pretty much like strictly this is the city, and then you leave Berlin and then it’s like you ride on a train for a couple of hours without really seeing anything and then you’re in another city.
Judith: That happens. I found that in Canada too though. Outside of Quebec City, there’s immediately like nothing. I think in German, it’s less abrupt because when you drive all of the city center, you’d first see some residential areas and the houses get thinner and then there’s a couple of farms, and then you see nothing.
Chuck: Yeah. I guess you can just call me an east coast boy. Yeah. That’s through the Midwest. In the States, it’s quite different was well.
Judith: Yeah. In Germany, there’s a lot of regional differences. Every region has its own customs and its own songs and dialect and everything because they didn’t used to be one big whole; Germany was unified rather late compared to all the other European nations, so they’re never filled as whole and they never had much contact.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Some of them were even having war on each other for a better part of a couple of hundred years.
Chuck: But also in Europe, it was also the fact that everything was built before the car was invented for the most part, the infrastructure.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: So then the roads just had to go with the cities rather than the cities being developed with the roads.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: But I mean, even here, I don’t think you can pick a piece of land and say, “I want to build a house there”. Can you?
Judith: No.
Chuck: It’s like in the middle of nowhere.
Judith: Of course not. You have to buy it. But…
Chuck: Well, I don’t mean buy it, but I mean even to build there, you have to have permissions.
Judith: Yeah. Well, of course. I know because my parents were one of the first to settle in this part of Kamp-Lintfort and there were like no houses around and you could see one kilometer up to the hospital, which was already built; but they were allowed to settle there because it was in the government’s plan for this area to become a residential area. So they talked to the government and they say okay. The government said, “This is residential, so you may build your house there, and we’ll even give you a little bit of money because you’re developing the area; developing roads or water or access to electricity.”
Chuck: Yeah. What I also found amazing here is that most people… no, not most… but a lot of people built their own houses.
Judith: Yeah. If you’ll have the money to build a house, then you want it to look like you would imagine your house to look.
Chuck: Yeah. But I mean even when I was working in Heilbronn, they asked me if I wanted to have part of my money go into my house building fund. I’m like, “What?”
Judith: Well, that’s just the bank’s way of making money, because the government is subsidizing, saving up for house so they can offer special fund where your money becomes worth more. They all just have a program for that.
Chuck: It seems like an interesting way of looking at things.
Judith: The government wants people to have houses. What’s wrong about that?
Chuck: What I mean, to build it yourself. Okay.
Judith: If you spend that much money, you want a house that somebody rent off?
Chuck: I don’t want to deal with that. I just want to pay for it.
Judith: Well, you can. I mean, there’s companies that just build houses and then wait for people to buy them or rent them.
Chuck: I see that’s not the norm though.
Judith: I think. I’m not sure about the numbers. I would venture it’s about half and half.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: From the area that I am used to seeing, I think about half were built by the owners.
Chuck: I would say pretty much no one builds their own house in the States. That’s like, yeah. Okay.
Judith: You also have some very strange ways of building houses. I mean a lot of houses were built of wood there…
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: …and they looked really weird. Like when I was driving into New York City, on the side of the road, we saw some really strange-looking houses. In Germany, most of houses are built of brick, of course and…
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: …much more stay warm better against the fire and better keeping the warmth or the cold out.
Chuck: Yeah. Those kind of bothers me when you see the new developments in the States or Canada where they pretty much just all looks the same and it looks very sterile and every house looks the same, and you try to find it, even sometimes name of all the streets almost the same to make the postal service easier but it makes it impossible to find something.
Judith: Oh, they number the streets. That’s what I don’t like.
Chuck: The numberings is at least logical.
Judith: I have no memory for numbers, sorry. How was I supposed to remember if somebody was on 7th Street or 17th? No. But this way of having lots of houses that looks similar happens when a company is developing the area. For example, it happened in Kamp-Lintfort with the coal mine. The coal mine built houses for most of the workers, and if you go in that part of town, you can easily lose your way because the houses each look a bit different but not different enough to really allow you to find your way.
Chuck: It’s also interesting here that you don’t have very many skyscrapers.
Judith: Well, who wants to live in a skyscraper?
Chuck: I do.
Judith: I think they tried it. For example, in Kamp-Lintfort, we have three skyscrapers but just nobody wants to live there and they’re going to be torn down.
Chuck: Yeah. That’s a different way of seeing them. You can see a skyscraper in New York and think that’s really great, living so high; but then that’s New York where you want to get above the smog so… yeah, it’s different.
Judith: Well, of course, our city centers were developed before there were skyscrapers.
Chuck: Uh-hmm. Yeah.
Judith: And also at the city center, their land is cheap enough not to have to build skyscrapers.
Chuck: You know even after the bombings… okay, we’re getting quite off here.
Judith: If you want to see skyscrapers in Germany, you should go to Frankfurt. It’s somewhat the only city that has a sky land.
Chuck: And I’m still amazed. When you see some of the skyline at Frankfurt and you see these incredibly modern buildings next to these incredibly old buildings.
Judith: You know, the German government is also protecting old buildings. If you want to tear them down, they may say, “Okay, it’s a landmark site, you’re not allowed to tear it down”.
Chuck: Yeah. We do that in the States but not so much.
Judith: Okay. Let’s have some grammar. We’re getting way of topic.
Chuck: Even I have to agree with that.

Lesson focus

Judith: Today’s grammar is about the modal verb müssen.
Chuck: “Must”.
Judith: Müssen is another really important one of the modal verbs but we covered a couple on the last lesson, but this one is really useful. The conjugation of both are as follows: “Ich muß”.
Chuck: “I must”.
Judith: “du mußt”
Chuck: “You must”.
Judith: “er muß”
Chuck: “He must”.
Judith: “wir müssen”
Chuck: “We must”.
Judith: “ihr müßt”
Chuck: “You all must”.
Judith: “sie müssen”
Chuck: “They must”.
Judith: And müssen is, of course, also the infinitive. So you can see these forms are parallel to the ones of “wollen” and “können”, and they also display this vowel changing from singular to plural. All the singular forms use a simple “u” and in the plural it change to Ü with an umlaut on top. The usage is also the same as “wollen” and “können”. So let’s have some examples. Ich muß heute noch Klavier üben.”
Chuck: “I must practice the piano today”.
Judith: “Mußt du das wirklich tun?”
Chuck: “Do you really have to do that?”
Judith: I think you can emphatize with me. Chuck, do you play an instrument? Are you alarming the neighbors in any way?
Chuck: Well, I used to play the drums, but I typically would alarm the neighbors by playing my movies too loud or my music.
Judith: But drums must be pretty annoying too.
Chuck: Well, I haven’t played them since fifth grade, so….
Judith: Okay.
Chuck: And that was back when the neighbors were quite far away at my parent’s place.
Judith: Okay. So let’s get back to our annoyed neighbor. Listen to the dialogue one more time.
Neighbor: Hallo, ich bin der neue Nachbar! Sie haben ein Paket für mich?
Michaela: Wie können Sie einen Hund als Paket bestellen!
Neighbor: Nun…
Michaela: Der arme Hund!
Neighbor: Ich will einen Hund haben, und ich habe keine Zeit, ihn irgendwo abzuholen.
Michaela: Sie können den Hund nicht abholen? Wie werden Sie dann Zeit für den Hund haben?
Neighbor: Geben Sie mir jetzt meinen Hund!
Michaela: Ich kann Ihnen den Hund nicht geben…


Chuck: Wow, a thousand Euros! I think she’s a bit exaggerating there.
Judith: I don’t know. We don’t know how much the dog did. He might have peed on her favorite Persian carpets or maybe knocked down a glass table while he was at it.
Chuck: Yeah. It could be something really fancy that she has in the living room. I could see that happening.
Judith: Yeah. I think most of all, she just wants to make the neighbor pay. We’ll see how he deals with that next week.
Chuck: But we won’t pay any damages for you playing GermanPod101 too loud and annoying your neighbors. So go ahead and do it.
Judith: Yeah, do it and get them to listen to GermanPod101, too! They should be learning some German. You know that Germans are large part of American ancestry? A lot of Americans have German ancestors? So everybody in America should be learning some German.
Chuck: Especially Pennsylvania where I’m from.
Judith: Yeah, of course. The whole of New England.
Chuck: Yeah. I could even believe one time in Berlin when I actually heard language lessons played too loud in my neighborhood.
Judith: All right. I guess that’s it for today.
Chuck: Yup. See you next week.
Judith: Bis nächste Woche!


Please to leave a comment.
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GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Hm... did that dog really cause that much damage or is Michaele simply showing some guts for what she believes to be right? What do you think? And what would you do in her situation?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 11:39 PM
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Hallo robert groulx,

Danke schön for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Friday at 07:55 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

Ich kann Ihnen den Hund nicht geben…


GermanPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:24 AM
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Hello Chod,

I am sorry if you feel that way. All our hosts are trying to make learning fun and exciting and they are trying to improve constantly to be better at what they do.



Team GermanPod101.com

Thursday at 02:43 AM
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My god the male on this podcast makes me feel suicidle his voice is so BORING !

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:01 PM
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Hi Alec,

Thank you for your comment!

You are right. It is grammatically correct to use "muss", since she is responding to her neighbour's question about the damage (sgl.). However, in this case German people would also understand it if you said "müssen", as she is not repeating the word "Schaden" it would be understood from context.

I hope this helps!

If you have any questions, please let us know!

Thank you!


Team GermanPod101.com

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:53 AM
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Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for your comment. I am glad you are enjoying our lessons.

"hat" is part of the verb since the sentence is in the past tense and certain past tenses need accompanying verbs like "sein" or "haben" to express actions that "have" happened. In this tense the accompanying verb goes second and the main verb comes last in the sentence structure. The entire verb in this case is "hat...verwüstet". If it was in the present tense it would be "Ihr Hund verwüstet mein Wohnzimmer.", with the verb in the second position.

I hope this helps.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thank you!


Sunday at 06:29 AM
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Der Satz ,,Hmm Müssen wohl ETWA 1000 Euro sein .. ". Warum hast du verwendet müssen und nicht muss, da die gefolgerten Subjekt des Verbs ist der Schaden, nicht die Schäden?

Die Lehren gefällt mir sehr, vor allem die kulturelle Einblicke. Ich denke, Michaela ist sehr tolerant gegenüber Chucks manchmal dumme Witze. Sorry Chuck! Und wird Chuck lernen, 'ich' und 'nicht' usw. richtig irgendwann zu sagen? Ich weiß, er hat in Süd-Deutschland für eine Weile gelebt, aber ich möchte Hochdeutsch wie Michaela sprechen.

The sentence ,,Hmm, müssen wohl etwa 1000 Euro sein .. ". Why have you used müssen and not muss, since the inferred subject of the verb is the damage (sing.), not the damages (pl)?

I am really enjoying the lessons, especially the cultural aspects. I think Michaela is very tolerant of Chuck's sometimes silly jokes. Sorry Chuck! (Perhaps Michaela wrote those in the script?) And will Chuck learn to say ich and nicht etc. properly at some stage? I know he has been living in the south of Germany for a while but I want to learn to speak high German like Michaela.

PS Some of your questions are very good, Chuck, and lead to useful discussion. :)

Tuesday at 07:37 PM
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I am enjoying these lessons very much.

Can you please explain why the verb in this sentence:

Na schön, aber IHR Hund hat MEIN Wohnzimmer verwüstet!

is not in the second position.

Thank you.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:02 AM
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Hi Julian,

Thank you for writing!

It is an exclamation used as a question. "You can't give me the dog?" is the same sentence in English, and can also be used as both a "regular" sentence and a question.



Team GermanPod101.com

Sunday at 11:10 PM
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Hallo GermanPod101.com,

"Sie können mir den Hund nicht geben ?" - this is a question, isn't it ? Why "können" is not the first word in this question ? I knew when we have a question the first word is the verb !

Danke schön !

Viele Grüße,