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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Upper intermediate series 1, Lesson 5. If we had told you sooner, you wouldn’t have made this mistake in Germany.
Judith: Hello everyone. I am Judith and welcome to germanpod101.
Chuck: With us, you will learn to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about might have been’s.
Judith: This conversation takes place on the phone in Germany.
Chuck: The conversation is between Frank Jones and Manuela, one of his German friends.
Judith: The speakers are friends. Therefore they will be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Jones: Jones hier, hallo.
Manuela: Hallo Frank, hier ist Manuela.
Jones: Ach, hallo Manuela!
Manuela: Hey, sag mal, bist du gar nicht zu Hause?
Jones: Äh, nein. Ich bin noch unterwegs. Ich war im Fitness-Studio und habe ein Probetraining gemacht.
Manuela: Oh, ach so…. Hmm… Du bist sonst immer um die Zeit zu Hause….Wenn ich das gewusst hätte…
Jones: Wieso, was ist los?
Manuela: Hmm… na ja…bist du denn bald da?
Jones: Äh, ja. Ich denke, ich bin etwa in 20 Minuten da. Wieso denn?
Manuela: Na, wenn ich das gewusst hätte, wäre ich später gekommen.
Jones: Wohin denn?
Manuela: Na, zu dir…
Jones: Hä? Wie… zu mir?
Manuela: Ich stehe vor deiner Haustür…
Jones: Oh.
Manuela: Ja, ich hatte Lust, eine DVD zu gucken. Und deshalb habe ich auf dem Weg von der Arbeit nach Hause in der Videothek eine DVD ausgeliehen. Und deine Wohnung liegt ja auf dem Weg….Wenn ich dich vorher gefragt hätte, dann hättest du sicher „Nein“ gesagt. Deswegen dachte ich, dass es besser ist, wenn ich dich überrasche.
Jones: Die Überraschung ist dir gelungen!
Manuela: Hmm, ja.
Jones: Na dann warte doch im Cafe an der Ecke und ich hole dich dort ab….
Manuela: Okay. Entschuldige, dass ich dich so überrumpele…
Jones: Ach, kein Problem… Nur, wenn du früher Bescheid gesagt hättest, hätte ich noch Chips und Gummibärchen gekauft….
Manuela: Keine Sorge! Die habe ich dabei!
Jones: Jones here, hello.
Manuela: Hello Frank, here is Manuela.
Jones: Oh, hello Manuela.
Manuela: Hey, say, are you not at home?
Jones: Uh, no. I'm still on the road. I was in the gym for a trial training.
Manuela: Oh, I see... Hmm... you're otherwise always at home at that time... if I were to know that...
Jones: Why, what's up?
Manuela: Hmm... oh well... are you then soon there?
Jones: Uh, yeah. I think I'll be there in 20 minutes. Why?
Manuela: Well, if I had known that, I would've come later.
Jones: Where to then?
Manuela: Well, to your place...
Jones: Huh? How... to my place?
Manuela: I'm standing at your door.
Jones: Oh.
Manuela: Yeah, I felt like watching a DVD. And that's why I was on the way home from work and rented a DVD from the video store. And your apartment is indeed on the way... if I had asked you in advance, you certainly would've said "no". That's why I thought it was better to surprise you.
Jones: The surprise is for you!
Manuela: Hmm, yeah.
Jones: Well then, just wait at the cafe on the corner and I'll pick you right up...
Manuela: Ok. Sorry that I took you by surprise...
Jones: Ah, no problem... if only you had given me earlier notice, I could've bought chips and gummi bears.
Manuela: No worries! I have them here!
Judith: I think this was a bit strange you know to invite yourself like that like Manuela did.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: It’s not for everyone. I would not normally consider doing that except if the person has clearly said something like, come by whenever you want, I am always happy to see you. I always want to have guests. I don’t know. It would take some strong words to convince me that it’s okay to do that.
Chuck: Yeah, I don’t know if I believe you that this is actually German. It sure sounds like a Brazilian name or something to me.
Judith: What else can we say about the appointments and punctuality in German?
Chuck: Oh, I would say if you can’t make it, you should cancel as soon as possible to let the other person know.
Judith: Yeah, long time ahead if possible. And otherwise you should be punctual.
Chuck: Yeah. Say if you are more than 5 minutes late, it’s front upon.
Judith: Definitely and more than 30 minutes late is inexcusable really. You need to call if you know that you’d be delayed.
Chuck: Best to call even if you are going to be over 5 minutes late.
Judith: Yes, that’s what I do. Now if you go to a hairdresser or a doctor, then these will often only accept people with appointments especially on busy days. So there also you need to pay attention.
Chuck: Yeah. When it’s appointments with the doctor, you may still have to wait and even maybe a long time.
Judith: Yeah even with an appointment.
Chuck: Yeah or if you are not there when your name is called, well too bad.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: You got to make another appointment then.
Judith: We will see that authority is a bit nicer because you can call them and make an appointment and that usually saves you a lot of waiting time. Many people just go there and wait and if you are lucky, there is a number drawing system somewhere in the waiting room that will also improve your waiting time.
Chuck: Then at least you can sit there and listen to germanpod101.
Judith: Yes, definitely bring along some germanpod101 lessons.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at some vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is
Judith: [unterwegs].
Chuck: On to go or on the way.
Judith: [unterwegs].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Videothek].
Chuck: Video rental store.
Judith: [Videothek, die]. And the plural is [Videotheken].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [ausleihen].
Chuck: To borrow out, lend out or rent as in small items.
Judith: [ausleihen]. And the forms are [Er leiht aus, Er lieh aus, Er hat ausgeliehen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [überraschen].
Chuck: To surprise.
Judith: [überraschen]. Note that in this case, the [über] does not split off.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [gelingen].
Chuck: To succeed.
Judith: [Es gelingt, Es gelang, Es ist gelungen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [überrumpeln].
Chuck: To take someone by surprise.
Judith: [überrumpeln]. Again the [über] does not split off.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [früher].
Chuck: Earlier.
Judith: [früher].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Chips].
Chuck: Chips American or Crisps British.
Judith: [Chips]. This word is always plural.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Gummibärchen].
Chuck: Gummy bears.
Judith: [Gummibärchen, das]. This is neuter and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [dabei haben].
Chuck: To have brought along.
Judith: [dabei haben].
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: First, I want to look at [vorher] versus [früher]. Both can be translated as before in the sense of beforehand, before something else but [vorher] is more recent than [früher] can be anything reaching back to your great grandparents generation. You will often see it in the phrase [Früher war alles besser].
Chuck: In the earlier times, everything was better or more naturally in the good old days, everything was better.
Judith: Okay. Another word is [die Überraschung].
Chuck: Surprise.
Judith: Yes. We did not especially mention it but [die Überraschung] is a very useful word based on the verb [überraschen] that we had today. So the verb is [überraschen] and the noun [die Überraschung] and finally, there is a common expression you learned [keine Sorge].
Chuck: Don’t worry or it’s not a problem.
Judith: [keine Sorge]!

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is [Konditionalsatz 3].
Judith: In the last two lessons, we looked at conditional sentences in German. So far we had type 1 and type 2.
Chuck: Type 1 is for events that are likely to occur and that’s why we use the present tense or future tense for it same as if it were certain.
Judith: Type 2 is for unlikely events. And we express our doubt by using the [Konjunktiv] conjunctive form of verbs. This shows anyone that what we are saying is conditional and may never happen.
Chuck: That brings us to the last type, type 3. Type 3 is for conditions that are impossible to meet.
Judith: Really impossible. If you are talking about possibly winning the lottery, then that’s still a type 2 sentence because it’s unlikely but not entirely impossible. For something to be really impossible, the condition has already not been met. For example, take the English phrase if I had known that. The thing is you did not know that. So it’s an impossible condition. And it’s not possible to change it afterwards. You can’t say oh, if I had known that and then suddenly it changes and you did actually know that.
Chuck: In German, impossible conditions are expressed using the conjunctive of the pluperfect tense. It sounds complicated but it’s not. To form the conjunctive of the pluperfect tense, just take a regular pluperfect form such as [Ich hatte gedacht]. I had thought and then change the auxiliary into its conjunctive equivalent. Typically you only need to add an umlaut for that.
Judith: Yes [Ich hatte gedacht] becomes [Ich hätte gedacht] and for verbs using [sein], the conjunctive of the pluperfect tense involves a form of [wäre]. For example, [Ich war gegangen] becomes [Ich wäre gegangen], I would have gone.
Chuck: Both clauses of type 3 conditional sentences use the conjunctive of the pluperfect tense. Would you give me some examples from the dialogue?
Judith: Yes: [Wenn ich das früher gewusst hätte, wäre ich später gekommen].
Chuck: If I had known that, I would have come later.
Judith: Yes. So you see [gewusst hätte] and [wäre gekommen] both of them are conjunctive of the pluperfect tense and there is another example that’s really easy to see in the dialogue [Wenn ich dich vorher gefragt hätte, dann hättest du bestimmt “nein” gesagt].


Chuck: If I had asked you beforehand, you would have certainly said no. Well that just about does it for today. Remember, you can leave us a comment on this lesson.
Judith: So if you have a question or some feedback, please leave us a comment.
Chuck: It’s very easy to do. Just stop by germanpod101.com.
Judith: Click on comments.
Chuck: Enter your comment and name
Judith: And that’s it.
Chuck: No excuses. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Judith: So see you next week.
Chuck: [Also bis nächste Woche]!