Friday, June 1, 2012

A week before last Monday we read the first three paragraphs of the chapter on Danzig in Knickerbocker's Kommt Krieg in Europa? A day or two before that we discussed word-order (normal, inverted, dependent) and definite articles and relative pronouns, so that the student would have the necessary tools to determine vaguely what was going on in most of the sentences. I only asked him to identify the main and dependent clauses but he translated a good bit of it.

During the session I explained the imperfect subjunctive, which is generally formed (where possible) by adding an umlaut to the imperfect indicative form. As in English, the imperfect subjunctive is used for present contrary-to-fact statements. It also became necessary to explain the use of the double infinitive, which stands for an infinitive followed by a perfect participle. We discussed the use of werden to form the present passive, perfect passive, and future indicative.

In the next session earlier this week, we reviewed the section already covered. I gave some explanation of separable verbs, and how the perfect participle is formed from separable verbs, and also the fact that zu will be sandwiched between the verb-stem and the prefix in an infinitive-clause. I instructed the student to review the conjugation of haben in the present and imperfect indicative, since he had forgotten it. Once he knows the imperfect indicative, the imperfect subjunctive will be self-evident, and that is appearing a lot in this section due to the use of past contrary-to-fact conditional statements.

The student is getting used to the fact that when the main verb is some form of haben or sein or  werden, it is necessary to go to the end of the clause before continuing, to find out if there is an infinitive or  perfect participle that goes with it.

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