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Grade, Teacher, Year

Prof. Peter Moravec

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English Grammar 1. Lehrjahr Inhalt Present simple Wir benutzen das Present Simple: Bei Regelmässigen Sachen They eat lunch at two o‘clock. Um über permanente Situationen zu sprechen: I work in London. Für allgemeine Wahrheiten Those bags sell really fast. The moon goes round the earth. Um über Gewohnheiten zu sprechen und wie oft diese stattfinden: You buy new clothes every Saturday. Um die Handlung eines Filmes oder Buches zu beschreiben: The story begins and ends in Spain. The year is 1937. Present continuous Wir benutzen das Present Continuous: Um über den aktuellen Moment zu sprechen: I’m wearing a pair of old jeans I’m looking at a blue bag right now. Für Aktionen die während dem Sprechen geschehen aber noch nicht fertig sind: I’m cleaning my room. I’m looking around the shops Für Situationen die sich verändern: Blue bags are getting really fashionable. The earth’s temperature is rising. Mit Wörtern wie always. In Form von Kritik: You’re always buying new clothes. Wenn etwas unerwartetes immer wieder passiert: I’m always meeting my neighbour John near the station. State Verbs Diese Verben werden fast immer im simple angewendet. Meistens sind es Gedanken, Gefühle, Besitze und Sinne. Thoughts: Believe, know, mean, realise, recognise, remember, suppose, understand, feel, think, I think you’re wrong.We feel this decision is right. Feelings: Adore, dislike, despise,
Die Morphologie arbeitet auch mit Prosodie = Klang und mit metrischen Füßen. Es gibt keine einheitlichen Kasusmerkmale im Deutschen. Kasus kann nur nach Numerus markiert sein. Grundform-Flexi­on: Die Grundform ist der Ausgangspunkt der Flexion. Starke Flexion heißt Genitiv-Markier­ung im Singular= Genitiv-„s“ und Plural-Markieru­ng= Plural-Schwa. Singular: Die Grundform und der Akkusativ Sg. stehen ohne Flexionssuffix. Es gibt kein Singularmerkmal­, es gibt nur den Wortstamm/Grund­for­m. Die Grundform ist endungslos z.B. der Arm kein Suffix nach dem Stamm, nennt man Nullmorphem = die Vergegenwärtigu­ng von Nichts. Das Dativ-Schwa ist obsolet und veraltet. Der Genitiv hat das einzige richtige Flexionssuffix „s“. „s“ ist der am stärksten auditierte Suffix. Plural: Es gibt keine Kasusmarkierung außer im Dativ. Das Pluralmerkmal, das für alle Pluralformen gilt, ist Schwa. Der Dativ ist die einzig markierte Form mit seiner Endung –en. Wenn man ein „n“ an die Pluralform hängen kann, ohne dass eine neue Silbe entsteht, endet der Dativ-Plural mit –en. Bsp.: Omas + n = O mas n 2 Silben würden zu 3 Silben werden, deswegen kann im Dativ Plural kein n angehängt werden. Fast jeder Plural im Deutschen endet mit einem Trochäus (betont / unbetont). ABER: Nicht jedes trochäische Wort ist auch ein Plural! Beim einfachen Plural sind ..

Grammatik im Kontext Englisch (Moravec)

2. VO / Thursday, March 26, 2009

Content words (meaning words): nouns, verbs, objectives, adverbs

-          Good students listen attentively. (=entirely content words)

Function words (structure words): help the structure of the sentence

-          The nice teacher speaks … (grammar function in a sentence)

Function words include determiners, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, auxiliary verbs such as “to do”

determiners are:

1.       articles

2.       pronouns

Indefinite/definite articles


definite article à the (refers to a definite/specific noun)

-          the woman (specific woman)

indefinite article à a/an

-          a woman (any woman, indefinite noun, no specific woman, is more general, example of…)

-          !! spaghetti is not countable, therefore no indefinite article

limiting adjectives: because they are used as adjectives à nice teacher

the dog à specific

a child à not specific

In addition to the definite/indefinite article we have a third article as well à zero article (many nouns don’t take an article)

Articles aren’t content words. They are function words. When articles aren’t necessary they are left out.

Indefinite article

a an

a rabbit (consonant) an elephant (vowel)

an old house

The a/an depend on the pronunciation, not on the spelling!

a uniform à because of the pronunciation (it’s not a uniform)

-          Jane wore a uniform of blue.

a one … à pronounced as a consonant

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abbreviations: a NASA engineer, a FIFA referee, an IMF meeting, an OPEC meeting

words beginning with “h”

In most cases the article is “a”: a hotel, a history


when “h” is not pronounced: an hour, an honest man, an heir (ein Erbe)

-          Please remain in this room for an hour.

-          … an honor system

-          A history of the United States.

before hesitation

if we want to emphasize something

-          He bought a Honda.

-          … a real effort (emphasized)


To refer to a particular but unspecified person, thing, event,…

a child à particular being but unspecific

-          After this long and boring lecture I definitely need a glass of beer. (particular but unspecific thing)

a = one

Im Deutschen “ein” ist sowohl Artikel als auch Zahlwort (Numeral)

numerical and quantity expressions

-          XY weighed a hundred and twenty kilograms.

-          XY weighed one hundred and twenty kilograms.

Im Deutschen: Er wog 120 kg.

Im Englischen: entweder indef. article oder nummeral

-          The firm founds a/one hundred new jobs.

Ind. article for numbers or percentages which is modified (noun like “teacher” – any teacher – bad teacher) by an adjective.

INFORMAL ENGLISH (grammatically wrong, only spoken – Global English, not use in test)

-          We’ll need an extra 10 pounds. (Combination between the indefinite article and the plural form of the noun)

-          He’s been waiting for a good 2 hours.

-          She spent a happy ten minutes looking through the photos.

-          I’ve had a very busy three days (We need the adjective here! Otherwise it doesn’t work, we can’t say: a three days)

-          The inflation rate sank to a surprising low 4 percentage.

-          A good few + plural à extremely informal

-          I bet that house could tell a good few stories.

Ind. article in expressions of price, speed, time, ratios (Verhältniszahl; 2 of 4), etc.

-          The flour is 70 penny a pound.

-          You went along with a speed of 50 miles an hour.

-          To the town it’s only half a mile. (BrE)

-          To the town it’s only a half-mile. (AmE)

-          They talked for a quarter of an hour.

-          He washes four times a day.

-          This door is open 24/7. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

-          I attend evening classes twice a week.

-          He ran up the steps taking two at a time.

-          I’ll be back in a moment/in a minute.

one evening (not a evening) – eines Abends

one day (not a day) – eines Tages

-          One evening, while I was relaxing at home, I heard a strange noise.

-          One day I’ll be a famous writer.

3. VO / Thursday, April 2, 2009

Indefinite article referred to religion, job, nationality, political parties,…

-          She was a company director when she retired.

(Because she is not the only director; this is not a unique position)

-          Mr. Smith who might got to know to the exhibition…

-          His wife has been a Euro MP (Member of Parliament) for two years.

-          Mr. Stuart was a catholic while Luther was a protestant.

-          As a catholic, an economist and an expert in social policy I cannot condemn these policies.

-          …as a manager and a …

-          I didn’t realize that Roy Black was a German.

-          Later in his life he became a socialist.

-          Later in his life he turned socialist (zero article after “to turn”)

-          He will never turn traitor.

For unique positions we use no article.

-          Arnold Schwarzenegger has been appointed Governor of California.

-          His duties as head of the institute…

-          She’s been president…

In sentences with position of, post of, role of à zero article before the job title

-          Professor Will Smith has taken on the position of head of department.

Zero article also for uncountable nouns

-          advice

-          information

-          news

-          progress

-          experience


-          You’ve made very good progress.

-          The doctor said that he had considerable experience in midwifery.

-          This is excellent news.

-          Such information can create a competitive advantage.

-          I’ll give you a piece of/some advice (Ich werde dir einen Rat geben.).

-          I have interesting news for you (Ich habe eine interessante Neuigkeit für dich.).

-          I’ve an interesting piece of news for you.

a/an not with weather and English

-          We’re heaving terrible weather (Wir haben ein furchtbares Wetter.).

-          She speaks very good Englisch (Sie spricht sehr gutes Englisch.).

zero article is also used for nouns consisting of 2 parts

-          scissors

-          trousers

-          To cut this material you need very good scissors.

-          To cut this material you need a pair of scissors.

Illnesses and pains are usually uncountable. Therefore no article à but only in BrE

-          I think I’ve got measles.

-          He has had got a appendicitis.

-          I’ve got toothache again.

INFORMALLY the definite article “the” can be used with less common diseases.

-          She’s never had the measles.

-          I think I got the flue.


-          I’ve got a terrible cold.

the word “catch”:

-          I only catch a cold/cold in the draft.

-          He hoped he wasn’t catching cold.

-          a headache (because we cannot count headache)

-          I’ve got a splitting headache (Ich habe Kopfweh.).

-          I often get headaches.

-          The grammar tests usually give students headaches.

stomach-ache, back-ache, toothache,…are uncountable at least in BrE

-          I’ve got bad toothache.

In AmE these words are countable

-          Certain problems are like a toothache.

-          He’s suffering from a stomach-ache.

-          Jim does very poorly this winter. He always has earache or sore throat (Er hat immer Ohrenweh oder Halsweh.).

when other parts of the body hurt à “to ache”

-          My legs ache (NOT I’ve got legache.).

-          heartache: kind of condition, not disease or illness

-          Sony Ericsson has its own research centre (Sony Ericsson hat ein eigenes Forschungszentrum.).

-          It could take years before you got your own office (Es könnte Jahre dauern bevor du ein eigenes Büro bekommst.).

There is another possibility as well.

indefinite article (a/an) + noun + sentence of ”ones own”

-          Sony Ericsson has a research centre of its own.

-          It could take years before you get an office of your own.

2 exceptions: * an own goal (NOT gaol)

* an own child (reference sentence nr. 3)

otherwise always use own + possessive pronoun

Use of quite and rather

-          It’s quite (approx. “fairly”) good, but it could be better.

-          It’s quite (“completely”) impossible.

quite + indefinite article + noun

-          It’s quite a nice day.

gradable adjective à important for word order

“quite” before the indefinite article if there is a gradable adjective or no adjective

-          We watched quite an interesting film last night.

gradable, therefore quite + indefinite article + noun

-          She’s quite a woman.

-          He’s quite a hero.

-          The party was quite a success.

-          It’s quite impossible (=non-grad.)

“quite” comes after the indefinite article in BrE

-          It was a (quite) perfect day.

AmE: It was quite a perfect day.

In spoken English: intonation – stress – emphasize

-          I heard quite an interesting story.

-          I heard a quite interesting story (a very interesting story).

“quite” is sometimes used INFORMALLY before the definite article meaning “exactly” or “completely”

-          He’s going quite the wrong way.

-          He’s going the wrong way (better, not informal).

-          You’re telling me quite the opposite of what John told me.

4. VO / Thursday, April 23, 2009

In both cases “quite” can be left out, because it’s not necessary

“quite a bit”, “quite a few”

Informally they mean “quite a lot”

-          We are having quite a bit of trouble with the kids.

-          We thought nobody would be there but actually quite a few people came.

“rather” is also an adverb (more than usual, more than suspected) – meaning is similar to “quite” and “fairly”; it generally comes before articles.

-          He’s rather a fool.

-          It was rather a disappointment.

-          John has had rather a good idea.

However, the “rather” comes after indef. articles if there is an adjective.

-          I had intended the money for a rather different purpose.

-          This is a rather complicated matter.

differences (in regard of the indef. article) between English/German

preposition of phrases

preposition and noun

-          You are not in a very good mood this morning.

-          Suddenly they both were in an immensely humor (bei äußerst gutter Laune).

-          The sound of shooting threw the crowd into a panic (versetzte die Menge in Panik).

-          She flew into a temper when he told her that she was wrong (Sie geriet in Wut).

-          His insults made her fly into a passion … (führten dazu, dass sie in Wut geriet)

-          We are in a position to supply you with the goods require (Wir sind in der Lage).

-          To a grade extend he is himself to blame for his misfortune (In hohem Maße).

-          I can’t stay any longer because I am in a hurry (da ich in Eile bin).

-          It’s absolutely necessary to bring this affair to an end (zu Ende bringen).

-          By the time the grammar lecture had come to an end he was fast asleep (Als die Lesung zu Ende war).

-          He has been the boss of this firm for a long time (Er ist schon lange Zeit Chef dieser Firma).

-          On Sundays we usually go for a walk (machen wir für gewöhnlich einen Spaziergang).

-          He has been writing for three hours without a break (ohne Unterbrechung).

-          Why don’t we go to Majorca for a change (Warum fahren wir zur Abwechslung nicht einmal nach Mallorca)?

-          As a child I often had nightmares (Als Kind hatte ich).

-          As a result of the accident he had to undergo four painful operations (Als Folge des Unfalls).

-          As a rule there are three performances every day (In der Regel gibt es).

-          He has made it a rule to keep this sub… at a distance (Er hatte es zur Regel gemacht).

-          It is a pity that you have not applied for that position (Es ist schade, dass).

-          My friend has a feeling that everything will change for the better (Mein Freund hat das Gefühl, dass sich alles zum Besseren wenden wird.).

-          You’ve still got a temperature, and getting up is out of the question (Du hast noch immer Fieber…kommt nicht in Frage).

-          He is a man with a voracious appetite (mit unersättlichem Appetit).

-          The boy shows an interest in sports (Er zeigt Interesse an Sport.).

-          She takes a great interest in everything he does (Sie zeigt großes Interesse an allem.).

-          The long walk gave me a good appetite.

-          She ate with appetite but he not (Sie aß mit Appetit, er hingegen nicht.).

-          He was glad to get the soup, and he fell to with appetite (Er machte sich mit Appetit darüber).

-          What you’re telling us is old hat (Was du uns erzählst ist ein alter Hut.).

-          I’ve never had such nonsense (noch nie so einen Unsinn).

And similarly phrases with “what kind of”, ”what sort of” and related phrases are usually used without the indef. article

-          What sort of person is he?

-          What sort of man is he? (Was für ein Mann ist er?)

-          Have you got a cheaper sort of radio?

-          What kind of suit was the susp…wearing?

-          What line of business are you in? (In welcher Branche)

-          What brand of cigarette do you prefer?

-          They’ve developed a new variety of sheep.

-          That species of bird is extremely rare around here.

In exclamations after “what” we use the indef. article with singular countable nouns.

-          What a lovely day! (day is singular, also countable)

However, the indef. art. cannot be used in exclamations with uncountable nouns.

-          What nonsense! (Was für ein Unsinn!)

-          What luck!



There is only a definite article. à THE

Pronunciation: before a consonant/a vow

-          the (i) ice

-          the (ä) snow

We use “the” before a vow sound even it is written as a consonant

hour (h is consonant, but we don’t prounounce it) – the (i) hour


The Royal Society for Prevention… (RSPCA)

the (ä) university

a one-pound-coin à the (ä) one-pound-coin

the (ä) USA

the (ä)UNESCO

before a hesitation. If something doesn’t come into my mind immediately – after a long pause;

He’s the (i) deputy …. of…

Use of def. art.

We use the def. art. before a noun when the reader/listener knows or understands what we are talking about.

-          I’ve been to the dentist. (reader knows which dentist I know – my dentist, where I always go to).

-          Could you pass the salt please? (uncountable noun; the salt on the table)

“You know what I mean” à def. art.

When I cannot say “You know what I mean” à indef. art.

-          There is a huge spider in our bedroom.

-          I need an article from this week’s Time Magazine.

-          Yesterday I only had a yoghurt and a salad.

-          The yoghurt wasn’t so good but the salad was good.

(In the second sentence the reader already knows which yoghurt – from yesterday – therefore the def. art.; in the first sentence à introduction, I don’t know anything about the yoghurt)

-          I’m going to the post office. (there is only one post office here)

-          Is there a post office near here? (No idea about the post office)

-          She arrived on the 8:15 train. (def. art. because it says which train.)

-          She arrived in an old taxi. (speaker doesn’t say which taxi)

-          Last week I took the bus to the airport but it was really overcrowded. (airport is clear)

-          So next week I’m going to take a taxi. (any taxi, not specific taxi)

-          She’s got 2 children. A boy and a girl.

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