Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

Blog

What would English look like if it used German grammar?

This was a question asked on Quora. Sombody named Ivan Andreev wrote the most fantastic answer, which I will now share with you here.

Have you geheard, we should to the German Grammar overswitch? That have i already yesterday gemade. The German Grammar could, itself tofirst, strange sound, but you will perhaps discover that it not so difficult is. It is yes only a Matter of Wordorder… wait but. Have i “geheard” gesaid? I estimate once, that there also other Factors be could.

Firstens, the Verbs. The Present Perfect in English is not the same as the Perfekt Timeform on German. On German, corresponds she to the Simple Past on English, in the last Years becomes but also increasingly employed in order all past Forms to indicate. The perfective Aspect, on German, is with the Gerundform geformed. So, now say we Things so like “gefound” and “geshopped” and “atgelooked”.

Wait, “atgelooked”? Right. Whereas on the old Language, we Things “looked at”, now we Things “atlook”. This is a separable Verb, so the Gerundmarker becomes in the Word insidegeinserted.

Secondens, the Nouns. Each has a grammatical Gender, and it must with the Pronouns match in anaphoric Situations (in this Answer, i want it to avoid, new Morphemes to withupcome, or from the Old English to borrow: so it’s called the Phrase, not þēos Phrase, is but still toreferred as she).

If one with the Goal operates, new Words not towardstoadd, and the existing Inflections to reuse (“in the last Years”, not “in the lasts Years”, because the adjectival Plural unmarked in English is), then are we already more or less there. Some Littlehoods remain: Questionwordorder, Compoundnouns, certain Verbconjugationdetails and a few more, but in the Principle should you on Denglish communicate can. Much Luck!

I knew nothing about German except you capitalize the nouns. Now I know a little more! If you’re on Quora already, you may want to follow this guy. I sure did, because that answer is not just informative and fun, it’s just plain cleverly written.

Please Feel Free to Share:

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

2 Comments What would English look like if it used German grammar?

  1. Rachel

    Yes, that’s a wonderful essay. The tomcat with her kittens! That’s the part I remember.

Leave A Comment