The seven rules No 1



The 7 Rules to Fluency


Rule No 1  

Always study phrases, not just individual words!
And practice new words with whole sentences!

I know it is very common to learn new words with vocabulary lists, where you have new words on the left and the 1:1 translation on the right. But this is a very painful and boring method. Nobody likes studying vocabulary lists and I guess you don’t like it either – am I right?

And the worst of all, it doesn’t even work effectively!

You ask, “why not?” Well, individual words just by themselves tell no story. It is far more difficult to remember things if they are not embedded in a context. Your brain needs a kind of anchor to save new information. And this works much better if you give the new information a kind of picture or story.

And there is a second reason why it is much better to add example sentences. If you use a vocabulary book, you usually write down only the basic form of the verb for example:

haben = to have

träumen = to dream

But there are many different forms of the verb like: träume, träumst, träumt, träumte, geträumt… So if you also write down example sentences, all the little differences become visible. 

For example:

  German   English
  haben   to have
  Ich habe große Ohren.   I have big ears.
  träumen   to dream
  Ich träume jede Nacht.   I dream every night.


If you note an example sentence to every new word, your brain will start to realize step by step that there are some similarities.

In my example: Ich + verb ending e. This is just one of many things that your brain will realize (subconsciously) in time. You will learn those little differences automatically, if you follow this rule. After some time you will get a better feeling about what is right and what is wrong. 

You will feel that:

“Ich haben ein Haus” must be wrong and that “Ich habe ein Haus” sounds correct.  

So, always study phrases, never only individual words!
And practice new words with whole sentences!  

This way…

– you’ll learn some basic grammar subconsciously over time
– you’ll get a better feeling for the correct word order
– you’ll learn more than one new word with each sentence

and you’ll remember new words more easily, because the sentences have an actual meaning and you can imagine those situations. You can remember things much better if you build a picture in your mind.

You can imagine yourself with big ears, right? 

So next time you encounter a new German word in a book or in a newspaper and you want to learn it, make sure you write not only the word and the translation into your vocabulary book, but the whole sentence.

Have fun!
Lucas Kern


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Datum: Montag, 30. Mai 2016 13:18
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