“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – The Complete Course
In the video and accompanying e-book “Beginner German with Herr Antrim“, there are a total of 20 lessons. Each of these lessons take you one step closer to having your first real conversation in German. Below you will find a list of topics explained in the video and e-book. The timestamps next to the topics will take you to any topic you desire.
Click the links in the table of contents to scroll to the explanation of each topic. You can also skim through the video above to the desired point in the video, which is also labeled in the table of contents.
Do you want a guide to help you start learning German with Herr Antrim? Click here.
Introduction to “Beginner German with Herr Antrim”
This is the introduction to the Beginner German with Herr Antrim series. This series will cover the basics of the German language and the topics you need for the A1 level. First, I need to explain why you should learn from me, what you will learn from this series, what you will not learn in this series, and how to get started.
Who is Herr Antrim?
Hallo, Deutschlerner. Ich bin Herr Antrim. If you are just starting to learn German, then this video series is for you. My lessons are different than anything else you are going to find online, because I learned German just like many of you are going to. I took 3 years of German classes in high school. Then I went on to take 4 years of university courses in German. After graduating I spent a month in Berlin for a summer course at Humboldt University. Since 2009 I have been teaching German to high school students in the USA.
Long story short, I know what works for German learners, because I was one. I had to struggle through the same problems you are going to encounter when learning German. I fell into the traps of the German language. I know the errors you are going to make before you are going to make them, so I can prevent them. I know what it takes to be successful in learning German. Stick with me and I’ll show you how to learn German from the perspective of someone who has actually had to learn it.
What to expect from Beginner German with Herr Antrim
So what can you expect to learn from this series? I’ve created my own curriculum based on the CEFR goals, the Goethe Institut’s recommendations and my own experience with what to learn when. A lot of the videos will be skits, as I have been doing on this channel for a long time, but I will sprinkle grammar lessons throughout the series.
At the end of this series, you will be able to accomplish all of the goals set forth by the Goethe Institut. You’ll be able to understand simple conversations in everyday situations, get information from short messages, talk about numbers and time, fill in basic forms, introduce yourself and form and answer simple questions.
What not to expect from Beginner German with Herr Antrim
Just as important as what you will get out of this series is what you won’t get out of this series. This is not a course. It will not teach you everything you need to know about the B1 level of the German language. If you only watch my videos in this series, you will be seriously lacking in all areas of language learning. Assuming you can learn everything you need to know about a language from a YouTube video series is naive at best.
This series is meant to be an introduction to the topics at the A1 level. If you master the topics introduced in each video, you will reach your goals. You will learn German in the way that you would expect from a real course. Don’t rely on this video series alone, however. It will not work. You will need to study and practice on your own. I can’t do that for you from a video series.
Herr Antrim decided to break up the pronunciation of the German language into three main categories. He started with vowel pronunciation. Then he moved on to consonant pronunciation and finally pronunciation of consonant combinations. The last portion of the pronunciation chapter and video lesson is a series of German tongue twisters. Each tongue twister helps you focus on one or more problematic pronunciation points.
When working with German vowels, it is most important to remember the rules. You use a short vowel sound if there are more than one consonant after the vowel. The long vowel sounds occur under a lot of different circumstances. They are seen before single consonants, before the letter “H”, and when the vowel is doubled.
German Greetings & Farewells
There are a number of German greetings and farewells used throughout Germany and other German speaking countries. Some are regional. Others are used during certain times of the day or in circumstances. Each one has its own use, but one can get by with only using a few.
When you greet someone in German, it is easiest to stick with the basics. In casual situations, a simple “hallo” will suffice. If you want to be a bit more formal “Guten Tag” (good day) works most of the day. You could also say “Guten Morgen” (good morning) or “Guten Abend” (good evening) if the time is appropriate.
When taking leave in German there are two main ways to say “good-bye”. You can be more formal and say the one everyone knows “auf Wiedersehen” (good-bye, literally “until we see each other again”). If you want to be a bit more casual, use “Tschüss” (bye).
Du vs Ihr vs Sie
One of the most confusing concepts to English speakers are the various forms of “you” in German. There are three of them! “Du” is used with people you know well. This includes family members, friends and even pets. If you are addressing more than one of those individuals, use “ihr”. If you don’t know the person or you don’t know them well, use “Sie”. It is called the “formal you”, but is not considered stiff. It is simply a polite form of address.
In addition to the introduction to these three pronouns, Herr Antrim also explains how to conjugate regular verbs to match these pronouns. For “du” use -st at the end of the verb. When using “ihr”, you need -t at the end of the verb. The last letters of the verb when used with “Sie” is most of the time -en. The only exception being the verb “sein”, which is explained later in the course.
What to say when you don’t understand in German
In this lesson, Herr Antrim teaches you a few phrases that can help you bail yourself out of a sticky situation. If you are having trouble understanding someone when they are speaking German, you will need a variety of phrases to help. These phrases could simply ask the person to speak slower. If you are really stuck, you could even have them switch to your native language.
The first step is saying that you don’t understand. In German we say “Ich verstehe nicht.” This just let’s the other person know that you need clarification. If you want them to slow down, you can simply say “Langsam, bitte.” (Slowly, please.) When you want to use a full sentence, you can say “Bitte, sprechen Sie langsamer.” (Please, speak slower.) There are a variety of other phrases you can use in this situation.
Some people question Herr Antrim’s choice to wait until chapter 6 to talk about the German alphabet. While it is important to learn the German alphabet and it is different than the English alphabet, it isn’t the first thing a German learner should learn. There are more important things to learn, like how to tell someone that you don’t speak German (see last heading).
There are a ton of similarities between the German alphabet and the English alphabet. Most notably, a lot of the consonants are the same. F, L, M, N, P, S. Other consonants are incredibly confusing. C is pronounced “tseh” while Z is pronounced “tset”. This causes some confusion for German learners who think that everything is spelled with a C when it is actually a Z.
Was macht er? – Beginner German with Herr Antrim Skit
When you first start learning German, it is best to try and get as much input as possible. This could be by reading German, watching videos or listening to podcasts and music. In lesson #7 of Beginner German with Herr Antrim, the entire goal is to learn as many German verbs as possible. Each clip shows you a few uses of a verb. Then the next clip starts. There are so many vocabulary words to learn in this chapter that Herr Antrim split it into two flashcard sets on Quizlet. (Quizlet flashcard access are included with the e-book.)
This lesson is also great for practicing the “er, sie, es” form of verb conjugation, which is why it precedes the chapter about conjugation. It alternates between “er” and “sie” as the subject of each sentence. Each sequence also includes a question and a statement, so you get an introduction to question word order.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 7 Excerpt
Was macht er? Er spielt Basketball.
What is he doing? He is playing basketball.
Was macht sie? Sie spielt Fußball.
What is she doing? She is playing soccer.
Was macht er? Er geht nach Hause.
What is he doing? He is going home.
Was macht sie? Sie geht ins Kino.
What is she doing? She is going to the movies.
While Herr Antrim already introduced many of the German pronouns in other chapters, this chapter takes a closer look at each of them. It also introduces the concept of the three genders of German nouns and how they intertwine with the pronouns. There are a total of nine German pronouns, which are listed below with their English equivalents.
ich – I
du – you (informal, singular)
er – he
sie – she
es – it
wir – we
ihr – you (informal, plural)
sie – they
Sie – you (formal, singular or plural)
Present Tense Conjugation
When conjugating German verbs in the present tense, you need to start with the verb infinitive. This is the form of the verb that you find in the dictionary. It is the unchanged form of the verb. Usually this verb form ends with -en. Occasionally it ends with just an -n. Start by removing this ending. Then add a new ending that goes with the subject. The endings are as follows.
There are a bunch of other intricacies mentioned in the video and e-book, but the main idea is always the same. I have included an example conjugation below.
sagen – to say
ich sage – I say
du sagst – you say
er, sie, es sagt – he, she, it says
wir sagen – we say
ihr sagt – you say
sie, Sie sagen – they, you say
Basic Questions & Answers
There are a variety of questions that you should be able to answer in German at a very early stage. In this lesson, Herr Antrim explains what they are and a variety of ways to answer them. The questions you should be able to answer are listed below.
Wie heißen Sie?
What is your name?
Wie geht es Ihnen?
How are you? How is it going?
Woher kommen Sie?
Where are you from?
Wie lange bleiben Sie in Deutschland?
How long are you staying in Germany?
Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?
How can I help you?
German Question Word Order
You can’t follow German question word order without first talking about German statement word order. The simplified version of German statement word order is subject-verb-other stuff. In a question the subject and verb switch places.
Der Mann geht nach Hause.
The man is going home.
Geht der Mann nach Hause?
Is the man going home?
When you add in a question word to the sentence, you simply put the question word before the verb.
Wohin geht der Mann?
To where is the man going?
Wer geht nach Hause?
Who is going home?
Der Mann geht nach Hause.
The man is going home.
There are a ton of question words in the German language, just as there are in English. You don’t need to know all of them as a beginner, however. If you learn the six basic ones, you can form most of the questions you will ever need to ask. While you are still in the beginner stages of learning German, these question words will suffice.
was – what
wo – where
wer – who
wann – when
wie – how
warum – why
Describe Yourself in German – Beginner German with Herr Antrim Skit
This lesson is another great German vocabulary building exercise. From it you can learn a total of 118 adjectives. You can use these adjectives to describe yourself and others. This lesson also serves as an introduction to the verb “sein” (to be). To make this lesson a bit more lively, Herr Antrim created this portion of the video as a series of skits. Each of the skits show a person and a description of them. The full list of adjectives is provided with the e-book along with Quizlet flashcards to help you practice them.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 11 Excerpt
Erzähler: Das ist Hans. Hans ist groß, stark und sportlich.
Narrator: This is Hans. Hans is tall, strong and athletic.
Hans: Ich bin auch braunhaarig, modisch und attraktiv.
Hans: I am also brown-haired, fashionable and attractive.
Erzähler: Du bist nicht hübsch, aber du bist auch nicht hässlich. Du bist mittelmäßig.
Narrator: You aren’t handsome, but you are also not ugly. You are mediocre.
Hans: Ich bin auch gut angezogen und schick.
Hans: I am also well dressed and chic.
Present Tense of “sein”
The most important verb in the German language is “sein” (to be). It is also the most irregular verb in the German language. None of the conjugated forms of this verb are the same as the infinitive. This cannot be said about any other verb. To conjugate this verb, one must simply memorize it. You can see the conjugated forms of the verb “sein” below.
sein - to be
ich bin - I am
du bist - you are
er, sie, es ist - he, she, it is
wir sind - we are
ihr seid - you are
sie, Sie sind - they, you are
Using “sein” in Sentences
When using this verb, you can complete the sentence with a variety of options. You can use any of the adjectives shown in the previous lesson. Occupations are also shown with this verb. Just remember to leave out the article (ein/eine for a/an and der/die/das for the). Nationalities are expressed in the same way. If you want to say that something is something else, you can include the der/die/das or ein/eine. Just make sure that the noun’s gender matches the article. See the following examples.
Ich bin krank.
I am sick/ill.
Bist du Lehrer?
Are you a teacher?
Er ist Deutscher.
He is a German.
Sie ist die Lehrerin.
She is the teacher.
Wir sind die Müllers.
We are the Millers.
Seid ihr die neuen Schüler?
Are you the new students?
Sind Sie der neue Nachbar?
Are you the new neighbor?
Present Tense of “haben”
The verb “haben” (to have) is second most used German verb. It isn’t nearly as irregular as “sein”, but it still has its quirks. When used with du or er, sie, es, “haben” loses the B before the ending. The full conjugation is listed below.
haben – to have
ich habe – I have
du hast – you have
er, sie, es hat – he, she, it has
wir haben – we have
ihr habt – you have
sie, Sie haben – they, you have
This lesson not only explains the present tense of “haben”, but it also introduces you to the accusative case. The only thing you really need to worry about at this level is that masculine nouns change from either der or ein to den or einen. “Haben” requires an object. This object is in the accusative case. You can see this in action in the following examples.
Ich habe einen Sohn.
I have a son.
Hast du einen Hund?
Do you have a dog?
Er hat eine Katze.
He has a cat.
Wir haben zwei Pferde.
We have two horses.
Habt ihr ein Schaf?
Do you have a sheep?
Sie haben den Ball.
They have the ball.
German Family Vocabulary
There are a variety of German nouns that you need to know in order to talk about family in German. This lesson talks about a family tree of a fictitious person. This gives you a ton of example sentences with family vocabulary. It isn’t one of the most interesting lessons in the e-book, but it is one of the most information packed. You can see an example paragraph from this chapter below.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 14 Excerpt
Sie haben drei Kinder, Jan, Sophie und Luca. Das sind Bob und Steffies Nachwuchs. Jan ist der ältere Sohn und Luca der jüngere. Sophie ist die Tochter. Sophie ist die Schwester von Jan und Luca. Luca ist der Bruder von Sophie und Jan. Sie sind Geschwister. Ihre Eltern sind Bob, der Vater, und Steffi, die Mutter. Die Kinder nennen Bob entweder Papa oder Vati und Steffi entweder Mama oder Mutti.
They have three children, Jan, Sophie, and Luca. They are Bob’s and Steffi’s offspring. Jan is the older son and Luca the younger. Sophie is the daughter. Sophie is the sister of Jan and Luca. Luca is the brother of Sophie and Jan. They are all siblings. Their parents are Bob, the father, and Steffi, the mother. The children call Bob either papa or dad and Steffi either mama or mom.
In this lesson Herr Antrim explains the numbers from zero to 100 and beyond. There is also a bit of time telling instructions and simple math. The numbers from zero to ten are listed below.
null – zero
eins – one
zwei – two
drei – three
vier – four
fünf – five
sechs – six
sieben – seven
acht – eight
neun – nine
zehn – ten
Basic Time Telling
When telling time in German, you can simply state the hours of the day followed by the minutes with the word “Uhr” in between. Don’t forget that the Germans usually use the 24 hour clock.
Es ist zwei Uhr dreiunddreißig.
It is two thirty-three.
Es ist vier Uhr fünfundzwanzig.
It is four twenty-five.
Es ist vierzehn Uhr vierundvierzig.
It is two forty-four (PM).
Basic German Math Vocabulary
Some of the German math vocabulary is similar to the English. “Plus” is “plus”. “Minus” is “minus”. Other vocabulary is a bit different. When you read a math equation out loud, you have a few options. Where the equals sign goes, you can use the verb “machen” (more accurately the “er, sie, es” form “macht”). Alternatively, you can use “sein” (conjugated form “ist”). See the following examples for full sentences.
3 + 4 = 7
Drei plus vier macht sieben.
Three plus four makes seven.
8 – 2 = 6
Acht minus zwei ist sechs.
Eight minus two is six.
5 x 11 = 55
Fünf mal elf macht fünfundfünfzig.
Five times eleven makes fifty-five.
9 ÷ 9 = 1
Neun geteilt durch neun ist eins.
Nine divided by nine is one.
Time Word Order
The second word order lesson in “Beginner German with Herr Antrim” is about the placement of the time element. It also gives you a bit more information about German word order in general. When forming a German statement, you usually start with the subject. Follow it up with the verb. After that you need the time, direct object (see “haben” lesson), and other stuff (see “word order basics” lesson). Below are a couple examples of this.
Der Mann kauft am Morgen eine Zimtschnecke.
The man buys a cinnamon roll in the morning.
Meine Mutter schreibt heute einen Brief im Büro.
My mother writes a letter today in the office.
If you want to add some variety to your German sentences instead of just starting everything with the subject, you can move the time element to the beginning. When you do this, you have to move the subject to the other side of the verb. I used the same sentences as before for the next examples.
Am Morgen kauf der Mann eine Zimtschnecke.
In the morning, the man buys a cinnamon roll.
Heute schreibt meine Mutter einen Brief im Büro.
Today my mother writes a letter in the office.
Dates in German
Writing and saying dates in German is a bit different from American English. When writing dates, the day comes first and then the month. You separate the numbers with periods instead of dashes or slash marks. See the following comparison for more information. The English version is italicized.
Heute ist der fünfundzwanzigste Dezember zweitausendneunzehn.
Today is the twenty-fifth of December two thousand nineteen.
Heute ist der 25. Dezember 2019
Today is the 25th of December 2019.
Am fünfundzwanzigsten Dezember feiern wir Weihnachten.
On December twenty-fifth we celebrate Christmas.
Am 25. Dezember feiern wir Weihnachten.
On December 25 we celebrate Christmas.
Notice that when saying the date with “der” in front of it, you use -e at the end. When you use “am” in front of the date, you use -en at the end. This has to do with the case system, but for now just remember der + -e and am + -en.
German Word Order Basics
Some of the basics of German word order were introduced in previous lessons in “Beginner German with Herr Antrim”. This lesson gives labels to the “other stuff” mentioned in previous lessons. Specifically, it breaks things up into three categories: time, manner and place.
Time is pretty self-explanatory. It shows you when something happens. This can be very specific like “um drei Uhr sechsundvierzig” (at three forty-six). It could also be a bit more vague like “später” (later) or “morgen” (tomorrow). This part of the sentence us usually after the verb, but before other elements in the sentence. Even the direct object is placed after the time in a sentence. If you want, you can start your sentence with the time, as was shown in chapter 16.
Manner is by far the most vague of the elements. The best way to figure it out, is to understand the other two parts. Time is pretty easy. Place is obviously the location of something. Anything that doesn’t fall into these two categories would be manner. Technically, it is the way in which something is done. This could be “mit einer Gabel” (with a fork). That seems pretty simple, but “mit meinem Bruder” (with my brother) also counts as manner. Manner goes after time, but before the place.
Place, as I already mentioned, expresses the location. You can chose something specific like “Steinstraße 46” (46 Stone Street). It could also be something a bit more vague like “da” (there). Place is the last element in the sentence. This does not mean it is the last word in the sentence, as there can be verbs at the end, but it is the last of the “other stuff” in the sentence. And now examples. I have labeled the time as italicized words, the manner as bolded words and the place as underlined words. This should make it easier to identify the parts.
Ich esse um drei Uhr Cereal mit einem Löffel in der Küche.
I am eating cereal at three o’clock in the kitchen with a spoon.
Die Frau liest am Morgen ein Buch mit ihrem Sohn in der Bibliothek.
The woman is reading a book in the morning with her son in the library.
Shopping 101 – Beginner German with Herr Antrim Skit
In this lesson Herr Antrim teaches a ton of German vocabulary through a skit. He shows you three different shopping locations: a butcher shop, a bakery and a fruit/vegetable stand. At each of the locations he talks to the employee about what he wants. They explain details about the products. Then Herr Antrim pays and moves on to the next store.
Your First German Conversation – Beginner German with Herr Antrim Skit
This is the final lesson. It is a culmination of all of the previous lessons. In this skit, Herr Antrim interviews himself about his hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits and more. This conversation displays all of the topics discussed in the previous 19 lessons. If you used Herr Antrim’s video and e-book properly, you should be able to understand this conversation without any subtitles. If you can’t, you just need more practice. A great way to do this is to try the worksheets that go with the e-book, but more on that in a bit.
The “Beginner German with Herr Antrim” E-Book
Herr Antrim’s new e-book is called “Beginner German with Herr Antrim”. It covers the basics of the German language for anyone who is just starting out. Herr Antrim designed this e-book to take you from knowing no German to being able to complete a simple conversation.
Herr Antrim targeted each of the 20 chapters within this e-book at specific German topics you need to know. In addition to the text of this e-book you will also gain access to tons of extra materials. This includes worksheets and answer keys, mp3 downloads for pronunciation and memorization help as well as access to online flashcards. When you click the links within the e-book you get to access the extra materials. I would encourage you to purchase this e-book from this site instead of Amazon or other online vendors. Then you will gain direct access to the extra materials instead of following links within the e-book. In addition, I will receive a higher percentage of the earnings from the sale, which I always appreciate.
The e-book accompanies the video at the top of this post. It follows the e-book chapter-by-chapter. The e-book explains German pronunciation, basic conversation starters, formation of questions, present tense conjugation and more. Below, I have included a few samples of what you can expect to find inside of the e-book.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 1: Pronunciation
In the first chapter I break down German pronunciation. This is an example of one of the explanations of how to make the sounds necessary in the German language. For those familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), I have included those. There are also audio files available with the e-book to help you improve your pronunciation.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 5: Ich spreche kein Deutsch.
In chapter 5 I teach you what to say if you don’t understand what is being said in the conversation. This includes ways to ask people to speak slower and how to get them to switch to your native language.
“Beginner German with Herr Antrim” – Chapter 9: Basic Q & A
Learn how to ask simple questions and give simple answers in return. You will be given a variety of ways to ask and answer various questions.