This is just a simple conversation sheet I’ve used with lots of my students. It presents a dialogue where a customer buys items at an airport shop which sells a wide range of items from shirts to iPhones. But it also highlights an important grammar point.
When you are engaged in a shopping dialogue, pointing at items and referring to them, there is a major difference between English and German, which many learners are not aware of.
Whereas in English you can use the non-gender-specific ‘it’ to refer to items, in German you refer to them as er if it’s a masculine noun, sie if it’s a feminine noun and es if it’s neuter. Objects are referred to in German as ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it. In a phrase like ‘I’ll take it’ the correct German is ‘Ich nehme ihn, literally ‘I take him’.
It is of course possible to say ‘es‘ for everything. You would be understood and no one would correct you, however the grammar would be wrong.
Wherever possible it’s important to get into the habit of using the correct grammatical forms. I like to practice them by embedding them in useful phrases, which I encourage students to learn by heart.
You have to make an extra special effort at an early stage. Otherwise you may fall into bad habits, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.
This conversation sheet is designed for use with a tutor or in a class. I intend to produce an audio-visual lesson based on the content at a later stage.
To download, please click on the link and enter the password.
[Download link in preparation]