Imperativ // Die Ärzte

About the Band

Die Ärzte are one of the most well known punk bands in Germany. They formed in 1982 and have released over 20 albums since then. Several of their early songs were controversial due to their content and were banned from being played in live concerts. Music stores were also banned from openly displaying the albums that contained these songs. Legal action against several music stores led to a number of them to stop selling any of the band’s albums for a time. Die Ärzte broke up in 1988, but when the band members’ new bands were not as successful, they reformed in 1993. They are one of the highest grossing live acts in the German-speaking world, but they often go on tour or give concerts under a pseudonym, in order to play to smaller crowds.

Want to know more about the Die Ärzte? Visit Die Ärzte.

Teaching Video

Whenever we want to tell someone else to do something, we use what is called the Imperative, which is often also referred to as the Command form. In this song you heard a number of different imperatives, such as “Mach die Augen zu” and “Küss mich“ as the singer tells another person “Close your eyes” and “Kiss me”.

Because the imperative occurs so often in this song, it is imperative that we learn how to recognize and produce this form in order to understand what Die Ärzte are singing to us. Watch this short video and learn how to do just that!

Grammar Summary

For a quick overview of the video, see this Imperative Grammar Summary PDF.

Online Practice

For the following exercises, we’ll be working with the words that we heard in the song.

Exercise 1

For all of the exercises in this module, we’ll be working with the verbs that we heard in the song.

First, let’s make sure that we know what they all mean. In this exercise, you are given the du form of each imperative. Use what you just learned to find the infinitive and type it in the second column (Infinitiv), then type in the English equivalent. Click on “Check Answers” to see which ones you got right. If any are incorrect, go ahead and correct them, then click on “Check Answers” again. Don’t refresh the screen! That will wipe out all of your hard work! Make sure you’ve spelled everything correctly, too. If you’re not sure how to type in the special characters, go here for a handy reference.

To help you with this, we’ve given you the English meanings of the verb for each group. Make sure you include the “to” for each English equivalent.

to say, to do, to think, to make, to let, to kiss, to surrender to, to lose, to feel (two separate verbs will have this meaning)

Here is an alternate vocab worksheet that your instructor might assign for you: Alternate Worksheet.  The worksheet covers the same verbs as the exercises above.

Exercise 2

Now that we know what these verbs mean, let’s practice what we’ve just learned about the imperative.

You will be presented with a mixture of yes/no questions and imperatives, since both of these sentence types start with the verb.  Select the proper punctuation for each sentence type (! for imperatives ? for yes/no questions).  All verbs are from the song and are presented using either the du- or ihr-forms of the imperative.  Think about what is missing from these forms.

Exercise 3

You will be presented with three choices and you will need to select the one that is a properly formed imperative. This will have a mixture of all three imperative forms.

Classroom Exercise

Print out the Partneraktivität worksheet and complete the first part of it on your own before coming to class. Check with your instructor for the due date. You will work on the rest of it with a partner in class.

Now that you have worked with the Imperative and know the meanings of the verbs that appear in the song, let’s see how well you understand the lyrics. If your instructor assigns it, print out the Folgeübungen worksheet and view the video again as you complete the exercises. Bring the worksheet to class for review and discussion.