Konjugation // Unheilig

About the Band

Unheilig centers almost exclusively on the lead singer, who goes simply by the title “Der Graf” (the count) and who is also the band’s writer and producer. Placing his music in a specific genre is difficult as it incorporates elements of various genres and movements, from rock ballads to hard driving industrial songs.

In this song, you heard Der Graf repeat a number of verbs, but each time he repeated them, they sounded a bit different. The reason behind that difference is what we call conjugation, where the verb changes according to the subject, or the “doer” of the sentence. For example, at the beginning of the song you heard Der Graf ask the question “Träumst du?” (“Do you dream?”) and then responded “Ich träume mit!” (“I’m dreaming with you”). The difference between “träumst” and “träume” is simply which person is doing the dreaming: “du” or “ich”.

In order to understand what Der Graf is saying, it’s important for us to understand how verbs in German are conjugated. Watch this short video for an explanation about present-tense conjugation in German, then continue on with the exercises to practice what you’ve learned.

Teaching Video

Watch this short video to learn more about accusative pronouns.

Grammar Summary

For a quick overview of the video, see this Conjugation Grammar Summary (PDF).

Online Practice

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 third person (er/sie/es) form of each verb. Use what you just learned about these verbs to find the infinitive and type it in the right column (Infinitiv), then type in the English equivalent. Make sure you spell everything correctly, too. If you are not sure how to type in the special characters, please see Auf geht’s!

Exercise 1

In this exercise, you are given the third person (er/sie/es) form of each verb. Use what you just learned about these verbs to find the infinitive and type it in the left-hand blank (Infinitiv), then type in the English equivalent in the right-hand blank.

You will also want to look up the meanings of these other verbs that appear in the song: verrinnen, zerbrechen, halten, verlieren, sehen. These verbs act a little differently, so we won’t be dealing with them here.

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

Exercise 2

Read each sentence and type in the pronoun (Ich, Du or Er) that should start it. All verbs are from the song and are presented using one of the three singular “persons” we talked about in the explanation.

Exercise 3

You will be presented with three forms of the same verb and you will need to select the one that corresponds to the subject. This will have a mixture of all three singular persons.

Classroom Exercise

Print out the Partneraktivität Worksheet (PDF) 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.

Follow-up Exercise

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