How to talk about judging in German

To begin this post, the German word for “judge” (a person who decides cases in court) is called “Richter” (m.). In sports, such a judge is often referred to as “Kampfrichter” or “Schiedsrichter”.

What any of the abovementioned judges do is “urteilen” or “ein Urteil fällen” (essentially “to pass a judgement” or “return a verdict”). The word for “judgement” or “verdict” in this sense is “Urteil” (n.). In German “to sentence” or “to condemn” someone is “verurteilen”:

“Er wurde zu sieben Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt.” – “He was sentenced to seven years in prison.”

In the more common, less legal use of the word “to judge” (in the sense of “to assess” or “to evaluate”) is “beurteilen”, and an “assessment” is “Beurteilung” (f.):

– “Die Qualität ist schwer zu beurteilen.” – essentially “It’s difficult to judge the quality.”

The “ability to judge” is “Urteilsvermögen” (n.).

Note: The word “Urteil” is related to the German word “erteilen” which means “to grant” or “to issue”, and as such the “Ur-” does not stand for anything ancient (as in “Urmensch” (m.) – “caveman”) – similar to “Urlaub” (m.) (“vacation”) – “Erlaubnis” (f.) (“permission”… to leave).

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How German Grammar Works

1. Actions with "what"

2. Actions without "what"

3. Can these overlap?

4. What are subjects and objects?

5. How do subjects and objects differ in English?

6. How do subjects and objects look in German?

7. Who loves whom and how genders help

8. Intro to nominative and accusative cases

9. Prepositions and how they tie into all this

10. Summary of everything so far

11. What does the dative case look like?

12. Almost all prepositions and what they trigger

13. How movement and location tie into the cases

14. The difference between movement and location

15. How do you say 'to put' in German?

16. What's allowed in a German sentence?

17. How do adjectives behave in this system?

18. Excellent examples for adjective declension

19. Other articles and how they behave in German

20. A more natural way to get endings right

21. How do reflexive verbs work in German?

22. How verbs with prepositions work fit into this

23. (Briefly) How does the genitive case work?

24. The cases summarized in three simple rules

25. How sentence structure differs from English

26. Questions, commands, statements in German

27. Where everything goes in a German sentence

28. Der, die, and das: Tricks to guess genders better

29. Conclusions

Downloadable Resources:

(PDF) Prepositions and Cases – A handy diagram of German prepositions (with translations) and which case they effect.

(PDF) Prepositions of Movement and Location – An illustration of what kind of movement is expressed with which prepositions and their cases

(PDF) Articles and Adjective Declination – Example sentences to learn in order to get a feeling for the connections, as well as a useful declination table

(PDF) Articles and Adjective Declination – A comprehensive list of articles and which way the following adjectives will end

(PDF) Case Rules – A brief review of what causes which cases

(PDF) Sentence Structure – An illustration of where verbs are located in the different clauses in German

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