Wednesday, March 28, 2012

German Dual Prepositions

A number of German prepositions always take accusative case such as the preposition durch (through). Other prepositions always take dative case such as mit (with). However, other prepositions can take either accusative or dative case. Such prepositions are known as dual prepositions.

The following German prepositions are dual prepositions:

an (at)
auf (on)
in (in, into)
vor (in front of)
hinter (behind)
neben (beside)
unter (under)
├╝ber (over)
zwischen (between)

When a dual preposition answers the question where, dative case is used. If it answers the question where to, accusative case is used. Here are two sentences which illustrate this difference:

Die Leute gehen in die Kirche. (The people are going into the church).
Die Leute sind in der Kirche. (The people are in the church).

The first sentence uses accusative case and the second dative case. In the first sentence we can use the preposition "into" but in the second we must use "in."

German prepositions can be followed by accusative or dative case. However, a special class of prepositions, dual prepositions, can be followed by either. Accusative case corresponds to motion or direction and dative case to a lack of motion.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Four Types of Infinitives

Infinitives can be classified into four types. They are simple, perfect, continuous and perfect continuous infinitives. Each type has an active and a passive form.

The verb "make" has the following active forms:

simple (to) make
perfect (to) have made
continuous (to) be making
perfect continous (to) have been making

These are the corresponding passive forms:

simple (to) be made
perfect (to) have been made
continuous (to) be being made
perfect continuous (to)have been being made

The continuous and perfect continuous forms in passive are rarely used. The infinitive marker to is not used with modals. For example, the simple infinitive is "make" in the sentence "I can make it for you."

Here are two sentences with passive forms of the continuous and perfect continuous infinitive:

The toys are being made in this factory.
The toys have been being made in this factory for years.

In conversation these forms are not common. It is more common to say "They are making the toys in this factory" and "They have been making the toys in this factory for years."

In addition to the simple infinitive, the infinitive has three other forms. They are the perfect, continuous and perfect continuous. All of the infinitive types have not only an active form but also a passive. However, this only applies to transitive verbs because intransitive verbs do not have a passive form.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Game of Errors

I played a game of speed chess against an opponent with a higher rating than mine. Even so, he made many errors. My opponent was Karst of Bulgaria who played white. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 c5
2. Bc4 e6
3. Nf3 d5
4. Bb5+ Nc6

I usually play Bd7.

5. 0-0 a6
6. Bxc6+ bxc6
7. exd cxd

Black helps to repair my pawn structure.

8. Ne5 Bd6
9. Nc6 Qc7

Now the knight is trapped.

10. f4 Qxc6
11. Qf3 Bb7

I prepare an exchange of queens.

12. Nc3 d4
13. Qxc6+ Bxc6
14. Ne2 Nf6
15. c3 0-0
16. cxd cxd
17. Nxd4 Bc5

White makes a mistake. He cannot save his knight.

18. Kh1 Bxd4
19. a4 Rfd8
20. d3 Bc5

I move my bishop to attack the pawn on d3.

21. b3 Rxd3
22. Ba3 Bxa3

With my material advantage, I am happy to exchange pieces.

24. Rxa3 Rad8
25. Raa1 h6
26. Rac1 Ba8
27. b4 Rd2
28. Rc5 Bxg2+
29. Kg1 Bxf1

Black can now resign but he decides to play on.

30. Kxf1 Rxh2
31. Kg1 Rb2
32. Kf1 Rd1#

To delay mate black must play Rc1. Black makes a number of errors in the game. He loses his knights with Nc6 on his ninth move and Nd4 on his seventeenth. These errors enable me to achieve a decisive victory.

Names in Genitive Case

In English it is very common to use the apostrophe followed by an "s" to show possession. This is especially true with names. However, many speakers do not add an "s" with names which end in an "s."

For example, many speakers say "James' room" instead of "James's room." Though the form "James's" is possible, many people do not use it. With names which end with one consonant in the coda, however, the apostrophe followed by "s" is common. For example, many people say "Liz's room."

In my case, I use an "s" after the apostrophe if a name has one consonant in the syllable coda This is the case with the name "Liz." With a name which has two consonants in the coda, I add an "s" if the final consonant is voiceless. This is the case with the name "Lance." I add an "s" and say "Lance's room." However, with a name such as "James," the final consonant is voiced. For this reason, I do not add an "s."

The use of an apostrophe and an "s" with names that end with "s" varies from speaker to speaker. In my case, I use an "s" with all monosyllabic names. For names of more than one syllable, I use an "s" for names that have one consonant in the coda and two consonants in the coda in which the final one is voiceless. For me, the lone exception to this rule appears to be the name "Jesus."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Attacking the Exposed King

In a game of speed chess, I took advantage of my opponent's exposed king to force an early resignation. My opponent was Jackvandal of the USA who played black. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 c5
2. d4 cxd
3. c3 Nc6
4. cxd d5
5. e5 f6

It is now difficult for black to develop the king knight.

6. Nf3 fxe
7. Nxe5 Nxe5
8. dxe5 d4
9. Nd2 Bf5
10. Nf3 Qa5+
11. Bd2 Qb6
12. b3 e6

The black bishop prevents Rb1.

13. Bc4 Bb4
14. 0-0 Bxd2
15. Qxd2 0-0-0

Black chooses to castle queenside but with the open c-file this is risky.

16. a4 h6
17. a5 Qc5
18. Rfc1 Qe7

The black king is very exposed.

19. a6 b6

Black pushes the b-pawn because bxa exposes the king even more.

20. Bxe6+ Kb8

Black's move is forced.

21. Bxf5 d3

I win a piece.

22. Rc3 g5

Black tries to generate counterplay.

23. Rac1

Black resigns. He realizes that he cannot defend c8. With his knight paralyzed on g8, he cannot connect his rooks. Rather than continue in this position, he decides to end the game. The exposed black king and the undeveloped black knight on the back rank lead to black's downfall.

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