My Last Holiday

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My Last Holiday

In this topic you have loads of brilliant opportunities to show how well you can use the perfect (past) tense. You need to remember that a lot of the verbs to do with holidays are about movement (fahren, gehen), which take sein in the perfect tense.

Also, be extra careful with bleiben = to stay. This takes sein in the perfect tense, so don't get caught out!

A quick reminder about the perfect tense:

The perfect tense is formed with:

The correct part of haben + ge...t or ge...en at the end (past participle)

For example:

Boris hat Fussball gespielt (spielen) Boris played football
Ich habe einen Apfel gegessen (essen) I ate an apple

Some verbs, which are usually verbs describing movement or change, are formed with:

The correct part of sein + ge...en at the end (past participle)

For example:

Ich bin nach Spanien geflogen (fliegen) I flew to Spain
Peter ist mit dem Zug gefahren (fahren) Peter went by train

Many verbs are regular, like "spielen", but there are some that are irregular, like "essen", "fliegen" and "fahren". You can always check in the verb list at the back of a German-English dictionary if you are not sure. Try and learn the ones you use often!

Word order!

An important element in German! It's easy once you know the rules and you stick to them! When talking about a holiday, we often incorporate into one-sentence details of when we are going on holiday, how we are getting there and where we are going:

For instance: Time; Manner; Place.

In a German sentence, these elements must appear in this order.

For example:

Yesterday I went by bus to town.

Ich bin gestern (Time) mit dem Bus (Manner) in die Stadt (Place) gefahren.

This grid will help you remember and may give you ideas as to how you can talk about your own holidays...

Time: Manner: Place:
Ich bin gestern mit dem Bus nach Spanien gefahren
letztes Jahr mit dem Flugzeug in die Stadt
Er ist in den Osterferien mit dem Auto ins Ausland
Wir sind letzten Donnerstag mit dem Fahrrad an die See
letzten Monat mit der Fähre in die Berge

In this exercise, you will need to complete the sentences by dragging the images into the correct gaps. Mark your answer when you've finished...

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You really need to have a good grasp of the vocabulary for this topic, as it could crop up in any of your exams. Not only will you have to be able to talk about your holidays, you will need to be able to understand what others say about theirs in the listening and reading exams.

In this exercise, read each English sentence, then select which German sentence is the correct translation by ticking the box. Mark your answer and then try the next question...

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As you know, if you can give an opinion on something, whether in your written or spoken work, you will gain more marks. Hopefully, we usually enjoy our holidays, but sometimes we don't like the place or the accommodation or the facilities. So, you need to be able to say what you have liked and haven't liked about a holiday.

An important thing to remember is that if you use "weil" (because), the verb goes to the end of the sentence.

In this exercise, pair up the sentences in the boxes with the newspaper extracts by dragging the boxes on top. Mark your answer...

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Holidays is an area that you are almost certain to have to use the perfect tense, so this is a good time to make sure that you know your past participles really well. Remember to always check whether the verb takes haben or sein in the perfect. Generally speaking, it is verbs of movement or change that take sein - for example, fahren, gehen, kommen.