Statt, wegen, trotz – The Genitive, Part 3

“Aus dem tiefsten Schlund” der U-Bahn – Genitive a la Wagner

You are invited to sing at an opera concert in the park, a wonderful chance to show off your talent on a wonderful summer night. Prepositions with the genetive will lead you to success. Here is the story, but first some vocabulary:

ändern = to change, die Probe= rehearsal,
die Bühne = stage, die Ruhe = rest, quietness
zum Beispiel = for example
pfeifen = to whistle, das Pech = bad luck
der Regen = rain, jubeln = to cheer
der Erfolg = success, das Publikum = audience

Der Regisseur ändert den Plan: Ich singe nicht die Tosca. Ich singe die Carmen.

When you replace one thing (noun) with another, you may use the preposition statt.

Statt der Tosca singe ich die Carmen. (Notice that in genitive the feminine Tosca becomes “der Tosca”.)

Es ist die Probe. Ich singe. Auf der Bühne reden Leute. Ich möchte Ruhe.

You stop singing and walk over to the people who are talking. You use the preposition während. They smirk but go silent when you swing the genitive at them.

Ich sage: “Während der Probe müssen Sie still sein!”

Der Park hat Regeln. Zum Beispiel darf man hier nicht rauchen. Das ist gut für meine Stimme.

Innerhalb des Parks darf man nicht rauchen. Man darf ausserhalb der Bühne nicht pfeifen. Das bringt Pech.

Es ist ein grosser Konzertabend. Viele Menschen kommen. Aber es regnet.

Can the rain stop you to step onto the stage and sing? No, you sing. Against all odds you use the trotz (sorry for the rhyme).

Ich singe trotz des Regens.

Ich darf nächstes Jahr wieder singen. Der Grund: Das Publikum jubelt. Ein Erfolg.

Wegen des Erfolgs darf ich nächstes Jahr wieder singen.

There are also verbs, although not many, that have a genitive object. Some of them are reflexive verbs.

sich erfreuen (to enjoy, to be happy about), sich erinnern (to remember), sich bedienen (to use, to serve oneself with), bedürfen (to need), spotten (to mock), gedenken (to commemorate).

Das Publikum erfreut sich der Musik. Die Freunde erinnern sich des Konzerts im Park. Wir gedenken des großen Tenors.

Next Update: Sunday, June 17th

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Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

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