Meine Lieben Studenten!


Wir studieren das Vaterunser.

We are studying the Our Father.


Die dritte Bitte.

The third Petition.


Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel, also auch auf Erden.

[May] Thy will happen, as in heavel, so also on earth.


Dein -- Thy -- cognates -- second person singular possessive pronoun -- nominative singular masculine.


der Wille -- will (noun) -- cognates.

geschehe -- may happen -- third person singular present SUBJUNCTIVE -- expressing a wish -- may it happen, let it happen.

wie -- as -- conjunction.

im -- in the -- contraction of in dem, in the.

der Himmel -- heaven, sky

also -- so (NOT also)

auch -- also

auf -- on -- preposition taking the dative case

die Erde -- earth -- cognates -- "n" in added in the dative case -- an archaic form.

Note: The Our Father was known in German long before the Reformation. Luther did NOT update its form even to what was contemporary in the Sixteenth Century.


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? --Answer


Gottes guter, gnaediger Wille geschieht

God's good gracious will happens


wohl ohne unser Gebet;

indeed without our prayer;


aber wir bitten in diesem Gebet,

but we ask/request in this prayer/petition


dass er auch bei uns geschehe.

that it also among us may happen.


Gottes -- God's -- cognates, genitive case, indicating possession.

guter -- good -- cognates -- "er" is the masculine nominative singular ending.

gnaediger -- gracious -- equivalent technical terms in theology.

der Wille -- will -- cognates

geschieht -- happens -- from geschehen -- third person singular present INDICATIVE.

ohne -- without -- preposition taking the accusative.

unser -- our -- cognates -- masculine singular accusative.

das Gebet -- prayer, petition, from beten, to pray (anbeten is to worship).

aber -- but -- coordinating conjunction (doesn't require moving the verb to the end).

diesem -- this -- dative singular neuter -- following the preposition "in."

dass -- that -- subordinating conjunction -- verb moves to end.

er -- it -- technically, "he," but translates as "it" -- the masculine is used because the noun "der Wille" is masculine.

auch -- also

bei -- among (cognate to "by")

uns -- us -- dative plural, first person pronoun -- dative as object of "bei"

geschehe -- subjunctive -- see above.


Wie geschieht das? -- Antwort

How happens that? -- Answer

Note: German and English use basically the same word order for questions.


Wenn Gott allen boesen Rat und Willen

When God every evil counsel and will


bricht und hindert,

breaks and hinders,


so uns den Namen Gottes nicht heiligen

which us the name of God not hallow


und sein Reich nicht kommen lassen wollen,

and His kingdom not come let want to.


als da ist des Teufels, der Welt und unser Fleisches Wille,

as there is the devil's, the world's, and our flesh's will


sondern staerket und behaelt uns fest

rather strengthens and preserves us firmly


in seinem Wort und Glauben bis an unser End:

in His Word and faith until our end.


das ist sein gnaedier, guter Wille.

that is His gracious, good will.


wenn -- when (present, not past) -- cognates

allen -- every -- Note: "all" means "all" in the plural but "every" in the singular. "Allen" in this instance is the masculine singular accusative -- the direct object of following verbs -- modifying der Rat and der Wille, each of which is masculine.

boesen -- evil -- boese can mean "evil," "wicked," "angry."

der Rat -- counsel, advice.

Note: By extension, "der Rat," "counsel" comes to refer to the group that meets to consult -- a council -- such as a town council. "Der Keller" is cellar -- or wine cellar. The town hall where the town council met often had a restaurant/bar in it and was called "der Rat[h]skeller."

bricht -- breaks -- cognates -- third person singular present indicative -- from brechen.

hindert -- hinders -- cognates -- same -- from hindern.

so -- so -- cognates --- but used her in place of a relative, "which"

lassen wollen -- want to let (us do what is in the first two petitions).

als da ist -- as there is -- equivalent to "such as"

des Teufels -- the devil's -- genitive singular of der Teufel, the devil.

Note: Teufel and devil are cognates in that both come from the Greek "diabolos."

der Welt -- the world's -- genitive singular of the feminine noun "die Welt."

des Fleisches -- the flesh's -- genitive singular of the neuter noun "das Fleisch"

Note: "Fleisch" and "flesh" are used as theological equivalents. But in regular modern German, "das Fleisch" refers to "meat," not to "skin."

staerkt -- strengthens -- third person singular present indicative of staerken, to strengthen, from "die Staerke," "strength," and "stark," "strong."

behaelt -- preserves -- third person singular present indicative of "behalten."

uns -- us -- first person plural, accusative as direct object.

fest -- firmly -- cognate to "fast" -- as in "hold him fast."

bis an -- until -- followed by accuastive case; motion in time is implied.

unser -- our -- cognates -- first person plural possessive pronoun -- accusative neuter singular (because Ende is neuter singular)

das Ende -- the end -- cognates.


Die vierte Bitte

The fourth Petition


Unser taeglich Brot gib uns heute.

Our daily bread give us today.


Unser -- our -- cognates -- neuter singular accusative -- direct object.

taeglich -- daily -- cognates -- from der. Tag, day. For neuter singular accuastive, modern German would add "es" -- "taegliches" -- but the ending was sometimes omitted in Luther's day -- as here.

das Brot -- bread -- cognates.

gib -- give -- cognates -- from geben -- second person singular present IMPERATIVE (giving a command)..

Note: Geben is an irregular ("strong") verb. It's English cognate ("give") is also irregular. In the present indicative, "geben" goes like this: Ich gebe, du gibst, er/sie/es gibt, wir geben, ihr gebt, sie geben. The imperative is a command -- so it would be in the second person (you); so the change in the vowel persists: "gib." Remember that the "g" is always hard in German words and that the "b" is pronounced like our "p" when it comes at the end of a syllable: GIP. (German has a softer "g" like the French "j" or soft "g" only in words borrowed from another language like French.)

Note: Some German verbs are quite regular and are called "weak verbs" -- weak because they conform to a pattern. But quite a few German verbs are irregular (you find such in just about any language). They are called "strong verbs" -- strong because they maintain their own way rather than falling into the pattern. Don't worry about them. They can be pointed out as we go along. In most languages, many common verbs are irregular -- for only those commonly used can maintain distinctive forms -- only those verbs are used often enough for the irregularity to be passed from one generation to the next.

uns -- us -- cognates -- first person plural personal pronoun -- dative case -- indirect object -- "to/for us."

heute -- today -- adverb.


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer


Gott gibt taeglich Brot,

God gives daily bread,


auch wohl ohne unsere Bitte,

even indeed without our pretition/request.,


allen boesen Menschen;

to all evil/wicked human beings,


aber wir bitten in diesem Gebet,

but we ask/request in this prayer,


dass er [er's] uns erkenne lasse,

that He [He it] us recognize may let,


und mit Danksagung empfangen unser taeglich Brot.

and with thank-saying receive our daily bread.


gibt -- gives -- cognates -- third person singular present INDICATIVE (making a statement).

auch -- also

wohl -- indeed (note: a fairly weak word -- not necessary to include it in translation).

ohne -- without -- preposition taking the accusative case.

unser -- our -- cognates -- neuter singular accusative

das Gebet -- prayer -- pronounced geh-BAIT.

diesem -- this -- cognates -- the "em" ending is neuter singular dative after "in."

er's -- in brackets -- contraction of "er es" "he it"

uns -- us -- accuastive of first person plural personal pronoun -- the real direct object of lassen, to let.

erkennen -- recognize -- infinitive form after the helping very "lassen."

Note: "Erkennen" is an intensified form of "kennen." "Kennen" is cognate to the old English word "ken," for "to know," which is still used in Scots-English ('do ye ken?" -- "do you know" -- or: "that is not within my ken" -- that is not within my knowledge). "Kennen" means "to know" in the sense of "to be personally familiar with" -- to know a person, to be familiar with a place, etc. The verb for "to know" in the sense of "to know as a fact" is "wissen." "Erkennen" is "to recognize." If you want to go more deeply into etymology, "know" is very interesting -- it is a slightly more distant and harder to recognize cognate of "kennen" from a different but related Old English word. Just to show you how intricate etymology can be, "can" and "koennen" are also related here -- for these words were originally about ability in the sense of "know-how" more than in the sense of strength or skill.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

lasse -- may let -- third person singular present SUBJUNCTIVE -- expressing

a wish -- that God may let us recognize . . .

die Danksagung -- thank-saying. der Dank, gratitude -- plus sagen, to say -- in the form of a gerund, a noun made out of a verb -- all elements here are cognate between English and German Dank/Thank sag/'say ung/ing.

empfangen -- receive -- "emp" is an unaccented prefix: emp-FAHNG-en. The same verb is used for "to conceive."

Note on pronunciation: In English we tend to double-up the "g" in a word like "finger" -- FEENG-ger -- the "g" is a nasal sound with the "n" in the first syllable and a hard "g" with the second syllable. The German cognate is "die Finger" but the "g" goes only with the first syllable: FEENG-er.


Was heisst denn taeglich Brot? Antwort

What means then daily bread? Answer


heisst -- means, is called. Thirst person singular present indicative of heissen. Yes, this is the verb used for expressing names: Ich heisse John -- my name is John. Good English here would be: "What does daily bread mean?" or "What is meant by daily bread?"

denn -- then -- cognates -- but a weak and unimportant word; it is not necessary to translate it -- it's almost like a little verbal punctuation.


Alles, was zur Leibesnahrung und -notdurft gehoert,

Everything which to the body-nourishment and necessity pertains,


als Essen, Trinken, Kleider, Schu',

[such] as food, drink, clothes, shoes,


Haus, Hof, Acker, Vieh, Geld, Gut,

house, yard, field, beast, money, possession (goods),


fromm Gemahl, fromme Kinder, fromm Gesinde,

pious spouse, pious children, pious (household) servants,


fromme und treue Oberherren, gut Regiment,

pious and faithful over-lords, good government,


gut Wetter, Friede, Gesundheit, Zucht, Ehre,

good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor,


gute Freunde, getreue Nachbarn und desgleichen.

good friends, faithful neighbors and the like.


Alles -- everything -- cognate to "all" -- but in the singular, "everything." "Alles" is the correct neuter singular nominative of the adjective "all."

was -- which -- relative pronoun -- cognate to "what."

zur -- to the -- contraction of zu der -- zu is a preposition, cognate to "to," taking the dative case -- "der" is the dative singular feminine of the definite article, "the." Each of the following nouns is feminine singular.

die Leibesnahrung -- Nahrung is nourishment -- gerund (verbal noun) -- combined with "der Leib" (in the genitive, with "es") -- so: "body-nourishment

die Notdurft -- the necessity -- but why is it not capitalized and why does it have the hyphen (written in German like our equal sign)? It is understood that the first part of the previous compound word is included in meaning through it is not repeated. So the idea is "Leibesnahrung und Leibesnotdurft" but the "Leibes" is not repeated.

gehoert -- belongs/pertains -- third person singular present indicative of "gehoeren" -- to belong or pertain. The "ge" is a prefix and is NOT accented.

als -- as -- cognate -- here we say in English "such as"

das Essen -- food -- the verb "essen" "to eat" -- cognates -- simply used as a neuter noun.

das Trinken -- drink -- beverage in general -- the verb "trinken" "to drink" -- cognates -- used as a neuter noun.

Kleider -- clothes -- cognate -- das Kleid -- "dress" in modern usage -- but the plural "die Kleider" is equivalent to our plural "clothes."

Schuh' -- the apostrophe indicates that an "e" has been omitted. "Der Schuh" "shoe" -- cognates -- plural: "die Schuhe."

das Haus -- house

der Hof -- court, yard -- either the king's court or the farm/barnyard.

der Acker -- field -- as in a plowed or cultiveated field -- cognate to "acre" -- related also to Latin: "ager" and Greek "agros."

das Vieh -- beast, animal -- here in the sense of livestock; singular used in a sort of collective sense.

das Geld -- money -- related to "Gold."

das Gut -- possession -- "goods" -- sometimes used for real estate, but that concept has already been covered.

fromm -- pious -- modern German would use the ending "er"

der Gemahl -- spouse (gender non-specific here; there is also "die Gemahlin" which would specify "wife").

Kinder -- children -- plural of "das Kind."

das Gesinde -- household, implying the inclusion of servants.

fromme -- pious -- "e" is the plural ending.

treue -- faithful, loyal -- "e" is the plural ending. "Treu" is cognate to "true."

Note: This is an interesting case of etymology, word derivation. "Treu" (pronounced "troy") and "true" are obvioius cognates -- but they have diverged in meaning. We still use "true" to mean "faithful, loyal," as in "true blue." But we usually use it to refer to a statement that is accurate, correct, "faithful" to reality, for which German uses the term "wahr" ("die Wahrheit" is "truth"). German uses "treu" in its original meaning of "loyal, faithful."

Oberherren -- overlords -- quite literally. der Herr, the lord, plural: die Herren.

Note: This term here refers to rulers and is a general term. But how sexist! For it is gender specific. If you wish to debate women's suffrage, I am willing to do so with you -- IN GERMAN!

Note: "Ober" is used in compounds, but the related preposition of "ueber."

gut -- good -- modern German would use "gutes" -- neuter singular nominative.

das Regiment -- power, authority, government -- from Latin.

gut -- good -- modern German would use "gutes."

das Wetter -- weather -- cognates.

der Friede -- peace.

Note: As Luther pointed out at the death of Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, "Friedrich" is German for "Solomon" -- peaceful.

die Gesundheit -- health -- yes, this is the word used in wishing a person good health when he sneezes. "Heit" is cognate to "hood" as a suffix that makes a noun out of an adjective. The adjective is "gesund" (geh-ZOONT with the "oo" in "good"). "Gesund" is cognate to "sound" as meaning "healthy."

die Zucht -- discipline, self-discipline, self-control.

getreue -- faithful, loyal -- the "ge" prefix (unaccented) does not really change the meaning of "treu" unless it could be said that it intensifies it slightly.

Nachbarn -- neighbors -- der Nachbar, neighbor, cognates.

desgleichen -- the like.


Hier endet die zehnte Lektion.


John M. "Herr Professor Pastor Doktor" Drueckhammer, Lakeview, Oregon

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