Doing Your Reps: 13 German Grammar Exercises to Build German Language Muscle
Quick question: is it leg, arm or chest day?
That was a trick question.
We’re not weightlifting today. Instead, we’re strengthening our German grammar skills!
In fact, a German regimen without grammar exercises is like reading about weight-lifting and then attempting to bench press 180 pounds.
In other words, if you skim one beginner grammar guide, you won’t immediately be able to speak fluent German to a native speaker.
To apply German grammar seamlessly while speaking, you must practice, practice, practice.
Luckily, practicing German grammar has never been easier: there are tens of thousands of grammar exercises available online!
Doing Your Reps: 13 German Grammar Exercises to Build German Language Muscle
Put on your sweatbands and let’s check out the top 14 resources to find German grammar exercises. For the ease of choosing, the resources are sorted by their appropriate German proficiency level.
Our first resources are for those with no or little knowledge of German. This corresponds to the A0 to A2 levels of proficiency according to the European Framework of Reference for Language Learning. Further, these exercises are also good for those looking to review or solidify their beginner knowledge.
Ielanguages is a language-learning website run by Dr. Jennifer Wagner that offers tutorials in many Indo-European languages such as French, Italian and German.
For some languages, German included, it also offers online exercises for learners to complete in conjunction with the language tutorials.
Such exercises include the singular and plural forms of family vocabulary, the differences between wissen (to know something) and kennen (to know someone) and the conjugation of three very important German verbs: sein (to be), haben (to have) and werden (to become).
Each of these exercises provides approximately 20 English phrases, and challenges you to write out their correct German translations.
This German learning app was created by YouTube’s well-known German-language teacher “German with Jenny.”
Created last year, lingoni is also for beginners and helps bring learners to the intermediate stage (A1 to B1). Best of all, the app continues beyond the beginner stage with higher levels potentially to be added in the future.
The structure of lingoni is actually a German course, and the grammar exercises are part of the lessons. They’re a way to solidify knowledge and practice newly-learned grammatical skills.
Each lesson begins with a video to teach a particular topic complete with vocabulary and grammar notes. After learners watch the video and read through the notes, they can complete vocabulary and grammar exercises.
The app itself boasts 500+ worksheets and 15,000+ interactive exercises that incorporate multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank and sentence-building exercises. The topics of the worksheets and exercises include the nominative and accusative cases, grammatical noun gender and the present tense.
German.net is a website that offers different resources for German learners such as vocabulary lists, grammatical explanations and simple German readings. It also offers grammar exercises for beginner German learners.
There are 12 subheadings of exercises to choose from. Subheadings include verbs and conjugations, pronouns and cases and declension. Quiz topics include modal verbs, plural nouns and articles and accusative prepositions.
For each quiz topic, the subsequent entries are categorized into their difficulty level: very easy, easy, average or difficult. Learners can sort and choose the level of difficulty that works for them. The exercises are mostly fill-in-the-blank questions, and immediate corrections are available after answering the questions.
ActiLingua Academy is an online school based in Austria that helps students of all levels learn German. Because of this, ActiLingua Academy’s exercises are directly tied to its online lessons and courses.
The exercises begin at the beginner level, but learners can progress to intermediate- and advanced-level exercises.
The beginner-level grammar exercises include possessive pronouns, the present tense and prepositions that trigger the accusative and dative cases.
The questions are a mix of fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice questions. Immediate feedback is given after completing the questions, and learners can easily access explanations of concepts since the questions are so closely tied to the courses’ content.
Signing up is required to access the grammar exercises.
Lingolia is an online platform for learning multiple languages such as English, French and Esperanto.
For the German language, Lingolia offers primarily vocabulary and grammar resources.
The various grammar exercises are sorted into eight categories that include verbs, tenses, nouns and articles, adjectives and sentence structure. Each section is then broken into short explanations under helpful subheadings.
For example, if you were to choose the category of “tenses,” you’d first get a short, SparkNotes-style explanation of all the German verb tenses, and upon clicking a subheading, you get a more in-depth explanation of the selected tense.
After each in-depth explanation, there’s an exercise sheet. These exercises include fill-in-the-blank and sentence-building exercises, which help you practice and reinforce what you just learned.
In fact, these exercises sheets would be a great way to really hone in on a particular grammar topic that causes trouble, so that you could improve the skill in a targeted way. So if you’re a German learner who already knows where your problem areas are, check out Lingolia.
After completing all the grammar exercises at the beginner stage, it’s time to continue to grow those German language muscles!
The following exercises are for those who have acquired an intermediate or B1 level of German. Keep in mind that many of these websites are themselves in German, so you should make sure to be comfortable with the basics of the language and have a solid base of vocabulary before jumping in.
DeutschZentrum Wien (German Center Vienna) is a language school in Vienna that offers real-world courses on location in Austria.
In addition to their in-person courses, they offer free exercises on their website that correspond to the material taught in their courses, so that learners can practice skills beyond the classroom. These exercises are collected into a single document that can be downloaded and printed.
Like previous resources, DeutschZentrum Wien breaks down their exercises into categories based on the level of German proficiency. The exercises linked to above are aimed at B1 (early intermediate) learners.
This collection of exercises has 28 sections ranging from topics such as noun cases, the passive and active voice, modal verbs and verbs with prepositions. Each section then has between 10 and 20 fill-in-the-blank questions. In certain sections, especially with topics that are quite expansive, there are sometimes multiple practice exercises to choose from.
After completing the questions, you can quickly review your practice with the answer section, which is at the bottom of each exercise.
This website is linked to a place called “German Center” that’s located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Although perhaps an unlikely place to find German speakers, Germancenter-ST is a great resource for any international German learner. They offer in-person German lessons for those living nearby as well as online audio and video lessons.
Further, they also offer online grammar exercises, so that learners can practice and improve their skills.
These exercises cover topics at the B1 (early intermediate) level such as reflexive verbs, subordinate and relative clauses and noun cases.
All exercises are fill-in-the-blank exercises, and they have immediate corrections after each question for instant feedback.
Deutsch Akademie (German Academy) offers an online audio course and on-location courses in both Austria and Germany.
On its website, you’ll find more than 100 grammar exercises for intermediate learners.
Exercise topics include virtually all areas of German grammar including verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and sentence structure. The exercise topics are sorted alphabetically in German, so learners should approach this website with a plan.
Upon choosing an exercise topic, learners can choose the number of randomly-generated questions they receive as well as the level of difficulty for the batch of questions.
The questions are then given one at a time in the format of multiple choice. After each question, there’s immediate feedback for correct and incorrect responses.
Keep in mind that this resource is completely in German, including the explanation of wrong answers.
Mein Deutschbuch (My German Book) is a website in German offering vocabulary and grammar resources for German learners. Since it’s all in German, I recommend this resource for learners who have at least a solid B1 (intermediate) level.
Despite that, there are grammar exercises for multiple German levels from A1 (beginner) to B2 (high intermediate).
The exercises for B1 and B2 learners are primarily sentence-building exercises where learners are given pieces of a sentence and must put it together. This means that the sentences must not only be in the correct order, but they must also adhere to the appropriate grammar rules such as verb conjugations, noun case and word order.
After the exercise, learners can have the website mark the answers correct or incorrect. Or, they can access the correct answers if they’re stuck.
I’d also recommend that intermediate learners make use of the A1- and A2-level exercises offered by Mein Deutschbuch. Not only would it be a good review for intermediate learners, but doing such exercises in an immersive, German-only setting will make them more challenging.
Our next grammar practice resource is a gold mine for intermediate learners, and it’s a fantastic way to bridge the gap between the intermediate (B1 and B2) levels and the advanced (C1 and C2) levels of German.
Schubert Verlag is a textbook series for learning German. They offer six sets of course and practice books for all levels of German learners from the A1 to the C2 level.
As such, there are two intermediate textbooks that offer free exercises online to assist with practice: one for B1 (intermediate) learners and one for B2 (high intermediate) learners.
Even though you can practice alongside the corresponding book, you can use the exercises to practice without the books.
For the B1-level book, there are 12 Kapitels (chapters) with multiple sets of exercises in each. For the B2-level book, there are 18 Kapitels. The exercises cover topics such as the konjunktiv (subjunctive), nouns and subordinate clauses. The questions are primarily fill-in-the-blank exercises.
Additionally, their two advanced textbooks for C1 (early advanced) and C2 (advanced) also offer free exercises online.
For both of these books, there are eight Kapitels in each with multiple exercises in each Kapitel. These exercises cover topics such as the passive voice, the nominalization of verbs, indirect speech and prepositions. Like with the intermediate textbooks, the questions are primarily fill-in-the-blank with some sentence-building exercises.
After the long journey through the beginner and intermediate stages of learning German, the advanced stage is arguably the toughest to navigate but also the most fulfilling. At this point, all the basics are out of the way, so fine-tuning and stylistic writing take prominence.
The following exercises are for those who have acquired an advanced or at least a B2 level of German. At this stage, the focus is less on memorizing verb conjugations and noun declinations: C1 and C2 grammar is all about style, or how to use the language in different contexts to give a specific effect.
All of these websites are themselves in German, so make sure to have wide and varied experiences with the German language.
The Goethe-Institut (Goethe Institute) is the leading German cultural association around the world. They offer many different experiences aimed at promoting German culture, one of the cornerstones being the teaching of the German language.
In fact, the Goethe-Institut organizes and executes the Deutsch als Fremdsprache (DaF) exams, formal proficiency tests that certify the language level of German learners from the A1 to C2 levels.
As such, this resource is a practice exam for those looking to complete the C1 level exam. Even if you have no intention of actually doing the exam, this practice test is an invaluable resource for practicing German grammar.
The practice exam is broken into four parts, one for each of the major areas of language learning: reading, writing, listening and speaking. While there’s no section specifically for practicing grammar, this practice exam is perfect for learning to use grammar “in the wild.”
In each section, you must complete a couple of exercises that test your ability to use German fluently and without grammatical errors. Many of the questions require you to use a long-answer format in response to a reading or listening sample available during the test.
This resource is actually a PDF of exercises uploaded by Sprachschule Activ Wien (Active Language School Vienna), a language school in Vienna offering many on-location language courses.
The uploaded PDF is a 13-page document filled with grammar exercises for C1 (advanced) learners and can be downloaded and printed for use. The document is broken into sections by topic with exercises underneath. There are dozens of exercises for each topic.
Such section topics include separable prefix verbs, the nominalization of verbs and relative clauses. These exercises are a taste into advanced academic writing and speaking, so I recommend incorporating the skills practiced into spontaneous German usage. Perhaps try using these concepts in your next language exchange session, or while completing the above-mentioned DaF C1 practice German exam.
The questions include fill-in-the-blank exercises with solutions at the bottom of each section.
The Deutschlernerblog (the German Learner’s Blog) is a website that offers different practice resources for German learners such as listening and reading comprehension, music recommendations and grammar exercises.
Its grammar exercises are categorized into two levels: C1 for low advanced learners and C2 for high advanced learners.
Each level offers quizzes that cover different topics. Such topics include the passive voice and the conjugations of advanced verbs in multiple tenses. The questions are mostly fill-in-the-blank.
Whew! After 14 rounds of bulking and cutting those German grammar muscles, you must be in need of hydration. It won’t be long before you see your mastery of German grammar soar and the fluidity of your German interactions increase. Don’t give up!