What verbs can do- (mit Adventure Time, Ich erinne mich an dich)

Video: Adventure Time: Ich erinne mich an dich

So I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to, due to being at university studying German, and also due to not exactly knowing how this language-learning blog will go. Now I think I know.

Verbs! Reflexive verbs, imperative verbs, modal verbs, verbs in the first person, second person, third person AND imperfect verbs, regualar and irregular verbs – I found them all in one of my favourite episodes of the American Cartoon Network show Adventure Time , or Abenteuerzeit mit Finn und Jake in German.

The main characters are a boy named Finn, the Human, and his adoptive brother Jake the Dog. They live in the Land of Ooo (translated as Uuh. Source: http://de.adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Uuh), a magical place that in the past had a nuclear war called the Mushroom War. However this particular episode is not about Finn and Jake – they do make a cameo, but are largely in the backseat in ‘I Remember You.’ No, this episode is about the “villain” or, more appropriately, ‘anti-hero’ of the series – the Ice King, http://de.adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Eisk%C3%B6nig, an old wizard who can use the powers of his magic crown to fly, shoot ice and generally cause mischief. He is usually described as ‘crazy’ and avoided by Finn and Jake.
However, he wasn’t always this way. Back in the time of the war, the Ice King was an intelligent archaeologist called Simon Petrikov, who discovered the crown and used it to protect his friend, Marceline, who was a little girl at the time. Around 1,000 years later, the Ice King is still alive because the powers of the crown prevent him from dying, while Marceline is still alive because she’s a vampire. Yeah.

In this episode, Marceline the Vampire Queen finds some notes among the Ice King’s old things, which he wrote when he was Simon Petrikov. The Ice King just wants to make some music with her, but Marceline remembers what their past was, and the truth hidden in the song that the Ice King is prevented from remembering….

So, onto the episode! And verbs.

‚haben‘ and ‚sein‘

Der Eiskong: Was hast du da, ein Apfel?

Two of the best verbs to know in German are ‘haben’ – to have, and ‘sein’ – to be. Why? Because they can create the past tense – Perfekt tense.
Zum Beispiel:
Ich habe einen Apfel gegessen – I ate an apple (habe is the first person/me/I from of ‚haben‘).
‘Was hast du da, ein Apfel?’ – What have you got there, an apple?
3rd person: Marceline hat ein Apfel geworfen – Marceline threw an apple

Ich bin nach Deutschland gefahren – I have travelled to Germany (I really haven’t…. not yet…..) (bin is the first person/me/I form of sein)
‘Du bist so erbahrmlich (?)’ – You are so annoying
3rd person: Der Eiskonig ist nach Marcelines Haus gegangen

So as you can see both are used for the past tense. They both are found with another verb, to say that this action was done in the past. However ‘sein’ is used in the past tense with a verb of movement, such as ‘gefahren’- to travel to another county; or ‘gegangen’, to go, possibly to ‘travel’ to a friend’s house.
However they can also be used ‘normally’ as in to have something, or to be something.

Das Beispeil im Video:
Der Eiskonig: Was hast du da, ein Apfel? – What have you got there, an apple?
(Marceline seufzt und lӓsst der Apfel fallen. Sie sitzt neben dem Kühlschrank, und der Apfel rollt zu dem musikalischen Instrument, und schalt es an. Marceline singt:)

Marceline: Du bist so erbarhmlich, du meiser alter Mann. – Youre so annoying, you miserable old man.
Ich will dir helfen, weiss ich nicht ob ich das kann. – I want to help you but, I don’t know if I can
Ich hӓlt‘ dich für verrückt… – I thought you were nuts
Doch du bist total, komplett verrückt.‘ – But you’re totally, completely nuts

Original lyrics by Rebecca Sugar.

So let’s check this out. I’ll put all the interesting verbs into the infinitive (- to ’verb’ form.)

  • Du bist so erbarhmlich…. – sein – to be (but you knew that, right?  see above… )
  • Ich will dir helfen … – wollen and helfen(+dat) – to want, and, to help
  • weiss ich nicht, ob ich das kann – kӧnnen – to be able to
  • Ich hӓlt‘ dich für verruckt … hӓlten jemanden/ etwas für – to ‚hold that someone is -‘… to hold (the opinion that) they are -, to think that.
  • Doch du bist total, komplett verrückt – sein – to be (again! Yay!)

Some verbs are regular, and you may be able to guess what they might look like if put in a different form other than their infinitive.
ie ‘haben’ – to have
Ich habe – I have
Du hast -you have
Er/sie/es hat -he/she/it has
Wir hatten -we have
Ihr hattet
sie/ Sie hatten

However, wollen – to want, is irregular, and it’s 1st and 3rd person form is ‚will‘
Ich will dir helfen.
Willst du er helfen?
Marceline will dem Eiskonig helfen.

(Tip: Watch Marceline’s faster bit ( from 0:41 to 0.58) with the speed down to 0.5 if you need to. It sounds amazing too!)
Marceline: Wohin ich mich auf verzicht? du spricht mich immer auf, und hängst hier herum
Unter einem Vorwand machst du dich hier breit, das bringt mich echt um.
Und dabei bin ich sogar froh, dich zu sehen.
Denn ich bin vielleicht…selbst verrückt….

(Idiomatic phrases)
(unter dem Vorwand – uder the pretence/ pretext of)
sich heir breit machen – to make your presence felt here (?)
sich umbringen – to be killed (metaphorisch, in this case-

Der Eiskonig steigt von dem Kühlschrank. Er ist überrascht, das Marceline magt ihn, und er versucht, sie zu küssen, wie eine andere Prinzessin. Jedoch Marceline bedeutet, dass sie der Eiskӧnig in der Vergangenheit kennengelernt hatte, und er kann das nicht erinnern.

Marceline: Weiss du uberhaupt wer du bist?
Eiskonig: Klar, wiess ich! Ich bin ein lurische Meister! Hier steht alles auf diesen Seiten. Seiten voller Sauce, baby! Auf dieser Rechnung, auf diesem Schmerzettel, oder auf diesen Zeitungen!‘

(A cool dativ exercise up there, by the way.)

Marceline: Auf diesem Bild, das war mal du, Simon, vor dem Kreig! Ach, du hast das vollig vollgekritzelt!‘

‘Stehen auf’ (not to be confused with auf/stehen, the separable verb) means to be put on – in this case to be written on. ‘Es steht auf (+dat.)’ because auf is a dativ kind of preposition.

The Ice King still doesn’t recognize his old self, but knows that on the papers there was something of his past. He thinks the words written down would make great song lyrics – ‘Ich hole das Keyboard!’
Marceline: Was? Warte! Hor mir zu!

Eiskonig: Ja, fangen wir an. Was steht den da, leg los, Schwester.

(Calls for seperable verbs.
Zu/horen an/fangen (? volgekritzelt)

Marceline, du und ich ganz allein und intrimmen dieser Welt?
Lasst mich dich halten, wenn dich sonst hier nicht mehr halt.
Einen Mann der immer zu dir steht, brauchst du
Ich verliere dich, du verlierst ich und wir sehen uns dabei zu.

Dieser* Zauber halt mich am Leben – This magic keeps me alive
Doch er macht mich fertig – But it makes me
Niemand kann mich retten,
Doch dich retten wird ich,
Sei mir gnadig, egal was ich tue
Aus dem Kopf verschwindest du.

So here we have great examples of how to tell different forms of verb. ‘Aus dem Kopf verschwindest du’ means literally, ‘From the (my) head, you disappear.’ ‘Verschwinden’ means to disappear, and -est is joined on to most present-tense 2nd person (you- singular form) verbs, replacing ‘-en’.

‘Werden’- the future tense. Hoped we’d get one of those! The future tense is made by a form of ‘werden’ and the infinitve of the verb.
‘Doch dich retten werd’ ich’ would be re-written as ‘Ich werde dich retten‘- I will save you.
Sei – another imperative. Take ‚sein‘- ‚to be‘, take off the -en (in this case n). Sei mir gnadig seems to mean, ‘Be merciful to me’ –
Egal was ich tue – from ‚tun‘ – to do. Another word for this is ‘machen’-to do, to make. Egal means ‘no matter what’

Eiskonig: Wow! Ich hab das geschrieben? Echt groovy!

Eiskonig: Marceline,
Irgendetwas zog mir von dir fort, – Something brought me away from you
Das zu erklären, fehlt mir jedes Wort. – To explain that, every word is missing from me
Du wurdest unglücklicher Tag für Tag. – You become sadder day by day
Ich wies das es an meine Krone lag – I know that it lies on my crown

The Imperfect tense:
Just touched on here, but still, the imperfect tense is sometimes used for the past, written in stories.
zog –3rd person past tense zogen to pull
lag –3rd person past tense lagen, to lay

(Der Eiskonig und Marceline singen zusammen. Marceline hat Trӓnen in ihre Augen, weil der Eiskonig wird nie erinnern, wer er früher war.

Dieser* Zauber halt mich am Leben
Doch er macht mich auch fertig
Niemand kann mich retten,
Doch dich retten wird ich,
Sei mir gnadig, egal was ich tue
Aus meinem Kopf verschwindest du.
Sei mir gnadig, egal was ich tue
Aus dem Kopf verschwindest du.

*I put Dieser Zauber, althought the version in the video writes Dein Zauber – but unless the Ice King is adressing the crown, I think that doesn’t make sense. Marceline wasn’t magical at the time, and the Ice King isn’t asking her to save him, as she was a child then.)

(3:47- Finn and Jake make thier appearance, watching from Marcelines window – but can anyone tell me what Jake’s saying at 3:47? Ich hab echt keine Ahnung! – I have no idea. Konnt ihr mir helfen, bitte?)

English song: ‚ Remember You‘ by Rebecca Sugar – http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Remember_You

German version: To be found.

I may make this a weekly thing – if so, the continuation of the Ice King’s story will be posted. For now, tschuss!


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