3.3 Grammar

AS and A-level students will be expected to have studied the grammatical system and structures of the language during their course. Knowledge of the grammar and structures specified for GCSE is assumed.

In the exam students will be required to use, actively and accurately, grammar and structures appropriate to the tasks set, drawn from the following lists. The mention of an item in these lists implies knowledge of both its forms and its functions at an appropriate level of accuracy and complexity.

The lists are divided into AS and A-level. The examples in italics in parentheses are indicative; they serve to illustrate the part of speech or structure that the student must know and do not represent an exhaustive specification of the required grammatical knowledge. For items marked (R), receptive knowledge only is required.

A-level students will be expected to have studied all grammar and structures that appear in the lists for both AS and A-level.

AS grammar



Singular and plural forms

Case marking on nouns

Weak masculine nouns


Definite article

Indefinite article, including kein

Demonstratives, including der/die/das


Other determiners (eg alle, viel/viele, welcher)


Personal pronouns

Reflexive pronouns

Relative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns

Possessive pronouns

Indefinite pronouns (eg jemand)

Interrogative pronouns (eg wer)


Adjective endings

Comparative and superlative

Adjectives with the dative (eg es ist mir klar)

Adjectives with prepositions (eg stolz auf)

Adverbs and adverbials



Direction (eg hin, heraus)


Degree (eg sehr)

Interrogative (eg wann, warum)

Comparative and superlative

Numbers and fractions

Clock time, days of the week, months

Model particles/discourse markers

eg ja, doch, wohl


Principal parts of weak, strong and irregular verbs

Reflexive verbs


Auxiliary verbs (haben, sein, werden)

Use of haben, or sein in the perfect

Modal verbs (dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, wollen): present and imperfect

Tenses; imperfect subjunctive of mögen and können

Infinitive constructions (um…zu, ohnezu, verbs with zu)

Infinitive constructions (lassen and sich lassen with infinitive)

Tense, voice and mood:

  • present
  • past (ie simple past/imperfect)
  • perfect
  • perfect (modal verbs) (R)
  • pluperfect
  • future
  • future perfect (R)
  • conditional
  • conditional perfect (R)
  • passive with werden
  • imperative
  • subjunctive in conditional clauses (past)
  • subjunctive in conditional clauses (pluperfect) (R)
  • subjunctive in indirect speech (R).


Fixed case and dual case

Prepositional adverbs (da(r)+preposition, eg darauf)




The case system

The subject and the finite verb

Accusative objects

Dative objects

Prepositional objects

The use of the nominative case with copular verbs (eg sein, werden, bleiben)

Clause structure and word order

Main clause word order

Questions and commands

Position of pronouns

Position of adverbials

Position of nicht

Word order variation to change emphasis

Subordinate clauses introduced by a conjunction (eg dass, obwohl)

Word formation

Compound nouns

Forming nouns from verbs

Forming nouns from adjectives

Forming verbs from nouns

Forming verbs from adjectives

Separable and inseparable verb prefixes

A-level grammar

In addition to the vocabulary listed in the AS grammar list, students of A-level will also be expected to study the following:


Use of long adjective phrases (R)

Tense, voice and mood:

  • perfect (modal verbs)
  • future perfect
  • conditional perfect
  • conditional sentence with omitted wenn, eg Hätte ich mehr Zeit gehabt, wäre das nicht passiert (R)
  • passive with sein
  • subjunctive in conditional clauses (pluperfect)
  • all forms of indirect speech.

Clause structure and word order

Use of the prepositional adverb (da(r) + preposition, eg darauf) to anticipate dass clauses and dependent infinitive clauses (R)