Vocabulary and Grammar Notes – Kriemhild’s Dream

Verb Phrases
Present Simple Tense
Past Simple Tense
Infinitives
Passive Voice
– Vocabulary Development – Word Families

Every sentence has a verb and every verb has a tense. The verb phrases are the key to the sentences and the sentences are the key to the text. Look at the verb phrases for this episode:

Verb Phrases

Far down south in Burgundy there was a beautiful princess.
The name of the princess was Kriemhild.
She was kind and virtuous and very beautiful.

Kriemhild was ready to marry but she did not have a husband.
She was waiting for the right man.

One night she had a strange dream.

In her dream two eagles killed a falcon.

She told her mother about the dream.
Her mother said the dream had a meaning.

Her mother said it meant that her husband would die a violent death.

Kriemhild decided not to marry.
She did not want her husband to die a violent death.

She did not want to become a widow.
She tried to foil the prophecy.

She renounced marriage.
She promised never to marry.

In those days there was no internet dating and there were no computers.
People talked to each other and got their news directly from other people by talking.
Siegfried heard about Kriemhild.
He heard about her and she heard about him.
As soon as he heard her name, Siegfried fell in love with Kriemhild.
He imagined that her skin was like milk and her name was “”Cream.

She was “beauty” personified.
She was the most beautiful woman in the world.
She was the only one for him.
He was totally infatuated with her.

He could not get her out of his mind.

He was smitten.
(he was) Totally smitten.
He was absolutely totally head over heels in love with her, although he had never met her.

That is right.
He was in love with her but he had never met her.

Kriemhild was also in love with Siegfried.
She had promised never to marry but in her heart there was still love.

In her mind she had formed the image of the perfect man and that man was Siegfried.
Everything she had heard about him was perfect.
He was brave.
He was strong.
He was loyal.

He was handsome.
He was quiet.
He was diligent.

He was modest.
He was kind.
He was tolerant.

He was wise.
He was funny.
He was perfect.

Everything was perfect.
Everything about him was perfect.
It was perfect.

She was in love with him.
She was in love with him but she had promised never to marry.

Now let’s analyse them in groups:

Existence, Baptism and Nature

Far down south in Burgundy there was a beautiful princess.
The name of the princess was Kriemhild.
She was kind and virtuous and very beautiful.

The first sentence tells us that a beautiful princess exists. The second one tells us her name. The third one tells us something of her character.

Her Situation

Kriemhild was ready to marry but she did not have a husband.
She was waiting for the right man.

This pair of sentences continues to tell us about the circumstances around the life of the heroine. Note that the first one is “be verb plus adjective plus infinitive” pattern.

The second one is past continuous. it shows us that the action of waiting was a long one which was happening around the start of the story.

The Beginning of the Narrative

The story starts in past simple tense which is the narrative tense in English.

One night she had a strange dream.

Then we learn a detail of the dream:

In her dream two eagles killed a falcon.

Telling Someone about an Event

Still in past simple tense, she tells her mother what happened.

She told her mother about the dream.

Interpreting the Event

Her mother interpreted the dream:

Her mother said the dream had a meaning.

Future in the Past

The grammar gets a little complex here:

Her mother said it meant that her husband would die a violent death.

She says: He will die a violent death

becomes

She said he would die a violent death.

A Decision

Kriemhild decided not to marry.

This sentence uses the pattern: verb plus infinitive. It is also in past simple tense.

The Reason for the Decision

She did not want her husband to die a violent death.

She did not want to become a widow.

Here we see the use of past simple tense in the negative:

wanted – did not want

Verb plus Infinitive

Here is another example of verb plus infinitive:

She tried to foil the prophecy.

Transitive Verb

She renounced marriage.

Verb plus Infinitive

She promised never to marry.

Historical Note

This next part is outside the story. It is a historical note.

In those days there was no internet dating and there were no computers.
People talked to each other and got their news directly from other people by talking.

Hearing about Somebody

The narrative continues in past simple tense:

Siegfried heard about Kriemhild.
He heard about her and she heard about him.

As Soon As

As soon as he heard her name, Siegfried fell in love with Kriemhild.

This sentence has two clauses.

He heard her name.
He fell in love with her.

“As soon as” is a time phrase which shows us that one event led immediately to the other event.

They were almost simultaneous.

His Imagination

He imagined that her skin was like milk and her name was “”Cream.

Note the use of a relative clause in “he imagined that”.

The Personification of Beauty – Her Attributes

She was “beauty” personified.
She was the most beautiful woman in the world.
She was the only one for him.

Siegfried’s Emotional State

He was totally infatuated with her.

Past Simple Tense with Modal

He could not get her out of his mind.

Passive Voice in Past Simple tense

He was smitten.
(he was) Totally smitten.

Idiomatic Phrase

He was absolutely totally head over heels in love with her, although he had never met her.

The Nature of the Heart

That is right.
He was in love with her but he had never met her.

Kriemhild was also in love with Siegfried.
She had promised never to marry but in her heart there was still love.

Past Perfect Tense

In her mind she had formed the image of the perfect man and that man was Siegfried.
Everything she had heard about him was perfect.

Adjectives show Siegfried’s Qualities

See how the adjectives describe Siegfried’s qualities (characteristics).

He was brave.
He was strong.
He was loyal.

He was handsome.
He was quiet.
He was diligent.

He was modest.
He was kind.
He was tolerant.

He was wise.
He was funny.
He was perfect.

Perfection

Everything was perfect.
Everything about him was perfect.
It was perfect.

Love

She was in love with him.
She was in love with him but she had promised never to marry.

Questions with their Tenses


Present Perfect Tense

1. Have you ever eaten beef cooked in a burgundy sauce?


Present Simple

2. Is beauty more important than intelligence?


Past Simple Tense

3. Did she look forward to marriage?


Present Simple Tense

4. Are you a daydreamer?

Present Simple Tense

5. Are there eagles in your country?

Present Simple Tense

6. What do you think it meant?

Present Simple Tense

7. Is violent crime a problem in your city?


Present Simple Tense

8. Does everybody die?


Present Simple Tense

9. Is it possible to cheat fate?


“Would” conditional

10. Would you have done the same thing if you were in her situation?


Present Simple Tense

11. Is love the strongest power in the universe?


Present Simple Tense

12. Is cream fattening?


Present Simple Tense

13. Are you a beautician?


Present Simple Tense

14. At what age does a girl become a woman?


Present Simple Tense

15. Do you believe in fate?


Present Simple Tense

16. What is the difference between love and infatuation?


Present Simple Tense

17. Do you mind if I open the window?

Present Continuous Tense

18. Are you wearing high heels?


Present Simple Tense

19. Does that surprise you?


Past Perfect Tense

20. Had she been in love before?


Present Simple Tense

21. Which is more important to you, bravery, strength or loyalty?


Present Simple Tense

22. Of those three, which is the most important to you?

“Would” Conditional

23. Which of those three would you rank as more important?

Present Simple Tense

24. Do you believe in the possibility of perfection?


Present Simple Tense

25. Is god perfect?


Present Simple Tense

26. Are you married?


The Story of Siegfried the Dragon Slayer and of his Beautiful Wife, Kriemhild and of his Tragic Murder and of her Terrible Revenge

Title Page
1. Nibelung’s Gold
2. Siegfried the Dragon Slayer
3. Kriemhild’s Dream
4. Siegfried’s Trip to Worms
5. The Plan to win the Hand of Bruenhild
6. Bruenhild’s Suspicion
7. Hagen’s Plan
8. Kriemhild’s Revenge
9. Epilogue : The Gold at the Bottom of the River and the Ring of Power

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