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In this sentence:

Nehmen Sie den Wein aus Deutschland.

what would "aus" mean? "outside" or "from" ? And is this a question? I see the verb and pronoun are switched.

In other words, should I translate this as

  1. "Do you take wine from Germany?"
  2. "Do you take wine outside Germany?"
  3. "You take wine from Germany"
  4. "You take wine outside Germany"

Even 4 different phrases I'm unsure of :/

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from, and it's the imperative mood. – Carsten S Feb 23 '14 at 14:30
oh, I haven't studied that yet so I didn't know it. Thanks! If you make it an answer I'll accept it. – Marco A. Feb 23 '14 at 14:30
up vote 5 down vote accepted

It depends on the (in your example omitted) punctuation. If the waiter asks you

Nehmen Sie den Wein aus Deutschland?

he means: "Do you take the wine from Germany?" If he says

Nehmen Sie den Wein aus Deutschland!

he means: "Do take the wine from Germany! I suggest it!". In either case, the wine is supposed to come from Germany. If one talks about exporting wine, then another construction is necessary, such as

Wir exportieren Wein aus Deutschland heraus. (grammatically correct, but bad style)

This does not necessarily imply the wine is from Germany, but may as well.

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Thanks! German is quite hard for me right now. Constance, patience and some easy subtitled videos on youtube are helping me greatly.. but time is also required :) – Marco A. Feb 23 '14 at 15:46
One doesn't use exportieren aus somewhere heraus. If you export something, you name the country you export to. If you import something, you name the contry you import from: Wir importieren Wein aus Deutschland. – Toscho Feb 23 '14 at 17:05
@Toscho: I agree. I was pointing out the grammatical structure, that this sentence has very bad style is something else :-| – PMF Feb 23 '14 at 19:17

Many, many words don't have a single translation into another language. I think "ablegen" has over a dozen totally different translations from German to English. "Aus" is not far off :-)

"aus " means "originating from ". You take the meaning and translate it to the best possible English you can :-) "from Germany" seems fine. "Aus" as a single word would be the location of a ball leving the playing field (tennis, soccer). That's about the only time I would translate it as "outside". "Aus" means "over": Der Film ist aus. The movie is over. Die Schule ist aus. School is over. "Going out" is "ausgehen" ("wir gehen aus").

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