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I read this part in a book:

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I wonder if this is correct because I always form such sentence like the English "Let's ..." with "lassen" ("lass uns ..."), for example:

Lass uns gehen
Lass uns sehen
Lass uns hier setzen

So:

  • Which one is correct or more common?
  • While searching for the answer in Google, I saw also "Lasst ...", is it another form of "let's ..."?
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Definitiv nicht Lass uns hier setzen, sondern entweder Lass uns hier sitzen oder Lass uns uns hier hinsetzen. –  user unknown Nov 30 '11 at 16:33
    
@userunknown: Ah yes, thank you. –  user508 Nov 30 '11 at 16:40
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5 Answers 5

People will look at you funny if you use the lassen versions. Just sayin'

Plus: your book is wrong about studieren. That's a common falscher Freund. English "to study" translates into either üben or lernen. Studieren means to major in something.

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An alternative that might sometimes sound better is "Wir sollten...".

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Is that a good alternative? I get the impression that the person is putting me under pressure by saying "wir sollten uns treffen", Is it right or I'm under the illusion? –  user508 Nov 29 '11 at 16:04
    
No, there is some slight pressure. But of course, there always is when someone suggests something that includes you. –  fzwo Nov 29 '11 at 16:21
    
Aha, "there always is when someone suggests something that includes you", great point. Thank you for the answer anyway. –  user508 Nov 29 '11 at 16:23
    
+1 Very idiomatic! :) –  Mac Nov 30 '11 at 14:43
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The Yiddish idiom is quite distinctive in this case: "lomir", as in "lomir gehen shlafen", where lomir is a contraction of lass mir, where mir is the first person plural, equivalent to German wir. Technically I suppose it should be lass uns (pr. "loz uns"): I don't know if that's dative or accusitive but nominative is definitely wrong. And yet it's apparently the nominative that is idomatic. No one says "loz uns".

And no, I'm not mixing it up with the first person singular: that would be "loz mich zu ruh", as in "leave me alone". There's also a "lomich"; I'm not sure I'll be able to use it accurately in context, but I think "lomich prubieren" would be "let me give it a try".

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What an informative answer, thank you. What does "pr" stand for? –  user508 Nov 29 '11 at 15:21
    
I'm gratified that you enjoyed it. The "pr" is for "pronounced". (I like to spell Yiddish according to the German system, but that tends to obscure some of the vowel shifts.) –  Marty Green Nov 29 '11 at 15:23
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John Smithers is right, you can use both,

BUT,

"Lass uns..." (addressing one person) or "Lasst uns..." (addressing a group of people) are not colloquial, at least in the southern half of Germany. Again John Smithers is right that the alternative from your book is not very common.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that we either paraphrase the entire thing, or, usually, I would actually put it in the question form mentioned above:

Let's go for a coffee! - Gehen wir einen Kaffee trinken?

Let's go home! - Gehen wir nach Hause?

But:

Let's see... - Schauen wir mal...

I suppose the latter exception is due to the fact that the entire thing is more or less an idiomatic phrase.

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Thank you for the answer.John Smithers said they're not colloquial as well, is that what you meant or you missed something after but? –  user508 Nov 29 '11 at 15:44
    
@Gigili: I took "neither of these constructions" to refer to the suggestions in the book and wanted to add that down here the "lassen" derivates are not colloquial, too... :) –  Mac Nov 30 '11 at 14:43
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You can use both. I would prefer in most (but not all) cases the construction with "lassen", but that's up to you. As far as I know none of these constructions is colloquial.

First: No-one would say "Studieren wir jetzt". I guess they mean "Lernen wir jetzt". I would use "Lass uns lernen" because the other sentence sounds more like a question to me "Lernen wir jetzt? (Oder können wir noch spielen?)".

Second: The difference between "lass" and "lasst" is the different use of "Du" and "Ihr".

"He, Du, lass uns nach Hause gehen."

"He, Ihr, lasst uns nach Hause gehen."

("He" is an interjection.)

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