German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am not a German native speaker. I know that in certain situations the pronoun "es" has a different usage than the English "it", but I am not sure when it should be used and when it shouldn't.

Here are two examples I would like to ask some clarifications for.

Example 1:

I want to translate: "A new book will be presented tomorrow". My intuition tells me: "Es wird morgen ein neues Buch präsentiert." but I am not sure about this. Is it correct to start the sentence with es if the subject is missing or is not the first element of the sentence?

Example 2:

A slightly more complex example. "Moreover it would be interesting for me to..." Translation: "Darüber hinaus wäre es für mich interessant, ... zu ..."

Is it correct to put "es" in this case? Or should I simply write "Darüber hinaus wäre für mich interessant, ... zu ..."?

share|improve this question
Instinkt ist angeboren. Die Sprache ist nicht angeboren. Was immer zu Dir in sprachlichen Angelegenheiten spricht - der Instinkt ist es nicht. – user unknown Jun 18 '12 at 4:05
Ich meinte mein intuitives Verständnis: ich würde es so sagen aber ich kann nicht erklären warum. – Giorgio Jun 18 '12 at 4:16
up vote 14 down vote accepted

"Es wird morgen ein neues Buch präsentiert."

is correct. It sounds a little better when you change the word order and omit the es:

"Morgen wird ein neues Buch präsentiert."

Your second example:

"Darüber hinaus wäre es für mich interessant, ...

"Darüber hinaus wäre für mich interessant, ... zu ..."

Both sentences are correct in my opinion.

share|improve this answer
The only thing I would add is that using the "es" in this case makes it into "there" in English, like "es wird" = "there is/will be" and so on. That's probably what you meant by "a different usage than the English 'it'". Its inclusion or exclusion works the same way in both languages. – Kevin Jun 18 '12 at 5:16
My feelling is, that "Es wird morgen ein neues Buch präsentiert" puts an emphasis on the book, e.g. as an answer to the question "was wird eigentlich morgen vorgestellt?". The word order that splattne gave has not such emphasis IMO. On a second note: I don't like these language constructs which omit the persons acting, because they sound a little bit impersonal (duh). – 0x6d64 Jun 18 '12 at 8:16

I would say when referring to a generic everyman, like using "one" in English or "on" in French. But closer to how it's used in French, outside of a certain meme, it sounds a little awkward in English.

share|improve this answer
Are you confusing man with es? – spyrjandi og svarandi Feb 23 at 1:32
um, maybe... disappears into shrubs – Camellia Wunderbar Feb 23 at 15:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.