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The sentence: "Er hat Reim in seinem Gedicht benutzt."

My instructor has suggested that I rewrite the sentence using "a more sophisticated construction, such as one with 'lassen'." How would I do that?

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have you tried anything so far? – Postback May 14 '13 at 5:39
The primary problem in your sentence is that you mistakenly assumed that Reim is an uncount noun like "rhyme". It is not. So you should fix that first. As far as "sophisticated" construction using lassen ("to let"), I have no idea what he meant. I don't mean to confuse you or undermine the authority of your instructor, but in my opinion your priorities should be: (1) communicating unambiguously, even if with grammatical/spelling/etc. mistakes; (2) gradually reducing the frequency of mistakes; (3) working from simple, even primitive, sentences towards eventual sophistication; in that order. – Eugene Seidel May 14 '13 at 5:39
If there is context, and I guess there is, it would be tremendously helpful if you gave it to us for just as Eugene said, I have no idea how "lassen" would fit in this content. If your instructor meant this: "Er hat seine Sätze sich reimen lassen."... well, unless you're task was to translate an equally stilted original, get a new instructor – Emanuel May 14 '13 at 10:51

2 Answers 2

After some hard thinking, my only guess is that he actually meant "sich reimen lassen", although this also would be very unusual. Where I come from - Germany - we would just say:

Das Gedicht reimt sich.

We also would rarely use your construction either ;) To use the word 'lassen', well, I am not entirely sure if you can use it on an entire poem, but for single words we can say

Dieses Wort lässt sich reimen.

And for the entire poem:

Sein Gedicht lässt sich reimen.

which might change the meaning of your sentence. I would probably understand, that there is something that rhymes with the poem, instead of the poem using rhymes.

You may notice, we rarely use "Reim" as substantive, we almost always use the verb. The only uses of the substantive that is used would be:

Ein Reim auf 'lesen' ist 'Besen'.

or when we have to analyse a poem, and have to note the rhyme scheme. This happens quite rarely, so you may just use "Das Gedicht reimt sich". Again, I do not know the context (and why your teacher would want you to use 'lassen').

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Ich würde nicht sagen, dass Reim eher selten benutzt wird. Allein schon die Wörter Paarreim, umfassender Reim, etc. werden nicht durch das Verb beschrieben. Laut dem Uni Wortschatz ist das Verb in der Häufigkeitsklasse 17, Reim hingegen 14. Eine kleinere Zahl bedeutet hier 'häufiger'. Und Paarreim etc. sind da noch nicht eingeschlossen. – Em1 May 14 '13 at 5:52
"Dieses Wort lässt sich reimen" One could say that, yes, but such a proposition would carry no useful information. Any and every word can be matched with some other word in a rhyme, which is what rhyming dictionaries are used for. – Eugene Seidel May 14 '13 at 5:54
@Em1 thats what i meant with "or when we have to analyse a poem, and have to note the rhyme scheme " ;) and the verb and/or substantive are mostly used in this context. but the average, non-analysing person uses the verb. – user1451340 May 14 '13 at 5:57
@EugeneSeidel that is the reason why i do not think the use of "lassen" is useful. i would only use it to say "dieses wort lässt sich nicht reimen", and thats it. – user1451340 May 14 '13 at 5:58

sounds like a strange suggestion, because you would have to replace hat benutzt with lassen, and they dont mean the same

you could write Er lässt Reime im Gedicht vorkommen. but how you wrote it sounds better, so better keep this, but add an e -> Reime

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-1, "Er hat Reim in seinem Gedicht benutzt" is a malformed sentence (a word-for-word translation of "He has used rhyme in his poem"), so the advice to keep is not good. – Eugene Seidel May 14 '13 at 5:51
even if its a word-for-word translation, i wouldnt say its incorrect, the sentence. it sounds good and you instantly know what he meant. Maybe you could add an e, to make Reim plural, then it would sound even better – Postback May 14 '13 at 6:06
@Postback: in singular it is wrong and therefore sounds wrong. The plural version is good though. – Emanuel May 14 '13 at 10:57

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