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If I want to say in German,

This is a question that will be asked often

I think the correct German translation will be:

Das ist eine Frage, die oft gestellt werden wird.

But if I want to say:

This is a question that will have been asked

do I translate it like this:

Das ist eine Frage, die gestellt worden sein wird?

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2 Answers 2

It depends a little, on how exactly you interpret the "will have" in the English sentence. In numerous languages, future tense is often used to express modality/possibility. Here is an example in English and German:

  • "Wo ist meine Brille?"
  • "Die wird auf dem Schreibtisch sein."

  • Where are my glasses?

  • They will (probably) be on the desk.

Since there is absolutely no indication neither for time or mode, either reading is possible (at least to me). Technically your translation is fine and can work as a translation for either version. However, it is rather long and complex so people would avoid it if possible. If future perfect is the time you need then there is no way around what you've suggested. But if the modal reading is the one you need then I think this is preferable:

Diese Frage ist wahrscheinlich schon oft gestellt worden.

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In Die wird auf dem Schreibtisch sein, the die at the beginning of the sentence actually means "these" and is, I think, a demonstrative pronoun. Am I right? –  indoxica Jul 21 '13 at 14:02
@indoxica: In principle, yes. In colloquial speech, the demonstrative nature has bleakened, and die is here used instead of sie (personal pronoun). Note that Brille, unlike glasses in English, is not a plurale tantum; accordingly, die and sie are singular here. –  chirlu Jul 21 '13 at 20:29
@chirlu So I am right both in principle and also when it comes to literary German. I presume written German still uses the demonstrative pronoun, doesn't it? Of course, I had no idea how things are in colloquial speech, so thanks for the info. –  indoxica Jul 22 '13 at 8:09
@indoxica: The example is colloquial speech. –  chirlu Jul 22 '13 at 8:17

Das ist eine Frage, die oft gestellt wird.

Das ist eine Frage, die gestellt (werden) wird.


Das ist eine Frage, die kommen wird.

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