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I'm learning German and I'd like to ask my friend "Can we speak German between us?".

I wrote the following sentence to him but I'm not sure I was right:

Können wir Deutsch sprechen mit uns?

Is this correct?

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"mit uns" => "miteinander", then it's OK – äüö Aug 30 '13 at 6:31

"Können wir deutsch sprechen?" or "Können wir auf deutsch miteinander reden?" would be valid solutions. The "mit uns" sounds weird to me.

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I'd like to emphasize "between us" because we regularly speak english when other people are around and also when we're together. So I just realized what I'd like to say is "Can we speak german when we talk to each other?" – bodacydo Aug 29 '13 at 18:10
So you've got a friend who is also able to speak german, and want to tell him something, that's not for everyones ears? Why don't you just start talking German? You might also say "Können wir deutsch spechen, wenn wir miteinander reden?" – rimrul Aug 29 '13 at 18:13
No, I just want to speak german with him when we're together to improve my german language skills. :) It doesn't matter if other people hear us. It's just I'd like to propose this possibility of always talking german when we're together. – bodacydo Aug 29 '13 at 18:15
All the solutions I mentioned work. Or you might ask in english. :P – rimrul Aug 29 '13 at 18:17
"Können wir uns auf deutsch unterhalten?" is Ok, too. – rimrul Aug 29 '13 at 18:19

It is perfectly sufficient to say (or write):

Können wir Deutsch sprechen?

As a native speaker I see no need to translate the "between us", but if you want explicitly to translate the "between us"-part, the correct preposition would be "zwischen" or "unter" i.e.

"Können wir unter/zwischen uns Deutsch sprechen?"

One possible variant would be the use of "könnten wir..." instead of "können wir..." (so called Konjunktiv II), which sounds a bit more polite. One further (minor) correction: The umlaut-dots are mandatory in "wir können". If you cannot type them with your keyboard and don't want to use unicode, the correct thing to type is "oe" for "ö".

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Zwischen uns sounds very strange to me, and unter uns hardly better. If there has to be some phrase like that, I'd prefer untereinander. – chirlu Aug 29 '13 at 18:27
I second that „zwischen uns“ is wrong and also that „untereinander“ is preferable, even though I would have no problem with „Können wir deutsch reden, wenn wir unter uns sind?“ – Carsten S Aug 30 '13 at 12:02
Thomas, you're doing it again.... – tofro Apr 14 at 8:27

No, it is not.

You'd use e. g.

Können wir [auf/in Deutsch] deutsch miteinander reden?

If you want to use a preposition, you might prefer auf over in and note that in this case Deutsch comes with a capital because it is used "im Sinne von »deutsche Sprache«" (Regel 72).

Basically it'd suficcient to say

Können wir deutsch sprechen?

But using miteinander emphasizes that it's about you and your dialog partner.


wir ... mit uns does work in German, but has a different sense. In German when using pronouns together which refer to the same person or group of persons, it has always a reflexive sense and thus to be used like that.

Können wir deutsch mit uns [selbst] sprechen ? the predicate comes last

In this case both (wir and uns) is 1st person plural. One does not have to put selbst, but without it will be even less comprehensible. It would mean something like

Can we talk German to ourselves?
as in
Some people are in a room practising talking to themselves in different languages and from while to while the language is switched by somebody asking: "Can we talk German to ourselves [now]?"

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As a native speaker I'd say "Können wir uns auf Deutsch unterhalten?" or "Können wir auf Deutsch (miteinander) reden?" if you want to use the verb reden. The first question is more usual.

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