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Given the sentence:

Since I have been sick for a long time, I can only go out when the weather is nice and there is the sun,

my German attempt is:

Da ich viele Zeit krank gewesen sein bin, kann ich ausgehen, nur wenn das Wetter schön ist und es die Sonne gibt.

I have some doubts on the italic phrase: is the placement of the verb correct? There of course may be other, independent errors as well.

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The word order in this part is essentially correct; e.g., und es keinen Regen gibt would be valid. However, there is no impersonal construction needed (or possible) with Sonne: und die Sonne scheint. –  chirlu Sep 11 '13 at 15:02
    
So this means that I can't say "there is the sun in the sky" (this is probably wrong in English too), but I need to say "the sun shines in the sky". –  martina Sep 11 '13 at 15:10
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you can technically say everything but it is not idiomatic... "Die Sonne steht am Himmel", "Die Sonne scheint/strahlt/lacht am/vom Himmel (herab)"... those are. "Die Sonne ist am Himmel", "Da ist Sonne am Himmel", "Es gibt Sonne am Himmel." is not. –  Emanuel Sep 11 '13 at 15:56
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • We don't use "viele Zeit" in German. The form "viele" is only used if the noun is countable, which "Zeit" isn't, so "viel Zeit" is generally acceptable (Bsp.: "Ich verbringe viel Zeit mit meiner Familie."). In this case I'd go for "lange Zeit".
  • "Nur" should be moved into the clause that governs the one with "wenn": "kann ich nur ausgehen, wenn".
  • As chirlu has pointed out in his comment, we don't say "es gibt die Sonne". This would mean "the sun exists", which is independent from the weather. ;) Rather, as he suggested "die Sonne scheint".

All in all you end up with

Da ich lange Zeit krank gewesen sein bin, kann ich nur ausgehen, wenn das Wetter schön ist und die Sonne scheint.

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I'd like to add that first of all the word "Zeit" seems redundant to me because what else could be "long" in that context... without "Zeit" it would be more idiomatic. Secondly, I think the intended meaning of "go out" is to go out for a walk or go outside rather than "go out on the town" as in to go to bars or so... so I think "rausgehen" would be more appropriate since "ausgehen" clearly hints evening activities. Though I don't know for sure, I think the context supports me in this view. –  Emanuel Sep 11 '13 at 15:45
    
@Emanuel There is no added context on the meaning of going out here (mostly because I was translating in English from the actual original language), but thanks for having spotted the difference between the verbs. –  martina Sep 11 '13 at 19:34
    
@Emanuel "Lange Zeit" may seem redundant but is a common phrase. I agree with "ausgehen" though. "Rausgehen"/"aus dem Haus gehen"/"an die frische Luft gehen" would be better. –  marsze Sep 13 '13 at 14:02
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"gewesen sein bin" isn't grammatical (not that I know of, anyway). I would use this translation:

Da ich lange Zeit krank gewesen bin, kann ich nur ausgehen, wenn das Wetter schön ist und die Sonne scheint.

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You have a point there. :-) Seems like everyone has overlooked the extraneous sein before. –  chirlu Sep 13 '13 at 16:03
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