Grammatik - Questions on rules for composing clauses.

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Dativ und/oder “für”

Manchmal kann man wahlweise den Dativ oder "für" benutzen: Das Buch ist mir zu kompliziert. Das Buch ist zu kompliziert für mich. Meine Frau hat mir Essen gekocht. Meine Frau hat Essen für mich ...
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What are the major areas of grammar to cover for German cloze tests? [on hold]

Cloze tests are those tests where you have to fill in the blanks in large passages. Sometimes it's adjectival endings, missing articles, missing verb forms, etc. What are the most important areas of ...
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1answer
48 views

Can a reflexive pronoun be used after a preposition?

I'm working through the Collins easy learning German Grammar & Practice book, and am currently on the reflexive pronouns section. I'm confused, because it says: 'Unlike English, reflexive ...
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2answers
83 views

Welchen Fall benutze ich in einem ob-Satz?

Ist "Artikel" hier Dativ oder Akkusativ? "Könntest Du bitte nachschauen, ob die Artikeln brauchbar sein könnten?"
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1answer
301 views

Last name Fahnel pronunciation

Our last name is Fahnel which is German and I wanted to know the correct way to pronounce it. Some relatives believe it is pronounced Fennel like the spice but I believe it is either Fah-nel or ...
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2answers
95 views

“sagt man” or “man sagt” [duplicate]

I am just starting my journey to German language, so please excuse me for my trivial question. What is the difference between "sagt man" and "man sagt". How would I understand where to use right one? ...
2
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3answers
233 views

What are examples of grammatical mistakes that native Germans make? [closed]

I'm curious to know what sort of grammatical mistakes are made by native German speakers. Are there errors in speech or writing that give a native away as being poorly educated? Native English ...
9
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1answer
99 views

Construction with “sein” + infinitive?

In Harry Potter, the sentence I'll send this with Hedwig when she gets back; she's off hunting at the moment. is translated as Ich schick dir diesen Brief mit Hedwig, sobald sie ...
6
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3answers
143 views

Wer bestimmt welche Regeln in der deutschen Spache gelten?

Wie der Titel schon sagt: Wer (oder was) hat das letzte Wort wenn es um Regelfragen in der deutschen Sprache geht? Die in dem Fall angesprochenen Regelfragen drehen sich sowohl um grammatikalische, ...
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2answers
74 views

“zu” phrase with separable verb

What is the rule on using a "zu" phrase with a separable verb? Between Ich fange an zu weinen. and Ich fange zu weinen an. Are both correct? If the "zu" phrase is long, would that mean the ...
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3answers
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Literal meaning of: es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen

I recently came across the expression: Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen There's still no master [that has] fallen from the sky I'm curious about the es ist part, which I ...
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4answers
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Word order in run-on sentence with “zollen”

Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis erstmals auf die 1238 Kilometer lange Strecke gewagt, nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen und abbrechen müssen. Why is the word order ...
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The German 'Kommen + Past Participle' Construction

I encountered the usage of a German verb + past participle construction when in English one would have used verb + present participle. It is from the fairy tale 'The Frog King or Iron Henry' ('Der ...
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3answers
96 views

Use of dative after “wegen” [duplicate]

This sentence is from the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Nicht nur wegen Athleten wie Reus oder den Kugelstoß-Assen Christian Schwanitz und David Storl blickt der Deutsche Leichtathletik-Verband ... ...
2
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1answer
167 views

Word order in a sentence

Last week I had an appointment with a notary public. How can I say it? Ich habe den Termin beim Notar am 28. Juli. I feel this sentence is not correct.
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3answers
438 views

Use of the word “had” more than once in a statement in the German language

Even though the question contains the word had, I am referring to any forms of the word have. In English it's easy to think of a sentence which has two haves in it. For instance: I have had enough ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Jemand, der oder die

To what extent is the common usage of "der" with "jemand" considered sexist now, and what ways are most commonly used to solve the sexist problem (if one exists)? An example sentence that I am ...
2
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2answers
43 views

relative clauses and relative pronouns

I want to combine 2 sentences with a relative pronoun. Example: Ich habe einen Hund. Mein Hund hat den Briefträger gebissen. Result: Ich habe einen Hund, der den Briefträger gebissen hat. ...
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2answers
108 views

Eine Alternative zu “schwerfallen”?

Es fällt mir schwer, deutsche Redewendungen zu verstehen. I am having difficulties comprehending German idioms. Was sind Alternativen zum Verb "schwerfallen"?
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Wortart von “w”-Fragewörtern in Kontext

W-Fragewörter können je nach Kontext sowohl als Fragewort als auch als Relativpronomen fungieren. Wo wohnst du? Das ist die Stadt, wo Goethe mal durchgefahren ist. Das erste Beispiel ist ...
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2answers
128 views

What kind of a phrase is “Haus zum Cavazzen”?

Haus zum Cavazzen is the name of a famous building in Lindau. More info here: http://www.kultur-lindau.de/museum/der-cavazzen/ But what does this name mean, and why zum is used together with what ...
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2answers
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Need grammatical help on a German phrase (romantic literature) involving “ward” (old form of “wurde”)?

While reading Heinrich von Kleist´s Die Marquise von O (very easy to read thanks to Kleist´s extensive usage of commas...), I stumbled upon a phrase which I couldn´t quite explain, even if the ...
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1answer
180 views

Wie sagt man “Out of the corner of my eye” auf Deutsch?

Wie sagt man "Out of the corner of my eye"? In der Ecke meines Auges habe ich gesehen, wie mein Bruder aus dem Haus ging. Am I using the right word for "corner" or would another word serve ...
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2answers
113 views

When to use “gegen etwas werfen” and “auf etw. werfen”?

Ich werfe kleine Steinchen auf das Fenster, eins nach dem anderen. Ich werfe kleine Steinchen gegen das Fenster, eins nach dem anderen. I am throwing small stones at window one after the ...
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3answers
192 views

Difference between Ihr and Ihnen

I am doing an exercise (using Rosetta Stone) in the context of an airport, where a woman gets asked: Haben Sie ihr Flugticket? Haben Sie ihnen Reisepass? Why is this, if it is "der Reisepass" ...
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2answers
76 views

Wo-Pronominaladverb und Satzbezug

Ich habe auf Cannoo.net folgenden Satz gelesen: Du hast gewonnen, worüber sich alle freuen. Ich denke, es soll ein Beispiel sein für ein wo-Wort, dass sich auf einen ganzen Satz bezieht. Hier ...
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1answer
103 views

When to translate “ein” to describe people

I know that in German the words "ein" or "eine" are often dropped when referring to a person's occupation or role. Is this always the case from a grammatical point of view? Or is it a matter of style? ...
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2answers
185 views

Nächste Mal vs Nächstes Mal vs Nächsten Mal

Why is it that "Nächstes Mal" can have so many different variations on the "nächste" word? If I'm not mistaken, all of the below are correct: Nächste Mal. - I think there is an article missing. ...
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2answers
176 views

In oder im Lotto gewinnen?

Wie wäre denn die korrekte Schreibweise? Beispiel: Ich würde gerne in/im Lotto gewinnen. Mein Sprachgefühl sagt mir, dass im richtig wäre, aber auch nur, weil ich es immer so höre. Ist denn das auch ...
4
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1answer
94 views

Trying to simplify complex sentences with modals

When I am writing a complex sentence using a modal verb, is it acceptable to move the second verb, so that less advanced readers don't have to wait until the end to find it? Example: (this is my ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Feminines oder maskulines Substantiv + “darin”

Das Adverb "darin" bezieht sich normalerweise nur auf Substantive, die (meines Erachtens) generell einen neutralen Genus haben. Meine Frage ist, ob man das Wort "darin" auch für feminine und ...
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1answer
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“Unserer” oder “Unser” als eigenständiges Subjekt

Als Beispiel folgender Zusammenhang: "Unser Fernseher funktioniert nicht mehr." "Unser(er) auch nicht." Was ist hier richtig? Ich glaube, ich habe beides schon im Sprachgebrauch gehört. Streng ...
3
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4answers
679 views

du vs dir in “How are you?”

As far as I know, du is used to mention a direct object and dir is to mention an indirect object. If that is the case, why do they use "Wie geht's dir?" to ask "How are you?", when "you" is a direct ...
0
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1answer
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Are there any significant changes in German grammar since 1975? [duplicate]

I've decided to revise my German, after a pause. In home I came across a textbook called "Deutsch Intensiv - Grundkurs für Ausländer", VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1975 - with around 700 pages ...
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5answers
363 views

Why does “neu” become “Neues” after “etwas”?

I found this sentence in a German children's book: Jeden Tag entdeckt Katrin etwas Neues. Neues is a noun here? How can that be? I'd think that 'new' was an adjective. As a noun, I found Neue ...
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3answers
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Why is it “bis zum nächsten Mal”?

I got confused by using both bis and zu there, Why it's "bis zum nächsten Mal"?
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3answers
206 views

A German relative clause that begins with “welchem in diesem”

Grammar books have taught me that 'der' words are the usual relative pronouns in German, and that 'welcher' words might work sometimes but would sound stilted and bookish. But I found a sentence in ...
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2answers
121 views

Individuell/Individual- and Generell/General- Phenomena

Can a native German speaker kindly explain this horrible inconsequence in his language? An adjective generell but a noun die Generalprobe Another example... An adjective individuell but a noun die ...
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12answers
1k views

In welchen Regionen ist die dem-sein-Form gebräuchlich?

Als Alternative zum Genitiv gibt es das dem-sein-Konstrukt. (Keine Ahnung, wie man es sonst nennen sollte): Der Frau ihre Handtasche. Dem Fritz sein Schwager. Wo ist diese Form gebräuchlich?
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What is the difference between “Ich weiß nicht” and “Das weiß ich nicht”?

I think these two sentences have the same meaning, but which one should I use and why?
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5answers
2k views

Most terrible-sounding mistakes in German [closed]

I was holding this question back because I suspected that it wouldn't be objective enough, i.e. there wouldn't be a scale to classify the awfulness of grammar mistakes. Well, there is no such a scale, ...
4
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2answers
784 views

“ich hätte früher dort gewesen sein müssen” zeit

In dem Beispielsatz oben kommen vier Verben zum Einsatz. Hat diese Form einen eigenen Namen, oder ist das eine Kombination aus verschiedenen Formen (z. B. Perfekt und Konjunktiv II)? ...
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16answers
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How can I better learn noun genders?

One of the things that I really liked about German, as I was studying it in college, was the very orderly grammar, which actually helped me to understand my native English better. As a non-native ...
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Does German “sollen” ever function like English “shall” to indicate a future or possibility (no element of expectation)?

I understand that "sollen" typically expresses what is expected of the subject of the sentence, and found excellent accounts of that usage of "sollen" in this other StackExchange page: Does “sollen” ...
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3answers
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Breaking down “also fangen wir an”

The meaning of also fangen wir an, according to Google Translate is: let's get started. While the individual translation of the words are: so, catch we, to. How did these combine to make that? "So ...
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1answer
101 views

Grammatik von “es” in “es auf etw/jmdn absehen”

"Es" kann in Deutsch viele Funktionen erfüllen - "echtes" Pronomen, Dummy-Pronomen, Grammatikvehikel (Expletivum). Nun bin ich in einem Buch auf einen Satz ähnlich dem folgenden gestoßen: ..., ...
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3answers
887 views

Difference between using the double infinitive or past participle?

For longer sentences with more verbs, it is often hard for a learner to figure out when to use the double infinitive sentence structure and when to use the past participle. For example in the ...
4
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1answer
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Usage of halber / halben

It is common to use halber to indicate a cause, a reason or an end for something. Der Einfachheit halber hier ein einfacher Beispielsatz. Now 'Einfachheit' is feminine, so 'halber' is ...
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1answer
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No article - why “Altes Rathaus”?

This page is about the old city hall of Munich. The title is Altes Rathaus and in the text it says Das Alte Rathaus entwickelte sich ... Now AFAIK the indefinite form is ein altes ...
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Sein Haus und Garten ist/sind schön

Which is correct grammatically? Sein Haus und Garten ist schön. Sein Haus und Garten sind schön. I tend to think the former is correct by taking Sein Haus und Garten as a singular subject. ...