2
votes
1answer
262 views

Composite verbs with prefix zu: how to deal with infinitives

Suppose I want to write a sentence with the verb zumachen. It is composite, so in past participles and in constructs as zu + infinitive the added particles go between the prefix and the main verb. ...
6
votes
2answers
629 views

What does “denn” mean in this context?

Every so often, I see someone use "denn" in a question, but I do not know why. Some examples: Was hörst du denn für Musik? Was machst du denn? What is the point of this, and what does it ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Translation of the song “Land der dunklen Wälder”

First of all, I hope it's not verboten to post Ostpreußen's anthem here. Lately, I've been fascinated with this region's history (where my dad's best friend's mom was born), and this song has become ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

“Can” or “want”?

Am nächsten Morgen wollte sie ihren Augen nicht trauen. In English, it should be, Next morning she didn't want to believe her eyes. But the expression seine Augen trauen is rendered in English ...
3
votes
2answers
337 views

“I want that” in German

If I want to say, I want that, what do I say? Ich will das. Ich es will. Das will ich. Which one is the most correct? (And the most used, too.)
8
votes
2answers
530 views

Word order with modal verbs in complex tenses

If in the present tense I can simply say, Ich kann kommen (no double infinitive), why can't I follow the same rule when I use the future tense, and say, Ich werde können kommen? Why do I have to say ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

On how can “jedes” be translated in this context

Jedes Gesicht ist vom Maler ganz genau gemalt worden. This should mean, Every face [probably portrait?] has been painted by the painter quite well. However, LEO says jedes means any. But Any ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Is there a difference between “bauen” and “erbauen”?

What is the difference between bauen and erbauen? I mean, semantically. Or can they be used interchangeably?
1
vote
2answers
163 views

Is “Langenscheidt” a word?

What is the Etymology of the word "Langenscheidt"? Also, does it have a meaning other than the name for a publishing group?
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Haferschleim vs Haferbrei

I said to my friend: "Ich esse morgens Haferbrei". He asked, whether I mean Haferschleim. Is there any difference? Do these words have the same meaning or not? What about other dishes, like ...
8
votes
3answers
156 views

Are “lassen” and “sich lassen”, when used causatively, interchangeable?

What I mean by that is the following: If I want to say, for instance, He is having his car repaired, I say in German, Er läßt sein Auto reparieren. But can I say the same (He is having his car ...
2
votes
5answers
193 views

What phrases to use for certain situations when your little children play in the playground?

I have sometimes a hard time when I take my children to the playground and something happens, like my child pushed another one or gets a bite from another one. I manage to say something most of the ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Origin of “man” in impersonal sentences

What is the origin of the particle man that German uses to create impersonal sentence? One example for all: Man muss die Geschichte kennen. When I first saw it, I thought it had something to do ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

List of 1000+ (most common) German nouns with plural form

Has anyone managed to find a list of this kind in a tabular form, possibly with articles? Something like this would be ideal: ---------------------------- das Kind | die Kinder | der Hund | ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

“Braune Augen” to substantive or adjective

Is it possible to transform the phrase "braune Augen" into substantive or at least into adjective? How in that case a person with brown eyes could be called in one word? What's the mechanism of ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du [duplicate]

In einem E-Mail an meinen Kunden schreibe ich immer Du/Dich/Dir (mit einem grossen D). Zum Beispiel: Bei Fragen stehen wir Dir gerne zur Verfügung. Als ich mit Deutsch in meinem Job begonnen ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

“Es gibt” vs. “Da ist/da sind”

I asked a German friend of mine if "da ist" and "da sind" are valid constructions for saying "there is/are," and she confirmed my suspicion, though she was unable to explain the difference between ...
1
vote
2answers
435 views

On the perfect tenses of the passive voice

The Future II of the Passive Voice uses the perfect infinitive form of the Passive Voice, geliebt worden sein, in its formation, which thus runs as * Ich werde geliebt worden sein, Why ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

An idiom likely having a more figurative translation

There is a very nice German song whose name is, Ich lass mich auf den Sommer ein. I have found the following idiom with einlassen: sich auf etw (accusative) einlassen, which is rendered as to get ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Temporal complement and its correct case

I'm confused about the correct case to use in a temporal complement: do you need the accusative? I'm asking about the expression of a well determined time (that does not continue). Examples may be: ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

On the meaning of “weh sein” in a Heine poem

In Heine's Im Walde wandl’ ich und weine, there is the following verse: Warum ist dir so weh? What is the correct translation for Warum ist dir so weh? (What I actually don't make any sense of in ...
5
votes
3answers
111 views

On the use of apostrophes in a Heine poem

In Heinrich Heine's Im Walde wandl’ ich und weine, there are four things I don't understand: Im Walde wandl’ ich und weine, Die Drossel sitzt in der Höh’; Sie springt und singt gar ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Is “drin” in “Es ist noch mehr drin” an idiom?

In my dictionary, drin is an idiomatic component of both drin sein (to be into it), and das ist doch nicht drin (that's not on). But I'm not sure which of these meanings go into this newspapers ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

“werden” - used 2 times in the same sentence

When I want say: "Will the weather improve?" Wird das Wetter besser werden? Do I always need to include the last word, i.e. werden, or could I drop it? How do forms of werden fit here?
3
votes
3answers
116 views

Etymology of “stillen” and relation to other languages

Looking on the Leo, the verb stillen means to breastfeed. The English verb contains the word breast. Something similar happens in Italian (allattare, which contains latte-milk). What is the ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Future and Future 2 + passive voice in subordinate clauses

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

German dictionary with reverse words [duplicate]

Is there a German online dictionary that renders all (standard) German words by inputting the last letters? Say, you input “nebierhcs”, then you get, for instance, schreiben, abschreiben, ...
2
votes
3answers
358 views

Einsamkeit und Zweisamkeit

I have just encountered the word "Zweisamkeit". Till this moment I knew only "Einsamkeit" und "Gemeinsamkeit". Do you know any other words like this?
5
votes
1answer
140 views

When can one create a “zusammengesetzes Nomen”? When should one use genitive or prepositions instead?

Long words is one of my favorite features in German. Is there a criterion, "eine grammatische Empfehlung!, to know when we can put nouns together? I'm not talking about creating significant words ...
12
votes
1answer
251 views

“Ja, verb ich.” - which verbs work?

In spoken German, it is very common to answer basic mundane yes-or-no question with an elliptical construction like this: "Willst du noch ein Bier?" "Ja, will ich." This works for haben, ...
3
votes
5answers
146 views

Is there a division in society (according to age) about the post-reform orthography?

I read that in 1996 the German language underwent an orthography reform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996 Wikipedia says that the rules were compulsorily taught in ...
3
votes
3answers
165 views

“Ich miete eine Wohnung” bedeutet “ich bezahle für eine Wohnung” oder “ich bekomme Geld dafür”? Oder beides?

Vielleicht ist es mit den Objekten einfacher zu verstehen, aber bedeutet der Satz Ich miete eine Wohnung. "Ich bezahle für eine Wohnung" oder "Ich bekomme Geld dafür"? Wenn die Antwort ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

On passive voice

If I want to say, I am told, do I say, Mir werde gesagt? And if I want to say, I was told, do I say, Mir wurde gesagt? Similarly, if I want to say, I have been told, do I say, Mir bin gesagt worden? ...
5
votes
3answers
297 views

Modal verbs: correspondence German - English

Coming across the six modal verbs in the German language, I've put them in correspondence (1:1) with English ones (or similar English verbs used in conjunction with main verbs): 1a. müssen --> ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Warum Perfekt anstelle von Präteritum und seit wann?

Seit welcher Zeit und warum wird im ge­spro­chenen Deutsch lieber Per­fekt anstatt Präteritum benutzt, z.B. lieber Ich habe gesehen als Ich sah? Warum hat sich die kompliziertere Form eingebürgert?
1
vote
1answer
404 views

How do you ask “who is this?” when someone knocks at your door in German?

With no prior knowledge of this, I would say Wer ist das? MY question is related to what I read here http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasistas#Etimologia It's a page from the Italian version of ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

On verbal parentheses [closed]

I know that one of the peculiarities of the German language is this thing called verbal parentheses, which extends all the way from the auxiliary verb to the unonjugated form of the verb. What I ...
7
votes
4answers
249 views

Is it possible to have confusion with different verbs that have some forms in common?

I may be wrong, but, I seem to recall that gehört is both the past participle of "hören" and that of "gehören" (for which it is also the third person present tense), and the two verbs are not ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Non-natives using strong verbs as they were weak: would this compromise understanding?

Forgetting for a moment about the stated fact that language evolves, would Germans be annoyed if a strong verb was used as it were weak (that is, with the common -te pattern in the past tense and the ...
2
votes
2answers
214 views

On the usage of nach / hinter / zu

In Der Pfennig by Hans Eckart, there is also the following sentence: Eines Tages war der Vater nach der Arbeit sehr müde. Except for nach der Arbeit, all is clear to me: One day, father was very ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Meaning of the word “entrichten”

Entrichten habe ich nie gehört. Wie wird dieses Wort gebraucht? Kann man z.B. eine Rechnung entrichten? Hat es die gleiche Bedeutung wie das englische Wort pay?
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Meaning of “werden” in this context

In Der Pfennig by Hans Eckart, I've found the following sentence: Nach Jahren wurde er durch Fleiß und Eifer endlich Vorarbeiter. If my understanding of the text is correct, this should mean: ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

How do we use perfect tense in passive voice?

Was wird am meistens gebraucht in der Passivform der Vergangenheit? Präteritum oder Perfekt? Perfekt habe ich noch nie gehört im mündlichen Gebrauch. Oder habe ich nicht gut aufgepasst? Also, was ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

Is there any difference between “Vermögensteuer” and “Vermögenssteuer”?

In Reiche bereiten sich auf die Vermögensteuer vor, Vermögensteuer is spelt with a single -s-. But in the online dictionary that I use, the word is spelt with a double -ss-: Vermögenssteuer. Is this ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

What new meaning does “letztendlich” contribute?

According to Google Ngram Viewer the word "letztendlich" is a very new invention in German language. Meanwhile this word is very present in all kinds of communication, be it formal or informal. Is ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

Schwarzer Kaffee vs schwarzen Kaffee

I need to know why do we say "schwarzen Kaffee, bitte" and not "schwarzer Kaffee, bitte". To me, it should be "schwarzer Kaffee", however, I am being told it is the other way around.
-1
votes
2answers
170 views

Grammatical structure of a sentence [closed]

Could you explain the grammatical structure of this sentence? Genau das habe ich gestern gegessen.
9
votes
1answer
316 views

How much are colloquial reductions of spoken German taught?

Sometimes I ask myself how clear a Non-German can understand spoken German when it comes to reductions like hammer / simmer / gehmer - haben wir / sind wir / gehen wir haste / biste / weißte - hast ...
5
votes
4answers
340 views

Ist es unhöflich, Vornamen mit Artikel zu erwähnen?

Klingt es unhöflich die Vornamen, mit einem vorgestellten Artikeln zu sagen? z.B. Der Hans ist bei der Helga.
7
votes
3answers
123 views

What is the accurate translation of “stands to reason” within a “logical” context?

Taking the following example: It stands to reason that most people will not buy a new car if they don't think they can pay for it. The "stands to reason" could be replaced by "logical" as in: ...

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