6
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
387 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, ...
6
votes
5answers
183 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
447 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
198 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
628 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 --> ...
6
votes
3answers
450 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
1k 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
290 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
413 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
154 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
392 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
200 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
159 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
511 views

How do we use perfect tense in passive voice?

Was wird am meisten 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
158 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
387 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
656 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.
10
votes
1answer
902 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
723 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
179 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: ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does “Tschüssie” sound a little …weiblich?

Actually I don't know where did I learn the word Tschüßie, but I suspect that is a word that is not so frequently used by men[*]. Is it true? *And I don't know if there is a term for that ...
3
votes
3answers
554 views

How do Germans associate neologisms and borrowed nouns with a gender/linguistic feature when this is not clear from the language of origin?

New words can enter a language: they can be created out of the evolution of the society or they can be borrowed from other languages. Some examples (not so new!) that come to my mind are e-mail, to ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Is there a grammatically accurate chart for reported speech in German?

If there is one, it would be immensely helpful for anyone wanting to see clearly how the verbs change in reported speech. I still don't know (very well) how to make all the necessary changes from ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Confusion in the usage of a case in a book sentence

I read this sentence in a book I'm using for exercises: Jener Mann war kein Dieb, und man setze ihn daher in Freiheit; sofort gab man seiner Frau die frohe Kunde seiner Unschuld. I don't ...
4
votes
4answers
341 views

Correct cases in a composite complement involving more than a single preposition

Prepositions like an, auf, zwischen, vor and others can be used in a double sense: if you need to convey the idea of movement you need to use the accusative case along with them, while if the ...
2
votes
3answers
530 views

How to tell date in German?

Is 14th of February vierzehnte zweite or vierzehnten zweiten? With the usage of the name of the month, is it vierzehnten Februar or vierzehnte Februar? Why is there an -n sometimes and sometimes it ...
5
votes
1answer
685 views

How is “lassen” used in the context of this sentence?

Könnten Sie mein Gepäck bitte herunterbringen lassen? How does usage of lassen work here? Can anybody please give more examples of lassen similar to this one. Normally it means leave.
5
votes
6answers
368 views

Online dictionary where I can search for second half of compound noun

For example die Wertsachen, I want to find all words which end in die Sache. Other example, nouns ending in -gerät or -dienst?
3
votes
1answer
274 views

When to use Übernachten and when to use Übernachtung?

I thought both of them mean the same – to stay overnight. Which to use in which case? das Übernachten die Übernachtung
3
votes
2answers
463 views

How to optimally list verbs in past (with sein and haben): aesthetics question

You are given a list of verbs, say: aufstehen, sich duschen, sich schminken, einsteigen, frühstücken, arbeiten, gehen, usw. Forget momentarily that we are telling an everyday story. If that is the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

A few questions about glottal stops in Standard German

From experience and from this video, it seems that you do a glottal stop in the following cases: Before a word beginning with a vowel (e.g. ein, essen) Before first vowel in words with prefixes ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Meaning of “Was für ein”?

All I know about Was für ein is that it is a type of pronoun (but I don't know what type exactly it is). I also don't know how it translates into English.
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Meaning and grammatical category of “Luftnummer”?

Opposition wirft Friedrich "Luftnummer" vor. wirft ... vor is, I think, the verb vorwerfen, which means to accuse. But I don't know what Luftnummer means. Is it a noun in this context? I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Correct usage of “beide”: does it require the article?

I didn't find any satisfactory reference about the usage of the pronoun "beide". It means "both" and probably comes from the same source too, but I'm confused about the article to use in front of it. ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

The word “hart” meaning “glade”

I am told that the word hart was in the past a substantive (not only an adjective) with the meaning of "glade", like a "forest grade". As an example: Steinhart had the meaning of "the glade of the ...
2
votes
2answers
19k views

“Schönes Wochenende” versus “Schönen Wochenende”

Is there any preference to using "Schönes Wochenende" or "Schönen Wochenende" as a parting statement? Are they both allowed, or is there a preference for one over the other? Different people have told ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

“Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod”: is German really losing Genitiv? (evolutionary viewpoint)

"Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" is an interesting German phrase which originates this question. I'm interested in knowing how true is it/will it be. Has German always had four cases? Or were ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

how to translate `extend`

I have extended a casual friendly greeting towards her. Specially how do you translate the word extend in this context? Also How do you translate this: I am stating it outright!
0
votes
3answers
790 views

“Für”, “gegen”, “um” — which to use when? [closed]

All three accusative prepositions für, gegen, and um can mean "for" in certain situations. Can anybody give examples when to use which of the three?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the essential semantic difference between “sein” and “werden” for passive voice?

I know that in German the passive voice is formed with both sein and werden: Das Haus wird gebaut or Das Haus ist gebaut Are these two forms of the passive voice interchangeable?
5
votes
3answers
179 views

German word for “probability score” or “likelihood”?

Ich suche Leute, die sowohl eine gewisse mathematische Grundbildung als auch gute Deutsch- und Englischkenntnisse haben. Speziell geht es um folgende Frage: Wie bezeichnet man im Deutschen einen ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

I have allowed (smth) vs. I have been allowed (smth)

If I am correct I have allowed smth would be rendered in German as Ich habe etwas gedurft and I have been allowed smth would be rendered as Ich bin etwas gedurft worden. Are these correct? If not, ...
5
votes
3answers
955 views

What is the technically correct English translation of this poem?

Weißt du, ich will mich schleichen leise aus lautem Kreis, wenn ich erst die bleichen Sterne über den Eichen blühen weiß. Wege will ich erkiesen, die selten wer betritt in ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Doch vs. noch/gar?

Und viele mancher Kollegen wüssten doch noch gar nicht, dass sie nicht wieder kommen würden.[FAZ] How can doch noch gar be translated, when, according to my dictionary, both doch and noch can ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

What does “Was hat Kim Jong Un mit Texas vor?” mean?

hat... mit... vor According to my dictionary, this is etw mit jdm/etw vorhaben = to intend doing sth with sb/sth. So, the question about Kim should be rendered in English as "What does Kim intend ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

The adjective grauenkalt

I've only seen the word 'grauenkalt' in a line from the song, 'Dieses Leben,' by Juli. The line is: "Diese Nacht ist grauenkalt und schwer." I looked up the verb 'grauen,' and it means both 'to ...
1
vote
2answers
249 views

What is the difference between “na” and “nicht”?

When do I use "na" or "nicht" in German? For example, na gut vs nicht gut, is there a difference? Which is grammatical? Na klar vs nicht klar, are both grammatical?
6
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the difference between “um” and “am”?

What is the difference between "um" and "am" in German? e.g. um 8 Uhr vs am 8 Uhr
5
votes
5answers
177 views

What does “durchwebt” mean?

I know that weben means to weave or to spin. But no such word as durchwebt. Source: Wie Amazon die Cloud durchwebt

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